Administration | Development | Environmental Services | Finance | Fire | Parks and Recreation | Police


  1. Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy, Vice-Mayor Gary Pruitt, Aldermen John Drinnon, Lisa Parker, Robert Parrish, and Frank Uhlhorn.
  2. Germantown High School was selected as a Blue Ribbon School. Only 266 schools across the nation were selected and Germantown was the only Tennessee school. It was the first school in Shelby County to be selected for the award.
  3. The Germantown Chamber of Commerce was recognized for receiving accreditation. Out of 5,000 chambers in the United States, only 600 had accreditation. Out of 120 chambers in Tennessee, only eight had accreditation.
  4. 1996 marked Tennessee’s 200th year of Statehood. In honor of Tennessee’s long legacy of volunteerism, the city honored 40 individuals and groups during the year for “good deeds and thoughtful acts of kindness”.
  5. A new comprehensive school plan was presented to the Board. The plan dealt with long-term funding and representation issues that were facing both school systems. The Board embraced this plan with a resolution, stating that education was one of the most important functions in Shelby County. 
  6. The Tennessee City Managers Association honored City Administrator Patrick Lawton as “Tennessee City Administrator of the Year”.
  7. The Library Commission gave a mid-year report and recommendation. The purpose of the Library Commission was reflected in the following areas:
    1. To serve in an advisory role to the Board regarding citizen interests and needs and the city’s role indirect and direct support of the library;
    2. To serve as a catalyst for community support for the library;
    3. To recruit volunteers for service to the library; and
    4. To organize special events, such as the opening gala event and other celebratory events, in recognition of the library’s opening.

A “Check it Out!” campaign was started as well as a library newsletter. The Commission recommended that $150,000 be spent annually for the collection of books, materials and resources.

  1. The Board passed an ordinance dealing with wireless transmission facilities. The ordinance addressed the design, location and development of wireless transmission facilities, in a manner complementing the character of Germantown. 

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 affirms that local governments have the authority to determine in a reasonable nondiscriminatory manner the placement of mobile services and wireless common carrier sites. The ordinance makes the three following points:

    1. Wireless transmission facilities is a use permitted on approval of the Board of Zoning Appeals in all agricultural and residential districts;
    2. Wireless transmission facilities is a permitted use in all commercial districts; and
    3. Sec.25-416 under General Exceptions, provides guidance for installation of a wireless transmission facility.

The Act did not allow, however, for local governments to regulate the placement of facilities on the basis of environmental effects of radio frequency emission if the facilities comply with the FCC’s regulations on such emissions. The ordinance set up technical standards such as setbacks, security and screening, lighting and noise levels. It was desired to keep the facilities in areas such as parks or municipal properties and away from residences.        

  1. The City contracted with Municipal Code Corporation to recodify the city’s Code of Ordinances in the amount of $12,140. The last code recodification was in 1986. The corporation would identify any conflicts, inconsistencies and obsolete provisions in conjunction with state statutes. They would also reorganize and renumber the Code to incorporate organizational improvements, create and reserve chapters for future expansion of the Code, add new state law references, verify all existing references to state laws, and prepare an analysis for each section for a review by Administration and the city attorney. They would also provide a “user-friendly” index.
  2. The State of the City Address was moved from January to July, so that the address could be given at the beginning of the financial year. The Mayor gave the speech in terms of the policy agenda that the Board adopts each January. The Mayor gave the following statement:

“If there is a single message I would offer, it is that the city is on track, a track that has been well defined in its almost 25 years or so. Development that reflects the community need and interest. Keeping a firm hand on expenses and measuring value for every tax dollar invested. Creating and building a sense of place that not only helps us understand who and what we are today but spurs us to pursue even greater ways to act in the community so that we can live more fully as individuals.”    

