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Topics - SandyMansel

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Local Politics / McCreery-$81, 675 Campaign Donations
« on: October 22, 2020, 08:36:00 AM »
Chamberlain and McCreery website names the following people as "Owners and Leadership Team"
Jon McCreery, President
Phil Chamberlain II, Vice President
Phil Chamberlain III, VP, Residential Division
Trina Chamberlain, Real Estate Sales Manager
Helen Hargest, CFO
Barry Jernigan, VP MultiFamily
Lance McKee, VP, Commercial
Tara Taylor, Project Manager Residential
Roger Bishop, VP, Capital Improvements

$15,550 in donations to "The Builder's" campaign from just CCMC owners and Leadership and their close relatives, assuming the last names indicate relationship
$1,600 6/18/20 Bradley McCreery, MW Construction
$1,600 6/30/20 Phil Chamberlain II, Eads, Vice President
$1,600 6/30/20 Trina Chamberlain, Eads, RE Sales Manager
$ 500 6/30/20 Jessica Chamberlain, Arlington
$1,600 6/30/20 Helen Hargest Germantown – CFO, CMCC
$1,600 6/30/20 William Hargest, Germantown
$ 250 6/30/20 Barry Jernigan, Paragould, AR
$1,600 6/26/20 Lance McKee, Collierville
$1,600 6/26/20 Meredith McKee, Collierville
$ 250 6/18/20 Tara Taylor,Personal Trainer, In Balance Fitness
$ 150 6/24/20 Roger Bishop, VP Bishop & Associates
$1,600 6/30/20 Brandon Bishop, Collierville
$1,600 6/30/20 Lacey Bishop, Collierville, Atty, Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle
But please verify for yourself. Links to the 2Q and 3Q CFD are posted here. If any assumed relationship is incorrect, please advise.

$22,150  Remainder of Donations from Business Partners or Vendors who donated before 6/30/20.
$   150 6/22/20 Agriscapes, LLC, Collierville
$1,600 6/24/20 Scott Ballard, Germantown, Pres, Apex Flooring
$1,000 6/19/20 Cary Califf, Memphis, Attorney (RE Closing)
*1,600 6/24/20 CIG Investments GP, P O Box 382566, Germantown 38183
*1,600 6/24/20 CIG Properties GP, P O Box 382566, Memphis 38183
$   150 6/25/20 GAR-DEN Properties, Piperton
$   150 6/22/20 Healthy Lawn Irrigation, LLC, Collierville
$   150 6/22/20 Johnson Road Farms, Rossville
$1,600 6/29/20 Kimberly Martin, Germantown, Ex Asst, Phoenix Assurance, LLC
$1,600 6/29/20 William Martin, Germantown, Trader, Bondurant Futures
$1,000 6/18/20 Puentes Brothers Inc, Memphis
$   250 6/19/20 RKA Construction, LLC, Memphis
$   150 6/12/20 Richard Whaley, Collierville, VP Commercial Lending, First Capital Bank
$   500 6/12/20 Charlotte Wheeler, Germantown, Homemaker
$1,600 6/12/20 Amber Williams, Hernando, MS, IT Manager, FedEx
$   250 6/29/20 Charles Yukon, Germantown, Physician, Yukon Clinic Pediatrics
$1,000 6/30/20 Andrews Investments, LLC, Germantown
$   250 6/26/20 Germantown Homebuilders, Memphis
$1,000 6/30/20 Steve Hodgkins, Bartlett, Owner, Oak Tree Homes
$1,600 6/30/20 Philip Jaynes, Arlington, Air National Guard
$1,600 6/30/20 Samantha Jaynes, Arlington, Physical Trainer, The Yard
$1,000 6/30/20 M Michael McLellan, Germantown, Site Supervisor, RJ Young
$1,000 6/30/20 Judy McLellan, Germantown, RE Agent, Crye-Leike
$   500 6/29/20 Charles Smith, Germantown, Principal, Sandler O’Neil Mortgage
$   250 6/30/20 James Wingo, Germantown, EVP, First Capital Mortgage
$   600 Unitemized ($100 or less from each source)

$37,700 reported through 6/30/20 - 2nd Quarter Campaign Finance Disclosure.

