Q&A with Mike Slinker

UPDATED TO ADD TEXT FROM ORIGINAL EMAIL:

“During my time as a volunteer Diplomat for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, I spoke with people in Smyrna, Murfreesboro and LaVergne, and the one common theme was to improve the reputation of our city. Many citizens around the community have this same hope and my commitment is that I will do my best to offer ideas and resources to help improve the image and reputation of LaVergne.

I truly believe the first step should be a “Call-To-Action” with a phased-in approach. This requires identifying all potential resources (connecting our school systems, civic organizations, local businesses, board of education, chamber of commerce and non-profit organizations working together for a united effort).
Employers look for talented employees…employees have families who are looking for good schools to educate their kids…kids are looking to get involved…and the community needs the support of its people to make each other accountable. It is an on-going cycle, but once people get connected things get much easier to manage from a city perspective.

My experience has taught me that a good place to start is getting people to talk with each other. (Businesses, Schools, Board of Education, Chamber office, churches, non-profits, civic organizations). LaVergne has pockets of greatness; however, it is limited based upon the silos that exists. Not everyone is aware of activities going on inside the city.

I would like to see some type of communication system developed so that all 27,000+ residents are given the opportunity to participate. This requires alot of effort and creative ideas, but I am a firm believer that an informed community is able to make better decisions. Being a student at Western KY University, the campus was known as a “Suitcase College” due to the majority leaving on the weekend to go back home. La Vergne is similar in that it could be referred to as a “sleeping town”. Citizens own a home, but the majority of their time is spent elsewhere. The answer potentially lies in getting them involved and connected in some small way.
A person involved has a greater chance to get connected. The connection leads to additional responsibility and awareness which breeds a stronger commitment to community!

I have been successful in leading the LaVergne Rotary to greater heights and expectations amongst their own peers. Rotary International is one of the world’s largest civic organizations in the entire world. Our city is connected to this organization in addition to our other sister city’s in Rutherford County. I can happily report that the Murfreesboro and Smyrna clubs are all talking about “All the excitement going on in LaVergne Rotary”. My goal is to take this same approach as an elected official…working with other cities for the common good while creating an atmosphere of excitement, hard work and loads of variety.
Sorry for the long response, but I am passionate about the potential that exists!

Thanks,
Mike Slinker”

This weekend I sent an email to Mr. Slinker with a few questions I had about his platform. I also asked if he wouldike to provide a formal editorial for our audience and will awit his response. Below is the Q&A from me. If any of you have specific questions, he was quick to respond. Check out his site at www.mikeslinker.com

 

Q: Crime – What are your specific plans regarding our increasing crime and gang problems? I believe many improvements have been made recently, how will you continue these efforts? 

A: I am a true believer in getting neighbors working together for the greater cause and community spirit. The Neighborhood Watch Program is a good start. I have worked with Lt Ruch and several of my neighbors in getting the initial process started, specifically for residents on Mable Drive (location of most recent shooting and nearby robberies).

 

Q: Lake Forest Estates – There are several issues here. What are you plans to reverse the increasing rental property and section 8 housing? What plans would you have to encourage familes to once again purchase homes in that neighborhood? What specifically would you like to do about the parking situation? What about the apparent lack of respect for property values shown in moldy homes and overgrown yards?


A: I have lived in Lake Forest since 1995 and have had 3 homes during that time (435 Randall Lane, 722 Alisa Cove and currently 608 Mable Drive)  — adherence to proper codes and ordinances will be of great benefit. It would serve our community well to review all current codes in the city and either re-confirm ones that are valid or consider looking at others that may make sense. Educating local subdivision homeowners and information sharing is critical as it relates to maintaining property values and giving proper respect.


Q: Retail – What plans do you have to encourage some of the Smyrna retail growth to come here?


A: My relationships with the VP of Economic Development with the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and the Existing Industry Council Coordinator/Director will help LaVergne have a seat at the table.


Q: Waldron Road – How will you help see that this long awaited widening project is finally completed?

A: I have always been a person whose motto and belief has been to Inspect What You Expect”.

 
Q: Infrastructure – Smyrna is constantly widening and improving their roads, installing attractive streetlights and landscaping. What are your plans regarding any improvement for the aging infrastructure in La Vergne, particularly Chaney rd. and Old Nashville Highway?

