Estelle Fennell was first elected to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors in June 2012 and reelected in June 2016. Estelle has worked tirelessly in service to the citizens of the Second District and the County as a whole. She was appointed Chair of the Board in 2015 and showed true leadership in that position. She will take up that position again in 2020.
Currently, Estelle serves as Chair of:
The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)
The Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG)
The Eel Russian River Commission (ERRC).
Estelle also represents the County on the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA)
North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA).
On a regional level, Estelle represents the County on the Potter Valley Project Ad Hoc Exploratory Committee.
She also serves on a statewide level as a member of the Board of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and as President of the California Cannabis Authority (CCA).
The job of County Supervisor is multi-faceted and Estelle has proven to be especially skilled at working with a wide array of people, organizations and interests to get the job done. She has also served on various Ad Hoc and Advisory committees such as:
The Humboldt County Disaster Council
The Fire Services Subcommittee
The Measure Z Public Safety Advisory Committee
The Cannabis Advisory Committee
The A1AA Advisory Committee
Estelle has also completed training at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Emergency Training Center in Virginia.
Estelle was born in Ireland and worked in Europe and both the East and West coasts in the graphic arts and multi-media industry. While visiting Humboldt County almost 40 years ago, she fell in love with it’s magnificent landscapes, beauty, people and rural lifestyle. She has made her home in the Second District for the past 37 years.
In the late eighties she became involved with local radio and in 1990 she took on the job of news director at Redwood Community Radio station (KMUD) and worked there for 17 and a half years. Over those years she developed a clear understanding of the issues that affect and concern the people of the 2nd district and the county as a whole.
Estelle has worked with people of different backgrounds, politics, worldviews and belief systems and earned their trust and respect through hard work, dependability, integrity and honesty and by supporting her community with every possible tool at her command.
She served as Executive Director of the Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights (HumCPR) from 2009 to 2011. During her tenure, HumCPR’s membership grew to exceed 4,000.
Estelle also participated very actively in the Humboldt County redistricting process that followed on the 2010 census, specifically because of concerns regarding possible disenfranchisement of the rural residents of Southern Humboldt.
As an elected member of the Briceland Fire Department Board of Directors, she served as Board Treasurer and was a member of the team that spearheaded the very successful creation of the Briceland Fire District.
She also served on the boards of the Healy Senior Center and the Mendocino Lighthouse Preservation Society.
Estelle is passionate about citizen empowerment and community service and believes very strongly in the power of teamwork and collaborative efforts. She also believes that strong leadership and civility are essential components of a good Supervisor’s work. There can be many challenges in her position but Estelle believes that there can be just as many rewards if one works hard toward solutions that balance the many interests of a diverse community, while embracing the responsibility to make sometimes very tough decisions.
In sum, Estelle is a person who is very comfortable in a leadership role while recognizing the value of teamwork. Her natural inclination is to help her community when and however she can and her work on behalf of the community has been recognized throughout the years.
- 2015 Fortuna Kiwanis Woman of Distinction Award for Enduring and Devoted Service to the community.
- Honored with a resolution from the Board of Supervisors for service to the community during the 1992 Earthquakes.
- Voted Citizen of the Year by community members and the Garberville – Redway Chamber of Commerce.
- Honored with a resolution from the Board of Supervisors, for work on the Canoe and Honeydew fires.
- Responsible Media Award from the California Fire Safe Council.
- CalFire Partnership Award for work with Fire Service Agencies in Emergencies