Update From Mike Slinker

Although he did not win a seat on the M/A board, Mike Slinker has not dropped off the map. He sent me an email regarding a plan to improve neighborhoods such as LFE:

Listed below is a Neighborhood Stabilization Plan that is still in draft form, but is something that will assist LaVergne as it relates to our housing concerns (especially in Lake Forest Estates). This will be a vehicle I hope we can utilize once approved by the THDA. This program uses federal funds and is designed to help address the problem of abandoned and foreclosed homes.

The newest program landing at THDA is the Neighborhood Stabilization Plan.  See the draft of the program description here: http://www.thda.org/Programs/commpro/nsp/prodesc.pdf .  If the link does not work, go to www.thda.org , see links on right side of home page. 

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36 Responses

  1. That’s great information michaelinLv! Thanks for sharing it. I read through it, but I do not see anything in there specifically for La Vergne, only Murfreesboro. Is there something I missed? What’s the plan for us?

  2. Has anyone read this completely!!! I read though it quickly and page 5 brought up red flags to me. Low income renters??? Sounds alot like section 8 to me. I will read it again in great length,but when you talk about federal monies and housing you better watch out!!!

  3. I’m just now reading through it, and you make a good point Senna. “The household income must be at or below 120% of area median income as defined by the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.”

    I don’t know if I see this as good or bad. On the one hand, this program would get people into abandoned/forclosed homes. On the other hand, we already have a program to do that – It’s called an Auction. Either system will probably result in renters, and since the city still doesn’t have any codes in plae to regulate parking on the lawn, junk molding over on your front porch, etc… I think either option is going to fail without addressing the issues that have caused families to move out and renters to move in.

    Maybe I’m just depressed, but sometimes I think the only way to solve the problems in that area is to take a bulldozer and raze everything from Clayton Homes over to Stones River Road. I know a lot of you live in LFE and are good, responsible homeowners, But I don’t know if the planning failures of LFE can ever be overcome.

  4. Dear Senna,
    I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you on this valuable program. I would also suggest that you consider reading the entire draft in its entirety before entering remarks about something that may just help our City. In addition, it may be a good idea for you to begin working on the codes issue as suggested with the M/A team so that our City can further move forward in a positive/progressive direction. Our country is at a very low point and we need all hands on board, leaders thinking outside the box and open to new ideas.

    Can you confirm the latest rumor I heard this week? It appears that the word on the street is that you are running for Mayor in 2010. I truly hope that this is not the case. However, if it is true and if this is your focus, then you owe the City a big apology for this past election.

    I want to support your efforts as Alderman. You won the election and I congratulate you; however, now is the time to get down to business. I would love to see your new ideas on getting LFE and the city where it needs to be and the actions you plan to take and create. We are going to have to work with each other since that will be an integral part of uniting our city together.

    I shared with Michael that my plans are to host a public Town Hall meeting to serve as a litmus test on how we are progressing. I look forward to serving with you. I live by my statement shared during the campaign — A person does not have to be an elected official to make a difference, however, I chose to run to make a larger influence and provide leadership to a City needing help, so that my children and wife can live in a place worthy to call “home”. I still live in LaVergne and as long as I’m here, I do not have any plans of stopping my bid to make sure LaVergne has a seat at the table!

    Please do not take this message the wrong way — I want to encourage you these next 4 years while you are serving as Alderman. Remember you asked the citizens to give you one of the seats I had hoped to sit in.

    I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

    Best Regards,
    Mike Slinker

  5. Fortune Cookies — Good evening. I would be happy to sit down with you or set up a teleconference on how this could potentially help LaVergne during the current crises that is occuring throughout the U.S.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Mike Slinker
    Cell: 738-8883

  6. Dear Mr. Slinker,

    Do you only have plans for Thug Estates, …. er, I mean, Lake Forrest?

    My kids are ashamed to say that LHS is their school or alma mater… and that really bites!

    Is La Vergne always going to be the “arm pit” of the county?

    Sincerely,
    Cricket

  7. I think Mr. Slinker has the best intentions with this, however, I think we have enough help from the federal government already distributing Section 8 vouchers – which is not a problem when it goes to people who work, but is a problem when it goes to people who choose to remain forever subsidized by the rest of us taxpayers. The city cannot stop it, but they could apply for more of this type of funding and have a housing program…just curious, though, any of you ever been to Springfield, TN?

    Mike seems like a great guy. I would like to say, though, just as a friendly, take to the side to explain gesture, that Senna has been pretty popular on this forum for a few years now, and just to be careful how you word things….some people may have looked at the post, done a triple Z snap in true Salt n’ Pepa fashion, and said “Ah naw you did’unt”. If that didn’t make sense to some of you, then that is why VH1 should still have Behind the Music.

    ANYway, it would seem that everyone has some good ideas here, but I’m surpised that this didn’t happen before the election. And Michael, regarding your point, if La Vergne wants to enforce property maintenance code, the Mike Jenkins plan is the only way to go – 1) adopt Smyrna’s property maintenance code 2) have enough codes officers to enforce it. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!!!

    Eat some turkey, will ya?
    “Fred”

  8. I’d just like to point out to those who are slamming Lake Forest Estates that there are plenty of good, hardworking people who live there, who are keeping their properties nice and doing the best they can within the neighborhood, who DON’T deserve to have their houses “razed to the ground” and DON’T deserve to have their neighborhood dismissed as “Thug Estates” Love y’all, mean it.