3Q Contributions
$   200 8/28/20 Keith Allen, Germantown, Custom Home Builders
$1,000 9/13/20 Aventador, LLC, Germantown
$   500 9/10/20 Allyson Avera, RE Agent, Crye-Leike
$   200 9/25/20 William Dike Bacon, Germantown, Principal, HBG Design (Planning Commission)
$   200 8/28/20 Robin Blankenship, Collierville, Retired
$   500 9/28/20 James Breazeale, Germantown, Chairman, Valley Products Co
$   250 7/1/20 Brookfield Properties, Memphis
$1,600 8/27/20 Blair Brown, Germantown, Owner Operator, Blair Brown Homes, LLC
$   250 8/27/20 Scott Burnett, Germantown, AAA Pest
$1,000 7/28/20 Alyce Burr, Germantown, Retired
$1,000 8/21/20 Steven Chandler, Germantown, Retired (??Tower Ventures)
$  750 8/21/20 Greg Christopher, Germantown, CEO, Mueller
$   500 8/10/20 Nick Clark, Memphis, Asset Management, Clark & Clark, LLC
$   200 9/3/20 William Compton, Germantown, Dentist
$   200 8/25/20 Richard Cox, Germantown, Owner, Memphis Tile & Marble
$   250 7/21/20 Kent Davis, Southaven, CEO, First Capital Bank
$   500 7/22/20 Durbin Diversified Builders, LLC, Memphis
$   500 7/20/20 Rick Ferguson, Germantown, Retired
$   500 9/15/20 Rick Fogelman, Memphis, Real Estate, Fogelman Properties
$1,600 8/16/20 Rob Fossett, Collierville, Owner, Fossett Paving Co
$   200 9/10/20 Scott Franklin, Germantown, President, Top Rx
$   500 7/3/20 Germantown Homebuilders, Memphis (Aggregate $750)
$1,000 8/14/20 Steven M Gilmore, Germantown, Exec Dir, XPO Logistics
$   250 8/21/20 Joel Henry, Germantown, Logistics, IMCG
$1,600 8/29/20 Bowen Horton, Germantown, Accountant, Sedgewick
$1,600 7/7/20 Martha Horton, Germantown, Asst Office Man, Self Employed
$1,600 7/7/20 Thomas Horton, Germantown, Investment Manager, Self Employed
$   200 8/27/20 Mary Marcom, Germantown, Retired
$   250 9/10/20 Richard Marsh, Germantown, Comm Banking, Trustmark Natl Bank (Planning Commission)
$   300 8/21/20 Tim McCaskill, Germantown, Engineer, McCaskill & Assoc
$1,600 7/27/20 Terry McFarland, Memphis, Principal, McFarland & Co
$   500 9/3/20 Norris McGehee, Germantown, Owner, McGehee Clinic for Animals
$1,000 8/24/20 Michael McLaughlin, Germantown, CFO, Tower Ventures Management
$   500 9/13/20 Van Menard, Memphis, Insurance Agent, Insight Risk Management, LLC
$   250 8/31/20 David Miller, Germantown, Construction, Top Homes, LLC
$1,000 8/6/20 J Michael Murphy, Memphis, Attorney, Self
$   150 9/8/20 Mary Newman, Germantown, Homemaker
$   250 8/30/20 Les Owens, Germantown, Contractor, Owens Construction Services
$1,000 7/2/20 Laurynas Petrauskas, Memphis, Construction, Self (See article below)
$   200 8/26/20 Don Powell, Germantown, Regional Director, Contech Engineered Solutions
$1,000 9/4/20 Spence Ray, Memphis, Real Estate, MCRE (Thornwood, GCC)
$   500 9/1/20 Rew Materials, Lenexa, KS
$   250 9/10/20 Ron Sklar, Germantown, Real Estate, Self
$   200 8/31/20 Larry Scroggs, Germantown, Attorney, State of TN (Campaign Treasurer, Sherrie Hicks)
$   250 9/10/20 Phillip Smith, Germantown, Attorney, Ferris Smith Tuck
$   400 8/27/20 Ralph B Smith, Germantown, Retired
$   200 9/10/20 Mike Tierney, Germantown, COO, Umansky Auto Group
$   500 9/29/20 Eric Tucker, Germantown, Owner, Inglewood Homes
$   500 9/7/20 Barry White, Germantown, Retired
$   500 9/10/20 Lara White, Germantown, Manager, Self
$   200 9/28/20 Earl Williams Jr, Germantown, CFO, Fogelman Properties
$   350, 9/16/20 John Williams, Germantown, Executive, Avionics Specialist
$1,600 8/27/20 Steve Woodyard, Germantown, Realtor, Woodyard Realty Corp
$1,000 8/21/20 David Wright, Germantown, Veterinarian, The Pet Hositals
$   500 9/23/20 Frank Bowman, Oakland, TN, President, Bowman’s Works
$   250 9/30/20 Richard D Bennett, Germantown, Attorney, Farris Bobango
$3,425 Unitemized ($100 or less from each source)

$37,275 3rd Quarter Campaign Finance Disclosure - $74,975 Total Contributions through September 30, 2020

