About Me--Why this Blog

Germantown is my home, and I love it here. Here in Germantown it is almost a requirement that you love this city if you live here. Whew, I actually do love Germantown, but I will dispense with any judgment of someone who doesn't love it, for whatever reason. For more about Germantown, you can see the Wikipedia page here--Germantown Wikipedia Page. Don't pay much attention to the water tower picture there.  One of my goals is to figure out how to change the Wikipedia picture of the Germantown water tower. There are so many beautiful sites in Germantown, but the water tower just looks like every other water tower.

Who Am I?

My name is Pauline Lathram, and I have been a citizen of Germantown for about three years, although I have lived in nearby Memphis for most of my adult life. After my husband and I moved here, I began to realize how much I missed a suburban lifestyle. We are in walking distance to the Greenway, (a bike trail by the Wolf River) and biking distance to one of the largest urban parks in the city--Shelby Farms.  I love to ride my bike. 

I am now retired, but for a large part of my adult life I was the Finance Manager for the Memphis Arts Council (now called ArtsMemphis). It is an umbrella organizaton for non-profit arts groups. I became very familiar with standard accounting practices, audits, and compliance issues. Additionally, my education includes an MBA from Columbia University in New York. I am used to dealing with non-profit Board members and financial controls. I do feel that I have a certain level of expertise due to my background.

Biking at Nashoba Park
I have a photography blog, but it isn't particularly active right now because I think I have practically run out of animals to photograph. If you like photography blogs that are mostly animal photographs, see  

 Fotofilings Blog  

The cover photo for this blog is a picture of one of the fabulous bridges on the Greenway.  It may be a placeholder until I can get some more Germantown photos. It was selected because of the "light" theme. This blog is all about light and mostly bringing sunshine to the dealings of the city government.  

Anyone who would like to have notice for updates to this blog, or wants to contact me for some other reason, please use this email address: 


Why am I writing this blog? 

We were having a Facebook Discussion about a newspaper article concerning the city of Germantown on a Germantown group site. I thought it was an important issue, but most people avoided the discussion. One person suggested that there were good reasons for people not caring about the issue--they included things like-- they know the people involved and like them, they like the status quo because they do business with the city, they are too busy, and they would rather eat Snickers bars. I can relate to the last one although I prefer dark chocolate bars. This blog is for the people who prefer eating Snickers bars over commenting on governance issues in Germantown. They can eat Snickers while they look at the blog.

Mainly I intend on compiling information in the blog.  Although it will discuss political subjects, it will not be a place to promote one candidate over another. Most discussions about elections are best served other places. I will moderate the discussion to keep it on topic for each page. We do not need our emergency response rate pointed out when we are discussing the pension plans of employees, for instance. All general comments about how wonderful Germantown is should be all together on this page. It is the first page of my blog and I wanted to show my devotion to the city because it truly is a wonderful place to live. If I open up discussion on other pages, the discussions should be only on the topic at hand. I will not allow "Who cares about this when our parks are so nice?" for instance. Our parks are wonderful by the way. I was actually pleasantly surpised by this when my husband and I moved here. Memphis cannot compare to Germantown in the parks department.

That gives me a good reason to tout this awesome city.  A lot of the people here are newcomers to the area, and a good number of them have been recruited here by FedEx, as the FedEx headquarters is nearby. Housing prices are going up, as people are attracted by our low crime rate, our sense of community, friendly neighbors, great new neighborhood school system, as well as the parks, the Germantown Athletic Center, and the Germantown Performing Arts Center.

The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen have been responsive to the will of the people.......IF the people make enough of a fuss. I was on an ad hoc citizen committee called "The Committee for Responsible Germantown Growth".  A group of us met online and planned strategy together that would help defeat (or at least delay) an unneeded highway. To learn about the road realignment issue from our point of view you can look at the web page I created. Germantown Road Realignment  In any case the powers that be listened to us. That made me realize that citizen involvement can really make a difference here, so I am wanting to inspire the Snickers crowd (I also am a member of the Snickers crowd). 

I have no agenda and didn't vote in the last Germantown elections. I knew very few people here and did not have an informed view on things. It was a very contentious campaign and I stayed away. I am not in with the in crowd and I am not in with the out crowd. I am not part of a crowd at all though I did make some friends that fought against the realignment of Germantown Road. I am my own person and any judgments made here will be my own only, and not influenced by any other person or group of people. I am for honesty, transparency, open government, responsibility, accountability, competency and following the rule of law in governance issues. Above all, this blog is "of the Light." 

For those using Smart Phones, here is a list of posts in this blog. 

I LOVE Germantown, TN 

A Little Background and Talking Trash  

Charter, charter, What's in the Charter? And what is the City Administrator's Compensation? 

A Car Plus a Car Allowance = a mistake and a payback 

Protecting Germantown Employees Comes at a High Cost for Taxpayers  

Thank You Jane Roberts, Vacation Buybacks and Other "Perks"

City of Germantown Eclipses Sunshine Law 

Commercial Appeal Editorial Praises Records Requests


  1. Pauline,

    What is the PAC's position on getting the 3 G schools back?

    I wonder if you are aware of a Tennessee Code that speaks to control of local schools within a bounded district?

  2. That question would better be asked of the PAC, since I have no affiliation with the PAC. The positions of the candidates for aldermen on the schools are discussed here: http://shiningalightongermantown.blogspot.com/2016/10/aldermen-candidate-interviews-and.html

  3. I ask only because, (paraphrasing) we collect tax for our local district for the benefit of our common schools and therefore we exclusively control those schools. This means SCS is operating in the GMSD in violation of the code. We don't need to acquire land or building anything. We need to kick SCS out of our established district. Apparently, with the exception of the few I have notified, none of our elected officials seem to know this.

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