Home > Uncategorized > A Performance Review for Phil Crandall

A Performance Review for Phil Crandall

Following last week’s post and enlightening thread about Humboldt County’s Dept. of Health and Human Services, the Humboldt Herald received the following by a former employee.

bad-managerHumboldt County’s Department of Health and Human Services is run by Phil Crandall, the worst manager I’ve ever encountered.   I worked at DHHS in a relatively low-level position for more than a year, and he is so bad I can’t think of anyone I’ve worked for or with who even comes close.  (A little bit about my background at the end, so you can judge for yourself whether my comments are informed or not.)

A good manager can accomplish wonders, building teams that bring out the best in each of their members.  Good managers attract good managers to work for them, amplifying their effect on the organization beyond what you would think one person could accomplish.

A bad manager can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation.  Bad managers promote cronies — incompetent subordinates who are easily controllable.  Sadly, the crony effect amplifies the bad manager, causing an organization to sink into a rut that it might never escape.

In private industry, most bad managers are eventually fired.  When they aren’t, their businesses fail.  In government, there’s sometimes no check on bad managers.  In the best case, they are shuffled off to a non-critical area where their damage can be limited.  In the worst case, the bad manager is at the top, and you just have to hope there is some responsible oversight that will eventually shake them loose.

Crandall has control of a department that has a budgeted head count of 1,121 and a budget of $140 million.  That’s in a county whose population is only around 125,000.  Besides Crandall’s DHHS, the entire remainder of County government has fewer than 1,000 employees.  Whether you are right, left, or center, whether you are proudly progressive or proudly conservative, having more than half of county government disabled by bad management is a problem that you should find unacceptable.

Crandall has created a department where the “ineffectual but loyal” are promoted and any evidence of independent initiative is squelched.  I’m not in any way critical of DHHS line staff, because it’s hard to know what they’d accomplish if they were allowed to work.

Here’s one true story: a highly-qualified and eager applicant for a clerical position thinks their interview is going swimmingly, until they are asked what they would do if they were the only person in the office and the phone rang.  They answered that they would pick it up, give the office’s name and theirs, ask how they could help, and take a message.  They could tell from the instant change in the interviewers’ demeanor that they’d given an unacceptable answer.  They tried to backpedal, saying if they’d been told not to answer the phone they wouldn’t.  It was too late.  They didn’t get the job.

And another: I was present immediately after a low level employee was loudly bawled out by Crandall for not having done their job properly.  The only problem: the complaints were about a part of the project over which this low level employee had absolutely zero control.  Their manager, who should have known, chose to keep their mouth shut while their blameless subordinate was run through a wringer.

And a personal experience from the day I started at DHHS:  I heard a manager joke about our clients and the fact that some money actually went to them.  (S)he complained that any money that went to clients just went for drugs and alcohol.  In his/her view, the Department would be best doing its job by ensuring that no one ever received any public assistance whatsoever.

I had many more such experiences, and many that are far, far worse than those I’ve described, but I’m trying to stay anonymous.  The stories that I can’t tell would make you laugh. Then, when you realized that the incompetence on display was directly hurting the very people that most need our help, the stories would make you cry.  I’m hopeful that people will contribute their own stories in the comments section.

I never saw anyplace where more meetings were held without agendas, minutes, or results.  I never saw anyplace where less work was accomplished by anyone above the immediate client-service level.  I never saw any organization where so many high level managers regarded the organization’s mission or clients with more contempt.

The Board of Supervisors is Crandall’s boss.  He’s very good at “managing up,” devoting more time to self-promotion with the Supes and the press than he does to managing his department.  Without question, this is where Crandall excels.  When Eureka’s SWAT team shot and killed one of DHHS’ clients a few years back, the cops took a lot of well-deserved blame.  Crandall deserved at least an equal share of the blame, and managed to come out without much bad publicity.