4Q Pre-General through October 27, 2020
$   250 10/2//20 George Hernandez, Germantown, CEO, Campbell Clinin (Planning Commission)
$   200 10/2/20 John Walker, Germantown, Real Estate, Self
$   200 10/2/20 Scott Fleming, Memohis, Architect, Fleming Architects
$   200 10/2/20 Andy Cowan, Germantown, VP, Rees-Memphis, Inc.
$   250 10/2/20 Chris McDermott, Memphis, Contractor, Grinder Hazlip Construction Co
$   500 10/6/20 Rob DelPriore, Memphis, Attorney, Mid-America Apartments
$   200 10/8/20 Susan Thomas, Germantown, Homemaker
$   250 10/9/20 Cindy Reaves, Memphis, Consultant, SR Consulting, LLC
$1,000 10/10/20 Terry Lynch, Memphis, Developer, Self
$   250 10/15/20 Kent Ritchey, Memphis, President, Landers
$1,000 10/16/20 Raymond Gill, Cordova, Developer, Gill Properties
$1,000 10/21/20 Brian Bendersky, Germantown, Retired
$   250 10/23/20 William Porter, Germantown, Civil Engineer, W H Porter Consultants
$1,100 Unitemized ($100 or less from each source)

$81,675 Total Campaign Finance Contributions through October 27, 2020

Illumination Library / 2018 Election - Mayoral Race Results
« on: October 16, 2020, 02:00:53 PM »
Statistics according to shelbyvote SOVD - page 774
31,963 Registered Voters
20,435 Total Votes Cast in mayoral race, but 41 were Write-in Votes
10,137 John Barzizza
10,257 Mike Palazzolo

The asterisk indicates this blog - The Aberrant Absentee Ballots, Some Statistics, Barzizza Files Complaint Against Election Commission

Then this blog brought a lot more to light - Sarah Freeman, Germantown Citizen, on Discrepancies at Shelby County Election Commission

Wrote this in 2018 before the Mayor and Aldermen election - Very thankful that we did have a win in one of those races -  Sad about the other 2, but that was then .. this is now.  Will write an update for 2020 that builds on this, so just posting for reference.
First bought property in Germantown in 1991.  Having been born and raised in Memphis, had the image of Germantown as being THE best place to live in Shelby County.
People made jokes about how restrictive Germantown was on signs, building codes, height restrictions, colors of Christmas light, and so forth.  But that did not really bother me, because although it might have felt a little too restrictive at times, felt that those things were in place to maintain Germantown as a great, almost idyllic, suburb – a bedroom community.  Might have resented getting a Code Enforcement Violation notice for some minor infraction, but recognized that was part of living in a community that cared about its appearance and safety.
Overall, I thought that the leadership of Germantown would continue as it always had and keep Germantown a great, safe and attractive place to live.  So, did not really pay enough attention to leadership.
When they first introduced the “Germantown Smart Growth 2007” in this document:
did not really care for the phrase   “all characteristics of a national land use planning and design movement called Smart Growth”.  It also said we needed to grow in a “sustainable way”  That reminded me of U.N. Agenda 21 Smart Growth buzzword “sustainable development”, but did not think we could go “fight City Hall” about it.  We were much too busy with jobs and taking care of aging, ailing family members to take the time to try to mobilize citizens against this concept.  Although it did not feel right, gave it the benefit of the doubt.  The concept of using “Smart Growth” to create a small area of “downtown Germantown” was pitched as being retail with condos above, still having height restrictions.  If it had been done as pitched and only within the “downtown” area, would not be bad.
When elections came around, just trusted the recommendations of neighbors without really checking deeper.  Began to have bad feelings when hearing about conflict of interest allegations, car allowance scandals, insurance policy scandals, etc.  But, didn’t take time to research, thinking:  “Well, people make mistakes and there are always complainers and nitpickers.”
Admit to being somewhat complacent for far too long.  Just trusted that our Germantown leadership had our best interests at heart.  Fully woke up about a year ago in 2017.  Started watching BMA meetings and reading
and found the site
Was shocked to realize it was a “rigged” system.  Automatic BMA 3-2 votes seem to be prepared ahead of time.  Barely tolerating the “Citizens to Be Heard”, not really listening or caring, some having a dismissive attitude, as if they are being forced to hear from the “unwashed masses”.  Realized that, under current leadership, only Dean Massey and John Barzizza care what citizens of Germantown think.  All the others have lost sight of the fact that they represent us, not rule us.  They probably all started out with good intentions, but as the saying goes:
“Power corrupts . . and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
We have ceded power to them to make decisions for Germantown for too long.  The current administration has lost my trust in them and I will be voting accordingly.

Email to BMA - June 22, 2019 - The Rubber Stamp Camp of the BMA called this "an attack on parks" and made no adjustment.
Germantown Drainage System – Increase Allocation in FY 2020 Budget
Since you are holding 3rd and final reading of FY 2020 Budget Monday night:
In light of 2 recent events, request that you take at least $4 MILLION (maybe more) from the
Capital Projects Fund-Parks allocation of $5,330,000 that was to be used to buy property for parks and move it to the
Capital Projects Fund-Drainage, which was only allocated $1,075,000. This would accelerate the needed maintenance on our Drainage system.
Since we did not get the bid for purchasing Germantown Country Club and in light of our recent flooding, this is the perfect time to put the maintenance of our drainage system on the front burner.
This would be a great opportunity to re-prioritize. Our drainage system seems to need more attention than our parks.