  1. The Heritage Women’s Club made a final payment of $8,427 of a donation for the Quiet Room at the new library. The total donation was over $12,000 for furniture. Other donations for the library included $2,000 from the Friends of the Library, $500 from the Poplar Estates Association and $10,175 from the Kiwanis Club.
  2. The Board issued a proclamation recognizing the exchange between the Germantown High School Fine Arts Department and the Georgian Youth Television Centre. The Germantown students were the first high school students to visit the country of Georgia, which had recently broken from the Soviet Union.
  3. The Sister City Foundation expressed interest in holding events in conjunction with “Memphis in May”. Funding was approved to bring a delegation from Konigs Wusterhausen, Germantown’s Sister City. The delegation would include the mayor, his wife, a 20-piece community orchestra, an interpreter and a public relations officer. Funding was taken from the General Fund Contingency Account in the amount of $10,000. The exchange was a success.
  4. Cindy Parlow, an Alumnus from Germantown High School, received the Gold Medal in Women’s Soccer at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Shelby County had four Gold Medallists in the games: Anfernee Hardaway for Men’s Basket Ball, Nicki McCray for Women’s Basketball, Rochelle Stephens for Women’s Track and Field, and Cindy Parlow. The last person from Germantown to win a Gold Medal was Melanie Smith Taylor for equestrian events in 1984.
  5. The Senior Citizens Advisory Commission gave a report to the Board, concerning housing for seniors. The Commission offered the following recommendations:
    1. Changes in zoning and density policies to allow for land developments that are senior based;
    2. The City should examine its present land holdings to see if there are any opportunities for senior developments; and 
    3. The City should work diligently with developers to assist them in senior developments like senior apartments, senior cluster housing, zero lot homes, assisted-living and nursing homes. Tax incentives were recommended as well.
  1. The Board passed an Ordinance that addressed the development of assisted care living facilities. The amendment to the Zoning Ordinance allowed assisted-care living facilities as a use permitted on approval of the Board of Zoning Appeals in the “R-T” district and permit the facilities to be developed in all commercial districts and the office district. 
  2. The City entered into a contract with TDOT to implement an Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act Program for the Germantown Greenway.
  3. Discussion was started on developing a sub-organization of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis that might serve Germantown. The organization would have a three-fold purpose:
    1. To raise money with a long range goal of obtaining an endowment so that the organization can exist in perpetuity;
    2. To provide grants to a broad range of charitable activities that a community can support; and
    3. Act as a catalyst to bring groups of people together from the community to either resolve a community problem or build on community strengths.
  1. One of the biggest issues of 1996 was cable television. Time Warner Communications wanted to extend their cable franchise agreement. There was much debate, especially with funding concerning GHS-TV. Time Warner did not want to fund the station at the asking price of $200,000 per year. Eventually, the contract was awarded. A Germantown Community Television Foundation was established to help disperse the funds received from the city, cable franchise holder and private donations.
  2. The City received $25,500 from the state to build a database regarding automobile crashes involving youth between the ages of 15-19.  


  1. Developments included Germantown Church of Christ, Farmington Townhouse, Forest Hill Professional Plaza, Allenby Lakes P.U.D., Boatman’s Bank, and the Methodist Germantown Ambulatory Surgery Center.
  2. The contract for construction of the Wolf River/ Kimbrough Connection was awarded to Argo Construction Company for $1,332,039. The contract included extending both roads as well as the intersection.
  3. The City deposited $50,000 to the Local Government Investment Pool to help fund the Germantown Road joint project. The project also involved the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The total cost of the project was $1.6 million. 
  4. The Board authorized $18,700 for an interconnect system for the traffic signal at Poplar Pike and Hacks Cross Road. The interconnect system was requested by Norfolk Southern Railroad. 
  5. Six stone markers, nineteen street signposts and twenty-one street sign mounts were purchased for the Old Germantown District to develop a uniform sign package and character for the district.
  6. Bell South Mobility and Powertel were granted permission to install wireless transmission facilities. 
  7. Phase II for the Athletic Complex was approved. The city contracted Boone and Son Construction Company to build two baseball fields in the amount of $267,282.  


