After a quarter of a century of service to the community of Pleasanton, longtime city manager Nelson Fialho is retiring from public service after Thanksgiving, he said on Tuesday.
In a statement, Fialho called it “an honor to serve the community of Pleasanton”, adding that he “could not have asked for a more rewarding career in public service.” Fialho’s official retirement date is November 30.
Fialho has spent a total of 31 years in the public service. The youngest municipal executive in California at the time of his appointment as chief executive officer, Fialho has spent 17 of his 25 years with the city overseeing all facets of the city’s functions, from public works to public safety, in addition to forge beneficial partnerships with local organizations such as the Hacienda Business Park.
“The highlight has been working alongside smart and talented people who support the mission of this amazing city,” said Fialho. “I am infinitely grateful to everyone who supported me, including our employees and city councils past and present. “
Officials say Fialho has worked for five mayors and 19 council members, and has made “significant improvements for the community,” including developing a retirement obligation strategy, helping to train both the service of Livermore-Pleasanton Fire and the Pleasanton Library, as well as updating the specific downtown Plan and manage the update of the 20-year general plan for the city.
Fialho also helped the city navigate a number of community amenities and service improvements, such as the construction of affordable senior housing at Kottinger Place and the construction of the Veterans Memorial at the Pioneer Cemetery. He also managed the completion of the Alviso Adobe and Bernal Community Parks, the Patelco Sports Complex, the Callippe Preserve Golf Course, the Firehouse Arts Center, and the Castleridge Staging Area and Trail.
Most recently, Fialho worked with Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare and the cities of Dublin and Livermore to organize regional testing and vaccination centers at Alameda County Fairgrounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SHC-VC President and CEO Rick Shumway said Fialho “has an exceptional ability to bring people together to proactively solve issues that arise” and has been “instrumental in guiding our community in all safety and paved the way for even better results ”.
Past and present board members also shared their memories of working with Fialho. Mayor Karla Brown told The Weekly, “The town of Pleasanton has thrived for the past 25 years with City Manager Nelson Fialho at the helm, leading the staff and financial health of our town. “
“Nelson’s strong leadership alongside City Council has been instrumental in managing many monumental challenges such as a historic 4-year drought, the Great Recession and now COVID-19, as well as variants,” said Brown. “I hope Nelson takes a well-deserved time off before embarking on the next chapter of his life.”
Former board member Becky Dennis said she enjoyed working with Fialho and “was delighted to support his promotion to city manager.”
“Now, as a retired ‘regular resident’, I enjoy working with the quality management team he has assembled to help the community plan for the future,” said Dennis. “Nelson’s years of public service leave us with many accomplishments and initiatives to build upon.
The city council will determine the process of finding a replacement for Fialho, which officials say “typically includes selecting an executive recruiter to work with the council on a job profile and recruitment strategy” to determine the “key attributes and characteristics of an ideal candidate”. “