Davis wont seek reelection
By Carole Robinson, Senior Staff Writer
Joey Davis stands with his wife Lena.
With friends, family and supporters in the audience for the early Tuesday morning press conference, Williamson County Trustee Joey Davis announced, “after much praying and consideration” he will not seek reelection in the Williamson County Republican Primary on May 6 or the General Election in August.
After almost 20 years in office, Davis told colleagues and supporters, he withdrew his petition prior to the press conference.
“It’s been a hard decision, but we have been bouncing this around for a couple of years,” Davis said in a personal interview. “This has been a lifestyle for the past 20 years, and we enjoyed it.”
Davis, with five successful campaigns under his belt, sent a request in writing asking Williamson County Election Commission Registrar Ann Beard to withdraw his candidate petition for the Office of the Trustee.
“Anyone can withdraw – in writing – by noon on Feb. 27, which is the week after the qualifying day of Feb. 20,” Beard said.
Davis’ decision leaves the race for County Trustee wide open.
He took a moment to thank the staff with whom he has served during his tenure, including those who stayed with him during the early years and those currently with him.
“These are the true trustees in Williamson County,” he said. “I hope whoever is elected will have the common sense to keep the six ladies and one man who work in the office. They will be inheriting outstanding employees.”
Although Davis will sit out the campaign season, he did offer the campaigning services of his four grandchildren, who are the best campaigners a candidate could have, he told the gathering.
“When I first ran, I thought it would be for one term,” Davis said. “Then I realized the impact of the trustee’s office and I fell in love with my job. Lena and I have been bouncing this (idea) around for a couple of years. I think we should quit while we are still on top.”
Health issues did NOT precipitate the decision, Davis insisted.
“It’s just time,” he said.
When Davis took office in 1994, on the heels of Trustee Lilly Buford and appointed Trustee Cliff Frensley, he admitted he thought it would only be for one term.
During the past 20 years the county has seen many changes. The mall was under construction and growth was just beginning to really hit the county.
“There were crowds of people in the trustee’s office to pay their taxes,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything about the lines at the post office, but I sure worked to get rid of the lines in this office. I know people don’t like to pay taxes so we tried to make it pleasant and we tried to make it easier to pay taxes.”
Davis brought the office into the computer age and developed a payment agreement with area banks and on the Internet.
“That reduced foot traffic in the office and made paying taxes easier,” he said.
The seven-member office also manages four tax relief programs and recently began collecting property taxes for the cities of Franklin, Brentwood, Nolensville and the Franklin Special School District providing “one stop shopping” for taxpayers. Fairview is considering joining the service, which sends out one property tax bill with all applicable property taxes on it.
Working since the age of 13 when he delivered newspapers, work has always been Davis’ main hobby with yard work a secondary hobby.
“Delivering papers was a lesson in responsibility,” he said.
He served 10 years in the U.S. Navy and 24 years with the U.S. Post Office then opened Toby’s Chicken Kitchen with his son Richard before he became trustee.
As a young man, Davis said he had three goals – to retire early from his job at the post office, to open a restaurant and to run for public office.
“God granted all three goals.”
At age 73 – and wife Lena 75 – the couple wants to slow the pace.
“I just think we should quit when we are on top,” he said. “We’re at an age where we need to retire and spend some time together. I don’t want to retire and go straight to the nursing home.”
“He’s a people person,” Lena said.
Joey will not be staying home with her all day. He WILL find something to do. Yard work, volunteering when his son Todd and friend Lloyd Cloyd aren’t finding stuff for him to do and his dream job of ushering at area college baseball and football games.
“Maybe find a board or two that could use me to help solve problems and continue with the Lions Club and Crimestoppers,” Joey said.
Davis will remain in office until Aug. 31, the end of his term.
Williamson County Trustee Joey Davis and his crew - Erin Perkins, Donna Ryan, Melanie Glenn, Karen Paris, Lisa Jackson, Lucy Pasley and Tanna Green - after Davis announced he withdrew his reelection petition.
Posted on: 1/3/2014