Supposedly, Crandall is good at attracting money.  This is undoubtedly an important skill, but it is one that can be purchased by a good manager. Grant writers can be hired by any organization that budgets for them.  The job of the top manager is to ensure a functioning department.  It is at this that Crandall has failed completely.  He is now costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year in excess employee attrition alone.  Crandall’s created a welfare department for mediocre mid-level bureaucrats, using funds that should be used to help people in need.

We now have two new Supervisors, Mark Lovelace and Clif Clendenen.  Jimmy Smith also seems to want to do the right thing.  I hope these three will pay some attention to the situation at DHHS.  Let me suggest one simple action that would cost the county next to nothing: send a survey to the home address of every county employee.  Ask them what county department they work for, but don’t ask them for any other information that could personally identify them.  And then ask them to grade their immediate manager and the topmost manager at their group.  Ask about specific qualities.  Ask about results. And ask them to answer a question like this: do you think you could accomplish more in your job if management were changed?

The results, I guarantee, will be eye-opening.

Me:  I’m 40+ and worked in private industry before moving to Humboldt many years ago.  Before moving to Humboldt, I earned a six-figure income.  I moved here because I wanted a lower-stress lifestyle for myself and my family.  The schools here have a good reputation. I joined DHHS thinking it would be an opportunity to give back to my new community.  I quit DHHS nearly suicidal, with my self-confidence temporarily destroyed.   This, years later, is my “exit interview.” Needless to say, none was conducted when I left.

  1. OffTheRez
    January 18, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Dead on. This guy runs Humboldt County’s Department of Health and Human services like a little kingdom. You could get less bang for the buck that he produces. Just look at our homeless and mentally ill problem here, I lay most of the blame right at his
    feet. The sicking part is Bonnie, Jill and Jimmy love him. I say fire him and reorganize it from top to bottom, with less staff and more service.

  2. Anonymous
    January 18, 2009 at 12:40 am

    And yet the opinion is virtually worthless because it’s anonymous rumor, apparently with a sharp axe to grind.

  3. January 18, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Worthless testimony. Who is making these accusations?

  4. bull moose
    January 18, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Ditto, moviedad.

    January 18, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Thanks to the person who had the tenacity to tell the truth; those of you that say he or she has an axe to grind are of the group that is getting the most benefit from working under Phil yourselves: lazy fat assed slobs who are happy to feed at the public trough until you retire and get money for the rest of your life from our pockets.

    The piece was well thought through and very illuminating. The “bull-mooses”, “moviedads” and the like are illustrations of pathetic mindless twits. We hope this person finds the courage to step up in the press with identification known; he or she would find tons of support in a community that is tired of the fifedoms of the likes of Phil, Bonnie and Kirk Girard and would like to see public money actually go for public health and safety matters – NOT IN PHIL, BONNIE OR KIRK’s little hands –

    Little hands with sticky fingers have little wits behind them.

  6. theplazoid
    January 18, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Peace be with you Movie Dad

    I have personally heard this same story from many DHHS, and ex-DHHS personal over the years. Just look at all the different heads of mental health department Crandall has had in the last couple of years. He finally had to have a nurse as head because no doctors would do his bidding.

    For those who believe that Crandall works for the Supes, consider the fact that Crandall makes twice what the Supes make. The Supes have never even remotely questioned one of Crandall’s numerous weekly requests. Crandall runs this county, and he runs it through mental health policing.

    Those numbers in the post are half (it’s more if you include all the mental health programs he hides under the regular health budget) for mental health operations – half the employees, half the money, half of everything.

    When I was a child I recall maybe one person who had what at the time was called mental illness, and I don’t know if he was on drugs or not. Today it seems everyone is on mental health drugs. Is this the result of happenstance, or is it part of a well designed plan paid for with all the money Crandall is good at getting?

    Crandall has publicly stated that his goal is to dope 30,000 Humboldt county residents. You had better wake up!

    love eternal

  7. PhilsPill
    January 18, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Let’s hear from the other side, anybody with a positive experience working under Phil is free to post a comment. Probably not too many individuals willing to defend this ahole, except the few higher-ups that benefit from his leadership. I say we medicate Phil as an experiment, just to see if we can straighten him out.

