Former leader of Merced County, Atwater commended for service

04/29/2013 5:44 PM

04/29/2013 5:47 PM

A man who was once at the helm of Merced County and Atwater was recently recognized for more than four decades of work in local government, but that counter is finally coming to a stop.

Greg Wellman, who recently left his post as interim city manger of Oakdale, said he's taking a step back from local government after 45 years of work.

He's worked as an assistant county administrator, a social worker, drug abuse coordinator, a human services agency director, county administrator, UC Merced project director and Atwater city manager.

He was also the general manager of Keyes Water and Sanitation District in 2011 before transitioning to Oakdale.

After all those years of toiling in local government, 66-year-old Wellman said it's been anything but dull.

"It's really been a fantastic opportunity to have such a wide variety of things to do," Wellman said. "It's never boring."

The International City/County Management Association recently recognized Wellman for his 45 years of service.

Wellman said he's honored to receive the public service award and credited his wife, Kathy, for putting up with him through his career, four kids and 11 grandkids.

"It's been really a marvelous ride to be able to do so many different things," Wellman said.

Oakdale Mayor Pat Paul said she's sorry to see Wellman leave public service. She said he's been instrumental in helping Oakdale through tough financial times.

"We were almost on the verge of bankruptcy and he pulled us out from the depths," Paul said. "He's just remarkable. He surrounds himself with smart people, he's a good communicator and just a descent person. We were really lucky to find him and I wish him well."

When Wellman got to Oakdale, Paul said he brought a team of professionals with him. When he left Oakdale, he helped the city find a new manager.

"That's what smart managers do," she said. "He knows everybody, he knows everything."

Lately, Wellman's been working as a principal consultant for Citygate Associates, LLC.

Dave DeRoos, president of Citygate, said Wellman brings an "interesting mix" of experience to the company since he's been involved in so many aspects of local government.

"You don't see many city managers with that breadth of a resume," DeRoos said.

Though Wellman said he wants to take a "breather" and cut back on his hours, he's not ready to stop working altogether.

"I'm just not comfortable sitting still," he said.

Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or mnorth@mercedsunstar.com.

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