Gary Wellborn’s Loss Will Be Felt in Southern Humboldt Community, Says GSD Staff and Board

Press release from the Garberville Sanitary District Board:

The Garberville Sanitary District Board met on October 24th to discuss District business and included is the summary of that meeting.

Gary Wellborn has been a Board Member with GSD but resigned …due to his wife Shon retiring and their plan of moving to Arizona. He was a valuable asset for the Board and District because of his eye for detail and desire to make this community better.

The Board is working diligently to develop a new “Commercial Agricultural” Water Use Ordinance which will provide water for all commercial agricultural water users while insuring potable water for human consumption and protection of the river and the environment. This may include a separate agricultural water meter with an application process that can be monitored and regulated in the event of infrastructure deficiencies or of drought and insufficient river flow. The Board is committed to expediting this process to assist with those awaiting County permits, so we will be meeting within next two weeks to develop the language for such an ordinance and be able to present an ordinance to the entire Board at our November 28th meeting.

The Board has requested historical river flow data along with water usage trends which will show the efficiency of our infrastructure along with providing valuable information about water treated, water metered and used for residential use and water entering our wastewater facility.


Gary Wellborn

Gary Wellborn [Photo from the GSD website]

Below is a thank you to Gary Wellborn and an acknowledgment of his assistance from the Garberville Sanitary District:


On behalf of myself and the Garberville Sanitary District, I want to thank Gary Wellborn for volunteering his time to assist in governing the District with a keen eye on fiscal accountability and providing safe and healthy water for our customers. Gary has unfortunately offered his resignation from the Board and will be unable to be with us tonight because he is moving tomorrow to Arizona.

Gary has left an indelible imprint on this community which was home to him and his wife Shon for 18 years. Gary & Shon have 3 children that live here and in southern California.

Gary met Shon 37 years ago as they worked for the same company in southern California. They lived in Loma Linda for 18 years and then moved to Garberville where Shon received a job. Gary is interested in ham radios, bowling and used to race cars.

When Gary moved to Garberville he quickly became involved in this community and volunteered or sat on the Board of Garberville Sanitary District, The Healy Center, OES Deputy Coordinator, Hospital Board and other volunteer groups. He is a 21 gallon blood donor and has been a valuable resource to me and this community.

Gary will be missed but we wish him and Shon well as they embark on this new adventure.

Thank You for your service

GSD Staff and Board



  • Trillium Hummingbird

    Gary – Thanks for “just keeping the doors open” in so many places…

  • Get a job ya bum! 🙂

    73 om, god bless


  • It would seem, since Director Wellborn could not get a connection or fire hydrant near his property from the Kimtu subdivision waterline (Kimtu use only by GSD) because the waterline is dedicated, only to serve the 20 properties at Kimtu (tight-line), I guess they want to leave? Is this why he got on the GSD Board?

    If you remember, the Kimtu waterline was paid for by the state, for a health and safety “emergency” water concern at the Kimtu Subdivision (Kimtu was on a boil water notice). One of the conditions of approval; the waterline was to be dedicated only to the 20 homes and properties at the Kimtu subdivision, it could not be used to induce growth or used for any other use, i.e. new connection…

    • ed voice for GSD board. think of all the good you could do. community building. saving the watershed starts somewhere
      go ed

    • My Dad was on the board before the water line.

      They didn’t decide to move due to a lack of hydrant, as my parents have raparian rights and can take as much water out of the river as they need.

      Unlike you, they aren’t petty human beings. They left because they felt it was time.

      Do you ever have anything nice to say? I don’t believe I’ve ever read a comment of yours that wasn’t a complaint.

      My parents spent 18 years serving to better this community through work and volunteerism. What have YOU done lately that impacted our area in a positive way?

      • Thank you for the kind words Lori.

