Germantown Special Services District appoints new director (from Mt. Airy)

 New GSSD Executive Director Anthony Dean sees promise in the Germantown and Chelten corridors. (Image courtesy of GSSD)

New GSSD Executive Director Anthony Dean sees promise in the Germantown and Chelten corridors. (Image courtesy of GSSD)

The upstart Germantown Special Services District announced Tuesday that a Mt. Airy resident has been named its executive director.

Anthony Dean was previously a fundraising consultant with his Rizen Group. He also managed a “Main Street Program” in New Orleans’ Algiers neighborhood. GSSD cited Dean’s marketing, special-events production and commercial-corridor revitalization experience as selling points.

“I look forward to working with business owners, community organizations, local institutions and residents to create a clean, inviting, safe and well-managed district in the Central Germantown area.” said Dean via press release. “Germantown and Chelten is one of the most heavily traveled neighborhood shopping areas in Philadelphia. Its history, institutions, diversity and people make it unlike any other place.”

Joseph Martin, interim chair of the GSSD’s Board of Directors, lauded Dean’s “knowledge and experience” on Tuesday.

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“Bringing on professional staff to manage the GSSD operations is a critical milestone in the process of re-activating the district and working with our partners to create a clean, safe, inviting, vibrant and growing commercial district,” Martin said.

The back story

The GSSD began in 1995 with a paid staff, including a group of street cleaners akin to the Center City District. By December 2011, when city funding for the public-private enterprise zeroed out, the program was discontinued.

The effort to revive the GSSD is was spearheaded by City Councilwoman Cindy Bass, whose eighth district includes Germantown.

The district is focused on commercial properties fronting on Germantown Avenue between Coulter and High streets, Chelten between Baynton and Morris, along with Maplewood Mall, Market Square and sections of Greene Street and Wayne, Pulaski and Maplewood avenues.

The initial draft budget proposal anticipated billing $178,176 in assessments, with the assessment rate for businesses being roughly 12 percent of the property’s tax bill.

Expenses included $78,913 for cleaning and maintenance, $50,000 for salary and benefits to a yet-to-be-hired district manager, and nearly $3,000 for communications and marketing.

Street-cleaning efforts commenced in November after the GSSD received council and mayoral approval.

NewsWorks will sit down with Dean for a Q&A in the near future.

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