By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRA
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.