  8. January 18, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I never worked for him, but he seemed like a decent enough guy when I’d deal with him on occasion when I worked a Juvenile Hall. He was just a lowly county psychologist back then, though.

    I do know that the Welfare Dept. seems to have some problems, although I can’t say how much of that is his fault. One welfare worker told me the average caseload per worker is around 500(!) clients, but I don’t know if she was fluffing the figures by counting every person in each household. It seems like workers change caseloads once a month, from my experience.

  9. dreadful anonymous
    January 18, 2009 at 11:11 am

    An anonymous survey is a good idea. Speaking freely, neither DHHS employees or truth would be diminished. Those that throw stones at all anonymous comments should take a deep breath, because this is not about polishing your ego and signing your name. It is a quest for truth. If tax funded DHHS has a management problem, shine a light on it.

    January 18, 2009 at 11:24 am


    a complaint enough people have brought to the attention to the Supervisors on multiple occasions; and, not just the DHHS.



    Granted, Bonnie, Johnny, Jimmy, Jilly have had a hollow head for money – in one ear, out the other. We will encounter whether or not Cliff and Mark follow suit.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  11. Anonymous
    January 18, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Had this disgruntled former employee paid closer attention in all of those unnecessary meetings, he or she would have learned that almost all of that money is pass-thru money from the state for programs the department is mandated to provide and staff with all of those employees he or she is also complaining about. An argument could be made that it’s too much money and too many employees, but it would take a seriously uninformed “insider” to argue that this is the fault of any one county, much less of one employee of that one county. The department receives only something like 4 percent of general fund monies, and that is for an unfunded mandate called General Relief. Are people here actually complaining that these programs exist?

    January 18, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    So, Humboldt County is a front for the State, what’s new?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  13. Anonymous
    January 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Everybody is an expert on Welfare. People have very strong opinions which they often confuse with actual facts. When employees of that County Department are kind enough to give the general public some real facts, even if common sense tells us they must protect themselves by posting anonymously, we ought to be grateful.

  14. The Monitor
    January 18, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Yes, his kingdom has many problems, and his management style is tops on the list. I have been in a number of meetings where his department has come under fire. He brushes off all criticism as if no one but him understands the issues. The city manager and the police chief were at a couple of these meetings and he ignored, with disdain, what they had to say. Many times he turns over programs to RCAA and then has no follow up to make sure that organization is following the mandate of the given program. He does little on oversight and RCAA takes the brunt of the criticism. Its his way of getting more and more money for his department and then handing off the responsibility to less qualified organizations. He gets the labor and management on handed off programs at a much lower rate than if they were run directly through his office. RCAA currently gets over $15 million through the county, with very little oversight. I have talked with a number of his employees who have little in the way of positive things to say about him. It is time some light was thrown on him and what he is doing. And who suffers the most, the people needing the programs. It is just not right. Thanks Heraldo for the story.

    January 18, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I remember being at the stoplight in Eureka next to former A.G.Edwards/Quiznos intersection a couple of years ago when I saw Phillipe’ walking up toward and through the crosswalk smoking a cigarette. He then finished it and threw the spent butt into the street gutter. Not very becoming conduct for someone who makes more money than the Supes, as well as being a “public official”. Lead by example; or, is it hypocricy.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  16. russell madden
    January 18, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Heraldo, you can talk all this shit you want on this blog but the fact that you do not let anyone know who you are? Why so secretive are you really such a bad ass that you cannot put a name next to what you write? I still think your some young HSU kid. From the way you write its pretty easy to figure your in eureka/arcata area. Im picturing a half breed. Liberal bi sexual coffee drinkin yuppie from hsu? anyone else got any guesses?

  17. January 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Poor russell is too dense to notice that I didn’t write this post. No wonder he holds a grudge against education.

