City Manager Appoints New Department Heads

Nov 21, 2013


City Manager John Russo is appointing the following department heads, effective today:

  • Paul Rolleri as Police Chief
  • Debbie Potter as Community Development Director
  • Bob Haun as Public Works Director
  • Stephanie Garrabrant-Sierra as Administrative Services Director


Paul Rolleri has been the Interim Police Chief since June 2013. He began his 25 year law enforcement career as an Investigator for the State of California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control from 1989-1992, and became an Alameda Police Officer in 1992. Chief Rolleri has worked a variety of assignments as an officer including patrol, Violent Crimes Unit, and Youth Services Section.  He was also a Field Training Officer and member of the Crisis Negotiation Team. Chief Rolleri was promoted to sergeant in 2002, spending additional time in patrol and supervising the APD Jail, Identification Section, and Property and Evidence. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2009 and to Captain in 2011. In 1997 he was awarded the Department Medal of Merit for his actions following a violent bank robbery in March of that year. Chief Rolleri is 50 years old, and was born and raised in Alameda. He has two children, aged 19 and 17. He attended St. Philip Neri Elementary School and is a 1981 graduate of Alameda High School.


Community Development

Debbie Potter has been the Interim Community Development Director since April 2013.  Prior to her appointment, she worked on the reuse and redevelopment of Alameda Point and FISC/East Housing, and later served as the City’s Housing Development and Programs Manager.  Ms. Potter’s major initiatives include managing the 215-acre Catellus mixed-use project, which includes Bayport and the recently opened Target store, developing 182 units of affordable housing, administering the City’s $1.95 million annual CDBG program, and serving as a member of the Successor Agency Oversight Board. Ms. Potter has been with the City for twelve and a half years.  Prior to that, she was the Redevelopment Administrator in San Leandro, where she oversaw a number of redevelopment and affordable housing projects.  Ms. Potter relocated to the Bay Area nineteen years ago after working in several southern California communities in the areas of economic development and affordable housing.  She is a graduate of UC Irvine and holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from UCLA.


Public Works

Bob Haun has been the interim Public Works Director since July 2013. Mr. Haun began working for the City of Alameda in 1992 after twenty year-five years in the private sector as a self-employed General Contractor and Facilities Manager for a banking institution. During his twenty year career with the City he has worked for multiple departments, most recently as the Director of Facilities for the Housing Authority.  Mr. Haun is well known locally for successfully managing the construction of the Main Library which he completed ahead of schedule and significantly under budget.  He brings to the position of Public Works Director more than thirty years of experience in the construction industry and a familiarity with the citizens and infrastructure of Alameda.


Administrative Services Director

Stephanie Garrabrant-Sierra has worked as the Assistant City Attorney since June 2012.  Ms. Garrabrant-Sierra is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and has been an attorney for almost 25 years practicing mainly in labor, employment, public contracting and business law. She began her career in the firm of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison as a litigator, and then worked with the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County. She went on to work with the City of Oakland for eight years, as the Assistant Director to the Community and Economic Development Agency, then leading their Labor and Employee Relations division where she oversaw negotiations for each of the City's 12 MOUs, representing 29 bargaining groups. She then spent several years in Austin, Texas managing construction contracts for the State of Texas and practicing in her own small country law office specializing in small business and construction law.  She has also served as Vice President for the Mexican American Legal and Education Fund in 2005.


Ms. Garrabrant-Sierra is assuming the position of Administrative Services Director, which is a new position created as part of the City Manager’s on-going efforts to restructure the organization. She will oversee Human Resources, Information Technology (IT), Public Procurement, and Contract Compliance, providing coordinated oversight of internal services, resources and operations.  Larger initiatives such as major city-wide software/hardware upgrades will still be overseen by an Assistant City Manager.