Hired as Mill Valley Police Chief in early 2019, Piombo became the interim city manager upon Jim McCann’s decision to retire in early 2020. Things got weird quickly, as a former Tam High School student was arrested after he allegedly admitted to walking near the school with a replica AK-47 style rifle and wearing a pre-pandemic mask in an attempt to record a Snapchat video.
The Bay Area-wide shelter in place on March 17 brought monumental change to every aspect of the Mill Valley community and beyond, and Piombo steered the city through the myriad ramifications of COVID-19, including spearheading a multi-city effort to create a framework for outdoor dining that has since blossomed all over town. Piombo also provided a steady hand as the council navigated a long overdue, much-needed local conversation on issues of racial violence and systemic inequality in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and many others.
It’s with that steady, resolute leadership in mind that the Mill Valley City Council officially appointed Piombo as city manager Monday night, said Mayor Sashi McEntee.
“You couldn’t have expected a crazier six-month graduate program in becoming a city manager,” McEntee said. “We really saw how you rose to the occasion and how you were adaptive and creative and always positive and you make friends wherever you go and connect with people. It’s been a pleasure to watch you through this process.”
The hiring of Piombo, 51, comes on the heels of a national search for a replacement that drew 45 applicants and later a group of eight finalists, according to a staff report.
J.C. Farr, the principal at Tamalpais High School, served on the community review panel to vet applicants. “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.”
“Alan is a natural leader, but he also has that positive, roll-up-your-sleeves attitude to get things done,” added Sausalito City Manager Adam Politzer. “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, who will be paid a base salary of $225,000, has a long history of public service. Prior to his time in Mill Valley, Piombo worked for the San Rafael Police Department for 28 years and rose to lieutenant. Piombo lives in Rohnert Park with his wife Gretchen and five children.
“Over the past few months, Lt. Haynes has been a strong, steady, and responsive leader in the face of extraordinary challenges,” Piombo said in a statement. “We are confident in her leadership and ability to provide exceptional public safety service in partnership with our community.”
Haynes has worked at MVPD since 2004, the past four years as lieutenant. She served as assistant coach under Coach Erin Lawley for the Tamalpais High School girl’s championship softball team in 2014. Haynes has worked on a number of Mill Valley projects, including liaison assignments on the Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Miller Avenue Streetscape Project.
Haynes said that she looks forward to continuing to serve the community in this role. “I am also looking forward to working with the new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force to further explore how our local government can proactively address racial inequities and build more opportunities for positive connections between law enforcement and community members,” Haynes said in a statement. “I acknowledge that policing has been at the forefront of discussions and I am committed to a collaborative approach with our City Council, Task Force, and members of the community on this important effort.”
Haynes currently resides in Sonoma County with her wife, who is a high school English teacher, and their daughter.
Piombo noted that the city is considering a recruitment process that may include discussions with local cities on a possible shared service agreement for the role of chief of police in an effort to reduce costs, improve service delivery and increase effectiveness and efficiency in operations. The City has an existing shared services agreement with Sausalito.