Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy
Sharon Goldsworthy, a Kansas native and a resident of Germantown since 1977, was the first woman elected as the city’s mayor, a position in which she served the community for 20 years, 1994-2014.
Born in 1943 at Holton, KS, she and her three brothers grew up on the family farm in Jackson County. She attended a one-room country grade school and graduated from nearby Circleville Rural High School. Her parents were 4-H Club leaders, a rural youth development program. Sharon participated in the neighborhood, county, and state 4-H activities, and credited her 11 years of membership with her interest in home economics, community health issues, public speaking, and news writing.
She was the first in her family to attend college, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Kansas State University in January 1965. She pursued a reporting and writing career with daily newspapers in Missouri and Wisconsin, leading to the newsroom of the Duluth, MN, News Tribune where she met Jim Goldsworthy, a sportswriter. They married in 1968. Following the birth of their daughter, Shannon, in 1971, Sharon became a full-time mother, homemaker, and volunteer, serving a term as president of the Duluth Mrs. Jaycees.
Seeking milder winter weather, the Goldsworthys moved to Germantown in 1977 when Jim joined The Commercial Appeal as a copy editor and page designer. When Shannon entered kindergarten at Germantown Elementary that Fall, Sharon became involved in PTA. Over the next 13 years, she volunteered in the schools and was PTA president at Germantown Middle for two years and at Germantown High for three years, also serving several years on the Shelby County PTA Council.
The challenges of public education—adequate facilities and programming—in a rapidly growing suburban municipality brought her into the political arena as she and others promoted long-range planning, smaller class sizes, and parent engagement with the school board, city aldermen, and county commissioners.
She worked in city political campaigns in 1986 and 1990. In 1992, she successfully ran for city aldermen. At mid-term in 1994, she sought and won the mayor’s seat. She was re-elected in 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010.
During those 22 years in office, she, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and city staff directed and oversaw the development and improvement of primary city services and amenities, including:
- Alive at 25 education, helping reduce teen fatalities from auto crashes Creation of city’s own ambulance service
- Construction of two fire stations and training facility
- Reduction of ISO fire rating to 1
- Retention of Aaa bond rating from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s agencies
- Expansion of facilities for water treatment/storage and public works Improvement of stormwater systems
- Completion of Wolf River Boulevard from Germantown Road to Farmington Boulevard, award-winning for its environmental sensitivity to the river’s edge and its design
- Completion of the Germantown Performing Arts Center
- Expansion and redevelopment of Germantown Athletic Club
- Construction of Germantown Community Library, the establishment of it as a municipal library and securing relocation of Tennessee Genealogical Society and creation of Regional History Center
- Acquisition of property and development of Farm Park
- Establishment of Germantown Municipal School District
- Expansion of city commissions to elicit citizen advice and voluntarism
She was actively involved with the coalition of suburban mayors, served several terms on the board of directors of the Tennessee Municipal League, and participated in committees of the US Conference of Mayors. She served a dozen years as one of four municipal representatives to the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, five years on the State Air Pollution Control Board and on the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education.
Aside from mayoral responsibilities, she is a member and past elder of Germantown Presbyterian Church, past member of Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors, past president of the Germantown Kiwanis Club, past president of the Germantown Women’s Club, member of English Meadows Neighborhood Association and English Meadows Garden Club, past volunteer with the YWCA Germantown Center, and past member of Habitat for Humanity board of directors.
Professionally, she worked part-time as a pastoral assistant for Germantown Cumberland Presbyterian Church, as a cookbook editor for The Wimmer Companies, and as a contract writer/editor for Schering Plough Healthcare. In retirement, she continues her civic memberships and serves as chairman of the Library Board and as a member of the Books from Birth advisory council.
Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy