Morro Bay city manager searching for another job

December 13, 2016
David Buckingham

David Buckingham

Morro Bay City Manager David Buckingham applied for a job in a Montana city of approximately 7,000 people and is now a finalist for the position. Buckingham has spent a little more than two years as Morro Bay’s top executive. [Tribune]

Buckingham applied for the position of city manager in Whitefish, Montana after three Morro Bay Council candidates ran on a platform of getting rid of him. None of those candidates won seats on the Morro Bay Council.

Even so, Buckingham said it would have been irresponsible of him as a father and husband to not consider alternatives and take preparatory measures.

The Morro Bay executive called the Montana job a “fantastic opportunity in beautiful, wonderful Whitefish.”

However, Buckingham also said he and his family love the Central Coast, and he would be quite happy serving Morro Bay for the next five to 15 years. Buckingham began work in Morro Bay in Sept. 2014, shortly after completing a career in the United States Army.

In 2015, Buckingham received $160,062 in salary and $193,957 in total pay and benefits, according to the Transparent California database. The Whitefish position comes with a base salary of $130,374.

The Whitefish City Council plans to meet and interview candidates on Friday. The council is expected to select its preferred candidate several days later.

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What you can rent for $1500/mo:

Whitefish, Montana:

Morro Bay, California:

Well, that might be an interesting and informative comparison- IF he lived in Morro Bay. I’ve been told that he lives in Atascadero. How about THAT comparison?

Would someone closer to the organization please confirm his residency?

And, oh, by the way- nobody forced him to come here and take the job. He chose to accept the Morro Bay city manager job- presumably he considered the cost of living in this area before accepting the job offer.

For those who object to using Morro Bay when he lives in Atascadero, here is what Atascadero has to offer in that price range. (Not much different than MB.)

In case you need a reminder of horrible decisions from our Morro Bay leaders, they appointed Arron Ochs to the parks commission in 2014…..

200k for a city manager. Ludicrous and shameful.

$200k in pay and benefits is not extravagant for any position which expects residency in MB. Do the math.

He doesn’t live in Morro Bay. He lives in Atascadero.

Residency in Morro Bay is apparently NOT required. I’ve been told that he lives in Atascadero (see comment above).

Now YOU do the math.

Poor fella, after paying, lets say $4,000 a month in rent, it leaves him with ONLY about $120,000, so close to poverty level. If its cost prohibitive to live here, then don’t apply for the job where you can’t afford to live. That would be bad decision making now wouldn’t it? US House and senators make $174,000 a year. Such a BS excuse. Add in his military pension… Perhaps you can start a go fund me page to keep him off food stamps.

Whitefish is paying $130K salary (not including benefits) for a town of only 7,000 residents.If you extrapolated that to Morro Bay’s population, the equivalent salary in Morro Bay would be $190K. If he has no family in California and he doesn’t mind the snow, Whitefish seems like a good move for him.

This is not a real pay cut, his housing and most everything else will likely afford him the opportunity to come back as a tourist with more disposable income, there is also the option to travel elsewhere. I know of people who live where the cost of living affords them to be world travelers and certainly many know valley people who own vacation homes here. How many “local” blue collar workers who are paying for their house can afford an extra house somewhere else along this coast? None?

He is making a great choice for pro-family options. Then again a guarantee of 15 years in Morro Bay would be great too if that guarantee could be had.

He has been an abject failure. The funny part is that the salary survey that is being reviewed by the City Council tonight says that he’s underpaid by over 20%! A strange thing about the survey is that it doesn’t include benefits in the comparison. What kind of survey is that? Benefits are part of

of total compensation. This guy is something else.

Why is it that almost every city in San Luis Obispo County has what appears to be problems with their city managers?

Paso Robles had App. Atascadero had McKinney, Arroyo Grande had Steve Adams, SLO has Lichtig and now Morro Bay with Buckingham. I guess honesty and corruption just don’t blend together.

Being a incompetent authoritarian, has nothing to do with “honesty and corruption”!!!

Morro Bay has and will keep having the same problem with the Chief Building Inspector, and others, that he hired, birds of a feather and all that:(

Buckingham has been a disaster. However, the fact is the council who hired him should be held accountable. Buckingham already had a muddied record and was knee deep in the middle of litigation with another city that saw the writing on wall and decided to retract their employment offer. This was after the Army gave him a golden handshake due to a public meltdown while on duty. Armed with this info and a huge stack of qualified applicants, our small minded council hired him anyway. The red flags couldn’t have been brighter. Now we are seeing the good old government pattern of passing the bad apple along to some other schmuckers. So here we are again playing with other people’s money. Instead of firing someone who failed miserably at his job and out of fear of more litigation from our feeble leaders, once again they send little Johnny off to become someone else’s headache. Buckingham got paid a huge salary for complete failure. I wonder if Montana has ever heard of parkletts?

Leave the Central Coast for a smaller town in Montana and a $30,000 pay cut…..

Sounds like he’s pretty anxious to get out… maybe while the gettin’s still good.

This could ordinarily be good news for the taxpayers of Morro Bay, except that it’s Jamie Irons and his Council that will hire the new manager. So it will probably just be more of the same until that new manager then also quits in two years (or less).

Morro Bay. It could be soooooo much better.

Employees of the City Of Morro Bay must be grinning from ear to ear right now:)

Buckingham was either brought in by the Counsel to be a wrecking ball against City Staff or was the worst City Manager since Gary Napper!!! He has brought Staff morale down to a new all time low, pushed many to early retirement or some just fled:(

The long term damage of his replacement hire’s will take years to sort out.

He also pushed the neighboring community of Cayucos away from any possible partnership on the sewer plant.

The fiscal shape of Morro Bay is in dire straights, I could see them going bankrupt or dissolving back to the County.

Good news that he’s going, bad news with what he leaves behind:(

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