  18. Ed
    January 18, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Heraldo, please block russell madden from your blog. He is the worst sort of troll and does not deserve the opportunity for discourse on the Herald. You have already shown great reserve for foul-mouthed fools and your forum’s embrace of free speech cannot be questioned.

    January 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Usually, when people get ticked, there is an inside reason.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  20. Anonymous
    January 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Dear Anonymous 1:14pm,

    Phil, is that really the best you can respond… that the money being wasted is federal money?

    And dear Anonymous 3:31,

    DHHS is much more than welfare. If you’ve ever been young or old or sick or unemployed, if you’ve ever had an elderly parent or wanted a safe environment, DHHS is supposed to be your ally.

    I’m a recovering employee. DHHS is nobody’s ally but Phil’s.

    January 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Too bad the Supes won’t allow the General Public to attend employee performance hearings on those employees that their taxes are paying for.

    This closed door practice is not very transparent. What was that concern again about open door policies and that bright sunshine that is to be displayed for political reassurances?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  22. The Monitor
    January 18, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    What anonymity allows for is the little guy to speak truth to power without retribution. How often would you like to tell your boss what you really think, but can’t for fear of being fired or black balled, or ridiculed. It is good to have a place where you can be honest and know you are safe from the “big guy’s” meat cleaver.

    January 18, 2009 at 8:25 pm


    true; but it also allows those who lie to manipulate from the inside.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  24. Phill Bert
    January 18, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    You are Humboldt’s hero!! Heraldo Y Heralda your still driving’ them crazy. Now lets see, your both sexes, multiple ages and in at least two places at once, hmmmm?????? how can that be?

  25. Russell's Abusive Stepfather
    January 18, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Please never mind my poor Russell, he hasn’t been right since our old mule kicked him in the forehead. Now Russell, you better get your ass back in your cage! Don’t make me whip you again Boy!

  26. Anonymous
    January 19, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Check out this morning’s Times-Standard. It’s comical to see how quickly Crandall trots out his press defense. His admirers from around the state will be coming to see how much he’s “improved” things by integrating services under his control. I hope some of his admirers get to read this thread. I hope more of his employees post their comments here.

    And a note to Jessie Faulkner of the Times-Standard, editor and publisher of the Crandall press releases: this is not hard reporting, Jessie, it just means you have to do your job. Or you could follow the lead of the White House Press Corpse for the last eight years, and just suck up. The only damage that caused was an unjustified invasion or two and the dismantling of the Constitution. But I’ll bet the members of the Corpse got a lot of inside information and invitations to the best parties.

