Alderman John Barzizza announced his candidacy for Mayor at a campaign event late yesterday afternoon. Jon Thompson, his campaign treasurer, says this about Alderman Barzizza:
Alderman Barzizza is a life long resident of Germantown, a very successful businessman and a decades old founder/contributor to many multimillion dollar charitable and non-profit organizations........... John has a mind for honest business AND a heart for service.
For a glimpse of Alderman Barzizza in action at a recent BMA meeting, I direct you here, where he discusses issues confronted by various neighborhoods, and states "we are ALL stakeholders." What affects one neighborhood affects us all.
Here is the biography of John Barzizza on the Germantown website.
John Barzizza was elected in 2014 and is serving his first four-year term as Alderman for Position 1 in Germantown. John has spent almost all of his life in Germantown having moved to the city just after birth. He graduated from Christian Brothers High School in Memphis and Regis University in Denver, Co. with a major in marketing.
John was active in the Memphis/Germantown communities coaching baseball and basketball for GYAA, serving as a board member of the CP Council of West Tennessee, board member and chairman two terms at Shelby Residential and Vocational Services (SRVS) and chaired capital campaign for SRVS from 2008-2011. John has also served on the boards of Carnival Memphis, Christian Brothers High School, UNICO, AutoZone Liberty Bowl (President in 2000) and board member of various beverage industry related organizations in his 43 years in business until he sold and retired from his business in 2012.
Alderman Barzizza currently serves as liaison to the Design Review , Economic Development, Historic and Senior Citizens' Advisory Commissions.
Alderman Barzizza is married to Wanda Freeman and has five grown children and four grandchildren. John is a member of Church of the Holy Spirit where he served on their original capital campaign.
I can recall a number of notable highlights in Alderman Barzizza's tenure, and will list just a few, in no particular order:
1. His recent votes opposing the approval of apartment complexes (Watermark and Viridian) in the Forest Hill Heights area. These each passed the BMA in 3-2 votes in the December 2017 BMA meeting, although only the Watermark vote was for full approval. For more information on this issue, see City Officials Ignore and Misprepresent FHH Small Area Plan.
2. He was the only alderman who voiced early and strong opposition to Germantown Road Realignment. Eventually, in early 2016, the realignment project was dropped by the City. There was never a formal vote taken on the issue, however. Although the City Administration claims that this project is now "dead", the project remains alive, albeit dormant, on the MPO website. It could be revived when federal funds become available again in a year, if the City chooses to do add it to their capital expenditures budget and apply for the funds. See Let's Get This Straight; Realignment is Not Dead; it is On the MPO Project List.
3. He appeared at a Board of Education's meeting, and asked the Board to undertake a search for a new school site, rather than accepting the Winchester site championed by Mayor Palazzolo and City Administrator Patrick Lawton. He explained that he had originally voted for the Winchester site because Mayor Palazzolo had stated that it was the only site available. Subsequent to that vote, he learned that other sites were available; therefore, he requested that the Board disregard the BMA's vote for the Winchester site. See this blog post from JAM in Germantown.
4. At one particular school board meeting, Alderman Barzizza stepped up to the plate for the Band Booster Club. The club had asked the Board of Education for help with purchasing new tires for the truck that the band uses to transport instruments to competitions. The cost was prohibitive for the Booster Club alone. Alderman Barzizza, I was later told by a parent, was so moved by their plight that he wrote a check for the tires from his personal checking account after the meeting.
5. Alderman Barzizza insisted that the BMA follow the Charter when approving the City Administrator's salary. Thanks to him, the salary is now specified and approved separately, not as part of the overall budget. Please see Charter, Charter, What's in the Charter? And What is the City Administrator's Compensation?
At the present time, Alderman Barzizza is the only announced candidate for Mayor. Mayor Palazzolo is expected to announce his candidacy at a later date. Shining a Light on Germantown sincerely thanks all candidates and all elected officials for their service to the community.