Peavy selected for 2018 PLAN statewide leadership program

Published 5:58 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Butler County Commissioner Joey Peavy was recently sworn in for his second term.  Also in attendance was his mother, Belle Peavy, and his wife, Lisa Peavy.

Butler County Commissioner Joey Peavy was recently sworn in for his second term. Also in attendance was his mother, Belle Peavy, and his wife, Lisa Peavy.

The Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) has named Joey Peavy, Butler County commissioner of District 2, one of the participants of the upcoming 2018 PLAN statewide leadership program.

PLAN, an acronym for Passion, Leadership, Accountability and Networking, is an 18-month course seeking to develop county commissioners, chairs and probate judges entering their second term into more effective leaders.

Peavy, who now has four years of commission experience under his belt, said that the general public’s perception of what the county commission does versus the reality of the job are very different.  This was especially true for Peavy himself during his campaigning days.

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“When you first start running for commissioner, you think you know what it takes to run the county, but you really have no idea,” Peavy said. “The day-to-day operation of the county commission entails much, much more than you can imagine. We’re over every facet of the county and the services provided by it.  We delegate the money, we look at the budget and you just don’t think about the responsibilities that go into that and making sure every department has it. 

“A lot of people still think of us as road commission, and that is a very important part of the job; especially mine, because I have 43 percent of the county roads. But that’s just a fragment of what we do as commissioners. It’s not even a third of our jobs.”

If the itinerary for the 18-month PLAN program is any indication, there are even more lessons to learn for Peavy and other second-term participants.  PLAN emphasizes hands-on learning about successful programs in other Alabama counties, the state legislature, congress and the ACCA’s insurance funds and affiliate organizations for key county staff leaders.

Participants will attend a monthly meeting, webinar, conference or seminar tailored to providing the leadership skills necessary to take back to their communities.

It’s the latter that Peavy is looking forward to most, though he suspects much of the experience will prove beneficial to him and, by extension, to the rest of the county.

Despite that, it was very nearly an opportunity that he passed over due to the sizeable time commitment.

“I had to think on it and pray about it.  As a matter of fact, I told them no,” Peavy said.  “In the 11th hour, I said that I’m going to dedicate the time, because it takes a lot of it. You have to take time away from your No. 1 job, because we meet during the daytime.  I work for the railroad, and I’ve been there for 32 years.  But I love this commission job and I want to learn and be a better commissioner.”

Each participant in PLAN 2018 will implement a passion project to bring home to their respective community.  And though Peavy isn’t sure what form it will eventually take, he has an inkling of an idea of where to start.

“We don’t have enough families set up in our county to take on temporary foster kids for three or six months,” Peavy said. “My project is going to be to to try to help with that, and it’s something that my family has been involved in.  When this door opened, I said ‘maybe that’s God telling me to get in this thing and go at it.’”