Our Schools / Email addresss for GMSD BOE
« on: June 22, 2020, 11:23:55 AM »
GMSD-BOE emails - Linda Fisher, Position 1 Betsy Landers, Position 2 Rebecca Luter, Position 3, Chairman Angela Griffith, Position 4 Amy Eoff, Position 5

List of email address for Shelby County Commissioners

Mark Billingsley - Chairman, District 4 -
Eddie Jones - Chairman Pro Tempore, District 11 -
Amber Mills, District 1 -
David C. Bradford, District 2 -
Mick Wright, District 3 -
Michael Whaley, District 5 -
Willie F. Brooks Jr., District 6 -
Tami Sawyer, District 7 -
Mickell M. Lowery, District 8 -
Edmund Ford, Jr., District 9 -
Reginald Milton, District 10 -
Van Turner, District 12 -
Brandon Morrison, District 13 -

Such a shame that Shelby County Health Department can put the overlord boot on the necks of the suburban municipalities.

Press Release Update May 4, 2020
City of Germantown, Tennessee Government
In a release earlier today, Germantown advised that all personal appearance business would be reopening on Wednesday, May 6; however, according to the Shelby County’s Health Department’s Directive No. 3, businesses such as nail salons, spas, waxing/threading salons, tanning salons and massage therapy establishments are excluded from reopening on Wednesday. Per orders from Governor Bill Lee, we must adhere to orders set forth by the County Health Department. At this time, only hair salons and barbershops located within Shelby County, including the City of Germantown, will be allowed to reopen on Wednesday, May 6.

The point is not whether "nail salons, spa, waxing/threading salon, tanning salon and massage therapy establishments" are essential or non-essential.  To some this may seem frivilous.  But to those who are business owners and employees of these excluded establishments, it is their livelihood.

It is quite arbitrary and unfair for Shelby County to force the suburban municipalities into this situation. 89 counties, which is almost the entire State of Tennessee, are able to open barbershops, hair salons AND nails salons and massage therapists.  This is a distinction without a difference.

April 30 article from News 4 Nashville.
Barber shops, hair salons, nail salons can reopen May 6 in 89 counties

State of Tennessee GuidelineS that EVERY COUNTY IN TENNESSEE are following EXCEPT SHELBY COUNTY:
"These guidelines are intended to apply to “close contact personal services” as listed in Executive Order No. 30, which include: barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons or spas, spas providing body treatments, body-art facilities or tattoo services, tanning salons, and massage-therapy establishments or massage services. Substantially similar occupations and businesses may also utilize these guidelines as appropriate."

There are 5 other counties (Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison and Sullivan) that also have their own health departments so set their own guidelines just like Shelby.   AND they are also using the exact same definition as the statewide guidelines.  Only Shelby County is "splitting hairs" on this issue.  So all other 94 counties of Tennessee are using the same definition for "close contact personal services" EXCEPT SHELBY COUNTY.

ARBITRARY AND UNFAIR - Would love to see the suburban municipalities unite and appeal to Governor Bill Lee and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and the Shelby County health Department.  Would even be nice if Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland would recognize that this is "a distinction without a difference" and a disservice to the businesses and employees unfairly excluded from this category.

