Mayor’s Minute: Looking back and looking forward to September

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Neighbors,
Welcome to another installment of Mayor’s Minute. This week, let’s take a look back at some of the important things that happened in August and look ahead to September.
Resurrecting the vaccination site – As reported a couple of weeks ago, we will bring back the highly efficient and effective regional COVID-19 vaccination site at Germantown Baptist Church. The location is tentatively scheduled to reopen in late September with help from our neighbors from the Town of Collierville. During the four and half months the site operated earlier this year, close to 70,000 vaccinations were given. As soon as there is final word on approval of booster vaccines, we will provide additional information. There is also a possibility that first and second doses of COVID-I9 vaccines will be available at the site.
We are working hard to ensure a great experience for all who visit our vaccination site and we will continually share updates as operational plans become more certain. Once the plan is in place, we will again need the community to pitch in to volunteer. We were only successful earlier this year because of volunteers from across the region. The process to volunteer is easy, simply visit https://serve.volunteerodyssey.com/group/480106-Germantown-Vaccination-Volunteers-non-medical to sign up to receive an email notification when shifts are posted.
What else can you do to help combat COVID-19?
I am proud to say that close to 73 percent of Germantown residents are fully vaccinated – that’s about twice the state average. I take great pride in leading a community that is so committed to public health and safety. If you haven’t received your shot, please consider getting vaccinated.
Looking back at August – In quick order, here are some items you may have missed during the month.
The City’s 2020 census numbers are in with Germantown slightly growing from a 2010 special census count of 40,123 to 41,333. The City of Germantown is currently ranked as the 20th largest city in the state.
The City’s dual AAA bond rating was reaffirmed by the rating agencies. If you are keeping score at home the City has been AAA rated since 1988, and has saved our residents over 2.5 million dollars in interest cost over those years. With an interest rate of 1.813 percent, our latest bond issue will primarily fund a second water tower, drainage improvements and additional space at Houston Middle School. I know most of us would like a mortgage rate that low.
Years and years of being fiscally conservative have paid off and saved us money to invest in other City areas.
Your Board of Mayor and Alderman adopted a comprehensive Solicitation Ordinance.
I want to thank Assistant City Administrator Jason Huisman for leading a cross-functional work team devoting 18 months to reviewing national best practices, implementing local resident feedback and collaborating with our police department to craft an ordinance balancing free speech, commerce and public safety. I am proud and grateful for this work.
Speaking of policing, we are fortunate to have one of the finest departments in the country. Like you, I review our police report daily and look at trends in the weekly report. For the week of August 13, there were two days with no criminal offenses in the City (August 13 and 18). We know that this is no accident; your police department is dedicated to community policing and is highly professional. When you get a chance, please thank our officers.
Looking Forward – Metro governmental consolidation has resurfaced in the region, primarily brought forward by leadership in our region’s urban core. Over the next few months, we will provide information on the subject. The BMA recently participated in a work session to begin the education process. As an Alderman in 2010, I was firmly against metro consolidation; our community was against this movement as well. The measure failed by referendum a decade ago. Look for a citizen-survey on the subject in the next few weeks.
One final note, we extend our thoughts and prayers to all those along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Many families evacuate to our area ahead of large storms, please welcome those families with care and comfort.
A special thanks to our storm water crews for the advance preparation work ahead of Ida. Those crews worked with diligence and determination ensuring all laterals, ditches, catch basins and inlets were free of debris.
It is my honor to serve this community.
• Mayor Mike Palazzolo