Jeffco Superintendent Dan McMinimee: Please Don’t Fire Me

THURSDAY UPDATE: As the Denver Post’s John Aguilar reports today, Jeffco school board victors are showing considerable magnanimity to Superintendent Dan McMinimee, at least for now and perhaps in part due to a hefty “golden parachute” worked into his contract signed with the outgoing board:

With the dust clearing on a tumultuous recall election in Jefferson County and a significant turnover on the Douglas County school board, newly elected leaders in both school districts spent Wednesday mapping out the future.

That included the future of Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee, whose compensation package was fuel for Tuesday’s successful recall effort. But the leader of the state’s second-largest school district won’t be shown the door anytime soon.

“If he’s willing to take direction from the board and is capable of implementing its policy, I don’t think he has anything to worry about,” said Brad Rupert, an Arvada attorney who will take over the seat of ousted board member Julie Williams.

All we can say is, that’s pretty big of them.

—–

Jeffco Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee.

Jeffco Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee.

At 7:15PM last night, just after the election returns dumped in from Jefferson County showing victory for the recall campaign against the Jeffco school board majority, Superintendent Dan McMinimee, the highly controversial hire from conservative Douglas County that helped drive the recall campaign, sent out this contrite little message to school district employees:

With the polls now closed and the campaigns for our School Board concluded, I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts with you.

I want to begin by thanking you all for keeping student growth, both academically as well as socially and emotionally, the focus of your daily efforts. Having visited over 70 schools so far this school year, I can assure our various communities that our school leaders, teachers, and staff are all working diligently to improve our practices that support student learning. I want to especially thank our school leaders for ensuring that we maintained a neutral position on the election and campaigns during the past few months. I know that you were often challenged by well-meaning stakeholders wanting to use our schools and communication channels for their particular campaign issues. I appreciate your efforts to make our community members feel respected while educating them on our need, as a system, to remain neutral.

It is important for all of us, as Jeffco employees, to recognize that elections, by their nature, have winners and losers. Our school communities often have both sides of an election represented in their schools and classrooms. It is vital that we acknowledge this reality and continue to maintain a neutral position on the outcome of the election… [Pols emphasis]

While we are of course not aware of any decision that has yet been made about McMinimee’s future as Jeffco Schools superintendent, the circumstances of his controversial hire–as well as his conduct as superintendent, working in what was by all accounts close concert with the right-wing board majority that was recalled from office yesterday–make it a fairly safe bet that McMinimee will not be in his $280,000 job for very much longer. The simple fact is that this was not a close election, and McMinimee’s position as superintendent was one of the chief points of contention in the recall campaign.

Maybe if he hadn’t embarrassed the district by chumping the governor of Colorado? Maybe if he hadn’t hired that totally incompetent political hack communications director? Maybe if he hadn’t threatened teachers with retaliation if they didn’t stop their meddling protests? Maybe if he had tried, at least tried, to stand up against the bullying of students in school board meetings?

Time to polish up that resumé, Dan. We’d say it’s back to P.E. class for you.

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    What exactly are the terms of his $280,000 per year contract? If it calls for anything more than a nominal severance pay, then they ought to keep him on but issue some clearly-stated policy changes which he will be ordered to implement. If he has trouble with them, he can go back to Douglas County. Or coaching dodge ball in P.E. class. And if he tries to frustrate the new board, they can discharge him for cause.

    Minimee can either leave of his own volition or become the new board's humble servant. 

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Awkward for him in any case.

    • Craig says:

      Asking about the terms of his contract is a good idea.  They may not be able to force him out without big penalties or at all.  Knowing right-wingers, they gave the guy a golden parachute with public money.  Just another inconsistency in Republican thought of today. 

    • Ross Cunniff says:

      Jeffco helpfully puts the superintendent contract right on the superintendent's web page – http://www.jeffcopublicschools.org/superintendent/documents/suptcontract_signed_06092014_000.pdf

      Quote: "Subject to earlier termination as provided in Section 9, the term of this Contract shall commence on July 1 2014, and shall end on June 30, 2017." and Section 9: "Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, the Board may unilaterally terminate this Contract without cause upon payment of an amount equal to one year of the then current base salary amount, less all deductions required by law."

      Surprisingly, not the worst superintendent contract I've ever seen.  Nonetheless, the Board will owe him $220,000 if they terminate him at their pleasure between now and June 2017.

