The Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District has hired Mike Prinz, a longtime North Bay wastewater official, as its general manager.
Prinz, 48, of Santa Rosa, is an outgoing deputy director at the Santa Rosa Water Department and has more than 20 years of experience in water and wastewater management.
The Las Gallinas sanitary district board approved his contract last week. Prinz begins his new role on Nov. 26, earning $200,000 annually.
Prinz said that the Las Gallinas sanitary district may be small, but “it’s running a pretty cool system” with water reuse, biogas energy recovery and other programs that other sanitary districts are not doing.
“It’s a pretty progressive system, so I saw it as a perfect opportunity for me,” Prinz said. “I’m pretty passionate about water, but wastewater especially.”
Prinz is replacing interim general manager Chris DeGabriele who was tapped to fill the vacancy after Mark Williams resigned last year. Williams had worked as the general manager since 2006 and was paid an annual salary of $235,645.
DeGabriele is the former general manager of the North Marin Water District. He retired from that post in May 2017 after 22 years on the job. As interim general manager at Las Gallinas, he earned $104.75 an hour.
DeGabriele said Prinz is the right man for the job.
“He will do a great job for the district,” DeGabriele said. “He’s excited to hit the ground; he’s a smart guy; he’ll be a valuable asset to the district.”
Prinz is a graduate of Humbolt State University and holds a professional civil engineer license in California. As deputy director of the Santa Rosa Water Department, Prinz managed the city’s regional water reuse system, one of the largest recycled water facilities in northern California.
Las Gallinas district board president Megan Clark in a statement said she is excited to have Prinz join the district.
“His education, experience and involvement working on local and regional wastewater collection and treatment and recycled water issues and projects is a great fit for the district,” she said.
Prinz said, “I like public service is what it comes down to. And to work in a progressive district doing things to better the environment and public health is really cool to me.”