Margo Bailey Death – Dead | Obituary – Passed Away
Margo Bailey Death – Dead: A great loss was made known to InsideEko. As friends and families of the deceased are mourning the passing of their loved and cherished Margo Bailey.
Current Mayor Chris Cerino said of his predecessor: “For twenty years as Mayor, Margo was an incredible advocate for Chestertown, Kent County, and the upper Eastern Shore. Whether through her greening initiatives, creation of new public parks and trail systems, increasing the Town’s tree canopy, or her responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars, her legacy will live on in Chestertown for many decades to come.”
The Town of Chestertown is greatly saddened by the passing of two great women who served the Town for many decades, Margo Bailey and Joan Merryman. Margo Bailey was elected to the Chestertown Council in 1991 and served as a Council woman until she was elected Mayor in 1993. For the next twenty years she served the Town in that capacity and fought tirelessly for her many passions, especially the environment. Joan Merryman was hired by the Town in 1980 and for the next thirty years, was a steady presence at the front desk and as stenographer in all Town meetings, and was known for her wry sense of humor.
Upon learning of the death of my dear friend and Chestertown’s longtime Mayor, the great Margo Bailey, my mind immediately went back to the summer of 2012 and one of our first events together.
At Margo’s recommendation – actually, her INSTRUCTION – I was planning to present our 2012 William Donald Schaefer “Helping People” Award to Ms. Leslie Prince Raymond for her contributions in building Chestertown’s thriving cultural scene. Given that the event was scheduled for the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, and in the middle of summer, I just assumed that the crowd would be modest at best, and that we could make the presentation in a small space.
That wasn’t Margo’s vision. She insisted on having the event at Garfield Center for the Performing Arts – a magnificent old theater that was faithfully restored under her leadership and which seats about 200 people! I went back and forth with her about my concerns that the grand old space would feel empty. Margo assured me that the place would be filled on the day of the event – and in my world, whatever Margo Bailey wanted, she got. So we went with her plan.
On the day of the event, I walked in and the place was overflowing with residents, business leaders, cultural philanthropists, Washington College officials and many, many people I’ve ever seen before or since. They occupied every corner of the first floor and the balcony, AND there was a line of people who were outside and trying to get in!
I didn’t think for a second that they were there to see a State Comptroller. Those people were there for, and because of, Margo Bailey. She was simply the smartest, most fearless, most magnetic and most effective local government official I’ve worked with in my 13 years as your Comptroller. The woman took on and beat a political dynasty, took on and beat Wal-Mart when it tried to force its way into town, and fought like a tiger to preseve everything that makes Chestertown so singularly special.
I simply cannot believe she’s gone. There will be many more visits to Chestertown – eventually – but it won’t be the same. Margo Bailey WAS Chestertown, and it is impossible to walk the streets of the downtown business district without seeing and understanding her outsized influence.
I will be thinking tonight of her wonderful family and remembering some of my best times as Comptroller – lunch at the Imperial Hotel, ice cream sodas at the old Stam’s Drug Store, tours of the Sultana.
More important, I will remember our fights together to save the old Eastern Shore Hospital Center, the closure of which in 2009 was my single worst day as Comptroller – and to preserve the Chester River Hospital Center. We even persuaded the State Highway Administration to postpone the painting of the Chester River Bridge until the fall, so that it wouldn’t have to be closed to visitors during the summer tourism season! Margo Bailey can now rest in peace knowing that her legacy will live forever.