      This, by the way, is one of the reasons why I think multi-year public CEO contracts should be illegal.  They should all be year-to-year.

  2. BlueCatBlueCat says:

    This is what I always think of when I hear his name.

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    Maybe Julie Williams can arrange for him to be hired to home school the next generation of the Nevillish cult???

    • cdsmithus says:

      He isn't qualified.

      By Colorado's homeschool law, a private tutor who is hired and whose instruction is used to satisfy the minimum instructional time must be a certified teacher.

  4. Awen says:

    My take is that McMinimee’s on something of a short leash…

    As for Brad Miller: gone, both from Jeffco and Thompson.

    http://www.coloradoindependent.com/156034/whos-getting-fired-after-tuesdays-school-board-elections

  5. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    "…And I'll just show myself out."

  6. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Dan McMinimee is not an elected official. Your politics of personal destruction are going too far. The teacher's union lied and bullied its way to victory, isn't that enough? Just stop. Let him prove himself before your take his job.

    • PKolbenschlag says:

      Ah yes, the voice to preserve the public sector job. The conservatives would never, never I say dare besmirch a public employee or impugn anyone but an elected official.

      Your integrity in defending the downtrodden no matter who they are is indeed deeply commendable.  

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Suht up, modster. You still haven't apologized for falsely accusing us of making fun of Julie's disabled son. Come back when you're ready to do the right thing.

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        I'd say most of the voters saw through Julie's little stunt with Randy with the verdict they returned last night. As for Moddy, he subscribes to Disraeli's maxim, "Never apologize, never explain."

      • ModeratusModeratus says:

        There was nothing wrong with that video. Poor Randy was bullied by the teacher's union. An ad pointed this out. Instead of sympathy, you ridiculed the ad.

        You won, but don't ask me to endorse your disgusting tactics. I never will.

        • SocialisticatSocialisticat says:

          We have plenty of sympathy for Randy.  Look what he has to grow up with.

          As for your accusation, a union can't bully someone, only its members can.  Please identify them so that we can cast scorn upon them.  Or, in the alternative, you can be sued for defamation.

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      "Let him prove himself before you take his job"

      Did you apply that principle to Steve House?

    • Cogito says:

      Do you live in Jeffco?  Did you attend (or even follow) any of the Board meetings?  Did you read any of the contracts? I do live here and I followed the Board actions directly.  I didn't get my information from unions but from observation (and from the idiotic statements/actions which WNW freely admitted to).  That's why I voted for the recall and saw many of my neighbors go out of their way to find a place to sign the petition.  I am not the one who has bought someone else's line of B.S.  That would seem to be you, 

       

  7. (((JADodd)))James Dodd says:

    Memo to Board:  "First thing we do is kill fire all the lawyers." Will Shakespeare 

  8. RunningOnEmpty says:

    I don't want to pay the severance costs, so I'm very much in the "let's see how the year goes" camp. McMinimee strikes me as someone who will do what he's told, and the few times he pushed back at the board majority were on issues where I agreed with him (like closing the pay gap between new hires and existing teachers, and on using Certificates of Participation to finish phase II of Sierra Elementary and to build K-8 schools in the NW Arvada area). He's not a crusader, but that's probably a good thing because it'll keep him from crusading against the newly-elected school board members. He'll likely take marching order from this board as well as he did the previous one, and we'll certainly have enough eyes on him that we'll know if he doesn't. If that happens, we'll take action.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Nope!  Toss him on the ash heap, now!  This clown will do far more than $220,000 in damage before his contract expires.  Send the message that the thousands of students, and hundreds of teachers, matter way more than the relative pittance it will cost to finally be rid of this one pathetic fool.

      No one ever hopes to pay an exterminator, but when you're dealing with termites and other vermin ….

  9. SocialisticatSocialisticat says:

    The contract's not a mystery.  Chalkbeat posted it at the bottom of the article here.

    The board can decline to renew it and allow it to expire in June, 2017; Pay him a year's base pay ($220,000 unless it's been changed); or counsel him out (termination requires an opportunity to improve), paying no severance, but likely taking until 2017 with the processes involved.

    Keep him or pay him a year now.  Anything else is going to involve paying him through the end of his contract, in reality.

  10. FrankUnderwood says:

    Now Moldy has surfaced – and fairly quickly after the recall election results – and Elliot showed tp to defend the rights of bigoted trans-phobes in light of the Houston initiative vote – but has anyone heard or seen any sign of Thingy #2?

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