  27. Recovering Employee
    January 19, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I worked under Phil during his meteoric rise to power, and for more than five years after. I watched him execute his coup and oust the directors of our various departments like Philip of Macedonia killing minor kings and uniting their lands into a single great kingdom.
    I agree that he is ruthless, but he is not creative. Phil uses the standard bureaucratic form, all lines of authority lead to his office. That is his greatest failing, I believe, and the one that will undo him. Rather than hiring competent managers and letting them manage, Phil manages everything through long lines of accountable yes-people. If something happened to Phil, the whole beast would run around without a head for a little while before crashing full length on the poor of Humboldt County. There simply is no clear-eyed, competent management left.
    His greatest gift is finding and keeping money, and I don’t agree that skills like that can be bought. I also don’t agree that it has been worth the cost. I would like to see him dethroned. Like a lot of people, I’d consider working for Humboldt HHS again if Phil were gone.
    The fleeing of professionals is the biggest sign that something is rotten in the state of Crandall. To Phil, every person in the field is a possible lawsuit. He doesn’t want them doing or saying anything he wouldn’t do or say. The professional is stripped of her or his professionalism. The degrees and certificates just allow you to apply for the job; only Phil knows how it should be practiced. He employs and welcomes accountability measures like “treatment algorithms” and “Evidence based practice”, and the child welfare services measures because they remove professional discretion and standardize everything. Standardization reduces liability, increases worker efficiency, and maximizes cash flow. Phil has given training to workers on how to maximize income from clients.
    Phil should be ousted; the problem, though, won’t go away with Phil Crandall. The feds will still trickle money to the states; they will still reward counties for “one size fits all” diagnosis and treatment of clients. The next directors (I hope the county will split the services under individual directors again, each answering to the Board) will have to make a lot of hard decisions. Besides, there are all the marginally competent managers Phil has installed; they’ll need complete retraining and probably PTSD treatment.
    I’m not kidding about the post-traumatic stress disorder. Some employees are treated so badly under Phil’s leadership that they have become ill. It is no exaggeration to say that a lot of people working under Phil are also on psyche meds. Phil is verbally abusive to his direct underlings, and they in turn are overbearing and abusive to their people. One professional I know made the comment “I’ve worked in prisons, and this place is worse than any prison.” Another ex-employee I know had nightmares about SSB for over a year after quitting.
    The essential problems, that our nation’s economy is in the dumper, that there are more people than jobs, and that the government cares more about fighting a war over oil than it does about caring for its people, those problems can’t be solved by social workers and psychologists. Doping people is still the cheapest and quickest way to deal with an unhappy, marginalized population. Phil has risen to power because he understands and shares capitalist views on the poor. There are a lot of things- the worst things, maybe, that wouldn’t change if Phil left.
    The county would be better off without Phil Crandall, and his band of loyal followers. His management style is so iron fisted and unilateral that the competence of all his managers should be suspect. The idea of combining the various departments was that centralization would make them more efficient, but efficiency is the primary goal of business, not social service. A lot of people retired or left the county; there is no getting those combined centuries of experience back. Maybe if the departments were again allowed to develop their own philosophy of service, qualified professionals would return to Humboldt county.
    Terminating the position of “poverty czar” would at least restore control of the county to our elected officials.
    Then, you could start work on reforming the second way capitalists control the poor and mentally ill: the sheriff’s department.
    By the way, even though I no longer work for Phil, I need to remain anonymous. I still want to do social services work, and his reach is long.

  28. kaivalya
    January 19, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I’m sure all these things are true about Crandall – but does that make him worse than the rest? The county is filled to the brim with bad managers and angstful employees. Just look one step down the hierarchy from Crandall and you’ll find a whole new set of bad choices to be pandered to.

  29. Anonymous
    January 19, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Yes, 10:06, you’re right — there’s no lack of bad managers. They are there because Crandall is petrified of having competent and independent managers under him.

    8:44, amazing that you think “worker efficiency” has been increased, or maybe it was just a poor choice of words. Sure, Crandall has increased caseworker loads. As someone who worked in Crandall’s Taj on 5th, I cannot imagine a less efficient workplace.

  30. The Monitor
    January 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Openly HOSTILE is what I have observed about him and as people have said above. I would love to see demonstrators when he goes around showing off his kingdom later this week to the state and Feds. Read story below the fold in today’s TS.

  31. Anonymous
    January 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    The Saga of Phil Crandall will soon fade away. Do you think he is the only director of the County social services program to be caught up in controversy? Do you think anyone will remember him a few years from now?

    Several years ago, John Frank, the director of the department, was convicted of driving drunk. Twice. The second time, the Supervisors fired him. The news was printed in the Times-Standard. Before his drinking problem was revealed, he was known for trying to humiliate the men in his department and for having sex with women employees.

    Despite the misbehavior, who remembers John Frank now?

    The message is clear. Once someone is annointed, no matter what evil they do, they are forgiven. In advance.

    Phil Crandall probably knows all about the Saga of John Frank. He’s probably too smart to repeat Frank’s mistakes.

  32. Anonymous
    January 19, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    The Monitor at 8:16 proclaims a truth about anonymous posting that is the essence of why the practice of anonymous posting must be preserved – for the well-being of our people.

    January 19, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    1/2 the essence of why anyway. Liars use anonymity to manipulate from the inside. It is a two way street.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  34. OlbermansOrgasmicWindpipevanity
    January 19, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Fred Wrote: “I never worked for him, but he seemed like a decent enough guy when I’d deal with him on occasion when I worked a Juvenile Hall.

