Gary Wyatt, District 4 Imperial County Supervisor and an effective and vocal presence on the Imperial County Board of Supervisors for nearly 12 years, did not seek reelection and leaves behind a legacy of personal commitment and advocacy for Imperial County that stretches from the lapping waters of the Salton Sea to the expanses of SDG&E’s recently completed Sunrise Powerlink.
But Wyatt’s community participation goes deeper than politics. Whether speaking to students about crime prevention or wearing referee stripes while officiating local games, his tall, lanky form is a familiar sight to scores of Imperial Valley residents. His strong local connections are the foundation for constituents who trust him to put their values and needs first.
A native of Brawley and graduate of Brawley Union High, Wyatt attended Imperial Valley College, Southern California College and Berean College.
In 1974, he married his wife Dorothy and jumped straight into a pattern of serving others as youth pastor for a church in Granada Hills in 1976. After staying there for 15 years, he was employed as senior pastor for a Huntington Beach church before the couple moved back to Imperial Valley.
Hired by the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office in 1990, Wyatt spent 10 years as Crime Prevention Unit coordinator and liaison for volunteer services. His duties revolved around the community and public relations with involvement in many committees, such as the Red Ribbon Coalition, the California Rural Crime Prevention Task Force and the California Crime Prevention Officers Association.
In addition, he was honored as a State of California Employee of the Year for his hard work and diligence and was a member of the unit recognized as the Crime Prevention Unit of the Year by the state.
Wyatt became a familiar figure to local school children as he educated them about keeping safe and trusting law enforcement officials, according to his wife Dorothy.
Even now, Dorothy said, young mothers and fathers who recognize him approach and wonder if he remembers them from their school days.
The couple had two children, Jeremy and Kari, and with their enrollment in Brawley schools, Wyatt decided to run for the Brawley Union High School Board in 1995 and served for four years.
Development Design and Engineering and longtime Brawley Union High School board member, one of Wyatt’s main focuses on the board was passing and implementing a bond that resulted in major renovations including the new basketball gym and tennis courts, improvements of the football field and other key school facilities.
Elected in the fall of 2000 and seated on the Board of Supervisors in 2001, Wyatt began his county service on shaky ground when he underwent double bypass heart surgery in April that same year.
Read more about Wyatt in the December 2012 edition of Valley Women Magazine in print or our online E-Edition.