Germantown to name new city administrator

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Germantown officials have announced that Jason Huisman will soon be named the city’s next administrator, replacing longtime city administrator Patrick Lawton who held the position for more than 33 years and announced his retirement last October.


Mayor Mike Palazzolo will appoint Huisman, who is currently the assistant city administrator, to the position of city administrator next Monday during the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting at City Hall.


“Given Jason’s accomplishments within the city management profession over the last decade, combined with his dedication to serving the City of Germantown, I can’t think of a better fit for this role,” Palazzolo said. “Jason brings big ideas, a passion for customer service and an unparalleled commitment to successful teamwork to our organization.”


The city administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city, also upholding the priorities and processes established by the Mayor and Aldermen. In Germantown, the administrator also takes the lead in tracking progress toward achieving the goals outlined in the Germantown Forward 2030 strategic plan.


“The opportunity to assume greater responsibility in leading the next generation of exceptional public servants for our model community is a great honor,” said Huisman, who is one of only six active International City/County Management Association (ICMA)-credentialed city managers in Tennessee. “I’m grateful for the trust that the Mayor and Aldermen have placed in me to date and am humbled to even be considered for this opportunity.”


Since his initial appointment as assistant city administrator in 2017, Huisman has played an “influential role in shaping Germantown’s success, working diligently behind the scenes to direct numerous initiatives that helped earn the City the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the country’s only Presidential award for performance excellence.”

In addition to his daily operational support for all city functions, the following are just a few of the major initiatives completed as assistant city administrator during his tenure with the city:


• Solicitation Ordinance. Huisman led the research, drafting and presentation effort to update the City’s door-to-door solicitation ordinance, also drafting and presenting legislation to regulate peddlers, handbill distribution, temporary display stands and mobile food and food preparation vendors.


• Stormwater Advisory Commission. He collaborated with the City’s Engineering and Public Works directors to research, draft and present an ordinance to establish the Stormwater Advisory Commission.


• Land Use and Exchange Agreements with GMSD. He worked with the Germantown Municipal School District (GMSD) and legal counsel to finalize purchase and sale agreements for the exchange of land in order to further GMSD and City strategic plan objectives.


• Crestwyn Hills Land Purchase and Sale Agreements: Premier Sports Facility & Recreation Complex. Huisman assisted Germantown Parks and Recreation Director Pam Beasley in the 46-acre Crestwyn Hills land purchase for the City’s planned premier sports facility and recreation complex.


• Bike and Pedestrian, Technology, and Public Art Commissions. He played an integral role in establishing the Bike and Pedestrian, Technology and Public Art Commissions through coordinating the research process with City staff and presenting the ordinances for the establishment of those commissions. Subsequently, Huisman assisted the Germantown Performing Arts Center with the adoption process for the City’s Public Art Master Plan.


• Apartment Moratorium Study. Huisman led an internal, cross-functional team tasked with researching, studying, drafting, and publicly presenting the projected impact of future apartment developments on City services. The final report included more than 300 pages of data-driven estimations and projections for reference when considering future development project proposals.


• Germantown Municipal School District (GMSD) Liaison and Master Facilities Planning Committee member. He served as the City’s point person for GMSD administration, assisting as needed with operational challenges and major GMSD capital budget / planning initiatives to produce positive outcomes for all City partners.


• Neighborhood Preservation Ordinances. Huisman is currently coordinating the effort to establish a “Neighborhood and Community Preservation” chapter in the City’s municipal code to address property maintenance and other neighborhood/community quality-of-life matters.


As a 2019 graduate of Leadership Germantown, Huisman credits his professional drive and intuitive leadership abilities to a strong family upbringing that instilled solid, foundational values of faith and family, in that order, he said. He’s a Germantown family man with a wife of 19 years and three children and he’s excited about doing his part to build a better future – not just for them, but for all residents.


In addition to his successes in his most recent role, Huisman brings almost a decade of experience in civic leadership from his past positions as chief administrative officer and deputy village administrator for the Village of South Holland, Illinois. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from University of Illinois Springfield and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi.


And here’s a final fun fact: Long before entering the realm of civic service, Huisman was a four-year letterman as a shortstop in the late 90’s for the Ole Miss baseball program, before being drafted by the Anaheim Angels in 1998 and going on to complete five successful seasons within their farm system.


“As a former SEC and professional athlete and collegiate coach, the instilled principles of discipline, hard work, and focusing on the process are with you for life,” said Huisman. “Seeing the City’s commitment to these same principles is what attracted me to this organization and model community in the first place. Our relentless pursuit of Excellence, Every day will continue to build on these core tenets for many years to come.”

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