Supervisor Estelle Fennell
Estelle on the job

My two terms serving as 2nd District Supervisor have been very productive, with many positive accomplishments that came to fruition by working with my community and colleagues on the Board. Teamwork is the key. Working together we are accomplishing great things.

Public Safety:

  • Worked on Measure Z Public Safety Advisory Committee during the roll out of this very important sales tax initiative. We now have 24/7 law enforcement Coverage in outlying areas and have funded enough positions to provide resident deputies as good recruits are found to fill those positions.
    Firefighters are now being helped/funded with equipment, training and new fire stations across the County.
    The DA’s office is better funded. The innovative Mobile Intervention and services Team (MIST) has had great success in Eureka and is now being rolled out in the
    rural areas.
    Fortuna and Rio Dell Police Departments are better funded and we now have a School Resource Officer for the Eel Valley area.
  • Facilitated and Participated in several Town Hall meetings with Law Enforcement and the Community.
  • Working on Fire District formation, annexation and consolidation throughout the County as a member of the Supervisors’ Fire Services Committee as well as being a Local Agency Formation Commission (Lafco) board member / Chair.
  • Worked with Public Works Department to ensure safer pedestrian crossings in downtown Garberville. And install a new pedestrian crossing at the Town Square.
  • Worked to ensure improved access to Little Black Sands Beach in Shelter Cove for emergency vehicles.
  • Worked with the Sheriff’s SWAP program, Cal Fire, the Fire Safe Clearing program and Recology to clear the extreme fire hazard in the Bear Canyon area north of Garberville which threatened the Senior Housing, the Hospital and the PG&E transfer station.
  • Working with the Aviation Department to ensure that the Rohnerville Airport is kept up to safety standards to ensure safe landing and take-off at this crucially important airport.
  • Working with HCAOG to investigate placing emergency call boxes on rural roads with no cell coverage.
  • Successfully advocated for Measure Z funding for KMUD’s back-up generator to ensure that this local radio station could continue to keep our community informed through emergencies of all kinds, including the recently introduced Public Safety Power Shutoff system.
  • Worked with Shelter Cove Resort Improvement District (RID) to support collaborative County-District fire-safe clearing in the community of Shelter Cove.

Improved Infrastructure:

  • Worked to secure emergency funding for the repair and stabilization of the actively moving Bluffs between Redway and Garberville
  • Secured millions of extra dollars for road maintenance through Measure Z allocations as well as working with the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) to protect SB 1 funding for road repair and maintenance.
  • Worked with the Fox Creek Carlotta community and Humboldt Redwoods to negotiate a permanent fix for failed culverts and road wash outs.
  • Working on a near daily basis to expedite the repairs on numerous road problems throughout the Second District.
  • Working with local communities on plans for two federally funded bridge projects in McCann and Holmes Flat.
  • Working on improving Broadband access through cooperative efforts with local providers and corporate broadband companies
  • Worked to improve Bus service throughout the Second District
  • Worked with Department of Public Works and the Public Utilities Commission to finalize PG&E power line undergrounding projects for downtown Garberville (Town Square) and Hydesville
  • Working to ensure communication and collaborative problem solving between State Parks and the County on significant and dangerous road damage in the Humboldt State Redwoods Parks.
  • Worked to move forward the completion of Garberville Airport Airstrip paving

Clean energy and Alternative Power:

  • Pushed for and subsequently moved Humboldt County forward with a Community Choice Aggregation program for local control of Renewable and Clean Power sourcing in the County.
  • Supported an Ordinance that streamlines the permitting process for rooftop solar installations.
  • Supported the installation of an innovative Shatz Solar Microgrid at the Humboldt County Airport.
  • Working with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) toward our goal of 100% clean, renewable energy by 2025.
  • As a member of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Advisory Committee, working on offshore leases for Offshore Wind Power installations.

