Morro Bay City manager likely to stay in Morro Bay

January 29, 2017
David Buckingham

David Buckingham

Morro Bay City Manager David Buckingham was among five finalists for the city manager position in Whitefish, Montana. However, the Whitefish City Council did not select Buckingham.

In December, Buckingham applied for the job in the Montana city of approximately 7,000 people. Buckingham began working

in Morro Bay in Sept. 2014, shortly after completing a career in the United States Army.

Buckingham applied for the position of city manager in Whitefish, Montana after several Morro Bay Council candidates ran on a platform of getting rid of him. Neither of Buckingham’s detractors won a seat on the 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. He 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.

In 2015, Buckingham received $160,062 in salary and $193,957 in total pay and benefits, according to the Transparent California database.


one of the finest cities on the central coast as become the laughing stock of the county over the past 2 years of decline.

mb business owner

Christine Johnson, Noah Smuckler and Jamie Irons are squarely responsible for hiring Buckingham, he was the only one left that was willing to take the job. They panicked and hired the last guy standing. Now he’s here, the City is going broke and we are facing a 160 million sewer plant – how in the world will we pay for that. Maybe eventually the residents will pay attention.


It won’t be long before the mayor and council attempt to purge him for wanting to move on. They will now do everything to try and get rid of him, just as they did their predecessors.


Same old $hit, different day.


And the government gravy train continues.


This is a very unusual set of circumstances for government to comprehend. We have always heard that they have to pay them more money or they might leave. Now it appears that there is someone who wants to leave. Oh dear, what is the council to do? Pay more or pay less?


“Oh dear, what is the council to do? Pay more or pay less?”



He just applied for a job in Whitefish that paid much less. Of course, his new citywide salary survey, which he contracted our for, says that he’s underpaid by 20%. Unfortunately, with the current City Council, Morro Bay will be bankrupt by 2023 under the current budget scenario. If anyone has any doubts just read the new budget forecast with the additional PERS expenses. People are starting to see that Jamie’s whole tenure, and Buckingham’s, has been nothing but smoke and mirrors.


Actually all of the government entities are in just about the same boat. All of them have UNFUNDED LIABILITIES in the millions of dollars. I have no idea of what they are thinking by not acknowledging these enormous amounts of money that are due. It almost makes you think that we may be in Australia and they are acting like ostriches with their heads in the ground.

But to stay on course they will continue with the pay raises, benefit packages and perks in order that they will not leave us. But unfortunately for all of us in the working class when the s–t hits the fan in a few years all of these people will be retired and pulling down those 90%-95% retirements and then they will leave us living out of California just laughing all the way to the bank.

The Donald may have one thing right, it’s time to give the government back to the people who are paying the bills.


Unlike Morro Bay, looks like Whitefish did their homework.


So sad for Morro Bay that he’s staying:(

So many great employees have left while more are looking and polishing up their resumes!!!

Morro Bay needs a adult in the room, Lord Buckingham is not that guy!!!

Irons needs to figure out that Morro Bay existing residents can not pay for his sewer fiasco, maybe the new residents can, after so many are economically displaced!!!

Morro Bay should be begging Cayucos to come back and help them resubmit the original sewer update plan, at the shared expense of $35,000,000, instead of his solely paid for by Morro Bay $160,000,000 boondoggle!!!!!!!


Unfortunately, that train has left the station. Cayucos will never trust Morro Bay again. After what was done to them, they have moved on and are far ahead of Morro Bay in the process. Once again, Jamie and his City Council, sabotaged a perfectly good project in favor of something that’s going to cost 4 times as much. Now, Jamie wants to hire a lobbyist to lobby the federal and state government! We had one, who was doing a good job, that he was responsible for getting rid of. The costs just keep adding up and there is no end in sight. Cayucos will be up and running before Morro Bay even has a plan.


I disagree, train might be dead on the tracks, but hasn’t left the station!!!

Cayucos, unlike Morro Bay, will do what’s best for their community, Cayucos had no problem working with Morro Bay to upgrade the existing plant within the Joint Powers Agreement at the existing plant location!!!

The existing location is by far the best possible, somewhere around 85% of MB’s sewage reaches the plant with simple gravity, cheaper, as well as environmentally friendlier:)

The City has misled it Citizens about the Plant needing to be moved, those on the inside know that the Coastal Commission concerns had been answered and mitigated and they were on the verge of granting a permit for construction before being asked to outright deny the project:( The Coastal Commission has approved 3 sewer plants with similar coastal locations, since this asked for denial!!!


I agree that the current location is the obvious choice. If you think Cayucos wants anything to do with Morro Bay and their problem, then you haven’t talked to anyone from Cayucos. They a far ahead of Morro Bay and will complete their project at a much cheaper cost. They are doing what is best for their community and staying as far away from Morro Bay as possible in their dealings.


One point is it doesn’t matter if Mr. Buckingham is a good or bad city manager but $193,957 in compensation is outrageous for a city the size of Morro Bay, about half that amount should be the max. Salaries like this are the reason we are in the terrible shape we are in.


Whitefish’ gain – our loss. It’s to bad they didn’t take him but as long as the current council is seated we would just get another of the same in his place. Two years till he starts looking again. Half the staff has left since he’s been mngr. and many of the new ones, like him, have no municipality experience. The sewer consultants are on a merry go round grabbing the brass ring at the tax payers expense and these guys think everything is rainbows and unicorns. We will be forever paying for this one.