Recently, a youngish man named Trevor Mockel, age 32, from Redwood Valley, announced his candidacy for Mendocino County First District Supervisor (representing Redwood Valley, Potter Valley and the Hopland area). His announcement was accompanied by the simultaneous issuance of similarly worded, flowery but specifics-free endorsements by all five county Supervisors.
In his campaign announcement Mockel claimed: “I am devoted to public service.” And, “Throughout my professional career, public service has been the cornerstone. I've had the honor of serving in various capacities, including staffing and legislative work for two California State Senators in their Capitol offices.”
According to the state senate website, Mockel was an “office assistant” for State Senator Jerry Hill in May of 2019 for a short period of time where he earned a total of $2,552. No reason was given for why he left that position, although it appears he transferred to Senator McGuire’s office some time later with after a gap in his “professional career.”
We could find no other employment evidence for Mr. Mockel prior to his short stint in Senator Hill’s office.
According to the state senate website Mockel worked as a “district representative” for State Senator Mike McGuire in 2021 where he earned $4,108. No reason was given for why he left that job either.
In April of 2021, Mr. Mockel was hired as a “Program Specialist-Extra Help” in Mendocino County’s public health department where he was paid just over $31k for a short-term position without benefits. At that time Mockel announced:
“Hello Media Partners of Mendocino County, I want to introduce myself; my name is Trevor Mockel, I am the new Media Relations staff person for the Mendocino County Department Operations Center (DOC) for the COVID-19 Response. I look forward to working with all of you to facilitate clear and mutually beneficial lines of communication with you and the leadership of the DOC. The best way to contact me for urgent responses is by text at (707) 367-6221. Additionally, I will be facilitating our ongoing media updates on Fridays keeping to our standing schedule of the first and third Friday afternoon of each month. I look forward to working with you to ensure timely information is shared with our community. Best, Trevor Mockel. Cell phone 707-367-6221. Email email@example.com.”
During his time in that position, instead of issuing first and third Friday updates, Mockel issued one (1) short press release in May of 2021 entitled “Pfizer Vaccine Available For 12 And Up.”
Mockel also claims, “I've gained valuable experience working for First Five of Mendocino County.”
There is no available on-line evidence, description or record of his “work” for First Five of Mendocino County.
Mockel then claims: “I have gained valuable experience working for “the City of Ukiah City Manager’s Office.”
Mockel is listed as an “administrative analyst” and contact point at the City of Ukiah’s City Manager’s Office for the “City of Ukiah, Recycled Water - Phase 4.” But the email address is cmoffice@cityofukiahcom, not his own city email address.
Mockel: “These diverse experiences have helped me hone my skills in policy analysis and advocacy, data analysis, emergency operations management, community outreach, and other valuable areas.”
There is no available evidence of any work product from Mr. Mockel involving “policy analysis, advocacy, data analysis or emergency operations management [sic, our emphasis],” or any other “valuable areas,” unless you count Ukiah’s unbylined recycled water update or the earlier County Pfizer presser.
Since the announcement of his candidacy Mockel has posted a few enthusiastic items on his candidate’s facebook page showing, among other things, his devotion to exclamation points:
“Had a fantastic time Tuesday night at a networking event hosted by Better Homes Real Estate and Wine Country Group! Thanks for bringing together such a great group of professionals. Looking forward to the next one!”
“Yesterday [Saturday before last] was amazing! Started off by helping clean up Mill Creek Park with Supervisors McGourty and Mulheren, then got to spend the afternoon supporting the Mendocino College Foundation's 50th anniversary Gala fundraising event. It's incredible to see so many people working together to make a positive impact in our community.”
“I am feeling grateful and inspired! Yesterday [a week ago last Thursday] I attended the Marge Todd Field dedication in Potter Valley and was blown away by the outpouring of support from our amazing community. It was an honor to pay tribute to such a dedicated and inspiring woman and be surrounded by so many who share the same values. Proud to be a part of such an incredible community!”
Mockel’s mother, Cindi Mockel is “a family nurse practitioner/Pediatric Obesity Coordinator at Mendocino Community Health Clinic Health Centers” in Redwood Valley.
Mockel’s father, Jim Mockel is “Senior Program Manager- HHSA/ Family & Children’s Services,” for Mendocino County.
Candidate Mockel has nothing else on the record or on-line about his alleged “professional career” in “public service.” No memberships on committees or sub-committees, no commissions, no applications for any appointments, no memberships in local non-profits, no statements on public issues, no letters to the editor of any local papers about local issues…
Despite this skimpy public service resume, all five current sitting Mendocino County Supervisors have glowingly endorsed Mr. Mockel offering no specific reasons or citing any record of his public service.
Voters can draw their own conclusions about Mr. Mockel’s devotion to “public service” and his credibility.
And from their vacuous unanimous endorsement of Mr. Mockel and his insubstantial resume, voters can assess the Supervisors’ ability to perform due diligence, make decisions and what they apparently think makes a good Supervisor, a “public service” position that pays $84,000 a year plus a generous benefits package.
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Supervisor Ted Williams (writing on facebook) regarding the AVA’s Brown Act Violation Notice:
“Individual endorsements are a Supervisor's individual right to free speech. I didn't talk to any of them, but irrespective, it's not action that would come before the county… AVA's Brown Act Violation argument is laughable, but it puts their overall reporting in context of not understanding the basics…”
Supervisor Williams justifies the Board’s simultaneous unanimous endorsement of a clearly unqualified Supervisor candidate with no experience or record of anything in Mendocino County even before the filing deadline on the same day is ok because it’s “free speech.”