    There you have it…..Phil’s a decent man.

  35. anon
    January 20, 2009 at 2:49 am

    I can’t believe that no one is even talking about the welfare fraud that goes on. One person that I know of has been on welfare for years, openly spends money like its going out of style and the welfare fraud investigators said did’nt want to do an investigation because she “seemed so nice.” Thats not all, but DCSS and the Sheriff’s department protect her.

    DCSS uses cases like this to pump up the federal dollars they get, they let people like her get away with it because they are collecting money from the father illegally with a little help from the court and it makes their record look good. I live in another state and everyone I’ve met through her is doing the same thing. Denying fathers visitation or limiting their visitation because the less time the child spends with the father the more money the “state” gets as long as the mother is on welfare. I’d love to see financials on every government official up there. I just have to wonder what the difference is between what they earn and what they spend and have “stashed.”

  36. Anonymous
    January 20, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Crandall’s destruction and demotivation bothers you, but
    when Gallegos does it, that’s ok? Seems odd.

  37. Anonymous
    January 20, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Dear 2:49 and 8:06,

    This discussion is not about welfare fraud, and it’s not about Gallegos. As the original poster pointed out, it’s about a $140 million, 1,121 person department that has been crippled by Phil Crandall, while the past Board of Supervisors was lulled to sleep.

    Crandall is skilled in dealing with the press and the Board, but completely incompetent at managing a staff.

    Phil Crandall’s destruction of the department, which makes up more than HALF of county government, has not been well-enough publicized.

  38. Anonymous
    January 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    What, exactly do the supervisors supervise? Apparently not the HHS office, or the DA office.

    If the house is on fire, put it all out, not just part of it.

  39. anon
    January 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Welfare fraud being sanctioned by the county officials is a problem created by Crandall and Gallegos. It is a major part of the problem and he (Crandall) has to keep people working under him that will “play ball” or turn a blind eye. It’s not only the abuse that is rained upon his employees heads but the missue of funds.

    Did anyone read the article in the Eureka Times-Standard about the new cut backs? Did anyone notice that it has mysteriously disappeared from the archives a scant 3 days after first being published. Does anyone think that it disappeared because of the comments made on it?

    Using state and federal welfare funds to subsidize marijuana cultivation and provide healthcare and food stamps to people who clearly don’t need it is beyond wrong. Denying children “frequent” contact with their non-custodial parents is beyond wrong, yet all of this is done under Crandall.

    I have spoken with county employees that say they get a lot of “these same complaints” and feel bad because they know what is going on is wrong but yet there is nothing that they can do. One in particular was terrified and asked me not to tell anyone what she had said.

    Does any of this make you wonder what the hell is really going on? Not me, I know, I’ve dealt with it for several years now. Maybe Humboldt should start taking lessons from Mendecino. Maybe just maybe your little system is failing and a large part of it is due to marijuana cultivation and the fact that the old time, large scale growers are causing more problems than you know of.

    January 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Hide and Seek for those who peek?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  41. neomoderate
    January 23, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Managers (I know several) at DHHS live in fear of retribution from higher up the food chain. They are not free to make decisions, an they second-guess their decisions based on what they think upper management/supervisors want them to do. That may be a good way to treat employees at your local Target store, but it’s not how you treat a team of professionals – if you want to attract good ones and retain them, that is.

  42. County Connections I Have
    January 28, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Anyone who feels this person should expose themselves and their family to Phil Crandall by publishing theirnme have no idea who Crandall is. Movie Dad, I respect you but you have no idea what this criminal Crandall is all about nor what he is capable of.

  43. Hi
    March 9, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Fascinating. Am learning many new things. And what of this 10 year plan to end homelessness? I read all 10 points, and there’s nothing in there about self-sufficiency, only about giving more and more to folks who do nothing at all.

