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Longtime Windsor Town Manager Matt Mullan to retire

Matt Mullan


Windsor Town Manager Matt Mullan, who helped guide Sonoma County’s youngest city since its incorporation, announced his retirement Monday.

Mullan, 60, informed the Town Council of his decision last week during his annual performance evaluation conducted in closed session.

“I’ve been doing a lot of reflection the last few months coming to this decision,” Mullan said Monday. “It’s the right time for me.”

The Town Council agreed to hire a recruiting firm to find a successor for Mullan, who earns more than $185,000 annually. He will stay on the job until the end of the year.

Mullan has worked in Windsor since 1989, beginning as assistant general manager of the Windsor Water District.

When Windsor incorporated in 1992, he became assistant town manager and in 2005 was appointed town manager.

“Matt has served the town well for 23 years,” said Mayor Debora Fudge.

Mullan’s guidance helped Windsor become one of the most financially stable cities in Sonoma County, Fudge said. His expertise with water systems was especially helpful when Windsor transitioned to a full-fledged town.

Fudge credited him with innovative methods for handling Windsor’s treated wastewater, including recycling it into yard irrigation for more than 580 homes in the Vintage Greens subdivision. He also helped finalize a deal to hook-up to Santa Rosa’s Geysers pipeline, sending wastewater to the geothermal field for a steam-to-electricity conversion.

“Driving around Windsor I get a little nostalgic looking at what’s developed and evolved,” Mullan said Monday, listing the Town Green, parks, road improvements, the fire station, and re-use of recycled wastewater at the high school.

He credited “the hard work of a great staff that allowed someone like me to look back and say all of this happened on my watch. It was really a team effort.”

While his predecessor, Paul Berlant, played a pivotal role in creating the Town Green, Mullan recalls negotiating the purchase of the land “when it was just a dirt pile,” before it was transformed into a plaza with shops and townhomes that became a model for smart growth.

Mullan said there was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm when Windsor residents decided two decades ago to incorporate.

“It was really exciting, because you’re starting something brand new,” he said. “It’s like raising your first child. Through the first couple years you lose a little sleep, you’re a little anxious. There are so many rewards along the way when you accomplish things.”

Mullan, who grew up in San Francisco, began his government career in 1977, working in Daly City in the utility department, billing and supervising meter reading.

He went on to work for Citizens Utilities as a district manager for the private water company, including in Guerneville, Monte Rio and Larkfield.

Prior to working in Windsor, he worked as a water conservation administrator for the City of San Francisco.

Mullan said that among other things he wants to spend more time with his first grandchild, seven months old, who lives near Sacramento.

He also said he may do some consulting as well as part-time teaching in public administration at San Francisco State or the University of San Francisco.



18 Responses to “Longtime Windsor Town Manager Matt Mullan to retire”

  1. J L Anderson says:

    In our bankrupt society, there are contributors who pay more in taxes than they consume, and takers who consume more in taxes than they pay, especially the 49% who pay NO Federal taxes.

    Public employees who retire on the taxpayer’s dime are takers who directly affect deficits and debt. Look at the mess in Sonoma County and the state of California.

    The way Social Security is set up also makes a lot of Americans takers at some point when the benefits they receive eventually outpace the amount of money they contributed to the program during their working years.

    Everyone needs to at least partially pay their own way by saving for their own retirements, and not relying on taxpayers to pick up the tab.

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  2. Living in Paradise says:

    $185,000 a year for a job in a sleepy little burg. What is going on in Windsor that deserves such a handsome salary? In fact, why does the city need a city manager? Windsor is a little town divided into two parts. One part a disney like vacant dream and one part suburban strip mall.

    Now, I grew up in Windsor before it became gentrified. It had a couple of grocery stores, a bar, a post office and an Odd Fellows Hall.

    The new Windsor is not an improvement.

    It was better when the prune and dairy farmers met at the market and discussed farming.

    One wonders what the soon to be a pensioner has been doing everyday with his time to earn his $185,000 salary plus benefits.

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  3. bethemary says:

    Well now it seems like we have some very bitter people who are angry that someone is doing the job he was hired to do for the amount the Board who appointed him (the position is not elected)offered. Do you really think Mr. Mullan should have asked the Board to pay him less so that some losers will feel better about themselves? Grow up! Put on your big girl/boy panties on (which by the way, must be “green” and I don’t mean for St. Patrick’s Day)and stop your whining. I’m sure that Mr. Mullan’s parents and family are proud of the career he gave to the Windsor Communities. How about you….Enjoy your retirement Mr. Mullan and have fun with that grandchild of yours….your service has earned it. The haters…..maybe you could apply for the open position….let’s see how you do, but first, get some help for that anger thing!

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  4. Money Grubber says:


    If what you posted is sincere, you made it through life in a worthwhile manner.

    If you live out of state, you would accomplish more by engaging the local issues where you currently reside.

    Nobody, including myself, agreed to give you information about our personal lives.
    This board is for discussion. You made the mistake of accusing others of having less “qualifications” than you do. And, I have to say, your degrees are not high earner degrees. You would not have earned more in the private sector. A friend of mine was a grad in economics and he was a car salesman :)


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  5. bear says:


    BA in Economics from a West Coast Ivy school. MA in City Planning from one of the top two rated schools in the country.

    Worked since I was 15, worked through college and paid off my student loans in my 40′s.

    35 years in my field, at lower incomes that I could have made in the private sector, but worked in Sonoma County local government because that’s where I could do the most good. Or so I thought.

    Not much of a pension after 35 years, and a huge amount goes to health insurance. My health insurance is more than my mortgage in this other state.

    I’d rather be there, but couldn’t afford it. Because we were underpaid, couldn’t afford to buy a house and chose to get the hell away from folks who rant without knowledge.

