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Incumbent Janda holds off Nischwitz for alderman

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Incumbent Rocky Janda beat Dave Nischwitz by 399 votes in Tuesday’s election for Position 5 Germantown Alderman.

Janda secured 7,412 votes to Nischwitz’s 7,013. There were 18 write-ins in the race.

Janda was first elected alderman in 2012.

Born in Memphis, he is a graduate of Germantown High School and the University of Memphis. He is president of P.O.P. Solutions Group, a brand marketing company based in Germantown.

Janda serves as liaison to the Financial Advisory Commission, Environmental Commission, Great Hall and Conference Center Commission, Retirement Plan Commission and is a member of the Audit Commission. He is a graduate and board member of Leadership Germantown and former vice president of Leadership Germantown Alumni Association.

Janda and his wife have three children and five grandchildren.

When asked about significant accomplishments in Germantown over the last four years, Janda said he was “most proud” of the city’s ambulance services.

The city cut ties with Shelby County’s contracted ambulance service in 2013 and hired nine additional workers and rented four ambulances.

“I was worried about it at first, financially,” he said.

He also noted that the city’s police department has added officers and coverage in recent years.

Regarding finances, Janda said the city has increased sales tax revenue 66 percent in the last four years. With the opening of Trader Joe’s next year, Janda said Germantown will have five grocery stores.

“I’m real proud of our economic development and all the things we’ve done to make public safety better,” he said. “Ten new businesses will be opening in the next 90 days.”

Janda said the creation of the Germantown Municipal School District and the opening of Whole Foods is helping improve the value of houses in the city.

He added that the city has a National Recreation and Park Association accredited Parks and Recreation Department.

Looking forward, Janda said he would like to “dress up” the city’s commercial district, which is often referred to as Old Germantown.

Janda said he envisions gas lamps, park benches, larger sidewalks, planters and something to signify an entryway into the district.

“So, when you come to our commercial district you know you’re there,” he said. “Its a little hard to tell these days.”

Noting that he is in favor of building a new school to alleviate overcrowding in the school system, Janda said he hopes to avoid a property rate increase until 2020.

“I’m trying to figure out how I can do that,” he said.

Regarding the location of the new school, Janda said any site is “going to have some issues.”

He noted that he wanted to convert the current Bobby Lanier Farm Park site into a school grounds.

“But we’ve gotten grants there that have stipulations that say you have to use it as a park,” he said.

Noting that he doesn’t think the Winchester Road site is a “great location,” he added that it might be the “only location.”

“If we end up having de-annexation come up,” he continued, “it will be a great location because of the Windyke and Southwind areas that want to come to Germantown.”

Noting that the school board will ultimately decide where to build the school, Janda said the Board of Mayor and Aldermen will oversee the funding.