The Eloquence of Denver’s Parks and Recreation Management

Daniel Chacon, reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, cracks me up. In a story entitled, “‘Problem’ cited at Parks and Rec; bosses puzzled,” he provides, verbatim, Recreation Director Dolores Moreno’s, um, understanding of what “prioritization of deliverables,” meant in the context of meting out discipline for employees under her supervision.

In the most recent case, longtime recreation coordinator Ronalda Mounjim was fired, in part, because the department said she failed to meet goals in a performance improvement plan.

But even the head of recreation couldn’t define one of the goals.

When the Career Service hearing officer asked Recreation Director Dolores Moreno to define “prioritization of deliverables,” she offered this explanation according to a transcript of the hearing:

“Um, basically what you’re, what you’re going to do if, um, if you have, um, a timeline of objectives and delivery dates, and so, um, for us, and I’ll give you an example.

“For us, we have, um, a citywide brochure that comes out, um, four times a year, and so, um, so I’m going back to the session calendar is, ah, you know, why we have those registration dates when, when content is due, what posting is due etcetera, etcetera, and so, so if, um, so if our, um delivery date of the, um, brochure is . . . you know, um . . . February second, that, um, the kind of our targeted places in our neighborhoods, whether it’s schools, whether it’s churches, businesses, etcetera etcetera, that, um, that part of the prioritization is, one, you know, who’s going to be responsible for that.”

Moreno continued the explanation before ending it with: “So it’s pretty basic.”

Hearing officer Bruce Plotkin said of the testimony offered by Moreno and other managers: “It was clear (that they) struggled to present a coherent definition.”

Uh-huh… Okay, then.

But, then, could we really expect more from the present management crew over at Parks and Rec? Probably not.

Thanks, Daniel for starting my day off with a smile.

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7 Responses to The Eloquence of Denver’s Parks and Recreation Management

  1. I read this story in this morning’s paper and found it upsetting. I think it is normal practice, when transcribing a statement, to exclude the “ums” and “ahs” from the text. The reporter unfairly included them here to make the speaker look stupid. Regardless of the failings of the Parks and Recreation Dept., I think its workers at least deserve fair and objective treatment when being, um, quoted.

  2. Hey, it’s an AT-WILL STATE. Workers better wake up and realize, the corporations and government are DOING THEM A FAVOR >letting< them work! Damn whiners. It’s time Colorado’s ‘little people’ woke up to the reality that they’re -fodder- for the economic machine and they’d damn well better learn to dive head-first into the grinder by working 80-hour weeks without complaint. OR ELSE. How else can the wealthy elite have their lifestyles? I mean, their children might be forced to actually GET A JOB! And get their hands DIRTY! (shudder) the HUMANITY.

  3. /snark got snipped off my previous comment

  4. georgeindenver says:

    Hey, Jeffrey. Okay, I read the piece over again with the “ums” and “ahs” deleted. Gotta say the speaker still obviously doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about. And, of course, that’s why the hearings officer overturned the firing of the individual, citing a lack of coherency in the supervisor’s understanding of exactly what it was she fired the individual for. I just hope this isn’t happening throughout the city personnel system, given that the Hick is demanding “deliverables” from workers. If the supervisor’s don’t understand the Hick’s mantra, then, um, how on earth can the underlings take them seriously? BTW the “…speaker…” looks “…stupid…” even without the ums and ahs.


  5. georgeindenver says:

    Hey Doog. Understanding the implications of “at-will,” it’s probably notable that the City and County of Denver’s personnel system, the Career Service Authority, is a particular bastion, holding firm against “at-will.” Supervisors in the city system cannot hire/fire as they see fit. No, there is a particularly labyrinthine process prescribed in the CSA rule book in which supervisors–especially Division Directors–necessarily must have some grounding, some basic knowledge of. If the employment of a worker bee depends upon the “prioritization of deliverables,” as in this case, then the supervisor had damned better be thoroughly conversant with that requirement–not only for the purpose of evaluating an employee’s performance on the back-end, but, um, explaining to the employee on the front-end what the hell “prioritization of deliverables” means and the consequences of not fulfilling the same.

    In a larger sense, yes, the “elite” appear to see some value in eliminating the American “middle class” which, traditionally, demanded the promise of democracy–life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (you know, all that crap!) as inalienable rights. Yes, if we can just kick the hell out of those pesky “middlers” then God will return to His Heaven and all will be right with the world!


  6. I work in the state system and I know the process you speak of. However, every system can be ‘gamed’ and remember we’re dealing with gamesters more fiendish and vile than any that have come before. Great posting, as always sir! Hoping you’re staying out of this beastly heat!

  7. Dave Golden says:

    Dolores Moreno sounds egregiously out of touch. Who left her in charge?

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