Our Schools / History of 3G - GMSD BETRAYAL – Lesson 2
« on: March 04, 2020, 10:33:27 AM »
Lesson 1 ended with BETRAYED by MCS and a Federal Judge!!!  All of our efforts for naught and all of our hopes trashed!!
  – If all of this is news to you, you may ask “Then how did we end up with our own school system?”
May 13, 2013 – BMA - We have to “undo” our previous actions.  Minutes in link
July 9, 2013 Education Week, Memphis-Shelby Schools Merge, Amid Uncertainty
Excerpt from that article, then link to entire article below.
However, several municipalities in the surrounding county will vote next month to determine whether new school districts will be carved out of the newly unified system starting in 2014-15. Differing racial demographics have also emerged as an issue.
The merger between the school systems has been in the works since March 2011, when Memphis voters approved a school board decision to surrender the city district's charter because of concerns about future funding. "It was seen as a hostile takeover" by many in Shelby County, said Michael Swift, the director of finance and administration for the Shelby County Commission.
Six municipalities in Shelby County soon took steps to create their own breakaway districts. In November 2012, those efforts were ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, Samuel H. Mays Jr., who has since appointed a special master, Rick Masson, to oversee the merger. But the Tennessee legislature passed a new law this spring that permits the creation of the municipal districts to move forward.
The county finances both the city and suburban school districts, but the new municipal districts would require new taxes for residents of those jurisdictions.
Suburban residents are concerned that they will be underrepresented on the board of the newly merged system, as the bulk of the population served by the new district will reside within Memphis city limits, said Wyatt Bunker, a county commissioner. Beginning in September, the merged district will have a seven-member board.
"They knew they had the majority population," Mr. Bunker said, "so they'd have the majority of school board members. ... The [city's] school system has been failing, and it's failing for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the school board.
July 16, 2013 – Special Election - We get to do it all over again.   And it passes overwhelmingly AGAIN.
Quick summary quote from BallotPedia link below of our legal ability to renew our efforts
In response, the Tennessee Legislature passed House Bill 1288, a law which repealed the state's 15-year-old prohibition on new municipal school systems statewide, thereby paving the way for all suburban municipalities to create their own school districts. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) signed the bill into law on April 24, 2013.
A special election was held in July of 2013, in which Shelby County and other Tennesseans voted on the referendum. The only question on the ballot was be whether voters wanted municipal schools or not. The referendum passed in all six municipalities.October 28, 2013 –Germantown lost our Germantown Elementary, Middle and High Schools (3 G’s) was the end result.  We were the ONLY municipality to lose 3 schools.  Millington lost 1 school in an area they had just annexed, but all other municipalities kept ALL of the schools within their city limits.  Some people who were more involved in the renewed fight may shed some light on the “behind the scenes” actions that led to this horrible, heart-wrenching outcome.  So you should read the full Memphis Flyer article and we can hope that others can shed some light on the discussion.
Germantown Pitches to Retain All Its Schools, but the School Board Says No
Superintendent Hopson leaves only faint hope that the suburb, deserted by its suburban allies, could regain three institutions via negotiation.
December 9, 2013 – Pages 1-5 of the Minutes of this BMA start at page 7 of the link below.  Pages 7-11 pertain to our negotiations and ultimate acceptance of the HORRIBLE DEAL and the losing of our 3G’s.  Then Pages 1-2 of the Minutes of the December 16, 2013 Special Meeting continue at Pages 17-18 in this link.  This covers the initial funding from the City to GMSD to start our school system.
December 10, 2013 ChalkBeat article – Excerpt and link to full article
Shelby County’s school board approved its final agreement with Germantown in a special-called meeting Tuesday.
The vote brings to close a months-long debate over which schools will be absorbed by six municipalities that don’t want to be part of the merged Shelby County School district.
Under the agreement, Germantown will pay $4.265 million over 12 years, or $355,453 annually.  It will receive the deeds to Houston Middle School, Houston High School, and Dogwood, Farmington and Riverdale elementary schools.
March 1, 2014 – Memphis Daily News article – Demerger Debate
March 5, 2014  article with March 7 update– Memphis Daily News article – Germantown Schools Tuition Debate Lingers - Charge tuition or not
UPDATE: In a special meeting Friday, March 7, the Germantown Municipal Schools board voted 3-0 to rescind its tuition requirement for open enrollment of students living outside Germantown.
Shelby County Schools officials have been aggressively promoting new optional programs at the three Germantown schools that remain part of its system next school year as well as plans for a new Woodstock High School in unincorporated North Shelby County.
The effort includes pitching the “three Gs” – as the Germantown schools are known – to parents who live within Germantown. It also includes an aggressive promotion of Bolton High School in unincorporated Shelby County to parents in Bartlett and the Bartlett annexation reserve area.
Three of the eight schools within the borders of Germantown – Germantown Elementary, Middle and High Schools – also remain in the Shelby County Schools system next academic year under terms of a settlement negotiated with Germantown leaders last year that also generated much debate.
The Germantown Schools system remains unique from the other five suburban systems for several reasons.
Even before the schools merger that began with the current academic year a large number of students living in Collierville attended and continue to attend Houston High School.
Shelby County Schools leaders pushed for and got the agreement to keep Germantown high and middle, specifically, because the majority of students in those two schools do not live in Germantown.

So, we worked hard to establish the real “crown” of having our own school system.  We had been extremely proud of our schools and they had been a real asset.  Many home buyers sought Germantown because of the high ratings of our schools.  So, we are still proud of the real “crown” of GMSD, yet our crown is missing a few “crown jewels”.  Many people who were very closely involved in this fight feel we were betrayed in this process.   Perhaps some of them will comment and shed a little more light on the situation.

Dean Massey has provided this commentary

Our Schools / History of 3G - GMSD BETRAYAL – Lesson 1
« on: March 04, 2020, 09:58:21 AM »
Many who have moved to Germantown (or even back to Germantown) after 2014, when we formed Germantown Municipal School District (GMSD), may not realize the history of how we came to form our own school district and why many Germantown citizens feel betrayed.