A: Will utilize my relationships and build resources from the local Chamber, state and federal government programs and grants to re-visit any potential infrastructure projects/planning.


Q: Residential – Do you have any plans that would encourage more expensive (luxury) housing to be built within the city limits?


A: I have built relationships with Business Developers in Nashville (in particular — The Ritzen Group) to possibly look at LaVergne for expanded growth in their business plans.


Q: As a final and optional question, you are aware that currently 2 spots on the board are open, and you are one of three running to fill a spot. Are you more supportive of Ms. Moseley’s re-election bid or Mr. Waldron’s? Or if I could ask in a different way, who would you plan to vote for in addition to yourself?


A: I have known both individuals and could work with either one of these candidates if elected. I’m still getting to know each one in regards to their vision and plans for the city during the next 4 yrs.

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23 Responses

  1. Great interview, Michael. Ivy and I had been talking about contacting Mr. Slinker, so I’m so glad that you already did!

    I would like to see Mr. Waldron & Ms. Mosely answer the same questions. Senna? Dennis? Email your replies to Michael … comment with your email Michael!!! Or to me kathy (dot) tyson (at) comcast (dot) com. Or to Ivy via badbadivy (at) gmail (dot) com.

  2. Mr. Slinker thank you for the insight, I have considered your answers all evening. Went back in and printed off the Q&A, set down and read them again. Mike I actually thought that you would be the help we needed to make real changes in this city. Without a doubt you are a good man I have sang your praises all around this town. But these answers took me to California and back, but did not give me the directions; we are your neighbors and yes your friends. Please sit down and tell the people what you feel from your heart.
    A: I have known both individuals and could work with either one of these candidates if elected.
    Mike isn’t this almost word for word, the statement Alderman Waldron stated in the DNJ about working with you or Alderman Mosley.
    A: I have always been a person whose motto and belief has been to “Inspect What You Expect”.
    I have inspected you for years and been your friend, I expected better from you, now LaVergne is inspecting you show the man your friends expect you to be.
    If you contunue to talk like a politation out both sides of your mouth, the 4 people that are registered to vote that live in this house will not split their votes, that means 8 votes goes to Alderman Mosley on election day. Mike its time to get off the pot.

  3. This is quite interesting, although I tend to agree with Bring it To Light that some questions have been sidestepped entirely, which bothers me a bit. I’d love to sit down with Mr. Slinker sometime and have a real conversation with him. I know that some people are better speakers than writers, and I wonder if this isn’t the case with Mr. Slinker.

    The only other comment I have about Mr. Slinker is this- it would have been a lot cooler if his YouTube video had credited this blog, or its original creator Squirrel Queen for the “More fun on a date than Shirley, Tenn.” graphic. I’m not a huge complainer on copyright issues, but a credit sure would have been nice.

  4. Oh, and one more thing. It is mighty cool to have someone from LFE running for alderman.

  5. Alderman Mosley let me take this time to tell you how cool it is to have a site that an elected official actually reads and answer you back. Now that I have your attention, I put Mike Slinker on the hot seat consider yourself on it. michaelinLV took a lot of time to sit and think of these questions, I expect real answers from you, not the trip across the country that we got from Mr. Slinker. Alderman Mosley I think that the people of LaVergne deserve answers, I have an awful thought, I wonder if Mr. Slinker attends enough city meetings to understand the workings of this City, or like most of us, picks up his information from channel 3.

  6. Wow, you guys are pretty brutal. I’ve heard of throwing tomatoes, but ol’ bring it to light is chucking boulders.

    I don’t know what you can do as an aldermen to make changes in rental and section 8 housing. I guess my answer would be to lobby our Congressmen for changes in HUD and their rental assistance/Section 8 program. At the city level, you have no control over what HUD doles out to landlords if they apply for the program.

    But, heck, seeing that you can’t win the argument, maybe a candidate should just say “I plan to buy up a bunch of houses and apply to be a Section 8 landlord myself!”. Geez, people.

    Someone told me that all houses in new subdivisions will have to have bigger driveways, and we should be seeing some more retail soon. That is the kind of thing the Board CAN do for the city.