Community Empowerment and Investment:

  • Established regular Office Hours in Fortuna and Redway. This maximizes local residents’ ability to address local issues and work together to accomplish local goals.
  • Worked to establish a much-improved Planning & Building satellite office in Southern Humboldt. After 30 years of having to travel to Eureka to conduct business with the Planning and Building Department, all those services are now much closer and more accessible for Southern Humboldt residents.
  • Worked to remove bureaucratic hurdles to ensure the City of Fortuna could move forward successfully with its’ annexation of the River Walk area.
  • Worked with Senator McGuire and Assemblyman Wood to expedite the permitting process for Fortuna’s Green’s Pharmacy so that they could open back up to serve the Eel Valley community after a devastating fire in downtown Fortuna.
  • Supporting the tremendous efforts of the McLean Foundation as it works with the community to establish the McLean Campus community center in Fortuna.
  • Participated in the Shelter Cove Fishing Community Sustainability Plan, which resulted in the highly successful, local Shelter Cove Fishing Preservation Inc (SCFPI). Continuing to work with SCFPI to make sure the Cove commercial and recreational fishing community survives and thrives into the future.
  • Increased Public Participation and outreach for my District and Humboldt County as a whole, including the first-ever official meeting of the Board of Supervisors to Redway during the Land Use Mapping phase of the General Plan Update.
  • Worked on approval of the Palmer St. Water Tank Project funding through a Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) grant for Fortuna.
  • Working with and supporting the McLean Foundation on their many community support efforts, including the spectacular Gene Lucas Community Center, whose mission is “dedicated to supporting people of all ages in the Eel River Valley through the pursuit of art, education, health and wellness”
    • Estelle Fennell & Dennis Scott - McLean Foundation - Gene Lucas Comm Center
      Estelle and Dennis Scott, President of the McLean Foundation take a tour of the the Gene Lucas Community Center Building Project.
  • Worked with the Planning Department and the Southern Humboldt Community Park Board to finalize the process of permitting this beautiful park which, after 17 years of bureaucratic hurdles received final approval in March 2017
  • Worked with Fortuna officials and County staff to reduce the impact of needle distribution in the City and locate sharps disposal in appropriate locations.
  • Worked with local groups to bring a proposal for the creation of a Municipal Advisory Committee (SoHum MAC) to the Board of Supervisors. This is now in the works and moving toward implementation.
  • Working with the Bridgeville Community Center and CalTrans to bring greater visibility to the center and the services it offers as well as provide better signage for emergency center activities in case of local emergencies.
  • Worked to secure funding for design of significant improvements to downtown Garberville infrastructure. This project is now in design phase and will be in the works for several years to completion.
  • Worked with concerned community members, the Redwoods Rural Health Center, the Redwood Community Action Agency and Public Works to initiate a Complete Streets Walkability study of downtown Redway which will lay the groundwork for much-needed safety features to make the area safer for pedestrians and drivers alike.
  • Worked on Safe Routes to School (SRS) projects in Fortuna, Redway and Hydesville
  • Working with the Miranda Merchants Guild and CalTrans to improve visibility of Avenue of the Giants as well as improve walk-ability and safety for school children, tourists and all who enjoy this local natural treasure.
  • Worked with the Rio Dell Fire Department to ensure County funding for ADA improvements so that Rio Dell would not lose its Library.
  • Secured funding for both a temporary County Campus in Garberville to house the Library and Sheriff’s substation as well as a meeting facility for the Garberville Veterans. Also secured $1.5 million for the first phase of constructing a permanent campus to include County services as well as a new Veterans Hall.
  • Worked with the Fortuna Veterans groups to facilitate ADA compliance improvements at the Walker Bailey Post Veterans memorial building as well as a new veterans’ lounge, which will be an invaluable gathering place for the many veterans who live in the Eel Valley area.
  • Worked with the Board to create the new position of County Economic Director, an essential component of moving forward to a sustainable and diversified economy for Humboldt County.

Affordable Housing and Homelessness:

As a member of the Housing Trust Ad Hoc committee was instrumental in the creation of the Housing and Homelessness Solutions Advisory Committee whose goal is to advise the Board on ways to address our significant homelessness issues.

