With redistricting, DeKalb County will have two state representatives, Terri Lynn Weaver (R) of Lancaster in the 40th district and Mark Pody (R) of Lebanon in the 46th district.
Representative Pody's district will take in about a third of the county including all of the sixth district, almost all of the seventh district including part of the City of Smithville, and portions of the second and fifth districts. Representative Weaver will represent the rest of DeKalb County.
In an effort to get to know DeKalb County better, Representative Pody is beginning to attend local events to meet and greet residents here as he gears up for re-election later this year. Pody and his wife Barbara attended Saturday night's annual banquet of the DeKalb County Fire Department and made brief remarks.
Pody's district will include a large portion of Wilson County, all of Cannon County, and a portion of DeKalb County.
In an interview with WJLE after the banquet, Representative Pody said he is looking forward to serving DeKalb County along with State Representative Weaver. "My current district is the eastern half of Wilson County. I have all of Cannon County and I have Trousdale County. But with the new redistricting I will be losing Trousdale County and I'm going to be coming into DeKalb County so Terri Lynn Weaver and myself will be sharing the county. I want to know exactly what the issues are here that's affecting DeKalb County and what I can do or what the state can do to help. I know Terri Lynn Weaver and Senator Mae Beavers have done a great job down here but I feel it very incumbent upon me to find out myself so that's why I've been down here a couple of times already and I'm here tonight getting to know people and meet them. I am excited about being here. I am the type of individual that I'll even pass out my personal cell phone number 390-2444. I am available and I answer that phone myself . I want to be able to talk and be responsive to the needs that somebody has," said Pody.
The following is the WJLE question and answer interview of Representative Pody:
Question: Are you pleased with the redistricting plan?
Pody: "Yes I am. I'm very happy with the two counties that I have down here. Cannon and DeKalb are very close and very similar so I am very comfortable with it. My kids grew up in Watertown and went to school in Watertown so I'm very excited about it"
Question: Can you tell us about yourself?
Pody: "I am very new to politics. I was elected last year (2010) when this session started. I am a business owner. I have an office in Knoxville and one in Murfreesboro. I do insurance, however I meet payroll every single week and I just decided that there has been so much regulation that has been put on the business people and the local communities that I said ‘enough is enough' I want to try to do something about that so I went ahead and ran (for state representative) and I was elected."
Question: What about your family?
Pody: "I married my high school sweetheart. Its ironic. We were in high school and my wife and I eloped from Wisconsin. The first state that would marry us was Tennessee so we got married in Tennessee. We were both actually underage but we've been married ever since which is 39 years. I have two children and they both live in Wilson County. One is in Watertown and the other one is in Lebanon. I also have eight grandchildren. I am very excited to have my family close to me. We love it. We see them all the time."
Question: Do you live in Lebanon?
Pody: "I live just south of Lebanon on Highway 231 South."
Question: Where are you originally from?
Pody: "I was actually born in the state of Washington. My father was in the Air Force so I was born on the base in Washington but we moved to Wisconsin shortly thereafter."
Question: Are you enjoying your experience in the legislature?
Pody: "I wouldn't say ‘enjoying" but I can see that we are making a difference. The most exciting thing is when somebody calls our office and they're having issues with a state department somewhere and we can cut through the red tape and help get that problem solved for them. We've been able to help them save homes. We've been able to help people get benefits that they deserve. We've been able to help with individual things where they've fought with a state department for months or possibly even years and were not able to get anything on their own. We have been able to get something done for them. That gives me a lot of gratification that I know I'm making a difference. I am disappointed sometimes on how slow things can happen at the capitol because of political infighting or whatever when I know good things need to be done. It just doesn't get done as quickly as I would hope."
Question: What would you like to see done legislatively this year?
Pody: There's a couple of bills that I'm running. I'm not going to run a lot of bills. I don't think we need a lot more laws or regulations. That's not one of my main focuses. But one thing that I am going to be doing is try to get an English Only bill for drivers licenses. I think if we have people who are driving, they need to be able to take that test in English and read our signs. I believe that is just a very basic safety issue. I have a couple of other bills that I'm working on. One of them is a state day of prayer. I know we have a national day of prayer but I believe that in Tennessee I'd like us to have a state day of prayer as well. My faith is very important to me and I want to stand up for that wherever I can."
The DeKalb County Republican Party is hosting a Meet and Greet with State Representative Pody, State Representative Weaver, and State Senator Beavers on Thursday, February 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Smithville City Hall building. Representative Pody said he hopes everyone who can will come out for a visit. "I would love to see you to introduce myself personally. I feel that since DeKalb County is going to have two state representatives and for the size that we are here (DeKalb County) and the population it will give us a little extra strength and voice in Nashville. If you only have one person (representative), that is only one voice. But at this point, Terri Lynn Weaver and myself will be fighting for the county to get whatever we need done. Its easier to lobby other legislators if we want something done by having two representatives. It should benefit the county," said Representative Pody.
Representative Pody's office is located at 203 War Memorial Boulevard, Nashville. The phone number is 615-741-7086. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.