2nd District Candidates Respond

The AVA asked all Mendocino County Supervisor candidates the following questions:

  1. Why, specifically, are you running for Supervisor? Which countywide problems do you see as primary? What specific improvements do you want to make? And, if elected, how will the public be able to measure your success?
  2. How do you view the functioning of the present board?
  3. Do you think promotion is among the best uses of bed tax revenue? (Roughly $5.5 million a year)
  4. Your ideas on how to make an effective cannabis program.
  5. Your views on regular (monthly) departmental reporting.
  6. Do you think the County’s Mobile Outreach program is working as funded? Are the walking wounded getting attention in proportion to the money spent on them?
  7. Why are the County’s social services programs understaffed?
  8. Do you think the County is doing enough to buy from local businesses? If not, what would you do to see that buy local is enforced.
  9. What is your opinion of effectiveness of the $20 million the County spends with the privatized Redwood Quality Management Company for mental health services?
  10. Do you think the County is doing enough to promote creative solutions to homelessness, i.e., trailer parks, tiny houses, FEMA trailers etc.?

Second District candidate answers below...

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Second District Supervisor Candidate Maureen Mulheren

Why, specifically, are you running for Supervisor? Which county-wide problems do you see as primary? What specific improvements do you want to make?

I was born and raised in Mendocino County and I am raising my family here. I want my children to have a future full of opportunity and I want to work to make that happen for all families for future generations. I have the drive, determination and leadership experience to bring to the table. As a Councilmember I serve on 13 ad-hocs and committees and am Past-President of the Redwood Empire Division for the League of California Cities, Vice-Chair of the Russian River Watershed Association in addition to my other volunteer and community obligations. I don't take days off , which is good because we have a lot of work to do. 

Across Mendocino County, we need more investment in what's already working for us, a more diverse housing stock to meet current and future demands, and to address the the drug addiction, mental illness, and homelessness crisis. As a City Council member for the last five years, I’ve learned that if I want to affect change through Human Services, I need do this from a seat on the Board of Supervisors. 

Another challenge that we need to address is that every incorporated city needs to negotiate a fair annexation and tax sharing plan with the County in order to encourage city-centered growth and protect our agricultural and open spaces--the economic drivers and natural treasures of our region. These annexations have been put off for far too long. It will take hard work to get it done but we need to work out a fair and equitable arrangement with each city.

I also intend to bring my style of inclusiveness and proactive communication to the Board of Supervisors and work to improve how the Board and County departments communicate with constituents. I will advocate for fiscal responsibility and transparency. When local government is spending taxpayer money, the taxpayers have right to be part of the decision-making process and to complete transparency, we can't make these decisions without improving and analyzing data. 

And, if elected, how will the public be able to measure your success? Community engagement is the cornerstone of everything I do. The public will see an immediate difference in their ability to engage with me in person, online, and via email and that I'm responsive to their concerns. The highest compliment a local elected can receive is "I may not always agree with you, but I'll vote for you because you listen." I'm always shocked when people are surprised that I answered their email. We are here to serve the constituents--that's the job. I know by the number of votes I received from winning by a narrow margin in 2014 with 1368 votes to taking the lead in 2018 with 2722 votes that I continue to earn the voters' trust. If I'm not listening to the will of the people, if I'm not advocating for policies that benefit the community as a whole, I will hear about because I've built that engagement and those relationships over time.

How do you view the functioning of the present board? 

After reading the Grand Jury reports and seeing the Board's response, I was disappointed in the Board's failure to take ownership and responsibility for many of the issues raised. It is the Board's responsibility to set policy that is responsive to the needs of the community and enhances the quality of life of the people of Mendocino County. The County’s mission is to deliver services that address public safety, infrastructure, health, social, cultural, education, transportation, economic, and environmental needs. Instead of setting long term goals and creating plans to meet them, the BOS tends to be reactionary. If essential tasks are not being completed or reports not being turned in,  we're missing the opportunity to measure success or failure of policies. This has resulted in a lack of transparency and erosion of public trust. There also seems to be a tremendous amount of siloing and not wanting to cross district lines. As Supervisor, I will bring my collaborative style and ability to bring stakeholders together from diverse backgrounds and interests to get the job down for not only my district but for the entire county. The BOS should represent everyone in the community and make decisions based on the greater good not only the individuals in their specific district. I plan to work closely with neighboring districts in order to share responsibilities of community engagement, especially with the geographically much larger District 5, which is geographically tied to District 2. 

