Morro Bay approves new city manager contract

August 28, 2014
David Buckingham

David Buckingham

The Morro Bay City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve a contract for a controversial former Army Colonel hired as the new city manager.

In total compensation, the city council voted to pay David Buckingham $199,000 for his first year. The council also agreed to pay $15,000 for Buckingham to move his family from Virginia.

Councilwoman Nancy Johnson was the lone vote against the contract. Shortly after information surfaced that the retiring Army colonel had an employment dispute with the city of Bishop, Johnson became skeptical of him.

In addition to Buckingham’s employment dispute with Bishop, the Army colonel is also recently removed from a job in the military. Following a July 4, 2013 incident in Vicenza, Italy, in which Buckingham verbally quarreled with a military policeman, Army brass removed him from his position of base commander.


I don’t get the $15K in moving expenses. Didn’t Bishop already pay that?


Now THAT’S a great point. Bishop paid him $38,000 because he had to move and now Morro Bay is paying him $15,000 in moving expenses. $53,000 just for moving to California. Nice pay if you can get it. Of course, it’s coming from the taxpayers so it doesn’t really count.


He sounds like a real peach.


Freestone or cling?


From the reports of his loss of command in the military I would say he was canned.

mb business owner

Here’s a curious point. The last sentence in the bay news article indicates that the City’s Administrative Services Director Susan Slayton applied for the City Manager job. But apparently she was not even interviewed, I find that very interesting and somewhat disturbing. And I will leave it at that.


Maybe she didn’t get interviewed because she is a strong woman and the council majority clearly doesn’t appreciate that type.


Seriously! She was good enough to be Acting City Manager for almost a year and yet was even given an interview. Very professional! This City Council really has no clue about what they’re doing and, when they’ve quit rearranging the chairs on the Titanic and the money runs out, Morro Bay will be an incorporated city no more.


Speaking of rearranging the deck chairs, I am not sure anyone is paying attention to this or not, but at a recent meeting the cc delayed the decision on the location of the WWTP until November or December and decided to spend more $$ on further study – however, sources say that at a recent meeting with the Regional Water Quality Control Board, irons and smuckler were basically told that a regional approach, read CMC, is what would be acceptable. Interesting that information didn’t come out at the cc meeting – just another example of “transparency”.


Does this gentleman have any experience running a city?


None. Zero.


Really? Is he connected here?


He is now.


He fits right in with the mayor and the two new council members.


No experience or education. He has never dealt with the Brown Act Myers/Milas Act. Never negoated Labor Agreements. Never even participated in a Council meeting. Nothing.. Unbelievable what a bad fit this is. .It would funny if it wasn’t so sad.


It’s a perfect fit for those who want to be in control, he will have no choice but to ask his “coworkers” how best to do things.

What could possibly go wrong, besides all the fines I see in Morro Bay’s future.


Over hill over dune while a cop naps till noon

As the mayor’s comrades go rolling along.

Up and down, in and out, Countermarch and right about,

And his comrades go rolling along.

For it’s hi-hi-hee their new man’s from the Army,

Shout out the number loud and strong.

Till our final ride, It will always be their pride

To keep those comrades a rolling along….


This Guy has no Public Administration Education. No Public Administration Experience in California, let alone the USA. No Coastal Commission experience. No RWQCB experience. Simply put, he did not even meet the requirements for the Job description that was posted by the City. On top of that, his background and references didn’t check out and were terrible is an understatement. A year ago when I asked King Irons why he fired Andrea and Rob, he said he couldn’t talk about it, but he had a plan to bring in top notch people. HAHAHA. This is your plan King Irons. This guy will fail quicker than Dave Cole. And by the way, has anybody seen how much we are now paying our Interim City Attorney. Twice as much as we were paying for Rob and the guy only Part Time. King Irons does not even want to bring this issue back to appoint a permanent City Attorney because he knows how bad a mistake this was getting rid of Rob.


Why is it no government body ever says “We just hired our new manager, administrator, or such at $90,000”. Do they think they couldn’t get somebody to apply to a job at that rate? Why not try?


One reason is that a fair amount of the city staff that he will be managing make more than that now. The rest of us that didn’t choose the civil service path are just basically screwed.

Rich in MB

let me guess….how much above the Average Earnings of a Morro Bay Citizen is this new Czar City Manager earning….2x? 3x? The ruling class takes care of their own.

Jorge Estrada

This may be interesting?