Morro Bay City manager seeking a new job

April 20, 2017

David Buckingham


City Manager David Buckingham is one of two finalists for the town manager position in Vail, Colorado. The announcement comes less than three months after Buckingham said he planned to remain on the Central Coast.

Following interviews with the top three candidates this week, the Vail Town Council settled on two final candidates, David Buckingham and Jay Harrington, Town Manager of Carbondale. The Vail Town Council will select a new manager on April 26.

During the Wednesday interview in Vail, Buckingham said he, his wife and their five children are a mountain family.

“We are intending to relocate to the mountains as soon as we can,” Buckingham told the Vail Daily.

Last year, Buckingham applied for the city manager position for Whitefish, Montana.

Buckingham said he 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.

After another candidate was hired in Whitefish, Buckingham 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. He then applied for the Vail manager position.

Buckingham began working in Morro Bay in Sept. 2014, shortly after he lost both an Army command position he held and a city administrator job he sought.

The City of Morro Bay has received several complaints that Buckingham is unavailable and distracted. According to his voice message, he plans to return to the Central Coast on April 24.

Shocked in MB

The city is so micromanaged now that they are having meetings night and day. That’s what happens when you elect people who have no other activities in their days to keep them busy. Micromanagement tends to create crisis to justify a need for micromanagement. Its a organism that keeps feeding on itself.

That is why you do not see many political leaders who have ever been successful outside of politics.


This guy is smart enough to know he is on the outs and is getting his ducks all lined up in a row. If I was going to be imminently out of work, I sure as heck would be interviewing.

It is easy to spend someone else’s money.

It sounds like the council members are the real problem. Who fires a long time, effective manager- and a local at that? I know, council members who want power.

I hope Morro Bay finds someone who really is invested in the city.


The sooner the better.

Hopefully someone better will be hired but I’m starting to doubt it,with the mayor and council we have.

mb business owner

Perhaps one day sooner than later the residents will realize this falls squarely on the shoulders of irons, christine Johnson and Noah smuckler. The last two bailing out before the last election. This poor choice For a manager along with the 145 million sewer plant yet to be built.


Ha… welcome and goodby to California Dave. And I doubt Vail will be much better. Same ideology. Perhaps worse.

Rich in MB

Rats leaving the sinking Ship….before it slips under the waves with Irons at the Helm…


I’ll take the job for half the price!

I’m SLO local and native son. and have no legal, ethical, or moral baggage. Why must city managers always be some high priced shlup from anywhere but here?


We had a city manager who worked her way up through the ranks and stayed with the City for 29 years. She volunteered for every event there was in town and was loved by the community. Jamie Irons, Noah Smukler and Christine Johnson fired her. Avila Beach was smart enough to hire her and she’s doing a great job.

We had a City Attorney who worked for less than $200,000 per year and was also let go. He was hired immediately by Los Gatos. In the meantime, we paid a lawyer over $950,000 to do the same job last year. Wake up Morro Bay!


Buckingham rode into town and got rid of all the city managers with any experience. He hired an assistant City Manager. He hired a lot of consultants and contracted out the City Attorney’s job. He was aided in all this by the present and past City Council’s. Now, the damage done, he’s ready to ride off into the sunset. His motto is, “Take The Money and Run”. This City Council are fools. They hired this guy because their previous temporary city manager told them how great he was. How did that work out? And now the city has no one with any institutional knowledge to help them as they move forward on an outrageously expensive wastewater treatment facility that will drive working families and seniors on fixed incomes out. Morro Bay is circling the drain and people better wake up and figure it out soon. It may be too late!


Just another smart person, an insider, who can see the writing on the wall and is getting out of California while he still has something left to take with him and his finally.


The one problem is what he will be taking with him is at the expense of the taxpayers now and in the future.


You can blame the politicians that were elected by the people for this.


Yeah at some point the beauty of the state becomes less important.