James K. Baisley spent 35 years of his life tending to Pasco County’s parks — rising through the ranks from groundskeeper to labor supervisor to Park Operator III.
Over the years, he’s had his hand in countless park improvements and in maintaining fields, to give park users a safe place to play.
The Pasco County Commission took a few minutes during their Jan. 25 meeting, to recognize his contributions by adopting a resolution, detailing those accomplishments.
When Baisley took his place in front of the microphone, he began by expressing his gratitude.
“First of all, I’d like to thank the good Lord for keeping me healthy — to make it the 35 years that I did.
“I’d like to thank my wife, for putting up with me, for all of this.
“And, especially my children — they sacrificed many weekends that I worked, while they were children. I hope they forgive me for it.
“And, I’d like to thank Pasco County for allowing me to work here. It’s been a pleasure.
“I thought back over the 35 years of how many lives that I’ve touched throughout these years,” he said.
“A number of kids who grew up in the parks, now work for parks and recreation. I watched them grow up as kids,” he said.
Over the course of the years, he said, “I’ve watched commissioners come, commissioners go; directors come, directors, go,” he said.
His work for the county, though, remained a constant.
“It’s been a pleasure. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Baisley said.
The resolution highlighted some of his contributions.
At one point, the document noted, Baisley was simultaneously overseeing groundskeeping and maintenance for up to six parks.
He worked closely with various co-sponsored youth organizations, outside user groups, local school athletic teams and Friends of the Parks organizations.
He also “set the standard for athletic field maintenance,” the resolution says.
Over his career, he “displayed tremendous leadership” and was “always willing to train staff members both within and outside his area of responsibility.”
His willingness to train others resulted in him working at more than 30 parks throughout the county.
And, he was instrumental in adding a second softball field at Elsie Logan Memorial Park. The funding came from a grant, but he created the softball field by reconfiguring existing fields, fencing, scoreboards, and irrigation, the resolution adds.
He helped with special events, such Wilderness Wonderland at the Rotary Pavilion, and the Celebration of Lights event within Safety Town and Concourse property.
And, he was involved in numerous field renovations and typically completed these without the need for outside contractors — resulting in better playing fields, while saving taxpayer funds.
Pasco County Commissioner Christina Fitzpatrick praised Baisley’s dedication.
“As you can tell by the resolution, he’s always gone above and beyond. I’ve always heard the compliments that his fields were the best in Pasco,” she said.
“You will definitely be missed,” Fitzpatrick told Baisley.
Published February 09, 2022