The Colusa County Board of Supervisors last week recognized longtime Colusa Mosquito Abatement Manager David Whitesell for more than three decades of service with the district.
Whitesell, a lifetime Colusa resident, started his career as a mosquito control technician with the Sutter Yuba Mosquito Abatement District, working for then Manager Gene Kauffman.
In May of 1985, Whitesell was hired as a mosquito control technician for the Colusa Mosquito Abatement District, and replaced outgoing District Manager Ken Whitesell a year later. He also rose through the ranks within the Northern California region of mosquito abatement control districts, becoming president in 1999 of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association.
“Mr. Whitesell sought reform of Colusa National Wildlife Refuge irrigation practices, and was instrumental in implementing the cooperative agreements with wetland owners within the Colusa Abatement District boundaries for reimbursement towards the control of mosquitoes they produce,” said Chairman Gary Evans, in a proclamation approved 5-0 on Aug. 31.
Whitesell not only managed the local district, but performed many hours of control efforts, operating an RP 2000 YLV Cold Fogger, during months of high mosquito production. He also amassed many hours of training from the California Department of Public Health to maintain his Gold Card license certification.
In 2014, at the highest recorded number of human cases of West Nile Virus in California since the mosquito-borne disease first emerged in the state in 2003, Whitesell spearheaded the Colusa Mosquito Control tax, which passed by a resounding 89.9 percent which funds mosquito abatement practices, such as spraying and providing mosquito fish.
Evans said Whitesell’s dedication to the district has been unwavering and his service exemplary.
Dan Kiley replaced Whitesell as District Manager on May 1. ■