McCreery, Musso face off for Germantown Alderman Position 5

By , Daily Memphian Published: October 06, 2020 4:00 AM CT

Germantown is divided, and Jon McCreery and Brandon Musso, who are facing off for Alderman Position 5, want to unify the suburb if elected.

McCreery is a homebuilder. He said he feels he can bring people together due to his years of entrepreneurial and business experience. McCreery, who has lived in the suburb more than five decades, has not served on city commissions but previously spent 14 years on the Memphis and Shelby County Land Use Control Board.


Municipal candidate list finalized


“When you’ve got that much history in a community and you understand where it was, where it is and where it is going, I think that gives you a really good perspective,” he said.

Musso has spent 17 years in logistics. During that time, he also lobbied at the state level for bipartisan legislation to help drivers and the trucking industry.

“I have ears, and I want to do what’s right,” Musso has repeated. “I’m not your CEO. I’m your next door neighbor.”

He said he “has heart” and is invested in the community.

“It’s not about business,” he added. “It’s not about money. It’s about doing what’s right and doing what’s best for the city and listening to the people.” 

Unity

Germantown’s division is visible in board meetings. Some votes end in a 3-2 split after lengthy debate.

“Germantown just feels broken,” Musso, a former member of the Great Hall & Conference Center Commission, said. “It’s not about what’s left or what’s right or people taking sides with the political landscape. I think it goes so much deeper”

Musso, a four-year resident, said this election is “crucial” as no incumbents are seeking reelection. He said some residents feel they don’t have a voice, and he wants to resolve that.

“This election cycle will shape Germantown for generations to come, This is not about who’s your friend. It’s not about resumes. It’s not about achievements. It’s about having two ears and a big heart,” he said. “I’m trying to be a neutral voice and do what’s right.”

McCreery said the “division and negativity” spurred him to run.

“As exemplified at many of our (Board of Mayor and Alderman) meetings, there has been some discord and negativity,” he said. “I’d like the opportunity to try to help bring that together, bring the two sides together.”

Development

One issue that has divided residents for years is growth and which developments the city allows and pursues.

McCreery was chairman of the Land Use Control Board for seven years. He made a commitment to not speculate about proposals until they were formally submitted.

“Germantown is in high demand,” he said. “Developers want to come to our community, but we need to balance that growth between the services our residents need and making sure we are doing it wisely — making use of our remaining land in an efficient, wise manner.”

He wants to establish an updated land plan that identifies “future neighborhoods” for wise development decisions.

McCreery does not support expanding Germantown’s commercial footprint and said he would examine mixed-use on a case-by-case basis. 

However, he also noted property owners have rights.

“If somebody brings in apartments and it meets the density requirement of so many units per acre, you almost can’t turn it down.”


Miles, Motley, Ueleke seek Germantown Alderman Position 4


Musso has a firm stance on apartments.

“Let me be clear. I’m completely against apartments in any form,” he said.

He noted small net revenue from apartments even if within a mixed-use development as noted in the TischlerBise 2016 study. He said property tax is the most consistent revenue source, and Germantown should look for ways to grow residentially without high-density. 

“We have a number of (apartments) already planned to be built,” he said. “We have an infrastructure problem we are struggling with and we want to put up more apartments? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

He also said residents he speaks with don’t support the density, and his decisions on future developments will be based on residents’ desires. 

Musso enjoys the quality retail and restaurants Germantown provides, and is not against growth. He wants it done carefully while protecting the suburb’s values and maintaining a “small-town” and “hometown” feel.

“We’ve got to do growth in the right way,” he said. “I think it needs a lot of eyes.”

Germantown Municipal School District

It’s been more than two years since the school board and city board held a joint work session to discuss goals and funding needs.

McCreery said it’s “paramount” the two boards work together to identify goals and provide funds to enhance education for students in Germantown. 

“Whatever we have to do to provide excellent education, give these kids every chance they can get,” he said he wants to provide — even if it includes additional future funding.

Both candidates want the Houston Middle expansion and want to go back to the joint meetings.

Musso’s children go to Germantown Schools, and he is frustrated by the lack of communication between the school district and Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“We are going to have to continue to invest in our schools,” Musso said. “That’s what makes Germantown, Germantown.”

Some residents want to purchase Germantown Elementary School, Germantown Middle School and Germantown High School. All three are owned by Shelby County Schools.


Hicks, Johnson to face off for Germantown Alderman Position 3


“That (decision) needs to go hand in hand with the school board,” Musso said, noting the two boards would have to work jointly to pursue the purchase.

McCreery said he would like the campuses, but there are too many issues right now to make sure the district’s current six schools have what they need, including supplies and deferred maintenance.

“We need to get ourselves in a position to deal with the assets we have now.”

Alderman candidates serve at-large and are not bound by geography in the suburb. 

Two other aldermanic seats are on the ballot as no incumbents are seeking reelection. Sherrie Hicks and Terri Johnson will face off for Position 3. John Paul Miles, Rod Motley and Brian Ueleke are seeking Position 4.

In the Germantown school board races, Ryan Strain and Amy Eoff are running unopposed for Positions 1 and 5, respectively. Brian Curry and Scott Williams are vying for Position 3.

Meaningful news delivered to you each week

Coverage of the key happenings in our city including city hall, elections, and more.

Manage Your Email Subscriptions

Topics

Germantown Jon McCreery Brandon Musso Alderman Position 5 Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen 2020 municipal elections Germantown Election 2020
Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


Comment On This Story

Become a subscriber to join the discussion.
Meaningful news delivered to you each week

Coverage of the key happenings in our city including city hall, elections, and more.

Manage Your Email Subscriptions