The Coddling of Kim Bailey (Part II)

Kim Bailey is going back to school. Yes, after Mayor Hickenlooper told Bailey in May that she would have to “discontinue” a doctorate program that saw her miss 13 weeks of work over a 13 month period, advising Bailey, the Manager of Parks and Recreation, that her “highest” priority must be her city job, the call of academe persists.

The Coddling of Kim Bailey (Part I) is here.

When Chacon (Rocky Mtn. News) questioned hizzoner about Bailey’s plans to return to school, I suspect he bit his tongue a little when Hickenlooper advised that: “…he didn’t mean [in May] Bailey would end her studies when he used the word discontinue. ‘If we had agreed to terminate her studies, I would have said terminate.'”

Tongue biting time for Chacon, who noted: “Hickenlooper, an English major, said he didn’t mean Bailey would end her studies when he used the word ‘discontinue.'”

Thought the Hick was a geologist, something that, presumably, required a major in geology. Now, we discover he was an English major. Guess that’s why he failed as a geologist.

Shall we rely upon Merriam-Webster for clarification:

Discontinue: 1 : to break the continuity of : cease to operate, administer, use, produce, or take; 2 : to abandon or terminate; synonyms see STOP

Terminate: 1 a : to bring to an end : CLOSE b : to form the conclusion of 2 : to serve as an ending, limit, or boundary of synonyms see CLOSE

I wasn’t an English major. I was a history major. But, I do–most of the time–understand the meaning of words. Discontinue and Terminate kind of appear to be next door neighbors; kind of peas out of the same pod.

Lots of folks manage to pursue higher degrees while working full-time jobs. No, they don’t use sick, vacation and paid leave in order to advance their education. They go to night school, on their own time. If Ms. Bailey worked in the private sector, chances are–after missing 13 weeks of work in a period of 13 months–her employment would have been terminated. But, yes, she’s a political appointee of the Hick–the business mayor whose passion is to run the city as a business. One word: irony.

Ms. Bailey’s comment: “I was not taking classes over the summer, but I am committed to finishing my Ph.D. I’m very conscious of trying to make sure that work remains the priority and that work remains the priority and that the classes that I take work within my schedule.”

Note the word (since we’re looking at the meaning of words): TRYING. Merriam-Webster again: to make an attempt at.

I suppose the most egregious part of this story touches on Ms. Bailey’s academic “independent study” involving a playground master plan. Chacon’s piece notes: “Parks and Recreation spokeswoman, Jill McGranahan said Bailey used the plan ‘as an example of how she could try to do independent study rather than actually attend classes.'” Okay. So, do we take from that that Ms. Bailey’s efforts to create a playground master plan had more to do with her academic passion than with what should be her total, complete devotion to serving the citizens of Denver?

I don’t know. Suspect, however, Ms. Bailey’s priorities have not really changed that much since last May when it was reported by Chacon that she missed 534.5 hours of work in a 13 month period. “Of that total,” Chacon tells us, “110.5 hours were spent going to school during regular business hours.”

Oh, well… Why do I care? Maybe it’s just that the hair on the back of my neck tingles with the imminent upping of Ms. Bailey’s salary by $5,197 in addition to her present $110,423 remuneration for, um, serving the citizens of Denver who, by the way, pay that salary.

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6 Responses to The Coddling of Kim Bailey (Part II)

  1. Oh, the enormity of it all!

  2. georgeindenver says:

    Ah, Jeffrey, but I’m not an ENGLISH major. Let’s educate the masses, shall we. ENORMITY: 1 : an outrageous, improper, vicious, or immoral act. ; – ]

  3. The rules are different for cabinet folks. Afterall Hick is not going to devour one of his own–unless, of course, she’s found soliciting in one of her own Denver Parks. And, she is a black woman. Georgeindenver: Thanks for everything. Carmen was more than I could handle. You were a great director. I thank you for all professionalism and kindness over the years as I write this from Watsonville, CA. South of San Jose and Monterey. Some lives have only an ending.

  4. Suz at Large says:

    Ah, George. I think I did a little eye-roll when I read that Hizzoner had picked somebody from CHICAGO to be the great new reformer head of Parks and Rec way back when.

    Thinks I, they want to clean up and shape up that department? And they bring in some whiz kid from — Chicago?

    ROFLMAO. Ok, so I’m bigoted in that I think Chicago is a shining example of Sheer Unashamed Public Corruption. Second only to NYC and its Jersey burbs.

    Ms. Bailey, it seems, fails to understand some fundamental differences between Chicago and Denver. Mainly, the general tolerance for public officials to be pursuing other activities during what most of us think as regular working hours.

    It’s real low in Denver. Maybe in more sophisticated places – Chicago, NYC, Rome – people are more tolerant.

    This, dear Ms. B., is Cow Town USA. We have these old-fashioned rough-edged concepts like you WORK for your PAY.

    Quaint? Perhaps.

  5. Suz at Large says:

    Unless I’ve misremembered and Ms. Bailey isn’t from Chicago?

    Wouldn’t be a first.

  6. georgeindenver says:

    Nope, you didn’t “misremember” Suz. Here’s the scoop: Mayor Hickenlooper appointed Kim M. Bailey to the position of Manager of Parks and Recreation on September 4, 2003.

    Before coming to the city, Bailey served as Region Manager for the Chicago Park District. She was responsible for overseeing the complete operations of the Chicago Park District’s recreation programs, facilities and grounds for 123 parks (46 staffed recreation centers; 77 passive areas) on Chicago’s Southeast side, totaling approximately 1,400 acres. She managed a $20 million annual operating budget, 650 year-round employees, and a regional management staff performing recreation, financial, human resources, marketing and communications, security, facility management, forestry, and landscape operations duties.

    As an Area Manager for the Chicago Park District, Bailey was responsible for ensuring the quality of leisure and recreation programming, facility and ground maintenance, staff recruitment and development, community outreach and the monitoring of capital improvement projects. Bailey’s previous roles with the Chicago Park District also include serving as a field-based program specialist and staff training facilitator.

    Bailey received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northeastern University, a master’s degree in counselor education from New York University, and is working toward her doctorate in educational policy and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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