Aside from the question of how improper this is, all the official on-line definitions of a serial meeting are make it clear that…
“When a person [i.e., Trevor Mockel] acts as the hub of a wheel and communicates individually with the various spokes, a serial meeting has occurred.”
Or, “A Serial meeting is a series of meetings conducted through direct communications, intermediaries or technological devices to develop a concurrence as to action to be taken.”
Or, “A majority of the members of a legislative body shall not, outside a meeting…use a series of communications of any kind, directly or through intermediaries, to discuss, deliberate, or take action on any item of business that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body.”
Or, “The Brown Act prohibits serial meetings – a series of communications between individual members of the body, including through intermediaries or other means (i.e., email), that result in a majority of the members discussing, deliberating, or taking action on a matter of agency business.”
In other words no “action” needs to be taken (although in this case the action was the unanimous endorsement of one candidate). Simply a majority discussing it is prohibited. As far as Williams’ claim that the “action” didn’t come before the legislative body in their sphere of authority: Since when is attempting to influence a supervisor’s race as a group not attempting to steer public policy in the County the Supervisors are in?
PS. Note that again, Williams makes no attempt to defend the endorsement other than claiming that it’s his free speech right.
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When we last checked on former Ag Commissioner Harinder Grewal’s wrongful termination suit against the County back in 2021, the County had raised the amount they planned to pay SF-based Liebert Cassidy and Whitmore attorney to $600k. Since then the case has slogged on with more motions and conferences and appearances. We have not seen any agenda items that have raised the amount any further. But…
On Tuesday, County Counsel Christian Curtis has added two items to the consent calendar on the case. Neither of them have any money budgeted for them.
Item 3s) Approval of First Amendment to BOS Agreement 22-075 with Porter Scott, for Legal Services as Conflict Counsel Extending the Period from June 30, 2023, through June 30, 2024.
Item 3t) Approval of First Amendment to BOS Agreement 22-076 with Cook Brown, LLP, for Legal Services as Conflict Counsel Extending the Period from June 30, 2023, through June 30, 2024.
According to lengthy but cryptic on-line court documents the latest trial date that has been set for the case is in January of 2024.
According to the attached contracts for these two items, the new “conflict” attorneys are for two Ag Department employees who are named in Grewal’s case. Why they need their own attorneys now, this late into the case, is not clear.
Mr. Grewal’s attorney is Duncan James of Ukiah who has a record of winning lucrative cases against or getting lucrative settlement agreements from Mendocino County.
This case should have settled years ago. The County’s outside counsels have no incentive to settle the case because the longer it drags out the more money they make at hundreds of dollars an hour.
As best we can tell from the court case summary there have been a number of depositions of former and present Ag Department employees. There have also been several “settlement conferences.” But no settlement has been reached.
Because we have not seen anything in County budget documents about large outside counsel cost overruns in the County Counsel’s office (the overruns are not explained, nobody seems to care), it’s possible that at least some of the lawyer costs are being covered by liability insurance. But that should raise the insurance costs somewhere else down the line.
From this distance, it seems likely that Mr. Grewal has a winnable discrimination case. If he didn’t Duncan James wouldn’t have taken it.
So however this drawn out fiasco is financed, it’s already cost quite a bit and it’s probably going to cost the County big bucks in the end, and even bigger if Grewal and James win and get penalties and attorney costs like Mr. James has in so many other cases over the years.
And aren’t there more similar cases in the system?
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors needs members that have ran a business, made actual budgets, have personnel experience in hiring and firing staff, and have real world life experience. To claim that having fed off the public teat for your entire adult working career has prepared you to be a steward of my hard-earned tax dollars is laughable. The last thing this floundaring county needs is Mr. Mockel holding the reins of power and the purse strings of a financially destitute and mismanaged county government.
Did he purchase with money from a job he’d attended a house in the fair District he hopes to represent?
Perhaps he’s a renter better yet, struggling along with the 94% of his peers to one day attain ownership of a house in our state.
Come on Mendocino County, we have got to do better than this right now.
Looking forward to seeing a “Mockel” in about 30 years.
After he’s a few real references under his belt.
I believe he lives at his mom’s.
The hand-picked replacement for the 1st District is not qualified.
His job resume is weak, he has gaps in employment, and he’s 32 years old.
It is assumable that he is already in the pocket of “Big Grape” and in it for what power there is… and the money.
But I would bet this guy will be elected.
The sitting Sups endorsements, coupled with the water wants of the 1st District, have stacked the deck.
To the Editor:
Mendocino County stinks of broken government. Let me count the ways:
Inaccurate or incomplete –or totally nonexistent — county financial statements.
Lazy and lavishly overpaid bureaucrats, especially the county executive office and county counsel.
Incompetent and lavishly overpaid bureaucrats, especially the county executive office and county counsel.
Elusive and lavishly overpaid bureaucrats, especially the county executive office and county counsel.
A never-ending parade of expensive outside consultants.
A never-ending parade of expensive outside lawyers.
Too many ad hoc committees, too many plans, too much blah-blah-blah, and too little execution and implementation,
Too many disgruntled, isolated, overtaxed citizens simply shut out of the private club that is county government.
Time to vote for change! Elect Mendocino County’s 1st District supervisorial candidate Carrie Shattuck!
Candidate Trevor “Bullethead” Mockel is a joke.
No resume. No skills. No experience. Never held a job for long. No maturity.
In other words, no nothing.
And his five endorsements from all five sitting members of the Board of Supervisors — endorsements which were all pretty much worded the same and all released simultaneously — is a Brown Act violation and clear evidence of “business as usual” from a broken government.
Vote for change!
Terror Mackerel? Sounds like an invasive species.