Barely two weeks after Kristin Brinks was announced as the county’s next director of Health and Human Services, the 32-year-old has backed out. In a letter sent to the Board of Supervisors yesterday, Brinks said she will remain in the Sacramento region, where she currently lives. She was scheduled to start the new position next month.
What caused her to change her mind? In her letter (pdf here) she cites only “a variety of reasons, including my personal support network in the Sacramento region, and the satisfaction I have working with El Dorado County.” Brinks will presumably remain in her current position as deputy director of Community Services for that county’s Health and Human Services Agency.
Was there more to it? Almost certainly. After accepting the job, Brinks told the North Coast Journal that she was “excited for the opportunity, excited to help serve the community and all that comes up with it.”
Clearly that excitement waned. Perhaps the position proved too daunting. As the Outpost recently reported, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) isn’t exactly the happiest place on Earth lately. Staffing and administrative issues — in the Mental Health Branch, in particular — have led to internal strife and external calls for intervention.
With roughly 1,000 employees, DHHS is the county’s largest department, managing a wide variety of programs for public health, social services and a mental health. Unlike most rural counties, Humboldt’s mental health branch includes an inpatient hospital, Sempervirens.
Current DHHS Director Phil Crandall is scheduled to retire at the end of next this month, wrapping up 16 years on the job and more than three decades in the public sector. The county will meet next week to talk about what happens now.
Here’s the county’s statement:
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will meet in closed session on Tuesday to discuss the position of Director of the Department of Health & Human Services as Kristin Brinks, who was recently appointed to the post, declined the offer.
The Board announced Brinks’ appointment on Nov. 17. She was scheduled to begin work in January. On Dec. 1 Brinks sent a letter to the Board informing the supervisors of her decision. In her letter, Brinks cited her personal support network in the Sacramento region and the satisfaction she has in El Dorado County, where she works currently.
Depending on the Board’s actions Tuesday, there may or may not be information to report out of closed session.
Note: This post has been updated from a previous version to include a link to Brinks’ letter to the Board of Supervisors and some information contained in that letter.
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