County Supervisor a No-Show at Mental Health Board Meetings

County Supervisor Andrew Do at a supervisors meeting.

Nick Gerda/Voice of OC

County Supervisor Andrew Do at a supervisors meeting.

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Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do sits on the county’s Mental Health Board, which is charged with evaluating how officials manage a large and complex mental health system that thousands of people count on.

But he doesn’t show up to many of the board’s meetings. In fact, he missed all but two of the 12 meetings in the year after he joined the panel last February.

Under the board’s bylaws, which require a board member’s removal if he or she misses four meetings in a calendar year, Do should have been kicked off a year ago. But if he and his supervisors colleagues pass a proposed rule change at their meeting Tuesday, the rules won’t apply to him.

Do is one of two county supervisors who have taken a high-profile commitment to fix problems with the county’s troubled mental health system.

Issues currently before the mental health board range from policy changes for restraining people against their will for mental health treatment to expanding hours for the county’s mental health referral hotline, which has received hundreds of calls that aren’t answered because it’s closed on weekends and after 6 p.m. on weekdays.

In an interview Monday, Do said his record on mental health speaks for itself, including his efforts to draw public attention to problems with the system; holding dozens of meetings with stakeholder groups; and helping to get a formal request released for two new psychiatric crisis centers.

As for the mental health board, which usually meets once a month for an hour-and-a-half, Do said he stays on top of the issues by sending a staff member, who takes notes and reports back to him.

“We sit on a lot of boards and it’s a lot of responsibilities,” Do said. “I feel like my time is better spent trying to understand the issues than attend the meetings.”

Under changes up for approval at the supervisors’ meeting, language would be inserted into the mental health board’s bylaws that exempts the absence rules from applying to “the Supervisor’s seat.”

Do said he supports the change, and wasn’t shy in his critique of the board.

“What Supervisor [Lisa] Bartlett and I are doing is exactly what that commission is supposed to do. And they haven’t done it,” he added, referring to the mental health ad-hoc committee of himself and Bartlett, which has mostly met in secret.

“We haven’t had a direction out of [the Mental Health Board],” Do said.

Nick Gerda covers county government for Voice of OC. He can be reached at ngerda@voiceofoc.org.

  • Jacki Livingston

    *laughing* Sorry, but the idea of these people being the czars of mental health in Orange County is like the blind leading the naked. Maybe Do isn’t showing up because he misunderstood and thought the meetings were meant to diagnose HIS mental health…or lack thereof…and he got scared. Imagine that, a County Supervisor that is both cowardly and lazy. Whodathunkit?

  • OCservant_Leader

    BOS Do was just using the OC mental health crisis as a campaign ploy to get his name pumped out to the public. He has zero interest in actually addressing the crisis.

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  • Geraldine

    This only shows that he cares very little about mental health since he can’t prioritize and make the meetings. Any actions he has taken recently is a purely political!

  • Judy Allen

    Seems Do makes his own rules…. fire his a__ outa there!

  • Kathleen Tahilramani

    More magical and opportunistic thinking and behavior by Supervisor Do. No need to be present and accounted for – no need to demonstrate actual true commitment to a very important issue. Just send in a stand in and fake it. But, note this…there will be no repercussions, no blowback just watch. Just change the rules to make not doing your job ok. And the voters will just sheepishly watch in a sort of comatose state of apathy.

    • Bert Ashland

      Is this all you are doing with your retirement….being a shill for Norberto’s blog? As a retired OCEA / County employee who collects a healthy six figure retirement, you have huge chip on your shoulder.

      • Kathleen Tahilramani

        So what? Why does it bother you? Not a fan of the right to free speech? You sir are the one with the chip on your shoulder. None of your business how I spend my retirement is it? Mind your own business. You have a right to state your view and I respect that – you do not have the right to try to shut other people up using your laughable effort at intimidation. Got a problem with my retirement benefits? Go put in 33 years you will get one too. And is this all YOU do? Make marginal and illogical comment on other peoples comments? Not enough lobbist work to do?

        • Bert Ashland

          Business is great thanks for asking.

          • Kathleen Tahilramani

            Good glad you are doing well – I am doing well also. That settles the income question. Moving right along……

          • Steve Jonester

            LOL awesome.

          • Mark Jones

            Bert, you are missing most of Kathleen Tahilramani’s haul. According to Transparent California dot com, Her and her husband Ashok are pulling in about $175,000+ and another $25,000 in medical stipends. A double dip of that perk right Kathy? All this for life plus a cost of living increase every year. $200,000 WOW. Yet, she is so angry. What a way to spend a retirement. The taxpayers put about $5,000,000 in the system to fund that pension.

          • Kathleen Tahilramani

            Well Mr.Mark (Fake Name) Jones….so what? We both worked decades for the County to earn that retirement. And, no double dip on medical since NOBOCY pays for our Kaiser Health plan – we spend over $20,000 plus per year out of our own pocket for medical insurance. And, how exactly do I double dip from my husbands benefits? What we receive we worked hard to earn.And I never said I was angry – because I am not angry. In fact, I am disgusted with how the County of Orange operates. I don’t invest any valuable energy in anger.So, when you retire you are of course free to refer to your retirement benefits as a “haul” but only in my opinion if you failed to do the work to earn it – not the case in my situation.So, what exactly is your concern? If you want a retirement from the County – get a job there and work hard for 33 years.

          • Kathleen Tahilramani

            Oh,,,,since when did this become about me? I don’t care I have nothing to hide. Public information is just that – but get your numbers right. I thought this was about Do and his failure to show for important meetings and do his job to represent and protect the vulneralbe people in our county. But, it’s fun to see how thin skinned you all are and how you try to shut people down. How about some respect for freedom of speech. Moving right along…..

      • Rivett

        To be fair, Bert Ashland knows a thing or two about being a shill.