Morro Bay police chief departing to Pacific Grove

July 6, 2016
Amy Christie

Amy Christie

The city of Pacific Grove in Monterey County has announced it has selected Morro Bay Police Chief Amy Christey to head its police department. Christey is expected to start work in Pacific Grove on Aug. 16.

Christey has served as Morro Bay’s chief since 2012. She previously worked for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.

Pacific Grove officials selected Christey from a pool of more than 50 candidates. The city conducted a nationwide search.

“Chief Christey’s hands-on approach to community policing, her emphasis on customer service, her understanding of the needs of a small-town coastal community and her track record as a team player make her a terrific fit for our police department, the municipal organization and the community,” Pacific Grove City Manager Ben Harvey said in a statement.

The Pacific Grove City Council has yet to finalize the hire. Christey’s proposed pay has not been disclosed.

In 2015, Christey received $147,706 in salary and $187,127 in total pay from Morro Bay, according to the Transparent California database. Four members of the Pacific Grove Police Department received more in total pay last year than Christie.


Thank you for that answer. And a big Thank you Morro Bay council for getting us stuck with a spend happy, sue happy overpaid liability.


The retirements we’re golden handshakes. Even with new hires you still have the pension costs and the city like many changed its formula years ago to stop spiking. We’re now paying for a Tourisim director as a city employee instead of contract. We have 2 code enforcement officers on staff but stopped ticketing residents for their boats parked on their own property. Guess they have some spare time on their hands until after the election. Oh and now their allowing conversion of granny units to vacation rentals. So much for affordable housing in Morto Bay. It just keeps getting better with this group


The City of Morro Bay is also renting a house to the Tourism Director for $1300 per month. This council talks a good game about affordable housing and then rents out a house they own to someone who works for the City. Hypocrisy anyone?


Think about it. Morro Bay is giving subsidized housing to an employee who makes over $70,000 a year+benefits. How was this person picked from all the employees to get subsidized housing? How many rentals is the City renting? Do they have a business license to rent out these properties? Why not charge the going rate? How much are the maintenance costs? Why does the City own rental properties? How about selling one and patching some streets? At least, it would put it back on the property tax rolls. This city council and city manager are out of control.


Well we certainly can see how well things are going under this administration. Mass exodus of key employees either thru retirement or being pushed out the door. We have NO sewer project 3 1/2 years later, we’ve spent down our reserves and what have we gained besides a sewer that has surpassed Los Osos $$$ a bike bridge that was actually started years ago before these guys took office. Wake up Morro Bay elections are coming – We can’t afford 2-4 more years of this


We can’t even afford the last 4 years!


she sounds like a smart cookie to me. living in Santa Cruz, Morro Bay now Pacific Grove! making tons of money! good for her!!!


Poor thing. Could have earned that much at pg&e.

Shocked in MB

When civil servants head towards the door in great numbers, something is going on.


Getting up there in years, time to spike earnings before retirement sets in.


Are you saying the ripe old age of 50 is right around the corner? … ;(


As the City heads toward disincorporation, top staff recognizes that it is going to suck to work for Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson. Hence the flight.


True. But before the disincorporation, the top staff realizes that it sucks working for Dave Buckingham and the current city council made up of fools.


Buckingham is a power hungry knucklehead and needs to go!


Interesting….. According to the city manager’s column in the current issue of Bay News, the following employees are leaving or already have recently left the City of Morro Bay:

Deputy City Manager

Administrative Services Director/Finance Director

“No. 2 Finance professional”

Recreation Coordinator, who “oversees the entire Recreation Services Division”

“Two key leaders” at the Wastewater Treatment Plant

Deputy City Clerk

Office assistant in the Public Works Department

Police Commander

and now, the Police Chief.

Local government employment is one of the sweetest deals that anyone can get, due to the generous salary and benefit packages and the loose accountability standards. Then, why would so many “key leaders” be lining up to exit from the City of Morro Bay?

Of those who are retiring, how many are seeking early retirement, and why? And for the rest, some may be leaving for “professional advancement”, but all of them? and why are so many leaving in such a short period of time?

Somebody’s got some ‘splanin’ to do here, folks.

Jorge Estrada

Thinking back on my 45 years of living around here, working for any gov job is a like a flash in the pan and then you are retired. I see no special scandal here.


Jorge, in order for your assessment to be accurate, at least two factors would have to be undeniably evident in this Morro Bay matter:

1) All of those folks who are leaving would need to be retiring, and retiring at their full retirement age; and

2) We would need to be seeing the exact same ratio of employee turnover in all of the other local government units in SLO County, the central coast, and all of California.

But we’re not, are we? Now, I don’t know what you are referring to when you say that you “see no special scandal here.” But something clearly is going on in Morro Bay that is NOT happening in every other local government unit.

So, once again, I say that “Somebody’s got some serious ‘splanin’ to do here, folks.”


Insiders say one reason. Dave Buckingham. He has been hiring and firing like an angry 13 year old. The hires, for his personal use, are underlings that do the grunt work while he collects a fat check. He has been searching for ways to extort $ revenue from the citizens like the boat / RV fiasco that people stood up to. He can’t balance a budget yet keeps spending money on non urgent things like parklets, faster internet, pushing for one way streets and working on erasing any shred of uniqueness Morro Bay has left. Money is squandered and we foot the bill as always. Council made a huge mistake hiring Buckingham while he was in a lawsuit with another city who changed their minds about hiring him. He is a huge problem and council refuses to admit their bad choice that steers this sinking ship.

It would be interesting to know how theBuckingham lawsuit went. Guessing the usual bonanza payout for doing nothing.


Payout of $38,000 without working a day!