Are you surprised that (nearly) DHHS Director Kristin Brinks bailed?

Was it the streets of Eureka?

Was it the absolute clusterf*** over at the Mental Health Branch?

Was it all the creepy comments about her looks in the LoCO Thunderdome? (We swear it wasn’t us!)

We’re guessing that, mostly, it’s the really shitty legacy that Phillip Crandall has left behind him – and the fact that it would have been nearly impossible (thanks, AFSCME!) for Kristin Brinks to rid the top-heavy, mismanaged, and inefficient department that is the DHHS of all the shitty administrators and lackadaisical workers that plague it.

Whatever it was that chased Kristin Brinks away, one thing is absolutely certain: we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not an easy or necessarily desirable sort of job to jump right into with – what we are guessing – is relatively little experience manning the helm of a sinking ship.

Sure, she worked for the El Dorado County government (and still does, we suppose – any bets she got a nice fat raise for staying?). But that doesn’t mean she was prepared for what awaited her at the DHHS. With all respect to Ms. Brinks, it seemed to us from the start that she must have been the only person crazy enough to consider taking the job.

Which is a total shame. Because even if it was a gargantuan task, we were very much looking forward to seeing what her “fiscally responsible” approach (per the County’s original press release announcing her appointment as Director) to serving the Humboldt community was going to be.

Which is why we buckled down and did some homework to help her out.

As we mentioned before, reducing budget obligations via getting rid of incompetent administrators and employees, or lowering their salaries, is essentially a no-go. Not gonna happen, folks.

So we did some digging into what other areas she could potentially trim some fat from. And, wouldn’t you know it, the CPRA that we submitted to the DHHS came back with some very interesting results.

Today, we’ll start with real estate, or more precisely, commercial real estate rental. That’s right, we’re talking about the rates that Humboldt’s DHHS pays for the buildings they operate out of.

We just got the CPRA documents, so we’ll update you fully later, but here are some specific buildings that jumped out at us immediately:

  • Public Health Office Space, 550 I Street, Eureka:                      2630 sq. ft. @ $4,144.32 ($1.58/sq. ft.)
  • Social Services, 445 W. Washington Street, Eureka:         3,960 sq. ft. @ @6,406 ($1.62/sq. ft.)                                            (We feel compelled to note that that is some shitty space!)
  • HHS Admin Offices, 507 F Street, Eureka:                                 25,132 sq. ft. @ $54,479.54 ($2.17/sq. ft.)                       (THC note: WTF?)

And our personal favorite, for reasons to be made clear momentarily:

  • Wellness Center, 908 7th Street, Eureka:                          11.550 sq. ft. @$24,610.60 ($2.13/sq. ft.)

Now, the point is this: the County of Humboldt is hemorrhaging a ridiculous amount of money in the rent it is paying, and in this case, specifically the DHHS. Granted, there are a few of the spaces that DHHS rents that are a little closer to $1/sq. ft. – but from what we can tell, even that is a higher than the norm in Humboldt County.

Heck, there are some major cities in the U.S. which have lower commercial rental rate averages than . We’re talking Atlanta and Dallas, to name just two of them. So why in the world does the County of Humboldt feel the need to bend over any time a landlord makes high rate demands? Are they just stupid, or do they enjoy getting screwed?

In any case, let’s get back to the Wellness Center, and why we think it contributed so greatly to Ms. Brinks’ reconsideration of the DHHS director job. As we mentioned, the Wellness center costs a whopping $2.13/sq. ft. a month, for an annual total of just under $300,000. She was probably further discouraged that the Wellness Center has two more years left of the original 10-year lease, and that there are two 5-year options to extend the lease remaining. Any bets on whether the County will just blindly pony up and continue to pay such exorbitant amounts?

Lastly, as Brinks was thinking about how she was going to have to watch as the County squandered her budget, and how she was going to take the blame for all the bullshit financial obligations she’d been saddled with, THC strongly believes she went to Google Earth to find out exactly what P.O.S. building the DHHS was paying so much for.

And what she saw was this:

Wellness snip 1Meh, not the the most attractive place, but it’s certainly not the worst in Eureka.

But wait….what’s that? Let’s enhance the image.





Gadzooks! Kristin must have realized that the DHHS services are being overrun by homeless nazis! Thanks a lot, Google, for putting such a stellar advertisement for the “beautiful” streets of Eureka out there for all to see.

And there you have it, folks. Ain’t nobody that’s capable of fixing the DHHS debacle going to take the job while they have to contend with that.

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19 Responses to Are you surprised that (nearly) DHHS Director Kristin Brinks bailed?

  1. Uri Driscoll says:

    Sent from Yahoo Ma


  2. Disappointed says:

    Does not surprise me one bit, because only a fool would take a management position with Humboldt Country. Look at those who runs this circus. Intelligent people look elsewhere for real jobs with real pay. I would not want to live or work in this drug ridden homeless infested place.


    • Beam Me Up says:

      We need some new blood and a different perspective in the DHHS department. Lets hope that the Supes have the common sense to see this and don’t settle for a local just because the first clued in to how bad it is to live here. No one with any local ties will have the fortitude to do the house cleaning that is so desperately needed. Unfortunately I have little confidence in these fools to actually do whats necessary. The only thing they understand is doing whats easiest which rarely has anything to do with whats best.


      • Mac Towner says:

        Why do you think we call them Stupidvisors?