  7. Fred, you make a fair point. I don’t know that any city council can explicitly refuse section 8 vouchers from being used in their city. With that said, my next question is why don’t you see other comparable cities (Franklin, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Smyrna, etc) over run with section 8 housing? What are they doing that we can mirror?

    Let me state personally that I am not opposed to some section 8 housing, but when it is in a highly concentrated area, you are essentially creating a new ghetto where you use to have primary residential homes.

  8. My anwers were sent to Kathy just a few mintues ago prior to reading this section. Michael, I don’t have your email. Fred , you are right. I have tried to address this in my answers. I did explain the driveway ordinance that has been changed.(Well it passed first reading) I tried my best to anwer the questions and be straight to the point. As for the boulders, I have had them thrown before. Thank Goodness I have a hard head. lol Seriously, it is our job as Elected Officals to listen to all of you and take both the good and bad and hopefully learn from it. This city belongs to ALL of us!!

  9. Sorry guys, I did not post Mike Slinker’s entire email to me, just the Q&A portion. This might provide some more of the answers you guys would be interested in:

    “During my time as a volunteer Diplomat for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, I spoke with people in Smyrna, Murfreesboro and LaVergne, and the one common theme was to improve the reputation of our city. Many citizens around the community have this same hope and my commitment is that I will do my best to offer ideas and resources to help improve the image and reputation of LaVergne.

    I truly believe the first step should be a “Call-To-Action” with a phased-in approach. This requires identifying all potential resources (connecting our school systems, civic organizations, local businesses, board of education, chamber of commerce and non-profit organizations working together for a united effort).
    Employers look for talented employees…employees have families who are looking for good schools to educate their kids…kids are looking to get involved…and the community needs the support of its people to make each other accountable. It is an on-going cycle, but once people get connected things get much easier to manage from a city perspective.

    My experience has taught me that a good place to start is getting people to talk with each other. (Businesses, Schools, Board of Education, Chamber office, churches, non-profits, civic organizations). LaVergne has pockets of greatness; however, it is limited based upon the silos that exists. Not everyone is aware of activities going on inside the city.

    I would like to see some type of communication system developed so that all 27,000+ residents are given the opportunity to participate. This requires alot of effort and creative ideas, but I am a firm believer that an informed community is able to make better decisions. Being a student at Western KY University, the campus was known as a “Suitcase College” due to the majority leaving on the weekend to go back home. La Vergne is similar in that it could be referred to as a “sleeping town”. Citizens own a home, but the majority of their time is spent elsewhere. The answer potentially lies in getting them involved and connected in some small way.
    A person involved has a greater chance to get connected. The connection leads to additional responsibility and awareness which breeds a stronger commitment to community!

    I have been successful in leading the LaVergne Rotary to greater heights and expectations amongst their own peers. Rotary International is one of the world’s largest civic organizations in the entire world. Our city is connected to this organization in addition to our other sister city’s in Rutherford County. I can happily report that the Murfreesboro and Smyrna clubs are all talking about “All the excitement going on in LaVergne Rotary”. My goal is to take this same approach as an elected official…working with other cities for the common good while creating an atmosphere of excitement, hard work and loads of variety.
    Sorry for the long response, but I am passionate about the potential that exists!

    Thanks,
    Mike Slinker”

  10. […] 17, 2008 by Kathy T. I’ve put on my editor’s hat to add the text received with Mr. Slinker’s Q&A on this post.  Follow the link to read more about his experience and views on service ot […]

  11. Mike Slinker the only problems that I think that I have with you at this time was the way you, Sherry Green or Granny Green, and former Mayor Mike Webb backed Dennis Waldron and Ronnie Erwin, and most of us went along with you because we trusted your judgment, Mike you have judgment issues, I still love Granny and like Mike Webb, but I will never vote for either one of them again, if they suggest someone I will work behind the scenes against them. I also think that we all found out to late the reason, Granny and Mike Webb supported Alderman Waldron and Mayor Erwin I think that Mike Webb wanted to continue running the city through the city Administrator, I am also of the opinion that Erwin and Waldron were easily manipulated or swayed, depending on the way the wind blows. Mike you are starting to sound just like them, do you want to be elected this bad. Mike the Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce are great originations, at this time WE ARE TALKING LAVERGNE, you don’t know what is going on in this city do you. When were the last M/A meeting that you were at, and or all city meetings that you have attended? Please let us know.