        My Dad was on the CHP out of Redway/Garberville from 1961 to 1980 and he also volunteered allot of hours at the Redway PTA, South Fork PTA and Athletics programs. My Mom volunteered at the Hospital, President of Redway PTA, teachers helper/assistant and took care of our family, you know, all that wife and Mom stuff.

        I myself have donated to the Garberville Rotary, Hospice and their fundraiser auctions.

        To answer your 1st question; Yes! Sure sounds like you are doing what you’re accusing me of doing and you don’t even know me or my family’s history in SoHum.

        BTW, Gary Wellborn was sworn into the GSD Board December 2015, he was appointed, not elected years after GSD installed and sold water to Kmitu. You should get your facts straight…

      • “What have YOU done lately that impacted our area in a positive way?”

        I helped lobby and craft two California State legislation bills that passed (with Friends of the River), upholding and strengthening the Wild & Scenic River Act, including the South Fork Eel. I helped to get the funding necessary (with American Rivers) and lobbied for State Parks to dismantle the Benbow Dam. I also established greater oversight for instream gravel extraction mining on Wild & Scenic Rivers through the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and State Water Board.

        I also make public comments (on my own dime) concerning projects under CEQA, that public agencies (GSD, LAFCo, Humboldt & Mendocino Counties) are planning within the South Fork Eel watershed that may adversely or substantially affect or degrade (Wild & Scenic River Act corridor) the South Fork Eel watershed and the threatened and endangered aquatic species and wildlife habitat that is their home.

        Those are some of my personal accomplishments, I hope they meet your approval. Do you have any?

    • You can be such a cruel jerk, Mr. Voice. You never have anything pleasant to say about our community or its members. Gary is a treasure, a quiet and thoughtful man who did so much for Southern Humboldt. We will miss you, Gary. Best of luck to you and your family.

    • wow. does this guy ever have anything good to say or does he just incessantly complain? i mean seriously, get a life. there has to be something to do down in lake county other than engage in perpetual and hostile online harassment.

      good luck gary. i’ll never forget everything you did for the senior center.

    • Ed, Gary worked hard on several boards. Quit being so mean about everything.
      As a friend of the Wellborn family, I know their decision to retire in Arizona had NOTHING to do with a fire hydrant.
      Sometimes your reasoning is just plain silly.

  • Let’s see how many of the complainers vie for the seat! Time to step up and right the course. Just in time to participate in the creating of the Cannabis regs. too!

  • Best wishes to you Gary. It was great working with you at AEE.

  • Whine, whine, whine.

    GSD and SHCHD will merely appoint someone else who they like, and then it will be crooked business as usual. I’m a senior citizen, but I have never, (and probably never will have) been inside the “senior center”, as I don’t really like hanging around with older folks. (boring) If you don’t like it, start a gov’t agency or a non-profit of your own and rule it with incompetence and corruption. It’s the American way!
    It is encouraging to see the SHCHD board changing. Now if they could only get rid of Colleen, Kent, Tucker, and replace that ineffectual new CEO! ($220,000/year!) I often wonder what will happen first, Kent clutching his chest and “retiring” or padlocks on the doors permanently…
    Good luck in your future endeavors, Garberville! You are all fired!

  • Happy trails!!

  • You will be very missed Gary, along with you wife. And of course the usual nut jobs around here will say stupid things like they just have above. Let’s see any of them dedicate hours and years to our community for no reason but the goodness in their heart. Gary is a quiet man who never starts trouble, only wants to make things work better. Being on boards isn’t fun, isn’t profitable and is just hard work. Let’s see you do that Ed, all you ever do is bitch bitch bitch. ALL you ever do. Where’s your good work, where’s your helpfulness? And the other guy who continually puts everything down, everything is bad and people shouldn’t help. We don’t need these kinds of folks around. Never a good deed. Always looking to the dark side of things and ready to attack anonymously. Back to Gary, a really good guy. The comparison just shows. We need more Gary’s and less denouncements. We lost a couple good neighbors when they moved. People like Gary are what built America, just plain old good people. Bye Gary, Thanks for all you did and tried to do for us. We will miss you and Shon……Shon who grew our Credit Union to the successful stage and state we are in and who served on many boards herself. It’s our loss.

