Monroe County’s clerk, Nicole Browne, told The B Square on Thursday afternoon: “There is no replacing a Jack. He is one-of-a-kind. He is amazing. And I will miss him every single day. Every single day.”
Browne was talking about Jack Davis, a county employee whose retirement was marked Thursday at a reception held by his colleagues at Election Central, where he has worked for the election division.
Thursday was the six-year anniversary of Davis’s most recent span of service in local government—he started that half-dozen year stretch on the same day as county election supervisor Karen Wheeler.
But the octogenarian’s history of work for local government can be traced back to way earlier.
Former Bloomington city clerk and Monroe County Democratic Party chair Pat Williams recalled hiring Davis back in the days when she was director of voter registration, in the early 1980s.
Williams said during the reception, “I needed someone in voter registration. And he needed the job…” Davis chimed in, “Very badly!”
Davis described how he worked in the voter registration office for 13 years, retired from that job, and went to work for the city of Bloomington. He was director of parking until he retired from that position in 2007, Davis said.
Davis is an elected official himself—he serves on the board of Perry Township. He was elected to that post as a Democrat.
The political connection to the election division’s work was something Davis highlighted in his remarks to the group who had assembled to honor his service. “We’re political, let’s face, right? This is political stuff.”
But Davis added, “When we come through that door, no—we’re here for one thing. And that’s to make a good election, to make sure everybody who’s registered to vote gets to vote, and their vote counts.”
Also commenting on the political dimension to the work was long-time early-election worker Vivian Counts. She described to The B Square how she enjoyed working with her Republican counterpart, Bonnie Hughes, on election tasks—several of the election procedures require a representative from each party to participate. “I have a wonderful, wonderful partner,” Counts said.
Hal Turner, the Republican Party appointee to the three-member county election board, was on hand Thursday to present Davis with a trophy of sorts, to remember the pandemic-plagued 2020 election season. It was a 3-D printed sculpture of a toilet paper roll, mounted to a base with the motto “Never Forget.”
The 3-D-printed artifact was not a surprise coming from Turner. He had pressed his 3-D printing skills into service during the 2020 elections by fabricating frames for face shields that workers could use as an alternative to cloth face masks.
The sculpture was a nod to the shortage that stores experienced when the pandemic first hit in spring of 2020, and consumers reacted by hoarding toilet paper.
In remarks to the gathering, Turner told Davis: “As someone who’s retired three times so far, this is not the end, this is only the beginning.” Davis replied, “I hope I do as well with it as you have.”