Do you think promotion is among the best uses of bed tax revenue? (Roughly $5.5 million a year)

The annual budget for promotion is a $1.4 million dollars, guests in hotels pay $989,622 through a 1% BID assessment and the general fund matches half or $494,811 (and then the county keeps $29,689 of that for administration). We must spend money on tourism marketing in order to receive the $482.2 million in revenue that the industry puts in to our economy. If you've been around here for any length of time you realize that tourism is a key industry in Mendocino County. And why wouldn't it be? we live in a beautiful place. Tying the bed tax revenue to the budget for promotion makes the most sense, the programs do well the budget goes up, the programs are not successful the budget goes down. We need to invest in marketing and I would much rather see this money being spent on local people that know our community than to have consultants from out of the area get the money and try to guess how to market Mendocino County. The old adage you have to spend money to make money applies for this line item. The key is oversight, management and making sure you have the right team on the job. We have many needs in Mendocino County and each line item should be managed and constantly reviewed, I intend to do that as your Supervisor. 

Your ideas on how to make an effective cannabis program. 

Apply for an Equity Grant Program to ease capital costs for Legacy Cultivators to address environmental and building permit process concerns when possible

Keep program open for legacy cultivators to enroll in the permitting process Remove County Regulations that are redundant with State Regulations  When appropriate provide an exception through mitigation to the County Tree Removal Program when the program inhibits compliance with other regulating agencies

Streamline the permitting process for under 10,000 sq ft

Reduce redundancies with renewal process

Extend the deadlines for those in the permitting process to ensure they have time to gain compliance 

The earliest reference to cannabis in Mendocino County as an agricultural crop was in 1979, Mendocino County should look at the regulate cannabis as they do other agricultural crops such as vineyards and orchards Provide education and training to cultivators for the permitting process and provide access to licensed consultants for permitting, surveying, data management etc

Advocate on a State level for reduced regulations and streamline processes  Your views on regular (monthly) departmental reporting? They are essential and should be required. We need more accountability and public input. Regular monthly reporting often reveals important trends over time. Once we have several months of consistent data, trends will reveal themselves and it may be clear that some departments can go to quarterly reporting as appropriate.

Do you think the County’s Mobile Outreach Program is working as funded?

The MOPS program is not active in the Ukiah Valley but in the outlying areas of the County. As a Council Member I have not had much experience with MOPS which leads me to say "No, I would like to see much more outreach to those on the streets and families with a loved one in need". There should be one centralized number that is well marketed so that everyone knows who to call. Outreach workers should be the first call and law enforcement only involved when necessary. I want to learn more about how as a County we can implement a system that is easy to use, not redundant and gives patients, their families and the concerned public a resource when someone is having mental health issues. There is more work to be done with this program.

Are the walking wounded getting attention in proportion to the money spent on them?

Given that we have lost three unhoused individuals so far this winter I would say no. I understand the liabilities and challenges with trying to provide services to those unwilling to accept them however the health and safety of their lives and that of the community are being impacted so we need to look at what opportunities we have to get people in to services that clearly need them.

Why are the County’s social services programs understaffed? 

A lack of empowerment by the BOS and affordable workforce housing have both contributed to the staffing problems. The lack of affordable county workforce housing is a challenge in every county department. We can't expect those who are currently employed to rally friends and neighbors to come and work for an agency that they are dissatisfied with. The BOS needs to commit to the Continuum of Care, support and empower our staff, and take real steps to address the workforce housing crisis.

Do you think the County is doing enough to source contracts with local businesses? If not, what would you do to improve it? 

When I was elected to the Ukiah City Council in 2014 this was a common complaint. We reduced the number of out of the area consultants and created a local purchase ordinance giving a competitive advantage to suppliers within Mendocino County the County should offer a similar ordinance.

What is your opinion of effectiveness of the $20 million the County spends with the privatized Redwood Quality Management Company for mental health services?