    And your “general” info is what?

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  6. Money Grubber says:

    Notice that “Bear” still refuses to identify what type of public employment he was engaged in.

    He demands to know what “qualifications” every other poster here has yet continues to refuse to identify his own “qualifications.”

    He does mention “serious government job” yet refuses to identify what a “serious government job” really is.

    All he mutters is that he has “degrees” as in plural as in several “degrees.”
    What specific majors, “Bear?”

    So, since he refuses to answer what he demands everyone else answer, we are forced to describe the “Bear.”

    A retired public employee with “degrees.”

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  7. Jim says:

    The problem in every city, state and at the federal level is pensions. The Unions have total control over the politicians in CA and of the Democrat party at the federal level.

    Article in the WSJ today stated that Calpers is considering cutting their expected rate of return. Really?? They project 7.75% annual returns but have realized 5.1% over the last decade. Year ending Dec 31…1.1%. It is just a matter of time before the whole system collapses. The taxpayer will be required to cover the outrageous pension liability that is currently being hidden, and were based on absurd investment projections.

    Back to the story…this “water expect” will cost the taxpayer over $200,000/year (when factoring in lifetime medical), his predecessor probably about the same and his replacement will make three. Three people paid for the same position. This happens in every department, in every government at every level. What percentage of taxpayer “revenue” should be allocated to people who no longer work for them?? It’ll exceed 100% before we know it.

    The only way to end this impending collapse is bankruptcy and elimination of current pensions. Eliminating future pensions is merely a political move because, like Social Security, the system is already bankrupt so leaving or cutting “future pensions” doesn’t matter. They won’t exist either way.

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  8. bear says:

    I’ve got more degrees than you have.

    You would jump off a cliff rather than really do a serious government job.

    My pension after 35 years starts with a two. NOT 200K, the other two.

    See, I’m an idiot.

    Thanks to you, I’m a reviled idiot.

    Good luck finding anyone to take my place.

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  9. Jim says:


    Education and skills to run a city…Are you serious? What are the credentials of Mr. Mullen? Is he a CPA (NOPE). He is a career government worker with “water expertise”. What are the credentials of most city managers? “Career government worker” is basically the requirement.

    My credentials…educated, experienced in the real world. Financially certified. Investment certified. Soon to be legally certified. I run two small businesses where I BALANCE budgets and payroll, unlike any government in CA. I balance my budgets using generated revenue, not funds stolen from my customers like governments do.

    Are you saying the current crop, heck how about the last 2-3 decades worth, of “city managers” in CA have done even a mediocre job?? Ridiculous.

    Yeah, my credentials stand up to anyone in government. Could I “correct all the problems”? No. Could I solve a lot of the problems in government? Yes.

    The problem is the political situation in CA doesn’t allow for any problem to be solved. No one will cut the exponentially increasing waste in government. No one will slash the multitude of useless departments. No one will eliminate the unnecessary jobs in the useless departments. The problems won’t be solved until a politician stands up to the unions and makes decisions based on something other than their re-election campaign.

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  10. Money Grubber says:

    Still waiting for “Bear” to show up and tell us HIS qualifications for making statements. lol

    How much of our money is “Bear” stealing via his public pension?

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  11. J L Anderson says:

    Mr. Mullan may be a good person and a great employee. But that’s not the point.

    The real point is that NO ONE who works in the public sector should receive a taxpayer-funded pension of more than 5 figures, for example $6,000 per month. End of story.

    Paying people $185,000 or $250,000 or more annually for retirement is absolutely ridiculous and unaffordable. In fact, it’s financial suicide for the cities, counties, states and federal government, and an unwanted and unneeded burden on taxpayers.

    Good people have worked in government for generations without these excessive and undermining retirement benefits.

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  12. Money Grubber says:


    Thanks for your post. Even though the arrogant public employees could care less. The only thing they care about is when their cozy lifestyle is threatened at the ballot box.

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  13. Just a Thought says:

    Sacramento Bee
    Today, Online

    “”A Sacramento jury today convicted a former state correctional officer and his wife of attempted perjury ….”

    That headline refers to the CRIMINAL conviction of a state prison guard.

    Those huge public pensions sure do attract the “highest quality candidate.”

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  14. bear says:


    Do you have the education or skills to run a city? So you could apply for the job and correct all the problems?

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  15. Just a Thought says:

    Deficit could grow if CalPERS requires more state funds
    By Dale Kasler
    Published: Monday, Mar. 12, 2012 – 3:20 pm
    Sacramento Bee

    “”Supporting CalPERS could cost the state an additional $425 million a year under a plan the pension fund is considering this week.”"

    CRIMINAL government bureaucrats scheming further ways to keep the public pension system operating at taxpayer expense.

    I wonder why the Press Demo isn’t publishing this information?

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  16. Just a Though says:

    Another CRIMINAL in today’s news:

    “San Francisco Sheriff Takes Plea Deal in Domestic Violence Case
    March 12, 2012 | 11:34 am
    San Francisco Chronicle: online

    Those huge public pensions attract the top quality candidates, don’t they?

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  17. Uriah says:

    That guy was a bozo too. Thought he was an expert in everything about anything. Manages a “town” of about 26,000 people and earns that much? You Windsorites got ripped off.

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  18. Jim says:

    Lets see the Town will be paying this guy $185,000+ per year for his pension and close to the same for his replacement, that makes the cost of the “Town Manager” to the taxpayer over $350,000/year. Who was the prior “Town Manager”? Is he still collecting a pension? Maybe the Town Manager position costs Windsor $500,000+/year.

    Gotta love spending other people’s money. Oh wait, that’s OUR MONEY!!

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