Historically – Memphis City Schools (MCS) and Shelby County Schools (SCS) were the 2 separate public school districts in Shelby County.  All of our schools in Germantown were part of SCS.  At the time, SCS was considered a more desirable district and buyers had a strong preference for homes for sale within SCS over MCS.  There were problems in MCS and some of the referenced articles will shed some light on that situation. 
December 20, 2010 – MCS voted 5-4 to surrender its charter, yet tried to “take over” SCS.
February 10, 2011  - Memphis City Council unanimously accepted MCS charter surrender
March 8, 2011 – In a special election, ONLY Memphis citizens were able to vote and they voted to approve.  No one outside Memphis City limits was able to vote, meaning of course that Germantown citizens had no vote, no voice whatsoever in this decision.  No other Shelby County municipalities had a voice - Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Lakeland, Millington.
These articles cover the events to that date.
Short quote from the second, the February 22, 2011 NewsOne article:
State and federal governments quickly entered the fight. Within days, Republican lawmakers passed and the governor enacted a law that delays the merger for three years.
Pickler, who has asked a federal judge to invalidate the Memphis school board’s decision to disband, says it’s unfair that county voters will not be allowed to vote March 8. He says absorbing the Memphis system, which earned D’s and F’s from the state in important categories last year, would hurt academics in the county system, which received all A’s.
Pickler also argues the creation of one huge district will overstretch resources, possibly leading to job cuts among nontenured teachers, janitors and cafeteria workers. Schools that are operating under capacity could be closed.
January 20, 2012 Consultants’ Report Says Municipal Schools Possible in Shelby County
This article really deserves a full read, but here are a few pertinent quotes:
According to the reports, Bartlett, Germantown and Collierville could pay for a municipal school district without raising their property taxes. The consultants suggested, instead, they could raise their sales taxes by ½ cent. Arlington could offset a property tax increase with a sales tax increase, but it can’t get the full amount it needs. Lakeland currently does not have a property tax; the town would have to create one to form a municipal school district.
Another important element in these reports says that if the suburbs start their own municipal school districts, they will be handed the school buildings within their borders for free. The consultants hired a law firm to do some legal analysis. They based this opinion on a Tennessee Supreme Court decision and what happened to some county school buildings when Memphis annexed the land around them.
“So the weight of legal authority, plus past-practice says the buildings should go with the children,” Mitchell told Bartlett.
But that could still be challenged in court.
February 1, 2012 Germantown Town Hall Meeting about starting our own School System.  This was announced by email notifications.
Learn More About Municipal Schools at Town Hall Meeting
Posted Date: 1/23/2012
The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen will host a town hall meeting to discuss the feasibility study regarding a Germantown municipal school district on Wednesday, February 1. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Germantown Performing Arts Centre, 1801 Exeter Road. Residents are encouraged to attend to hear from City officials about details from the report. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and make comments following the presentation.

Ahead of the town hall meeting, members of the public are invited to submit questions to be addressed at the meeting or to use Open City Hall to share opinions with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen initially heard the report during a work session January 17. Video of the meeting is available online at The full report is available at A copy is also available as a reference item at Germantown Community Library.
March 5, 2012 - BMA special called meeting - The real gist of the meeting is summed up with a few quotes here, but feel free to read the link for yourself and see the full discussion.  In the end it passed unanimously and the issues were to be put on the August 2, 2012, Shelby County General Election ballot.
Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy was present and presiding. The following Aldermen were present: Mark Billingsley, John Drinnon, Greg Marcom, Mike Palazzolo and Ernest Chism. Staff present: Patrick Lawton, Tom Cates, Ralph Gabb, Lisa Piefer and Dotty Johnson.
The only body that can initiate this action is the Board of Mayor and Aldermen through the adoption of an ordinance on three readings and a public hearing authorizing the creation of a municipal school system. Embedded within the ordinance is the referendum question that will be placed before the electorate in a special called election on May 10, 2012, if adopted this evening. The referendum question is as follows:“Shall the City of Germantown create a municipal school district that shall meet the standards of adequacy established by applicable State law and regulation, which standards include raising and spending each year the required amount of local funds for the operation of the municipal school district that, for calculation purposes only, would be at least equal to the amount that would be raised through a 15 cent tax levy on each $100 of taxable property for each year if all such taxes were collected? “

