Arroyo Grande selects Matthew Downing as new city manager

December 8, 2023

Matthew Downing


The Arroyo Grande City Council selected Matthew Downing to be its new top executive. Council members are expected to formally approve the hire on Dec. 12.

Downing, currently Pismo Beach’s community development director, previously worked as a planning director in Arroyo Grande. He holds a bachelor of science in social science and a master of city and regional planning, both from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to return to Arroyo Grande and serve as its city manager,” Downing said. “From the moment I began working for the city in 2010, I felt a deep connection to this community. Arroyo Grande holds a special place in my heart, and I am committed to dedicating my unwavering effort to achieving the city council’s goals and advancing the community’s well-being.”

Downing replaces former city manager Whitney McDonald, who left leaving Arroyo Grande in August to become the assistant city manager of San Luis Obispo.


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Total compensation?

Transparent California shows 2021 “regular pay” approx $200,600. Per year and and over $30 k in other benefits, for the city manager.