  12. Duhhhh….I get the feeling this is intended to be negative (Fred places dunce cap upon head, all third person like).

    November is nearly here, eh gang?

  13. Fred, did somebody kick your chair out from under you? ;-P

  14. Nah, none of it affects me. I just think it is fun sometimes to wonder what motivation some people have to write what they do. A lot of times you can figure out who is writing, if you know them. You can actually match writing styles back with others, too.

    I don’t think I’ve figured this one out just yet. When I do, though, I have no reason to tell, or bash anybody. I may argue a point or two on this board, but usually only if I feel I can win it..

    With that said, Michael, I think in those other cities, you don’t have 3,000 homes all in one area and on small pieces of land. La Vergne wanted a population explosion in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and helped developers by allowing really small lots in all of its zoning. They should have been careful what they wished for. Some developers will design big lots, just because they want their subdivisions to be nice. Most just do bare minimum, though.

  15. BITL, I don’t know anything about who supported what in the past, but in my opinion the past is the past. I voted for Waldron for alderman in 04 because I thought we needed more people who were from this area to try and restore the charecter of La Vergne. I didn’t realize it was many of those “old timers” who sold of La Vergne’s charecter to the highest bidder.

    I know most people hate negative ads, but I sometimes wish we could have some negative ads thrown around in this election. All 3 candidates say they want to reduce crime, improve property values, widen roads, attract businesses, etc. But what have the candidates done that would make us not want to vote for them? I know Mosely and Waldron have a voting record we could review, not sure what Slinker has on public record.

    How do we know who really has the best interest of La Vergne at heart and who is driving us into the ground?

  16. Slinker lost votes by aligning himself with Waldron in my opinion. Putting up signs in front of others running for the same office & bad-mouthing one who has a voting record for the citizens isn’t a good move. Those who are pushing him have a record also — maybe he should have considered that before getting into the race. Ms. Green should have known better than to put a political sign in her yard, too. Very bad decision — even if he did run her campaign — two “sitting” aldermen running & she puts a sign in her yard for another person! Shows the type folks on that board. Has Slinker ever attended any of the meetings? Michael — don’t even get me started on the “character” of La Vergne being restored. Not enough Sennas running to get that back right now! God help La Vergne, please!

  17. Cee Dee – Are you sure Sinker has intentionally aligned himself with Waldron? Or perhaps the people who intend to vote for Waldron just want to vote for Slinker too? Perhaps I want to put a Waldron and Mosley sign in my yard, would that be implying the two are aligned?

  18. Just ride by Dennis Waldron’s house & see the Slinker signs on his front porch!

  19. When I heard that Mike Slinker and Alderman Waldron had teamed up. I just could not believe this so I drove by Waldron’s home and there sit Mike’s election signs stacked neatly with Waldron’s election signs. I knew that Mike had became a good old boy just to be elected. Look at the Dump on Chaney or the Never-ending yard sale on Old Nashville Hwy to see where Waldron’s and Sinkers hearts lie. Mike if elected will you or Waldron grandfather these properties in to stay as they are.
    Waldron you had better think long and hard about what you are doing and who you do it with.

  20. […] on August 20, 2010 by Kathy T. Several years ago we posted and emailed questions to our local candidates running for election in LaVergne.  This year we will again reach out to our potential aldermen and […]

  21. Mr.Slinker: you want my vote? Take down all your signs on Waldron Road. I’m proud of my city and my neighborhood…and I hate how people trash up my neighborhood with signs!!!!

  22. I’ve read through the remarks and ask that have all of you considered that those who have run this city for the past 10 years simply shifted from seat to seat, alderman, vice mayor, mayor, alderman. When we vote in new life into the city? Look at how these persons appear in the news media, in person around town! Let’s have a fresh, professional look for a change!

  23. Amy, if you are not voting for anyone with numerous signs at intersections, who are you voting for? I believe every viable candidate has these sigs out.

    Saint, I would love to see an MBA-type running for office, but I can’t begrudge current alderman seeking the mayors seat. As I said on another post, I’ve only known of one mayor returning to the alderman seat (Sherry Green), but she was thrust into the mayors seat when Mike Webb quit, ran for one term and apparently decided she didn’t like it. No fault there from me.

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