“The question that will appear on the ballot is as follows: “Shall Germantown Ordinance No. 2012-2, which increases the municipality’s sales tax from 2.25% to 2.75%, except where the sales tax is limited or modified by statute, be approved?” After the adoption of this ordinance and notification of the Election Commission to place this question on the ballot, the Election Commission will notify Shelby County Government of our request. Shelby County will have 40 days to decide to enact the ½ cent sales tax county-wide in the form of a referendum among all the registered voters in Shelby County. In addition there is a motion to set this motion on the ballot for August 2, 2012 election. This is a primary election in Shelby County. However, the Board can also decide to adopt the motion that would call for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to hold a special election earlier than the August 2 primary or as soon as possible.
March 21, 2012 If you really want to spend lots of time seeing how this played out on the national scene and brought attention to the efforts of our 6 SC Municipalities to each form our own school districts, here is a 15 page report by Columbia Law Review.  Otherwise, feel free to scroll on by
August 2, 2012 – Germantown voted overwhelmingly to establish GMSD.  Many, many parents and citizens worked very hard to campaign for this referendum and were thrilled by the win and excited for the prospect of forming our own school district.
August 27, 2012 – BMA Minutes
Ordinance 2012-13 –Amendment to Ordinance 2012-8 (2012-13 Budget) City Administrator Patrick Lawton explained that during the consideration and adoption of the FY13 Budget, the Administration and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen were simultaneously engaged in legal,
regulatory and procedural requirements necessary in establishing a municipal school district for the City Germantown. The Board initiated and adopted the following three ordinances:
1.An ordinance to create the Germantown Municipal School Board
2.An ordinance authorizing the creation of a municipal school system
3.An ordinance to increase the local option sales tax by ½ cent.  The latter two ordinances required that they be placed before the electorate in Germantown in the form of a referendum for each. On August 2, 2012 the public spoke by overwhelmingly approving their adoption.
November 6, 2012 – In the Federal General election and our Municipal election we voted for a slate of GMSD Board Members.
November 27, 2012 – Federal Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr declared that the legislative action authorizing the establishment of municipal school systems unconstitutional and therefore made null and void the previous vote on municipal school systems.

BETRAYED by MCS and a Federal Judge!!!  All of our efforts for naught and all of our hopes trashed!!
  – If all of this is news to you, you may ask “Then how did we end up with our own school system?” 
Stay tuned for Lesson 2

Illumination Library / Email Addresses for BMA
« on: February 29, 2020, 09:28:32 PM »
If you wish to contact the board of Mayor and Aldermen
Mayor Palazzolo at or (901) 757-7252
Alderman Scott Sanders at
Alderman Mary Anne Gibson at
Alderman Dean Massey at
Alderman Forrest Owens at
Alderman Rocky Janda at

Tonight, February 27, 2020, there are reports on Faceook of door-to-door solicitors knocking on doors after dark.  One person called GPD and they said no response unless they violate a “NO SOLICITING” sign.  Then an additional report on the same street brought GPD response tonight.  Not sure of the outcome.
THIS IS NOT .. ABSOLUTELY NOT .. a criticism of GPD.  They are simply operating within the guidelines set for them by this administration.
From November 30, 2018 to March 27, 2019, I sent a series of emails to the BMA and this post contains the articles and information contained in those emails.  Citizens all across Germantown were experiencing a terrible rash of aggressive and almost threatening door-to-door solicitors.  (Seemed to be on a rolling basis from one neighborhood to the next.)  Also some were reporting that these were just scammers.  Some of the “solicitors” said they were “selling magazines”.  Citizens reported in times past, they bought to help out the young people but did not receive magazines.   Several people reported aggressive and intimidating behavior happening to them and to their children outside their homes.  Some people even said they just gave them some money to get them to leave.
Unless someone else has heard any more response than I did, our only recourse is to put up “NO SOLICITING” signs at our front door and call GPD if someone knocks anyway.  Or if they do exhibit more aggressive behavior that warrants calling GPD.
Excerpts from my emails:
The Town of Collierville has an ordinance that places some restrictions, even though we can not entirely prohibit.
Lakeland has similar ordinance
In the complaints on social media one person who recently moved here from Nashville, mentioned that Metro Davidson County also has a similar ordinance.

This is actually more than just an annoyance.  When groups, who are obvious scammers, know that we do not have an ordinance, like Collierville, Lakeland and Nashville do, they have little fear of prosecution.

Although you may accuse me of being a fear monger, a recent episode of Forensic Files "Death by a Salesman" illustrates the danger in allowing these unvetted groups to roam a "safe" area with no restrictions.  If we had an ordinance requiring permits or I.D. badges and some form of vetting for legitimacy, at least GPD could have a reason to stop and ask for their proof.
A "NO SOLICITATION" sign on this lady's door in Knox County, Tennessee, would have done NOTHING to prevent her murder by this door to door solicitor.  He apparently intended to break in and steal thinking no one was home.  Please take the time to watch this video.

We also seem to be having a rash of unlocked vehicle being ransacked, based on a recent GPD report.  Of course, it is possible this is totally unrelated, but it is also possible that they are related.

It has been almost a year since we found out that Mayor Mike had secretly delivered the legislative agenda for Germantown to Nashville in a letter dated March 1, 2019.
Many legislative items in Tennessee are of interest to us as Germantown citizens and "we" would have appreciated at least hearing about these before they were communicated to Nashville last year.  Will we have the opportunity for input this year?

