Laguna Beach City Council selects Dave Kiff as city manager


Laguna Beach City Council tapped former Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff as its new city manager during its Tuesday, April 9 meeting.

Laguna Beach City Councilmembers stand with new City Manager Dave Kiff after approving his employee contract at the April 9 city council meeting. Photo courtesy of the City of Laguna Beach

After an extensive final round interview process with eight city manager candidates, the council unanimously approved Kiff’s employment agreement this week. His official start date is slated for May 6. His contract duration is three years with two one-year extensions.

“I’m really honored to be here tonight and to receive the support for the contract. I’m really looking forward to it,” Kiff said at the council meeting. “Laguna is a very special place and a place I’ve always felt embraced and comfortable and part of the community. I think it’s so terrific, at this point in my life, to be able to work here for the first time. I’m really looking forward to it, and I’ll see you on May 6.”

Kiff has worked with California legislature, as well as several cities and counties. He spent 20 years working for the City of Newport Beach, with service for nine of those years as the city manager. At that time, Kiff managed a $300 million budget, a staff of more than 700, and a range of city services for Newport Beach.

Laguna Beach’s new city manager Dave Kiff. Photo courtesy of the City of Laguna Beach

After an early retirement from Newport Beach and following a relocation to be near family, Kiff spent several years in Sonoma County, where he has served as the Director of the County’s Homelessness Services Division.

Kiff earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the California State University, Sacramento and a master’s degree in government administration from the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

Along with receiving standard city employee benefits, Kiff’s annual salary will be $315,000 per year, with a monthly housing assistance stipend of $1,000, a vehicle allowance of $500 per month and a wellness stipend not to exceed $1,000 per year.

“Over the past six months, we’ve learned what it’s like to have a highly trained and skilled city manager with Sean Joyce,” Councilmember George Weiss said at the council meeting. “Now I think we have a master of coastal city management with Dave Kiff. I’m happy for the Laguna Beach community, and I’m happy to be working with and learning from Mr. Kiff.”

Kiff said he’s looking forward to living in Laguna Beach again with his partner Tom and their two dogs, Oscar and Moby.

“Returning to Laguna Beach to serve as City Manager is a tremendous honor for me,” said Kiff, a former 23-year resident of Laguna Beach. “I am deeply committed to serving the people and community of Laguna Beach. My goal is to work collaboratively with residents, businesses, and community organizations to ensure that Laguna Beach remains a vibrant and inclusive place to live, work, and visit.”

Kiff will replace interim city manager Sean Joyce, who stepped in to fill the position after Shohreh Dupuis left her post on Sept. 1, 2023, after holding the role since June 2021.

The city manager is the administrative head of the city government and is responsible for administrating all of the city’s affairs, which are under the city manager’s control.


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  1. Congratulations Laguna! Finally a capable City Manager fit to lead Laguna Beach. Couldn’t have thought of a more perfect City Manager! Kiff is the missing puzzle piece Laguna was searching for and needed.


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