  • Adopted bold new approach in Humboldt County’s general plan housing element for 2019.
  • Public/Private Partnering to build low income housing
  • Permitting fees waived for lower income people building their home
    Tiny houses
  • Safe over night parking areas
  • Safe camping areas on state property
  • Pre-approved house plans for accessary dwelling units (ADUs )
  • Alternative /Owner Builder Safe Homes
  • Composting Toilets for Alternative/Owner Builder


  • Expanded and increased Bus Service for Seniors and community.
  • Worked to get In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) a long overdue raise,
    Supported Measure Z Funding for an Elder Abuse Investigator.
  • Voted to allow second units on private property to help alleviate affordable housing shortage. (Granny Units)
  • As a member of Area 1 Agency on Aging (A1AA) Advisory Board working on a program to connect seniors living in larger homes with younger people needing housing.
  • Voted to streamline permitting process to get more affordable housing built.


    • Working with Public Works Resource department and the Eel River Valley Groundwater Working Group on Implementation of the Sustainable Ground Water Management Act in Eel River Watershed.
    • Worked with local citizens and the County Planning Department to revise policies for increased water tank storage capacity for landowners and streamlining the permitting process.
    • As a member of the North Coast Railroad Authority worked on several collaborative efforts to protect fisheries in areas impacted by historic railroad infrastructure.

    Potter Valley Project Re-licensing:

    Potter Valley Project Resolutionz

    • As Chair of the Eel Russian River Commission, working to bring the utmost transparency to the highly complicated regional issues surrounding relicensing of the Potter Valley Project (PVP).
    • As Humboldt County’s representative on the PVP Planning Agreement Group, working with regional partners to ensure that our County’s interests are well represented in the decision making process as we seek to identify solutions that will meet the needs of all while protecting the environment and the important fisheries of the Eel River.
    • Working with Congressman Huffman’s Ad Hoc group to pursue a Two Basin solution for stakeholders region-wide.

    Implementation of the General Plan Update:

    • Worked extremely hard over numerous meetings, workshops and study sessions to finally craft Humboldt County’s General Plan Update. Our Board (after an arduous 20 years) worked hard to get it done and finally approved our General Plan, which was as a result of holding 100’s of meetings throughout Humboldt County gathering citizen input.
    • Working now on the implementation of the General Plan’s policies as we go forward with mapping and zoning across the County to ensure that rural local area and concerns are addressed appropriately.

    Implementation of Cannabis and Hemp Legalization:

    • Working on several fronts to address the myriad aspects of implementing the legalization of cannabis and ensuring that the associated transition paves the way for a long-term sustainable role for the cannabis industry in a diversified county economy.
    • Helping numerous constituents through the challenges this newly regulated industry presents.
    • Worked with Planning Director to bring local planning services to Southern Humboldt.
    • Helped create Project Trellis, which is aimed at helping the cannabis industry, especially smaller farms and businesses through a grant and loan program via a Citizens Advisory Committee; Establishes a Humboldt Branding Campaign; and administers a Local Equity Program, which is state funded (Humboldt’s equity program grant program grant request was highly successful and we have received $1.38 million from the Bureau of Cannabis Control). It focusses on inclusion and support of persons or communities that were negatively or disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization.
    • Serving as President of the California Cannabis Authority (CCA), a Joint Powers Authority established by county governments to develop and manage a statewide data platform, which will provide a seamless source of data analytics in order to help local jurisdictions with oversight of cannabis regulations and cannabis businesses who want the security of being able to bank with willing financial institutions.

    Implementation of SB 1029:

    • Working with the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) trails subcommittee and Senator McGuire as the NCRA transitions to fulfill the mandates of SB 1029. And working to ensure that the Great Redwood Trail successfully includes and addresses both the dreams and the concerns of all involved through collaboration between landowners, trailblazers, community groups and other stakeholders.

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    2nd District

    2nd District Humboldt County