  44. Anonymous
    December 18, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    This is not journalism – this is trash talk. The person is autonomous and clear took a job they were not qualified for, there is nothing about education, training or experience (six figure salaries can be made by doing lots of things that don’t require skills in the area required here). Second the person admits to being a relatively low-level employee – which means the opportunity to interact with Phil is very limited. Third and most important the examples given are not even about Phil – they are about other employees.

  45. Can't Say, he controls money
    March 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Crandall has control of not only the welfare, mental health, medical he controls all the alcohol and drug funds coming to this county. Since he moved up to his position A&D funding to non profits has almos dried up. Reason is we do a good job and have high success rates. The O/P programs he has opened up are a joke and the cost factor is outrajous. The current budget for the Healthy Moms Program is now near $1,000,000 for an O/P program for 5-6 moms. Analyst run around looking for work to do because they are so top heavy in administration. Phil Crandall is a control freak. He had a person with a MPA and twenty years experience in other counties A&D programs, she was overqualified and Phil ran her off. She later stated this is the worst run A&D program in the whole state. Supes are deaf to any complaints obout Crandall as he brings in so much money. He is heartless and concerned with money and spending and no thought to the clients.
    Sure makes me feel better to vent. I could go on and on but what is the point.

  46. cheesedick
    August 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Shut er down.

  47. tim
    August 23, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    cheesdick- your right-shut er down!

  48. August 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

    “I heard a manager joke about our clients and the fact that some money actually went to them. (S)he complained that any money that went to clients just went for drugs and alcohol. In his/her view, the Department would be best doing its job by ensuring that no one ever received any public assistance whatsoever.”

    And this right-wing moron actually works for a Department that is supposed to be looking out for the elderly, blind and disabled citizens of our county? If Mr. Crandall tolerates and encourages that kind of behavior, he does not belong in his job,.

  49. Anonymous
    March 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    The end of homelessness?

    Jessie Faulkner/The Times-Standard times-standard.com/
    Posted: 05/05/2009 01:24:18 AM PDT
    May 5, 2009 8:25 AM GMT Updated: 05/05/2009 01:24:19 AM PDT

    It’s a difficult goal, maybe even unachievable, but the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services has a plan to end homelessness on the North Coast and a nod from the Board of Supervisors to proceed.

    In the broadest description, the 10-year plan sets the stage for developing an understanding of the area’s homeless population, identifying the available services and recognizing the funding available to combat homelessness.

    The effort got its start in 2006 when the Phillip Mangano, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, attended a local housing forum to speak on the idea of a 10-year plan to end homelessness, a concept originally developed by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

    The target population addressed in the county plan are the chronically homeless with mental illness or substance abuse issues, foster youth aging out of the system and homeless families.

    Departmental staff presented the first phase of the 10-year plan to supervisors last week. The plan is a collaborative effort of the Housing and Homeless Coalition and the Department of Health and Human Services, Deputy Director Barbara LaHaie told the board. Coalition members include a number of county departments as well as community organizations.

    One of the central focuses, she said, is looking at the specific needs in different North Coast communities and developing projects tailored to those needs.

    Sustainability, decentralization, good planning and partnerships are critical to meeting the plan’s goal, according to Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Director Phil Crandall. The county has already made a commitment to reduce or prevent homeless to the tune of $27.3 million per year, which covers the cost of a wide range of social services.
    Phase two of the plan will include the development of strategies based on “common ground” among the various stakeholders.

    Underlying this progress are the core strategies of maintaining accurate data on the number of homeless residents or those at risk of becoming homeless, maintaining information on existing services, and maintaining a list of existing and potential funding for homeless-related services.

    Equally important is the focus on collaboration among all providers attempting to prevent homelessness or who are providing services to those without shelter.

    ”This 10-year plan is a great start for Humboldt County,” said Arcata House Executive Director Fox Olson, who has run the organization that provides transitional housing for families and individuals since 1991. It operates three houses and seven apartments.

    A strong foundation will prevent trouble later on, she said, while the roof of the plan will be finding housing for the houseless.