  1. The Board executed an agreement with J.R. Wauford & Company to develop standard specifications for the installation of a waste water pumping stations. The standards developed would be followed in all future construction projects in the city.
  2. G.D. Moore Construction Company was contracted for the Howard Road Drainage Improvements. A study determined that the drainage would be improved if the water lines within five different box culverts were removed and rerouted outside the culverts. The estimated cost for the Howard Road Drainage Basin and part of English Meadows was approximately $4.2 million. Other drainage problems being worked on were Miller Farms, Fountain Square, and Wolf River Park.  
  3. The City contracted with Browning-Ferris Industries for both a five-year solid waste collection agreement and a year by year landfill disposal agreement. The city had been using BFI’s landfills since the county fill closed in 1988.
  4. The U.S. Geological Survey was allowed to install two test wells on city property. The purpose of the wells was to assess the shallow ground water quality in residential/commercial areas between five and thirty years of age. The samples would be tested for volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and other elements and nutrients. The wells were located at Gristmill Cove and at Farmington and Thorncroft. 


  1. The FY97 Budget was approved for a total amount of $29,433,200. The Board also approved the Capital Improvements program for the Fiscal years 1997-2002. The improvements for 1997 totaled $10,230,000. Two main projects for ’97 were the Shady Creek Drainage Improvement Project and the Poplar Estates Drainage Ditch.
  2. The Board authorized an Initial Bond Resolution for the issuance of $5,000,000 General Obligation Bonds for financing the cost of construction in Germantown. 


  1. Fire Chief Dennis Wolf was presented with a Distinguished Special Project Award for his project entitled, “Fire Protection Master Plan for the Town of Arlington, Tennessee”. He developed the plan for the Town of Arlington as part of his degree requirements for the University College at the University of Memphis. 
  2. The Mayor signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Memphis/Shelby County Emergency Management Agency. The agreement delineates responsibilities and procedures for the city’s participation in The Tennessee Task Force, a federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. There were only 25 of these task forces in the nation. The agreement spelled out details such as who is responsible for payment of salaries and benefits, and how the city would be reimbursed for the time and money spent allowing city employees to be deployed to disasters, such as floods, tornadoes and earthquakes.
  3. The Mayor also signed a local hazard mitigation plan. The plan was developed to assist in the elimination of losses of life and property in the community as a result of natural and technological hazards. Areas of risk had been identified, and had the city experienced loss due to one of the identified hazards, FEMA funds would have been available to help the city recover from the disaster.    


  1. The Parks and Recreation Department received the Governor’s Award for Excellence. The city had won this award previously for three years in a row and had to sit out for three years before being eligible to win again. This was the fourth year and the department won again.
  2. The Parks and Recreation Commission recommended making changes to the Germantown Centre Policy. The policy changes included the following:
    1. Restricting revealing or inappropriate clothing;
    2. Requirements of people under a doctors care when using the fitness room; and
    3. New fees for identification cards. 
  1. Director of Parks and Recreation, Harvey Faust, was awarded the Harold D. Meyer Award by the Southern Region of the National Recreation and Park Association. The award was the first ever for Tennessee. Through his service in the Southern Region of the National Recreations and Park Association, Mr. Faust had held numerous positions of leadership and had been the only person selected three times by the Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association as Recreator of the Year.  


  1. 28 police vehicles were deemed surplus and sold.
  2. Two personal computers were purchased to allow the Department to continue inquires to Shelby County’s computer system, which had just been upgraded.
  3. Discussion was held on hiring eight new police officers and new Park Rangers. It was determined that vandalism damage was approaching $50,000 a year and that the new officers in the ranger program, while they would cost a little bit more, would be worth it because of other factors such as lost equipment and time lost dealing with vandalism.