I see that RQMC has stepped in to take over a very failed system under Ortner Management Group, I believe they are working under the same $20 million budget that has been in place for years. I was at the BOS meeting where RQMC provided an update on their data dashboard and that is a step in the right direction. We need  regular data and updates to the BOS and the statistics are showing improvements they are serving more patients and I believe we can see a difference on the streets. Leadership must constantly review, revise and adapt to any changes that need to occur. Anecdotally , the service providers in our community are working more collaboratively than I have seen in the last twenty years. Even to the point that they (service providers) are FINALLY getting together and shifting priorities to avoid duplicating services. We are a small community with limited resources and clear goals and objectives, receiving regular updates on data and continued comprehensive planning among service providers is imperative to the success of the mental health dollars that come in to our community. 

Do you think the County is doing enough to promote creative solutions to homelessness, e.g., trailer parks, tiny houses, FEMA trailers etc.?

As a lifelong resident and a Council Member I can say that no, we aren't being creative and frankly the process has been far too slow. Our ultimate goal should be to develop permanent supportive housing with temporary shelter being exactly that--temporary. I generally don’t advocate for tent camping but as a very temporary solution it needs to happen in a location with restroom and shower facilities in order to maintain public heath for everyone. The project I saw for tiny houses seemed like nothing more than tuff sheds with a light bulb and that’s not a permanent solution. Travel trailers or even modular homes seem like a better temporary fix than tents. Long term I would like to see dorm style housing or renovation of motels to housing. There needs to be on site supportive case management for anything low barrier to reduce calls to law enforcement and disruption to neighborhoods. The guests at Building Bridges in Ukiah pick up a considerable amount of trash. As we know it only takes a few to disrupt and cause a scene so the more active engagement we have the better. Avoiding duplication of services should be a priority as well as providing access to data. The Point In Time Count is coming up later this month and you can see the results for the last five years on the County website handupnothandoutmendo.com .We need to see these numbers consistently go down and the website mentions a special "HOT Team" I do not believe this is anything that has been implemented but should be ASAP. Homelessness is a controversial topic and we live in such a small community that it doesn't need to be. When I look in the eyes of homeless individuals on the streets I see people that I know, that I went to high school with, that owned businesses, people that I knew when I was a kid. We have to work together as a community to make tough decisions about who we are serving, for how long and where. This process should be open, transparent with a lot of community input. 

Sadly we will always have some level of homeless individuals, we will always have drug addiction, mental illness and individuals that find themselves without a home for whatever reason but we won't be able to do anything about the current homeless crisis if we don't have more housing. I'd like to tell you about the circle of life of housing that used to exist and use myself as an example. 1. You live with your parents until you graduate. 2. Move in to a small affordable apartment. 3. Save to buy your first home (in my case a single wide 2bd 2ba modular in a trailer park) 4. Sell that starter home to buy a nicer home for your expanding family 5. The kids move out you are empty-nesters (ok this part hasn't happened for me yet but follow along) and you down size to a condo or apartment. What happens in this equation is that there is constantly stock being freed up because of the evolution people are taking in home-ownership. Right now we have people that are overqualified for subsidized housing but can't get in to a starter home because they are occupied that would like to upgrade but can't because there isn't enough housing stock for middle market. And what happens when the subsidized or low income housing stock is opened up? we can get people off the streets, out of the shelter, out of tents and in to an apartment. We need new housing of all types so we can see this evolution. 

For more information about my leadership skills and relevant experience as well as to see who is endorsing my campaign please visit www.mo4mendo.com

My apologies I forgot to send the link to the media page for your reference https://www.mo4mendo.com/media

Maureen Mulheren for Supervisor 2020

Mo Mulheren

FPPC #1416408

104 N School Street

Ukiah, CA 95482

707-391-3664 c

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Second District Supervisor Candidate Joel Soinila

Why, specifically, are you running for Supervisor?

I want to assist Mendocino County's second district, and the county as a whole, in achieving forward thinking with result-based accountability. I would like to aid in bringing financial transparency at the county level to the community. I do not believe the tax payer dollars and county funding are being spent on smart growth. Too often decisions are reactive and rarely proactive. By being progressive and forward thinking, we can ensure we see the changes needed to have a healthy vibrant community now and in the future.   

Which countywide problems do you see as primary?

Financial transparency, and leadership having monetary gain at the expense of community growth.

