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Commission Applications are Now Available

Post Date:10/16/2017

Germantown residents interested in serving on City commissions can apply now for appointments which begin January 1. If you are a resident who is currently serving on a commission and wish to reapply, use the automated link that was emailed to you at the beginning of this month. For residents who are first-time applicants, apply online at This digital process helps to reduce lost, misdirected and incomplete applications while ensuring accuracy of information. Paper applications are no longer be accepted. The application period runs from Monday, October 16 to Thursday, November 30. The Board will appoint board and commission members in mid-December and appointees will be notified by the end of December.

The commissions and boards, appointed by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, generally act in an advisory capacity to elected officials and City departments in planning, finance, recreation, education, development, beautification, transportation, personnel and other areas. “Our citizen commissioners and board members share their intellectual capital and professional expertise in helping develop city programming and providing guidance with implementing city policy,” said Mayor Mike Palazzolo. “Serving on a board or commission allows our residents the ability to truly practice the philosophy of citizen first, individual second, a practice that has served Germantown well for decades”.

Generally, commissions meet once a month. However, some with subcommittees or special activities require additional sessions. An alderman serves as liaison to each commission or board. Most terms are for one year.

Germantown Commissions
Beautification Commission. Twelve citizens encourage the beautification of the city through planning, planting and or preservation of trees, flowers, plants, shrubbery and other greenscape. They coordinate decorations and assist with events for the winter holidays, advise on use of donations to the memorial fund and each month recognize a business for site beautification. 
Board of Zoning Appeals. Composed of five citizens and the Planning Commission chairman, the BZA hears appeals from decisions of the building inspector or other administrative officials, interprets the official zoning map as to designations and considers variances where exceptional practical difficulties or hardships are involved. Appointees serve three-year terms.
Design Review Commission. Eight citizens review building-related matters such as architectural design and materials, signage, landscaping, exterior lighting and fences for residential, commercial and Old Germantown properties.
Economic Development Commission. Ten persons and a liaison from the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce advise the City on local economic issues relevant to long-term planning and development, promote economic development and business retention and organize retail events such as the summer Sidewalk Sale. Members are selected from professional interests including development, retail, medical, home-based business, finance and homeowners.
Environmental Commission. Ten citizens, joined by a representative from the Neighborhood Preservation Commission, advise on environmental issues and assist in educational programs. Members also help with Amnesty Dumpster Days.
Financial Advisory Commission. Up to 24 citizens offer advice in the review and development of the City’s financial and budgetary policies. Their work, primarily in late winter and early spring, especially focuses on the annual budget, long range financial planning, capital management and capital improvement planning and personnel salary administration.
Germantown Athletic Club Commission. This commission is composed of nine persons who must be Club members. The commission provides input and feedback to ideas and policies developed by the Club’s director and staff.
Great Hall Advisory Commission. The members of this advisory commission consist of five members, all residents of the City except for one member who should be a Germantown business owner. The members will advise the Board on matters affecting the viability of The Great Hall & Conference Center including but not limited to administration, operation, catering, marketing, physical changes and sales.
Historic Commission. Eleven residents, along with a designee from the Design Review Commission, work to develop and preserve historic documents, structures, areas, oral history, pictorial history and other materials of historic significance to the City. They host “open house” at the John Gray House.
Neighborhood Preservation Commission. Ten residents and representatives from the Planning Commission and the Design Review Commission promote and preserve neighborhood integrity by encouraging neighborhood organizations, involving citizens in safety initiatives, educating homeowners on reinvestment and improving compliance with City ordinances. The Commission organizes and conducts the annual spring tour of remodeled homes and landscapes and the fall neighborhood summit.
Parks and Recreation Commission. Composed of eight citizens, the group advises on departmental policy and conducts, maintains and plans a system of supervised recreational facilities and recreational programs. Appointments are for three years
Personnel Advisory Commission. Seven citizens meet as needed to advise on the development and implementation of City personnel policies and procedures and its classification compensation and benefit programs.
Planning Commission. Seven citizens are appointed by the mayor to review plans for residential and commercial projects, recommend zoning changes and develop ordinances on planning and development matters as requested by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Appointments are for two year terms.
Public Safety Education Commission. Twelve residents advise on public safety and health issues as addressed through citizen education. They promote safety related informational activities and conduct the annual Safety City program.
Retirement Plan Administration Commission. Three citizens confer with administration and staff for the management of retirement plans for City employees, meeting as needed.
Senior Citizen Advisory Commission. Twelve seniors (age 55 and older) advise on the needs of the elder population of the community and related issues. They organize and conduct the annual Senior Expo.
Tree Board. This board consists of one person each from the planning commission, design review commission, parks and recreation commission, neighborhood preservation commission and beautification commission. Two at large positions are appointed by the Board. The Tree Board’s responsibility is to study, investigate, counsel and develop and/or update annually and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas.

For additional information, contact City Clerk Michele Betty at or (901) 757-7251.

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