(Germantown, TN) After holding the most politically powerful position in Germantown for two decades, Sharon Goldsworthy, the longest-serving mayor in Shelby County, tells WREG she won't seek re-election in November and she's now setting her priorities closer to home.
"Some days you wish some of your other priorities didn't keep getting shuffled. So I think having a granddaughter made me long for more time," Goldsworthy said.
The mayor was first elected in 1994, and she said she wanted to stay on the job up until now to help see many of Germantown's priorities completed.
"In any endeavor there comes a time when the torch should be passed. I also recognize there were some very important things I felt I needed to see through to closure and not being here could have thrown things into a more political environment."
Throughout her years in office, Goldsworthy oversaw the transformation of the Germantown Performing Arts Center, the Wolf River Boulevard and law enforcement and schools working together to reduce teen fatalities in Germantown.
"If I'd pick out one single thing, we found a way to reduce the number of teen deaths from fatalities. When I came into office we'd lost a terrible number of young people at Houston High, Germantown High and otherwise."
But one of her biggest challenges was helping to negotiate and establish the Germantown Municipal School District.
"They(negotiations) were exhaustive and exhausting at times, but we always kept our eye on the end outcome and that was to create our own municipal schools and the last time I checked, we did really well towards that."
Goldsworthy says she's pleased that Germantown has gone from a bedroom community to a city of 41,000 and one she says is fiscally, environmentally and culturally sound.
"I think right now is absolutely the right time. I think the City of Germantown is in a very good place in its history," Goldsworthy said.
Goldsworthy is in the last year of her fifth four-year term in office.