Unsheltered and underserved accountability for county services.

Mental health awareness/education/advocacy integrity of services

Emergency preparedness and citizen resiliency training

Environmental protection

What specific improvements do you want to make?

Help develop live, in the moment, financial data for county department managers and directors that interacts directly with the community for financial transparency. 

More youth activities and funding for new education programs.

Advocate for Inclusiveness, certain sectors of our community don’t seem to have representation by the counties interests.

Advocate for INFILL first development, which focuses on preserving Ag land and green spaces.

We need to continue to push for deferred maintenance to be a high priority, new is great but we need to maintain the old along the way.

https://www.joelforsupervisor.com/issues/

And, if elected, how will the public be able to measure your success?

I will set strict community driven goals and targets for me to achieve as supervisor from public input. I will report monthly and yearly on those topics to the public.

Skills, relations and reputations.  These three areas are the base for measuring leadership capital. 

By setting key performance indicators I can measure my success on a month to month basis. 

How do you view the functioning of the present board?

Stuck in old ways without innovation 

Reactive and not proactive

Oblivious to the community at large and their basic needs. 

Nepotism  

Do you think promotion is among the best uses of bed tax revenue? (Roughly $5.5 million a year) 

I don’t, I think improving the infrastructure and putting money into restoring the historic parts of town (specifically downtown Ukiah) is a better use. You can sell the county however you want, if the tourist arrives, and it’s not what they imagined, they are not likely to come back. The on and off ramps of the exits in Ukiah especially look terrible, most of the time they are littered with traffic and garbage. We could start by making it a priority to have the first and last impression of the tourists be a good one in Ukiah.  

Your ideas on how to make an effective cannabis program. 

By listening to cannabis farmers. We created a regulated market place that was too cumbersome. We act as if cannabis is a new industry.  If we had asked cannabis advocates how regulation should work, they might have been able to convert more farms to the legal market.

Push for a marketing campaign that ends the stigma of cannabis being a taboo industry. This is going to be a part of Mendocino County moving forward, we can either help farmers and producers thrive locally or keep holding them back while other states and counties lead the industry. 

Your views on regular (monthly) departmental reporting.

I can’t believe we currently don’t have live fed data in the moment. Change is tough but to not adapt with technology is foolish. 

I have been told at the highest levels of local government they do not know their actual day by day financials. That they rely upon Mendocino County Auditor's Financial Statements and by the time the statements are finalized, funds have already been expended.  I will push for directors and managers to have access to daily reports that are live in the moment.  I was a crucial part in helping develop a similar system in a productivity engineer role where I worked with data experts to establish daily labor analysis. Directors and managers were able to analyze staffing levels and if they were running over budget.  In a time where technology is readily accessible, there is no excuse for us not to have actual vs budget comparisons with the click of a button.  

Do you think the County’s Mobile Outreach program is working as funded?  Are the walking wounded getting attention in proportion to the money spent on them?

No, talk to any unsheltered or underserved person and they will tell you the care they receive in the streets is nonexistent.  It is known that unsheltered people no show medical appointments around 40% of the time and 50% of the time for behavioral health.  As a person with experience as a program manager for a mobile based medical clinic that ran on nothing compared to our local service providers in mental health and homeless services, I can tell you personally that there is limited mobile outreach happening in this county.  Taking medicine (not medical billing for monetary gain) to the people where they are is the only effective way to create a healthier and more vibrant unsheltered and mentally ill population.  We live in a time when technology is thriving, getting organizations away from their siloed ways and to collaborate is 100% the problem in this county.  Data is all our local service providers are after, it keeps the funding flowing after all. 

Why are the County’s social services programs understaffed?

Because it’s an incredibly emotional job and it requires a lot of training. 

Burnout, employees are running full throttle and expected to carry the wight of more then what 1 employee is expected of.  The work environments are littered with wily leadership and honest hard-working people with integrity eventually get fed up and leave or get pushed out due to favoritism in the workplace.   

The housing shortage drives new employees to leave or rethink their move to Mendocino County. Good luck finding a home to rent with a single source of income, and if you have a pet, you mine as well just not rent in Ukiah (Half of U.S. households’ own pets).  

