By JOHN DERBY & JONATHAN WHITAKER
Greg Wellman of Merced, the former Merced County administrator and Atwater city manager, has been hired as the interim city manager of Los Banos.
The Los Banos City Council voted unanimously to hire the 76-year-old Wellman during a meeting on July 6. Wellman was expected to start his duties this week.
The move filled a void over the past couple of weeks that was created after the Los Banos City Council fired City Manager Josh Pinheiro in a split 3-2 decision on June 15. Pinheiro had only been on the job for nine months, and was one of three city managers hired by the city in under five years.
Wellman retired from full-time local government service in 2010, after serving eight years as the city manager in Atwater. He later worked a stint as the interim city manager in Oakdale, helping to solve that city’s economic problems, until May 2013. He then served as the general manager for the Delhi Water District for a year, and later as the interim general manager of the Franklin Water District for five years, until September of 2021. Wellman has also been working in the private sector in recent years. He is the owner of Wellman Advisors, Inc.
The Brigham Young University graduate has a impressive list of other positions he has held over the years, including as an assistant county administrator, Human Services Agency director, a social worker, UC Merced project director and drug abuse services coordinator.
“I was a line probation officer in ’60 and ’70, and I had a specialized caseload on the West Side,” he recalled during an interview with the Times. “The people in Los Banos, Dos Palos and Gustine — which was my area —were so kind and helpful to me. I have never, ever forgotten that.”
Wellman added, “It is a great honor to be able to serve the City of Los Banos, through the mayor and Council. My experience with the city goes back several decades, and it has always felt very comfortable to me largely because of the kindness and helpfulness of the people of Los Banos.”
Wellman received an award in Monterey in 2014 by the California League of Cities for his 43 years of work in local government. At the time, he credited his wife, Kathy, for putting up with him through his career and his four kids and 11 grandkids for his success. Nevertheless, he said he was not ready to stop working altogether.