When Chris Quire took the oath of office a couple of days ago and became Franklin County sheriff, the event was the culmination of a lifelong dream — and a bittersweet moment too.
To focus all his energy and attention on being sheriff, Quire is selling his lawn-service business, something that has been an integral part of his life since he was a young man. In the spring, T.J. and Jessica Wooldridge will take over the care of the 100-or-so lawns Quire has managed.
“I’ll miss it,” said the sheriff, who’ll turn 40 on Wednesday. “It’s been a source of extra revenue and exercise. I’ve always mowed, and my goal has been to do a good job and be dependable.” He plans to bring those attributes to the sheriff’s office.
Quire’s billboards branded his business featuring in large letters “Lawn Enforcement” with a badge.
“I started with a walk-behind mower and progressed to large riding mowers,” he said. “In middle school my dad (George Quire) and I had 30 or 40 yards. When I was 18, I went out on my own.”
He began his career in law enforcement as a self-described “meter maid” for the Frankfort Police Department. “I would see Ted Collins, who was sheriff then, in the courthouse and beg him to give me a job as a deputy.”
Collins did, and Quire served there for three years before returning to FPD in 2003. He worked his way up to the rank of captain and said another tough moment was when he cleaned out his desk last week for the move to the sheriff’s office.
Throughout his career in law enforcement, lawn mowing has remained a constant.
“I was mowing as a meter maid, a deputy sheriff and when I went to the police department. My dad took over my business when I went to the Police Academy and helped grow it into what it has become,” he added.
Quire says it’s a good job and a dependable source of income. “I’m working to teach my 14-year-old son the value of money, and one day I hope he’ll go out and get yards on his own.”
Chris and his wife, Kendra, have two children. Campbell is 14 and Kendall is 10. “All ‘Cs’ and ‘Ks’,” he said of his family’s first-name initials.
Quire says he’s giving up lawn mowing because of “ethical appearances,” not wanting anyone to say his office gave any special treatment to any of his customers.
“My people (yard customers) are the best,” he said. “I just don’t want there to be any possibility of bad appearances.” He doesn’t think there would be, but he’s taking no chances.
Quire wants to focus all his energy on the job he’s worked all his life toward getting — even when he was a meter maid two decades ago.
“I think if you want something and work hard enough, you can get it.”
He did that while establishing a successful lawn business and now plans to bring that focus and energy to his new calling.
“I’ll miss mowing and the people, but it’s just the best thing to do.”