Co-dependent relationships with clients make doing a job more trying.  By not having enough training/education on self-care and maintenance, people in social service roles are vulnerable to higher rates of stress and fatigue which leads to burnout. We need more education and training for staff. 

Do you think the County is doing enough to source contracts with local businesses? If not, what would you do to improve it?

No, County contracting needs to be more accessible to smaller businesses.  By making the contracts smaller, you would open the doors to many small businesses who get overthrown by the larger industries from outside the area who are able to meet the counties requirements for RFP’s.  Some locals can’t even afford the insurance/bonding needed to get the contracts. 

What is your opinion of effectiveness of the $20 million the County spends with the privatized Redwood Quality Management Company for mental health services?

Subpar and controlled by monetary gain. They always tout everyone has access to RFP’s and the ability to go after funding, but why don’t you ask the other service providers who scrape for crumbs from RQMC how easy it is to break away to be a standalone organization.  There is no equity in the system for mental health in this county at the moment.  In my opinion, we would benefit from having many different organizations who have their own administration that force competition and innovation to happen.  The best way to describe the current situation is a monopoly.       

Do you think the County is doing enough to promote creative solutions to homelessness, i.e., trailer parks, tiny houses, FEMA trailers etc.?

No, it lacks structure and accountability.  Perpetual homelessness is sadly profitable.

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Second District Supervisor Candidate Mari Rodin

Why, specifically, are you running for Supervisor?  

I love Mendocino County and the community of the Ukiah Valley. My career providing grant writing to address issues in public health, education, substance use disorder treatment, housing, and homelessness, as well as my 11 years of service on Ukiah’s city council give me a unique perspective and understanding of the challenges facing our diverse communities and the changes needed to move us forward. I am energized and ready to continue working to solve our most pressing problems as 2nd District Supervisor.  

Which countywide problems do you see as primary?   

Our communities face numerous local, regional, and even global challenges. Housing, homelessness, economic revitalization, and climate change are among the most critical issues we face. These issues reach across every social boundary and affect the very fabric of our community.   

What specific improvements do you want to make?

HousingWhether we own or rent, the people of Mendocino County and the Ukiah Valley need affordable homes in which to live. As Supervisor I will work to incentivize new development and create well-sited, affordable, and sustainable housing that meets our community needs. As 2nd District Supervisor I will:

Pass a property and sales tax sharing agreement between Mendocino County and Ukiah City governments to encourage smart growth;

Continue and improve county programs that facilitate construction of market rate housing, low income housing, and accessory dwelling units to increase housing stock; and

Adhere to the community-created Ukiah Valley Area Plan to develop higher density housing in urban areas and conserve prime agricultural lands for food and economic security.      

HomelessnessThe homelessness crisis in our community is, first and foremost, a humanitarian issue. It is essential that we recognize the humanity of people experiencing homelessness in our community while working to also alleviate the impact of unsheltered people and their encampments on residents, local businesses, and the environment. As 2nd District Supervisor I will:

Continue identifying inefficiencies and duplications through collaborative efforts with Mendocino County Homeless Continuum of Care;

Re-establish outreach and intervention teams with medical and social expertise to reach all homeless persons and provide them effective and targeted services and housing; and

Develop robust prevention programs that make sure community members never experience homelessness.

Economic RevitalizationCounty government must take a more proactive role in creating economic opportunity for the people of Mendocino County by strongly considering reinstating a department dedicated to community investment and economic development. As Supervisor I will: 

Support modern industrial development in well-sited locations such as the former Masonite property;

Renew efforts toward conjunctive labeling for Mendocino County products beyond wine to build product value and regional awareness in the marketplace;

Support resource-based economic activity (forestry, fisheries, agriculture, etc.) that is sustainably managed and locally owned; and  

Support small business and microenterprise with implementation of innovative programs like elimination of licensing requirements, bakers bills, streamlined vending permits, etc. 

Climate Change—Climate change and related disasters continue to be an existential threat to our community and the world and the greatest challenge of our generation. Like all communities, Mendocino County has a practical and moral duty to invest heavily in climate adaptation, mitigation, and prevention. As Supervisor, I will: 

Create departmental alignment with state and federal climate programs to facilitate new funding for programs to address climate change mitigation and adaptation while creating economic opportunity for the people of Mendocino County; and

Work with the newly formed Climate Change Advisory Committee to assess and mitigate climate impacts of county operations.

