Mill Valley City Manager Jim McCann, at left, with Councilmember Stephanie Moulton-Peters at a MV Chamber State of the City event in 2018. Photo by Gary Ferber.


​Nearly a decade after taking the helm of Mill Valley City Hall, City Manager Jim McCann has announced his retirement effective February 2020, ending a 35-year career in local government.

McCann joined the City of Mill Valley in June 2010 after serving as the City Manager of Calistoga for 11 years. Prior to working in Calistoga, he worked in the cities of Petaluma, Napa and Rancho Mirage, California, and for a private land use and environmental planning firm.
“Jim is a dedicated professional with a work ethic that inspires our very high-performing organization,” said Mayor Jim Wickham. “His wealth of knowledge, support and encouragement to all departments and City employees, and commitment to the delivery of high-quality services to the community will be missed.”
“Jim’s influence will continue to positively impact the daily lives of Mill Valley residents for years to come,” said Vice Mayor Sashi McEntee. “From the award-winning Miller Avenue Streetscape Project to the Yellow School Bus Program, to the City’s new LRAD emergency siren system, we are fortunate to have in Jim a city manager that lead the City on safety and infrastructure improvements that enrich our lives and enhance public safety.”

“I have been blessed and honored to serve as Mill Valley’s City Manager,” McCann said. “It has been a privilege during my career to work in local government alongside many exceptional Council members, volunteers, and colleagues. I am proud of our many accomplishments over these years, and I thank the Council and our dedicated staff for the collaborative work, which brought success and benefits to Mill Valley.”

In his role, McCann oversaw a budget of approximately $40 million and an organization comprised of 150 full-time employees across 8 departments that collectively serve a community of nearly 14,000 residents. He also engaged with key stakeholders throughout the city, including the execution of a Professional Services Agreement with the Mill Valley Chamber.

“We are deeply grateful to Jim McCann for initiating an innovative public-private partnership between the City and Chamber that has served our community so well over the past nine years,” Mill Valley Chamber Co-Director Paula Reynolds said.

“My time in Mill Valley has been exciting and personally and professionally rewarding,” McCann continued. “While there is much on our plates and exciting challenges yet to be tackled, I believe that now is the right time for me to step down. We have an outstanding senior management team in place and a solid foundation for our municipal affairs. Mill Valley is in a very strong position, and I am sure has a brilliant future.”

PictureJim McCann in the 2012 Dipsea Race with former Mill Valley Mayor Andy Berman.

​McCann, who competed in the Annual Dipsea Race several times, says he looks forward to spending more time with his wife Gretchen Stranzl McCann, a Mill Valley native, and landscape architect, and his dog, Theo and visiting their two adult children. McCann plans to start his retirement skiing, traveling, camping in his VW Westy, and growing amazing tomatoes.

A military brat, McCann moved around quite a bit as a kid, living at Fort Baker briefly and attending Tam High for two years and graduating from there in 1978. He got a bachelor’s degree in natural resources management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

McCann got his start at a planning firm in Palm Springs, Calif., and then became a planning director in Rancho Mirage. He followed stints in Napa and Petaluma by becoming the planning director in Calistoga in 1998, and was picked by the City Council there to be the city manager a year later.

In 2010, McCann replaced former city manager Anne Montgomery, who retired in 2009 after 22 years with the city. Public Works Director Wayne Bush filled the post temporarily in the interim..

During his tenure in Mill Valley, McCann oversaw important community serving efforts and projects including: the MV2040 General Plan; Miller Avenue Streetscape Project; Implementation of a Community Communication Strategy including televising public meetings, a new website and comprehensive communication tools and protocols; Strategic Plans for the Fire, Police, Library and Recreation Departments and the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin along with the City’s advisory boards and commissions; Launching the Public Arts Program; Renewed attention to the protection and improvement of the Steps, Lanes and Paths network; Coordinated policies and strategies to better address affordable housing needs; Focused expansion of Fire Preparedness and Prevention measures; Recreation facility upgrades: new Skate Park and Community Garden, reconstruction of Boyle Park Tennis Courts, reconstruction of of a number of playing fields; Sustained attention to road improvement projects substantially improving the overall condition of community’s street network; Adoption of the comprehensive Bicycle Pedestrian Transportation Plan; Aggressive measures to reduce pension and other post-employment benefits costs and address unfunded liabilities and the development of a Long-Range Financial Plan; Shared services to improve service and reduce operating costs.  

Wickham indicates that the City Council will outline priority items they want McCann to pursue over the coming months. The City Council will confer on next steps for the recruitment for the next Mill Valley City Manager. Further information regarding the recruitment process will be announced in upcoming weeks.

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