    What’s needed now, Olson said, is to include others in the collaborative effort — including law enforcement, businesses, churches, schools, employers, the medical community and others.

    The success of the plan, she added, depends upon community awareness of the problem.

    ”Our folks have pretty much lost their voice,” Olson said. “We have to speak for them.”

    One of those silent groups are foster children who find themselves aging out of the system with nowhere to go.

    Rochelle Trochtenberg, a former foster child, is working with the Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration to help the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services improve services for foster youth.

    Trochtenberg, 26, knows well the risk of homelessness. After aging out of a group home in Southern California and not being able to pay for housing, she was homeless until just three years ago.

    In most cases, she said, foster youth end up homeless, couch surfing or returning to their biological families. Trochtenberg herself enrolled in a community college to have a place to shower and to be where the police would not arrest her for loitering. She then attended massage school and began making enough money to pay for an apartment.

    She said she sees youth on a daily basis — bright, intelligent young people — who, due to circumstances beyond their control, are homeless. It becomes a cycle of not being able to get a job and not being to get a home because you don’t have a job, Trochtenberg said.

    She has broken out of that cycle and will be graduating on May 16 from Humboldt State University with a degree in social work and the honor of being chosen Student of the Year from among all of HSU’s students.

    While the plan is drawing accolades, it also has its critics.

    Tad Robinson, who describes himself as homeless, said he was adamantly opposed to the plan as presented. The lack of discussion of jobs and the misguided use of county funds were among his criticisms.

    ”You’re not realistically looking at the homeless problem,” he said.

    Instead, Robinson said, county officials are trying to profiteer from the homeless — using funds for salaries and office furniture.

    Crandall said that the $27 million being spent to reduce or prevent homelessness includes Calworks clients, general relief clients, support of family resource centers and services for the mentally ill. Not all recipients are homeless.

    ”These are actual dollars supporting families from becoming homeless,” he said.

    Robinson’s criticism of the plan didn’t sit well with 5th District Supervisor Jill Duffy. His comments, she said, were completely inappropriate and she advised him to get off his high horse.

    Duffy said she appreciated the effort put forward and urged Robinson to work with those making the effort rather than railing against them.

    Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace questioned the staff’s approach, noting the goals are limited by the reoccurring phrase “within available resources.” You won’t get fundamental change with the caveat, he said.

    Crandall said that his responsibilities include watching the bottom line, a situation that is difficult with year after year of cuts.

    The director assured Lovelace that the vision isn’t dented and the passion remains to address and potentially eliminate homelessness.

  50. March 24, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Anon has his or her panties in a wad about so-called “welfare fraud.”

    But I’ll bet that when Attorney General Kamala Harris nailed giant medical laboratory corporation Abbott Labs to the tune of more than $200 million for ripping off California taxpayers, Anon never said a word.

    I wish the so-called “conservatives” would be as concerned about corporations and government contractors defrauding us of millions of dollars a year as they are about some low-income person getting more food stamps than he or she deserves.

  51. Karen
    May 6, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Who wrote the quote, “A bad manager can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation.”

  52. October 13, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I just read the above statement, wow, I wished you would have named names of supervisors and program managers that are pure evil. I never met Crandall, and I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing. But, I worked in the “BIG ROOM”, with all the other little people and was treated horribly!!!!! At one point I talked to the union ” Leader”, but that went no where, he was close friends with the leaders.
    Horrible, evil, cold, nasty, creepy people running Health and Human services department.
    And it should be illegal to treat people like they do. My last supervisor shoved me against my desk 3 times for giving my opinion in a staff meeting…..I was asked a question, and I answered it. She didn’t like my answer, so physically abused me. And NO ONE came to help me. 😞
    I quit. I should have hired an attorney but it really shattered my confidence and scared me. There is a lot more but you understand, you get the picture.

  53. Cesar
    October 26, 2015 at 12:07 am


  54. Anonymous
    March 28, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Be careful of your posts! Empowering poor employees to blame good managers of their faults through creative texts is becoming a problem!

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