  • First time poster

    Thanks Gary!

    The community needs more people to step up instead of complaining about most things, they really no nothing about. It takes all of us to make things work. Please step up and take part in our community, we need you.

  • The best to you and Shon Gary. Thanks for everything you’ve done here. More like you in the future and we’ll be a lucky community. Happy trails partner.

  • Thanks for your service, Gary, it was a great pleasure to know you!

  • you will be missed Gary, and wish you the Best out in Arizona!

  • Good luck Gary and Shon! Thanks for everything you have done in the community. Gary will be missed on the GSD Board. It is rumored that he was the only board member that was not alway in lockstep with the controversial general manager. That said, it is high time that this board has only elected, Garberville Water District residents (as they are legally required to be), members sitting on it. An election would bring issues that are needed to be addressed out into public discussion, involving the general public into the process. Yeah, it cost money for and election but it would be money well spent!

  • Thank you Gary and thank you Shon! You were both so instrumental in getting the KHSG transmitter installed and paid for during KHSU’s fundraising campaign in SoHum. Yet another thing done for the community that will last long after you’ve left for Arizona.
    Thank you.

  • Im sure hes had enough seeing our community decline. Good for you Gary!
    You will be missed!

  • Still wondering what happened to Tina at the water district office. Really miss her..

    • The GM shitcanned her for standing up for her neighbors/community. She is sueing them now for unlawful termination!

  • I worked with Gary for a few years and thought he was a wonderful person. Best of luck to you!

  • Here’s what Kim forgot to comment on, that was stated at the GSD meeting as reported by the Redwood Times:

    “ In light of the massive fires in Northern Humboldt and the now extremely destructive fires in the Santa Rosa area, I would like the GSD to continue pressing the State of California to allow GSD to place fire hydrants in critical areas along the Kimtu water line. Having a 14,000-foot water line passing through a densely wooded area with not one fire hydrant is just criminal,” Wellborn wrote.

    He ended his letter by saying, “This is not the beautiful place we moved to 18 years ago.”

    Here’s the thing, the Kimtu subdivision has fire hydrants, which is closer than town and the Wellborn property is not in the GSD district boundary. I’m sure one of the benefits of having a fire hydrant coming off a 8″ water main would have meant cheaper insurance for his house and property. Why do people have to use scare tactics or fear mongering to get what they want? Who would have paid for the fire hydrants and increasing the size from GSD’s district boundary to include their property? And then what, maybe new water service to? Fire Hydrants denote future development, growth and water usage, of which the South Fork Eel cannot support.

    And I saw how “beautiful” the area was 33 years before he moved there, even before the Kimtu subdivision or Tooby Park was built.

    • Kim didn’t forget, Ed. This is a press release from the GSD.

      • It’s the weirdest “press release” I ever read. Its reads like an obituary or epitaph. He didn’t even finish 2 years of a 4 year appointment. Besides approving Emerson to sign his own paychecks or other GSD checks up to $5000 without a 2nd signature, approve to give Emerson a big pay raise from $78k per year to $120k and then approved to terminate Tina; what were Mr. Wellborn’s accomplishments at GSD?

        Here are some quotes from then GSD Director Wellborn about it:

        And like I said, Mr. Wellborn thinks its “criminal” GSD could not put a fire hydrant out next to his property!

        Here’s what Humboldt LAFCo had to say about it when Mr. Wellborn requested the fire hydrant in 2016:

        If you think about it, Mr. Wellborn had no skin in the game, he was not a GSD ratepayer and did not live in the district boundary. However, he had a say over how water and sewer were provided and at what cost within the GSD district boundary.

        No wonder Emerson liked him so much…

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