Leader Effective During Pandemic, Protests Selected as City Manager of Mill Valley
Source: City of Mill Valley
After a highly competitive national search, Alan E. Piombo, Jr. was unanimously chosen by Mill Valley’s City Council to serve as city manager of Mill Valley. Piombo had been Mill Valley’s acting city manager since January of this year and simultaneously has served as Mill Valley chief of police since February 2019.
“Alan stood out among the other 45 candidates as the most capable, qualified and prepared,” Mayor Sashi McEntee said. “What most impressed the City Council was Alan’s leadership during the pandemic and consequential economic downturn that required quick, smart action to protect the public from harm, develop a cost-efficient budget and enact programs to support local merchants. He has been proactive, open to the community and built strong morale among staff members.”
Directed by the City Council, the recruitment process prioritized community engagement. Following the retirement of former City Manager Jim McCann in late 2019, the City Council hired Ms. Heather Renschler of Ralph Andersen & Associates to conduct a national executive search for the new City Manager. As part of the recruitment process, Ms. Renschler met with City Council, Department Heads, and key City Staff to receive input on the requirements for the role. The City held a community meeting on February 10, 2020 to solicit input from community members about what they were looking for in the next City Manager. Community members were provided many opportunities to share desired attributes and qualities, as well as top community issues and priorities. The interview process involved review panels with representatives from the municipal sector as well as from the Mill Valley community.
JC Farr, principal of Tam High, served on the community interview panel that reviewed the final candidates. “Alan has been a strong partner in building relationships with the students and administration of Tam High,” said Farr. “He showed great leadership during our emergency lockdown last year, and that built tremendous trust with the students, families, and staff. We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with Alan as we face current and future challenges.”
Sausalito City Manager Adam Politzer said, “Alan is a natural leader, but he also has that positive, roll-up-your-sleeves attitude to get things done. Essential for the role of city manager, Alan has earned the support of his regional peers, as well as the respect of his staff and community — no easy feat even without the crises our communities are facing.”
Piombo, 51, has a long history of public service. He served in the San Rafael Police Department for 28 years with wide-ranging and increasing responsibilities that include budgeting, strategic planning, technology implementation, labor and employee relations, emergency response and preparedness and community outreach and education. Piombo has developed successful partnerships with business organizations and civic groups, and has collaborated with regional, state and federal partners on complex issues and shared resources.
Several colleagues inside City Hall also applauded the choice of Piombo as city manager. According to Eric R. Erickson, Mill Valley’s finance and human resources director, “Al hits all of the items on my list of what I’d want to see in the next city manager: he is calm, rational, decisive, encourages out-of-the-box thinking and maintains a good sense of humor. He has a strong grasp of City finances and operations and has demonstrated leadership during this turbulent time.”
Piombo lives in Rohnert Park with his wife, Gretchen, and 5 children. He holds a master’s degree in leadership and a bachelor’s degree in management from St. Mary’s College.
Senior Management Analyst
City of Mill Valley