If elected, how will the public be able to measure your success?  

The success of any elected official is measured by their impacts on the daily lives of their constituents and the community they serve. This includes being responsive to constituents’ questions and concerns, especially during an emergency. An increasingly active Board of Supervisors—one that creates policy to address pressing problems like ambulance shortages and the housing crisis—will mark my first term as County Supervisor. 

How do you view the functioning of the present board?  

As the only elected body dedicated to the County as a whole, the Board of Supervisors must be an active voice for the people of Mendocino County. In addition to providing direction, support, and accountability for staff, the next board must develop a strategic plan for Mendocino County. During my tenure on the Ukiah City Council, I led the charge to implement a strategic planning process. As Supervisor I will ensure that the board is rigorous, integral, and active in planning and pursuing policy and programs to solve the most pressing problems of our communities.

Do you think promotion is among the best uses of bed tax revenue? (Roughly$5.5 million a year)  

In 2017, travel-related spending accounted for $456,000,000 flowing into Mendocino County’s economy. As an investment in our community, promotion provides a tremendous return. I support the current effort to close TOT loopholes and provide critical funding to our largely volunteer fire departments.

Your ideas on how to make an effective cannabis program.   

While State regulations have made it challenging for the County to create programs that support legacy grower participation in the Proposition 64 marketplace, small-scale cannabis production is an essential part of Mendocino County’s economic and community fabric. We must work to reduce the barriers to program entry while applying standard agricultural zoning practices and protecting the environment. 

Your views on regular (monthly) departmental reporting.  

Regular departmental reporting has multiple positive impacts on county government. It allows Supervisors to directly engage department heads to better understand how operations are affected by budgetary and policy decisions at the board level. Most importantly, departmental reporting provides governmental transparency to the public. I strongly favor instituting regular public departmental reporting.

Do you think the County’s Mobile Outreach Program is working as funded?   

For rural counties like ours, Mobile Outreach Programs are a crucial tool for providing quality mental health services. While the landscape of mental health funding is constantly shifting, as Supervisor I will work to ensure that our Mobile Outreach Program has sufficient funding to provide the ongoing care we need to reduce the prevalence of psychiatric crises in our community, prevent homelessness before it occurs, and allow our most vulnerable community members to live healthier, more stable lives.

Are the walking wounded getting attention in proportion to the money spent on them?

We have a lot of room to improve our response to homelessness and people who are unsheltered*. I have been working with the County’s Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) to develop a multi-agency strategic plan to address homeless. The plan will guide our priorities and decisions as funding comes to Mendocino County from the State. The ultimate goal of this work is to make homelessness rare and, when homelessness does occur, brief and one-time. Improved coordination of care among service providers; new permanent supportive housing; and outreach teams are all high priority elements of the strategic plan to address the homelessness crisis. The BOS should work with the CoC to critically evaluate the system of care and ensure that funds are spent as efficiently and effectively as possible. (*I sought and received clarification from The AVA regarding the unusual use of “walking wounded” as it is used in this question.)

Why are the County’s social services programs understaffed?  

Submarket wages and low worker morale have both been major factors in the County’s social services programs’ chronic high staff turnover rate. This has created a dynamic where Mendocino County serves as a training ground for counties with higher pay rates. And it’s expensive for the County to keep recruiting, hiring, and training new staff. The newly negotiated contracts for County employees and home healthcare workers will alleviate some of these conditions and allow them to continue with the important work of making services more effective for our communities.  

Do you think the County is doing enough to source contracts with local businesses? If not, what would you do to improve it?  

While I do not generally support privatizing public services, when it is necessary to secure contracts I strongly support sourcing local providers. As Supervisor, I intend to pass a local purchasing preference policy to prioritize awarding County contracts to local merchants, service providers, specialists, etc., but will also lay out clear contract assessment and evaluation procedures to ensure these contracts are fair when they’re signed and that the public gets its money’s worth. 

What is your opinion of effectiveness of the $20 million the County spends with the privatized Redwood Quality Management Company for mental health services?  

