As a teenager, Bill Peirce decided Morro Bay would be the determining factor directing his career and lifestyle.
He visited with a friend during high school and then co-owned a commercial abalone diving business between graduating from Cal Poly and joining the Navy. He admits it was more fun than profitable. It probably inspired his 10-year ownership of a scuba diving business once located where Coalesce Bookstore is today.
After selling the business, he put his journalism degree to use at KVEC Radio, KEYT-TV and KCOY-TV serving as reporter, photographer, news director and even in sales. His voice is still on the Morro Bay station he developed, KBAI-Radio, in an emergency frequency also offering tourism information.
Media success usually means moving to bigger markets, and Peirce was forced to choose. Morro Bay trumped career. He quit and opened One-Hour Photo on Quintana Road. Once he sold it, he decided to live life in Morro Bay the way he wanted — work just enough to pay the bills and volunteer liberally to serve his community.
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A longtime interest in communications and a job at Coast Electronics led him to learn more about two-way radios and emergency systems. For six years, he served Volunteer Amateur Radio Communications as the lead command when Morro Bay practiced or had emergency alerts. He still serves on the Morro Bay Communications Committee and is the go-to guy for police, fire and emergency communications information and equipment updates.
His top priority while serving 12 years on the Morro Bay City Council was to bring the city into 21st century emergency readiness. Currently, the city is prepared with a disaster plan and a state-of-the-art communications center based at the community center.
Peirce is an inexhaustible volunteer, and he’s typically elected or promoted to top leadership positions. He is president of Morro Bay Rotary and in 2012 will serve his fourth non-consecutive term as president of the Morro Bay Merchants Association. He served in 1974, during the late 1980s, right after his last term on the City Council, and was recruited back to serve in 2012.
Maybe the reason he’s called to serve is because he quietly gets things done that people suggest should be accomplished and then he shares the credit with his co-producers. For example, when asked about a signature project while serving on the Morro Bay City Council, he said, “I can’t really take credit for anything during my term, because we were a team and worked and voted as such.”
Why does he serve his community? “I have the time and the know-how and believe in the cause,” he said.
In 2012, we should all be so consumed.