Ten Phone Calls & A Jelly Donut

by Mark Scaramella, May 4, 2016

We remain thoroughly unimpressed with the “progress” being made converting — official Mendo calls it “transitioning” — Mendocino’s $7 million adult mental health services from Yuba City's Ortner Management Group to the Ukiah-based Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC).

If you came in late, Redwood Quality says it can administer mental health a lot cheaper than the Yuba City pirate. We’ll grant that it’s bold and “transparent” of the County to post their non-accomplishments on the Board of Supervisors website every few weeks, so bold one has to wonder if the posters are reality based. I mean really. Your job is to transfer responsibility from one outfit to another and then you go public with a vague list of phone calls as your work product? Reading the task list and the lack of completion of even these mushy moosh-moosh steps does not engender confidence that the “transition” will be smooth. Or accomplished at all.

Aside: In the most interesting biography of Steve Jobs, the Apple computer wizard, it's clear that Jobs was a do your job or die guy. We fantasize that for one day Jobs is "tasked" with streamlining the Mendocino County work project. At the end of 8 hours, County staff would have been reduced two-thirds and all the County's pot holes filled.

Below are examples of the kinds of the things that the County’s BHRS (Behavioral Health and Recovery Services) Department claims to have done as of May 3 [sic, the report was posted on April 29] since their last update on April 11. Note the pure non-taskiness of many of the “tasks” and the vague verbs deployed. This kind of talk of course is common among the helping professionals who regularly confuse their generic helpo-gab — meetings, “working on,” “begun to examine,” “collaborate,” “working with,” etc. — for action. Also note that most of what little progress is actually being made is by the contractor, not the County.

“BHRS has been in contact with the two medication providers and have established their schedules starting July 1, 2016

“BHRS negotiated contract terms with medication providers and are drafting fiscal year 16/17 contracts.

“BHRS & OMG have established a schedule for medication appointments starting July 1st. [But the dates of those appointments has not been published.]

“RQMC has begun Adult Provider Training on 4/15/16, attended by Mendocino Coast Hospitality House, MCAVHN, Manzanita, Redwood Community Services, & RQMC. [Normally, beginning something is not something to brag about.]

And endlessly on.

If these people were in charge of D-Day we'd still be fighting World War Two.

* * *

Nothing new has been accomplished. If these people worked for any kind of serious business, they'd all be fired yesterday. If history is any guide the MOUs they allegedly working on with the many disparate partners will drag out for months if not years (and they won’t be coordinated resulting in patients lost amidst who they’re supposed to see) and none of it will be integrated into a comprehensive system that tracks each client’s status — a “task” that remains to be even listed among the meetings, the will-dos, the donuts.

And how many clients are there? How many could there be in a population of 90,000, half of them children? These are the last people to ask. They have no idea, and it would take a year's worth of meetings and phone calls to find out.

7 Responses to Ten Phone Calls & A Jelly Donut

  1. Rick Weddle Reply

    May 6, 2016 at 8:30 am

    re: MS’s aside, ‘…we fantasize that for one day Jobs is ‘tasked’ with streamlining the Mendocino County work project. At the end of 8 hours, County staff would have been reduced two thirds and all the County’s potholes filled.’

    [Oh, my, yes, follow that Dream! Like, on out to the intercontinental, globbular, scale. Go informed with a theoretical construct that starts with Doing So Much More With So Much Less.

    How quickly could this tangle be revived with some prudent, profuse pruning off the Very Top?! Entertain the notion and the motion showing the moment finally came when the Movement of People stumbled across Escape Velocity, clearing the mire of Empire. When we at last arose as our own Primary Care Providers at home and out in Public.]

    God, what a beautifully fermented, cooked, and distilled spirit manifest in a short paragraph. Mark Twain would spit out his pipe, laughing.

    • Rick Weddle Reply

      May 6, 2016 at 8:44 am

      …or bite the end off his seegar.

  2. james marmon Reply

    May 6, 2016 at 9:46 am

    They are probably too busy trying to clean up the mess I left them in Dependency Court a couple of weeks ago. Kimberly Ortwein and I filed a motion for Judge David Riemenschneider to recuse himself from her case because his wife, former Deputy County Counsel Sandra Applegate, was part of the conspiracy to exclude exculpatory evidence from Ms. Ortwein’s case which would have vindicated her neglect and exposed the unlawful detention of her chilren.

    Attached to the motion were 5 emails I sent to Applegate and CEO Angelo in August of 2011 as an attempt to stop now assistant HHSA Director Bryan Lowery from violating Ms. Ortwein’s constitutional rights and the legal kidnapping of her children. The case is now awaiting word from the California Supreme Court as to whether or not they will review it. In the meantime, Judge David Riemenschneider did recuse himself from the case and Judge Mayfield refuses to touch it as well.

    • james marmon Reply

      May 6, 2016 at 9:51 am

      It took me 4 and half years, but my emails finally made it into Court record. Fuck their restraining orders, and fuck Angelo, Cryer, and Lowery.

      • james marmon Reply

        May 6, 2016 at 12:01 pm

        One of the good things about this whole mess is that Judge David Riemenschneider is now aware of just how deep the corruption in his courtroom reaches. He now knows what they are capable of. Too bad his wife was also involved, I warned her.

        • james marmon Reply

          May 6, 2016 at 12:03 pm

          Judge Nadel was County Counsel and Applegate’s boss at the time.

  3. Kimberly Ortwein Reply

    May 6, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    This is one big mess. They still have time to make it right and fix all of their corruption. These people will never go and turn their shit around. They will forever and always believe their own lies and think they are doing good when in reality they are screwing up our future by medicating our children they detain and turning them into drug addicted children and soon to be adults. These poor kids are just being screwed from every angle. I cant wait for justice. If I am unable to get it I am sure my children will be and I have tough them to go far and go hard!!! The only thing coming out of all of this is that my children will hate the caretaker for the rest of their lives because I have and have kept all of the proof that I am trying to see them and I want to see them and get them home. I WILL NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON MY BABIES!!!!

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