As expected, the Supervisors approved the fishy buyback of the Redwood Quality Management Service Orchard Ave property on the Consent Calendar Tuesday morning without comment or question. So we have begun preparing a Public Records Act request for related and prior documents.
The “fact sheet” from the County’s shared private attorney rep at the CPUC hearings was briefly discussed Tuesday, despite its contents being at odds with the PG&E and Public Utilities Commission reps previous presentations. Supervisor John McCowen bemoaned the fact that the “requirements” being imposed on PG&E for Public Safety Power Shutoffs in “Phase 2” should have been imposed in Phase 1. But otherwise nobody seemed to be bothered by the “fact” that none of the points in the “fact sheet” were mentioned by the PUC and PG&E reps at their prior appearances when the Board grilled them.
Jim Donnelly, former Assistant Ag Commissioner now Acting Ag Commissioner in the wake of the unexplained departure of yet another Ag Commssioner, Harinder Grewal, appeared before the Supes to discuss the possible allowance of non-psychoactive hemp to be grown in Mendo. After the usual aimless discussion the Board fobbed the question off to the existing “cannabis economic development” ad hoc committee of Supervisors Ted Williams and Dan Gjerde with support from staff. The idea, as far as we could tell, is that some “farmers” want to grow industrial hemp but the County has to “protect” the psychoative pot growers from the harmful (i.e., neutralizing) effects of wind-blown male pollen from the hemp plants. It’s a confusing subject that we’re sure the Board and staff will handle in their usual muddled way which will wind up costing more money to “protect” than it’s worth.
It’s Official: The EOA is DOA (as we suspected it would be for years)
Subject: RFP #56-17 Exclusive Emergency Ambulance Service Operator for the Exclusive Operating Area.
The County of Mendocino received one proposal in response to RFP 56-17; this one proposal was determined to be non-responsive. At this time, the competitive process regarding RFP 56-17 has concluded and the Board of Supervisors is no longer pursuing an Exclusive Operating Area for Emergency Medical Services. The County of Mendocino would like to thank all of those that participated in the process.
The Mendocino County Executive Office
Now that the County has finally admitted that the Exclusive Operating Area for ambulance service is no longer an option, County officials are scrambling for to address: What now? A sales tax is being discussed. A county-wide ambulance district is being discussed. A Ukiah-centric option is being discussed. Ukiah Valley Medical Center is talking about taking over the lucrative “interfacility transfer” business which might mean that local ambulance services will be deprived of that cash cow. Etc. None of the options being discussed will produce anything like results for at least a year, probably more. The Coastal Valley EMS problem is also being discussed. Meanwhile, ambulance services, public and private, volunteer and professional, continue limping along doing a lot with very little.
ACCORDING TO CEO Angelo’s latest CEO report for September 4, 2019 there are a whopping 404 FUNDED vacant positions in the Health and Human Services Department’s “Social Services” branch. Of those FUNDED positions (and yes, we’re capitalizing that because we’re yelling) 91 are vacant and 55 are “in recruitment.” But there have been only nine “new hires” since July 1, 2019 along with 7 “separations” (which could be resignations or inter-department transfers), and eight more people are “on leave,” whatever that means. Oddly, these stats produce what the CEO says is a “13.6 vacancy rate.” 91/404 would be a 22.5% vacancy rate. And 91-55 = 36/404 would be an 8.9% vacancy rate. It turns out that our math-challenged CEO calculates “vacancy rate” as “based on positions currently in recruitment.” Or 55/404 = 13.6%. Which is the wierdest way to calculate “vacancy rate” we’ve ever heard of. A proper vacancy rate calculation would be 91 plus the 8 “on leave” divided by the funded positions of 404 — 99/404 = almost 25%. Basically, the Social Services department is woefully understaffed with only about 75% of their FUNDED positions filled.
Similarly the County’s Mental Health Branch is only 53% staffed of their 59 FUNDED positions. With 8 “in recruitment.” (And if you wonder why they need 59 positions in Mental Health after they’ve privatized the whole operation and turned it over to Camille Schraeder and her crew you’re definitely not a Mendocino County official.)
All this understaffing is after the big pay raises the County awarded starting in July which were supposed to improve recruitment and retention.
Yet no one in authority expresses the slightest interest in the understaffing situation, the lack of funding coming in to Mendo for such staffing, the effect of the understaffing on benefit issuance, backlog, wait times, daily stress and morale, etc. — much less the budget itself.