Thank you to Dean Massey, Massey for Germantown for this post from March 17, 2019 that revealed that letter.

Illumination Library / STREETSCAPE - Exeter Protests Exposed the Insanity
« on: February 08, 2020, 12:51:01 PM »
Emails to BMA, posts and polls in FB and Nextdoor and 2 blog posts in ShiningALightOnGermantown brought a huge outcry from citizens against this Smart Growth idea of Streetscape.  The 2 blog posts are linked below and tell a lot of the story.
Alderman Dean Massey's FB page, Massey for Germantown, was a great source for so much information needed to fight that INSANITY.  Who would have ever believed Germantown actually planned to spend $20 MILLION to intentionally reduce the traffic lanes in our highest traffic Central Business District??  We just could not make this up.

2018-10-01 The “What” of Streetscapes—Germantown Road, Exeter, and Beyond
2018-10-13 Smart Growth, Forward 2030—The “Why” of Streetscapes

Since we were just before the 2018 Mayoral and 2 Aldermen Elections, the City finally put out a statement dispelling our concerns.  Also the $500,000 in that year's budget was re-allocated from Exeter streetscape design plans.  It was transferred to increase our taxpayer contribution to The Grove at GPAC from $2 MILLION to $2.5 MILLION ++

Brief timeline on the project officially known as The Grove at GPAC (aka The Money Pit)
1994 - GPAC opened
2007 – Smart Growth rezoned this space from R Single Family Residential to T5 Urban Center

?????  Exact time The Grove project was first approved and cost estimates revealed.  Although I may have missed some other references, below are the dates I can find in BMA Minutes and media reporting:

September 20, 2017 – There is a photo in a CA article, published October 2, 2019 (link near end of this post), with the caption using this date:  “September 20, 2017 - Paul Chandler, executive director at GPAC, and Parke Kennedy, director of development at GPAC, stand in the area where Germantown and the Germantown Performing Arts Center will construct a new $4 million concert and events facility called The Grove at GPAC."  And another photo has the caption "A rendering of the plaza area at The Grove at GPAC.  The $4 million project is expected to break ground next summer for a Fall 2019 opening."  And within the text of the article it states it was announced in September 2017.  However I could not find any reference in BMA Minutes until July 2018, so guess I overlooked something?
July 9, 2018 – BMA Minutes – Approval of Warrants
GPAC seeks approval to add an outdoor entertainment venue that will meet their goals and needs for this site.  This requires 2 warrants - to allow civic space within an area not designated on the regulating plan and to allow architectural screen up to 10’ in height.

August 13, 2018 – BMA Minutes – Contract – GPAC Grove Fire Truck Turnaround – Installation contract with Barnes and Brower, Inc for $69,277 approved.
Within these minutes, the statement is made:
“GPAC and the City agreed to equally share the construction expenses of The Grove”  and says construction is to start in the middle of September 2018.
NOTE:  Not sure exactly when GPAC and the City made this agreement.  But, somewhere along the way, the agreement was made and the amount was to be $4 MILLION with City and GPAC splitting cost.

November 26, 2018 – BMA Minutes “unsuitable soils” cause change order and increase of $11,794, so $81,071 for fire truck turnaround.

December 10, 2018 – BMA Minutes –GPAC says they have raised more money and asks the City to increase the $2 MILLION to match.  This will take our taxpayer $$$ to $2,528,052.47.  Alderman Dean Massey makes a motion to defer approval of this item for 90 days, but motion failed.
NOTE:  Although I did not ever see this in any official discussion, $500,000 of that $528,052.47 increase was covered by transfer of money that had been designated for Exeter streetscape.   I received this info in response to inquiry about mention in early 2019 article about streetscape plans for Exeter.

April 26, 2019 – Media announcement that GPAC would receive grant from State of Tennessee in the amount of $2.5 MILLION to be used for The Grove.  So, at this point, $5,028,052.47 of our Germantown and Tennessee tax $$$ are committed to this project.
NOTE:  Many of us foolishly hoped this would be used to partially offset the City’s $2,528,052.47.  Shame on us for having such foolish hopes.

September 9, 2019 – BMA Minutes – Change orders No. 10, 11, 12 and 13, which totaled a $719,730.15 increase in the construction contract with Grinder, Taber & Grinder.
Alderman Dean Massey made a motion to defer the item until the next meeting. Motion failed.
Also at this same BMA, the professional services agreement (PSA) amount for contract with Archimania was increased from $397,332 to $433,981
Another post in this forum contains more information and perspective on this particular BMA meeting

October 2, 2019 article by Corinne Kennedy in the Commercial Appeal covers some of this timeline

Also found this article from WMC Action News 5 stating announcement in September 2017.

So at this point, the total amount that we will spend to build an outdoor venue on 1.5 acres of land we already owned ??
More than $7.5 MILLION with over $5 MILLION of that being our tax dollars

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