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VOL. 129 | NO. 159 | Friday, August 15, 2014

Brogdon Joins Race for Germantown Mayor

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With about a week left to the filing deadline for candidates, Germantown has a race for mayor.

George Brogdon, the recently retired director of community services for the city of Germantown, filed his petition Monday, Aug. 11, in the Nov. 4 election to succeed Sharon Goldsworthy as mayor of Germantown.

Goldsworthy is not seeking re-election. Brogdon joins Germantown Alderman Mike Palazzolo in the race.

The filing deadline for candidates in the Germantown, Bartlett, Collierville and Millington municipal elections on the November ballot is noon, Aug. 21.

“I’ve thought about this for years,” Brogdon said. “I’m Germantown through and through. But I realize we are not on an island. All you have to do is stand on the sidewalk on Poplar one morning at 7:30 and watch everyone go west.”

Brogdon has been with the city of Germantown for 24 years. He is also a former senior program officer at the nonprofit Day Foundation and began his public service career with the Memphis Park Commission in 1976.

“I think I can make some improvements,” Brogdon said. “We didn’t do a good job on the schools and we are judged by results. We got five of our eight schools.”

He is referring to the Germantown Municipal Schools district, which does not include Germantown Elementary, Middle and High schools. In the settlement agreement Germantown leaders negotiated with Shelby County Schools, the “three Gs” – as they are known – remain in the Shelby County Schools system with the demerger of public education in Shelby County.

Brogdon wants to establish a better relationship with the Shelby County Schools board as well as the Shelby County mayor and Memphis mayor on a long-term basis.

“I’d like to have monthly meetings with those people and have dialogue so when we have issues that include both of us, we already have a relationship and we can do things that hopefully will be advantageous to both of us,” he said. “I’m Germantown first and I always protect Germantown. But we have to learn to work with other entities in a good way as opposed to being antagonistic sometimes. We are all in the same county.”

Brogdon said he is also concerned about the city’s rising property tax rate and sales tax revenue.

“We’re built out so we are going to have to be smart. We are going to have to be efficient,” he added, referring to Germantown’s annexation of everything in its reserve. “We’ve got an aging population and so we can’t keep going back and raising taxes and keep going back and raising fees for things.”

Sales tax revenue is relied on heavily by the six suburban towns and cities and constitutes the minimum amount of funding each of the six have pledged, as required by state law, to operate their school systems.

“They’ll probably close one of the Krogers,” Brogdon said as executives of the supermarket chain announced this week they will close the Farmington Road store temporarily to renovate and expand, with plans to close the Exeter Road store in 2015.

“We have a lot of empty storefronts. We need to work with small businesses and the chamber of commerce and see if we can come up with some solutions,” he added. “We do not have near the retail space that Collierville has. We have to make sure that every one of our storefronts is open and vital and bringing in sales tax.”

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