A resolution recognizing and honoring William Robert (Bill) Covington, former Davidson County Clerk, upon his retirement.

WHEREAS, on August 31, 2006, Bill Covington, retired having served with distinction for thirty-two years of elected office and service to Davidson County; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Covington's diverse political career includes one term in the Metro Council, four terms in the state House of Representatives and five terms as the Davidson County Clerk; and

WHEREAS, in 1975 Mr. Covington became the youngest person ever elected to the Metro Council where legendary Nashville Banner columnist Red O'Donnell, as "the kid who beat the machine", promptly labeled him; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Covington soon successfully sponsored Davidson County's first residential historic zoning overlay legislation (Historic Edgefield); and

WHEREAS, Mr. Covington stopped the scheduled closing of the Holly Street fire hall which is fully operational to this day and has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Covington was selected by the American Council of Young Political Leaders to represent local government officials from across the nation in an exchange with the Soviet Union and former Eastern European Bloc Nations; and

WHEREAS, while in London, England with U.S. Department of State personnel, Mr. Covington, while serving as Chair of the American Delegation, was honored by the British Parliament from the floor of the House of Commons; and

WHEREAS, in 1978 Mr. Covington became the first person ever to serve simultaneously in the Metro Council and state House of Representatives; and

WHEREAS, based on his Metro Council experience, Mr. Covington was appointed to leadership posts early in his state legislative career, but perhaps most notably was his appointment as Chair of the Select Committee on Child Sexual Abuse; and

WHEREAS, while the legislation resulting from the two year effort by Mr. Covington's committee resulted in the sweeping reform of Tennessee's Child Sexual Abuse Law, it also established the state's first Sexual Offenders Registry, the state's first FBI compatible automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS), and the state's first Computer Crimes Act; and

WHEREAS, the resulting bill was called by House Speaker Ned McWherter, "the most important piece of legislation passed during the 94th General Assembly," with this law being known today in legislative circles as the "Covington Act"; and

WHEREAS, among the many honors bestowed upon Mr. Covington during his four terms in the state House of Representatives, the most prestigious was that of "Legislator of the Year" by the National Committee on the Prevention of Child Abuse; and

WHEREAS, in 1986 the voters of Davidson County elected Mr. Covington to the position of County Clerk where he immediately introduced a host of cost saving measures; and

WHEREAS, in the ensuing twenty years, Mr. Covington would operate the department with the tools he acquired as a Certified Government Financial Manager under the auspices of the American Association of Government Accountants; and

WHEREAS, the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants recognized the County Clerk's office as being the most efficiently run government office in the state by the presentation to Mr. Covington of their annual Golden Abacus Award; and

WHEREAS, the design and implementation of a departmental stand-alone information technology system saved taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and allowed the processing of taxpayers' work in hours versus weeks, Mr. Covington was nominated for the John F. Kennedy Innovations in Government Award by Mayor Phil Bredesen; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognizes Bill Covington for his dedication and service to the citizens of Nashville and Davidson County and for his accomplishments during his thirty-two years of elected office.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing the Honorable Bill Covington, former County Clerk of Davidson County, upon his retirement.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Clerks Office is directed to prepare a hand-lettered scroll to be presented to the Honorable Bill Covington upon his retirement.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: David Briley, Diane Neighbors, Rip Ryman, Erik Cole


Referred: Rules & Confirmations Committee 
Introduced: July 6, 2006
Adopted: July 6, 2006
Approved: July 7, 2006