RQMS is contracted with the County for an essential and extremely challenging job—providing adult mental health services to our community. As said in the question above, in the event that services are carried out by a private contractor, the County should prefer local contractors, but we need a clear standard for evaluation of the services provided. The quality of value of RQMS’s performance should be assessed at regular intervals, especially given the high degree of importance and sensitivity involved in mental health services.

Do you think the County is doing enough to promote creative solutions to homelessness, i.e., trailer parks, tiny houses, FEMA trailers etc.?  

The county has to do more to end the homelessness crisis in our communities. We need creative approaches to providing medical care, social services, and housing for people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness if we hope to adequately address the problem. I am leading the work of the Mendocino County Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) to develop a strategic plan to address homelessness, as discussed above. The plan reduces duplications, increases efficiency, and provides clear directions to get better results with the millions of dollars we dedicate to ending homelessness in Mendocino County.

6 Responses to "2nd District Candidates Respond"

  1. Ted Williams   February 6, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Mari, with all due respect, would you provide an actual responsive answer to the RQMC question? I cannot ascertain where you stand.

    “What is your opinion of effectiveness of the $20 million the County spends with the privatized Redwood Quality Management Company for mental health services?”

    Reply
    • James Marmon   February 6, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      Too much money and focus on children compared to the adult mental health system of care. The new contract doesn’t mandate that a specific amount be spent on adults anymore so I suspect that this year’s distribution of dollars will be even more lopsided than ever. RCS will always be Redwood Children’s Services and RQMC will continue to funnel money to that Agency as long as the Schraeders control the Board of Supervisors through Carmel Angelo who will never admit that her privatization scheme might need some major adjustments, at least when it comes to the adult system. Camille doesn’t worry about how many adults are hospitalized because that cost doesn’t come out of her pocket, it comes out of the County’s. It’s not in her contract, so no sweat off her balls.

      People ignore the job Camille is doing with adults because she does so much for children, TOO MUCH!

      Where’s the money Camille.

      James Marmon MSW
      Former Social Worker V
      Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services

      Reply
  2. Professor Cosmos   February 7, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Scientific American recently posted an article noting that thousands of homes will be lost beginning within 15 years first in San Jose and in portions of Marin.

    We are not at risk for that in Mendocino County due to the high coastline.

    We will have a deepening refugee crisis. (Already happening from the fires.)

    This district seems to have 3 great candidates, each capable of pivoting to an addressing of this coming reality of refugees seeking to resettle.

    Am curious if anyine willing to talk about this now.

    Note: even though I am a subscriber of the ava till June, a stubborn and mysterious glitch is preventing me from logging in. The software says i have successfully logged in yet I am not!! I do not have trouble logging in to other sites!

    Reply
  3. James Marmon   February 13, 2020 at 8:28 am

    If I still lived in District 2 I would definitely vote for Joel Soinila on this issue alone. I was wondering when other providers were going to start speaking out against the “Redwood Empire” and demand fairness in the bidding process in order to compete. Looks like it’s happening.

    “What is your opinion of effectiveness of the $20 million the County spends with the privatized Redwood Quality Management Company for mental health services?

    Subpar and controlled by monetary gain. They always tout everyone has access to RFP’s and the ability to go after funding, but why don’t you ask the other service providers who scrape for crumbs from RQMC how easy it is to break away to be a standalone organization. There is no equity in the system for mental health in this county at the moment. In my opinion, we would benefit from having many different organizations who have their own administration that force competition and innovation to happen. The best way to describe the current situation is a monopoly.”

    Reply
    • James Marmon   February 13, 2020 at 8:52 am

      I went to some of the early meetings (prior to my restraining order) regarding the creation of the ASO’s and not everyone was happy with the idea. Most decided to go along to get along, if they still planned on working in the County. It became clear long before the original RFP went out that Camille was the County’s favorite and would be chosen, so the RFP was designed that way. She and Mr. P controlled those meetings like you wouldn’t believe, Groupthink at its best.

      James Marmon MSW

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    • James Marmon   February 13, 2020 at 9:48 am

      I’m hoping that Mo and Mari cancel each other out so Joel can rise to the top. Unfortunately, knowing that district like I do its just going to be a popularity contest. Mo has the young people, Mari has the older voters, and Joel will have those who really want change, not only for just around town, but the entire county.

      James

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