      • Arcatan says:

        You make an excellent point. Now that their first attempt has failed the Supervisors will almost certainly take the easy way out and promote a current county employee. They simply do not have the ability to see the long term effect of their decisions or the balls to do whats really needed. Besides taking the easy way out is, well, so much easier…


      • Guest says:

        Unionism is hard to beat,especially if you are employed by the county the largest employer .Pay cut? HAAA!
        Downsize? Maybe. Not dress up for every holiday? Only in the real world.


  3. Seriously? says:

    Homeless Nazi’s. Now that would be some funny shit if it weren’t that this is only a couple blocks from Eureka High School and several churches. As far as the $2.13 per square foot well what do you expect from people (excepting Bohn) with essentially zero experience running an organization with a large staff and multiple sites. They are totally clueless! I mean seriously, we’ve got one that ran a medicore failed restaurant, another who was a reporter then ED with a staff of one, an enviro activist, and finally a guy who sat around waiting to collect his share of casino booty. Should we be surprised that things are so f’ed up?


    • Randy says:

      I’d say Bohn might be the worst of the bunch…


      • I think the Commentor’s point was that Bohn was the only Supervisor to have experience supervising a large staff in a significant organization. He is certainly the most unconventional of the bunch but that’s not always a bad thing. He’s also the only one who will provide a straight answer even if it’s overwhelmed with potty mouth expressions.

        The real issue is just how much of our money they are spending imprudently on rent for needless and bloated departments. Of course that’s easy to do when you can have an endless supply of funds simply by raising taxes anytime you run short. Don’t ya wish you could pull that stunt off?

        For fun we might do a comparison between our tax dollars being spent on job creation, economic development, and other activities that actually generate more public funds without raising taxes verses the other side of the coin like public assistance programs, social services, and other programs that simply consume the tax revenue the private sector creates. Seems to our cider soaked brains that there should be a direct relationship between the two. We can barely balance our checkbook but it sure seems more sustainable if money in equals money out. If you want to send more, maybe we should first find a way of bringing more in? But then again we are just silly children compared to the superior intellect and egos of our all-knowing leaders.

        That’s the heavy thought from the basement this evening cuz we’ve been drinking a bit. Maybe even more than a bit but hay that’s our only escape from the shitty hovel we live in.


  4. Beam Me Up says:

    Awesome! Homeless Nazi’s in Eureka. I hear that DHHS is already in the process of submitting a new grant for the housing and training of disenfranchised Nazi travelers. The county will rent a new facility halfway between the Jewish Temple and St. Bernard’s. Of course it will need extensive and expensive remolding so that it is WAY nicer than the slums Eureka taxpayers are relegated to. Not to fear Pat Cleary will send his whole “Community Strategies” crew led by Rene Saucedo to organize the Nazis, help them make their protest signs that mostly say “ME TOO”. The demands to which the Stupidvisors cave into include puppies for everyone with a swastika tattoo on their forehead, German Shepherds of course, a new “Tiny House” with a mandatory lawn for cross burnings, and a nigger and kike free zone so as not to infringe in their right to self expression. Oh yeah, they also demand and get one of those stupid parklets with solid furniture they can steal to furnish their new dream homes.

    Think this can’t happen here? Think again about just who’s in charge


  5. Creek says:

    We are so screwed!!!!! If my track house wasn’t so financially upside-down I’d bail even before Smith Hanes. Good for him, at least he getting out of the hell hole the rest of us are stuck with.


  6. Curious says:

    Who owns the buildings that are leased? Who do they trace back to?


  7. AuGuest says:

    Doesn’t the county own those buildings?


    • MOLA42 says:


      You would think the County would own it’s own buildings but for some accounting reason or another most governments prefer to rent over owning the buildings they use. Short of the Courthouse/Jail, most of the other buildings the County uses are rentals (including such places as the Welfare Department’s building (on Koster), which never-the-less was purpose-built for the County to begin with).

      I THINK (as in I am reasonably but not absolutely sure I’m right) the county built the Welfare Building on Koster, then sold it to someone and leased the building back. Again, while the Accounting Gods smile on such deeds, I have no idea why they (and other governments) regularly do stuff like this.

      I wonder if they ever get landlord short-notice white glove inspections? “You keep this place up you bunch of Government slobs or I’ll evict you and have the Sheriff on you!”


      • Anonymous says:

        The county often leases buildings for two reasons. One is because the particular program that needs the facility is funded by a short term grant or one that doesn’t allow capital purchases. Since the funding is not guaranteed on a long term basis it doesn’t make sense to buy a building. The other reason is that the county is really shitty at setting aside funds for maintenance and repairs. You don’t have to look any further than our roads for a perfect example. The county has been receiving taxes for roads for decades and spending it on other “priorities” now our roads are in dire condition and they are pushing a new tax to pay again for maintenance that we have already paid for. The same applies to building. It’s way more sexy to announce a new program then it is to put on a new roof. Since a new roof won’t get your picture in the paper or on a plaque it’s no wonder our Stupidvisors don’t fix our roofs or other maintenance issues. If they rent outside facilities then the property owner is responsible for maintenance and it usually gets done. This is why the many local governments have sold off their buildings and then leased them back. It’s often the only way that routine maintenance gets done. Humboldt might well want to consider this concept before many of our buildings fall down. The issue of the poor condition of county buildings would be a great topic for a recurring post and a cpra for deferred maintenance reports and expenditures.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Milldoin says:

    “I THINK (as in I am reasonably but not absolutely sure I’m right)”. I am gonna steal it.
    I THINK, it has something to do with avoiding getting voter approval. Kind of like the old “Certificates of Participation”. scam.


  9. Guest says:

    The County pays for the maintenance on the buildings. They take their business where they want, and don’t open it up to bid.


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