  9. Oh, and I couldn’t agree more with Fred’s comment. Good one, bb.

  10. Wow, way to go Mike. I am so tired of everyone on this site setting Senna up on a pedistal. Cricket123 is complaining to you about LHS and yet you are not on the board maybe Cricket123 should complain to Senna since she has been elected for four years now and nothing has changed for the good. Yes you can bet the farm on Senna running for Mayor. Why do you think she has been pushing so hard for a full time Mayor? I think that for a mid term offical to run for higher office they should have to resign their current position first, after all isn’t Senna the one preaching about wasting city money

  11. Ivy Mommie,

    I didn’t mean to diss you or any other respectable people living in LFE… that is a HUGE neighborhood and the “bad apples” have done y’all a dis-service by promoting violence or so it seems. I have thugs in my ‘hood too…

    :-X long time!!!!

  12. I live in the heart of “Thug Estates”, in that bad little section that had to get it’s own police station. Wifester and I are hard working, upstanding citizens, so are most of our neighbors. Most. The few bad apples do seem to spoil the whole batch, however. I must admit that I do hang my head in shame when people ask me where I live. I even see the look of shock and horror come sweeping across faces when I tell them. Honestly, I think our area could be turned around, but I have doubts about it happening by bringing in more renters, no offense to renters, but the high rent : ownership ratio does seem to have a direct correlation with increased crime. Isn’t there a way to get these empty homes made available to hardworking people at a reasonable rate?

  13. Then what’s the solution? I’ll admit; I don’t have one, either.

    I’m a renter, but it’s because I can’t afford to deal with replacing a roof, a heat pump, or any other of the bigger ticket repairs until I advance further in my career. I’m single. Check the salaries of your city employees. Check the salaries of those employees who work at the Walgreens or the KFC or the manufacturing jobs. On their salaries alone, assuming they’re single, where in La Vergne could they buy a house and maintain it properly?

    I agree with strengthening the codes and actually ENFORCING them to (hopefully) ensure that properties are maintained, there aren’t 5 junk cars sitting in the front yard, and the grass isn’t knee-high. But I”m not sure what the solution for the bigger picture is. It’s up to the Council to search for ideas–contact your staff, look at what other cities are doing, study your options, and do SOMETHING.

  14. Wow, I go out of town and all h— breaks loose!!! I am surprised that you don’t have me running for Vice-President Mike.(lol) First, allow me to begin to by saying my door is always open for anyone including you to sit down and discuss issues and plans for this city. Second, I will admit that I did read the stabilization plan, but did not study it thoroughly before my comments (my bad), but I still stand by my position in being careful with such plans especially at this time. Third, I think it is rather funny that you are concerned with my future plans when I have just been re-elected Alderman. I heard you were running for Mayor and that you just ran to get your name out to the public. I am not sure what the future may bring, but you can be assured of one thing, what ever is best for the citizens of LaVergne will be what I WILL do. Frankly, how you feel does not affect me one way or the other, when I have heard you say the same thing about Alderman Waldron in this last election. Being pushy and arrogant never gets you anywhere with me.
    Now to answer goodneighbor, I personally think you are the one who owes the bloggers an apology for implying that they were simple minded enough to place any elected official on a pedestal. To be honest, some did not like me at first until they got to know me and found that I will listen to their concerns and respect what they have to say. They are very intelligent people with great ideas and I have come to many of them asking for their opinion. I have a great respect for them and they keep me in check as well. Have you ever tried to get to know me? Probably not. My guess is that your candidate did not win and you are pissed, but believe me when I say that if you did call I would work just as hard for you as anyone. I am not a vindictive person and have come to realize that I can not make everyone happy!! For the record, I have been keeping up with what is going on in LHS and have had conversations with our school board members and talked with our county commissioners regarding the situations in that school. I would suggest before opening mouth and inserting foot, you need to check my history with working on situations at the high school. I do not tell everything that I do and am doing, I just do it. I think it sad that people want to criticize the ones who are trying to do for this community and hide behind a fake name. If you want to criticize and least have enough b—- to stand up and put your name on it. I do.

  15. See, what did I tell you, Mike. Senna herself said “Aw naw you did’UNT”, and proceeded to unload a can. My best advice is that any can you bring to the fight better be pressure filled full of whoopa_s.

    I don’t use my real name, but then again, I’m not too critical of people (unless it is the state or feds in general). That is my rationale…I just try to get people to look at things in a different perspective, and try to make a few people laugh occasionally – maybe sometimes at others expense. As long as I remain fairly neutral, my name isn’t important. I have a good reason, though.

    If I want to get a point across, I just send Ivy to punk you out. That girl’s funny!

    There’s my explanation, although I don’t think Senna was referring to me anyway. Some of you others have really been called out, though.

  16. Fred, you make me laugh. Thanks, sometimes I need a good laugh. I do enjoy your point of view and believe it or not I do do take want you say under consideration. For anyone to say that people on this site puts me on a pedestal is ridiculous. Heck, I’m not sure you even like me, but I think you know that I will stand up for what is right. Ya’ll keep me on my toes. Exactly, where I need to be.

  17. Wow, I missed some great conversations!

    Fred, I agree with you about adopting Smyrna’s codes and enforcing them. Unfortunately I’m beginning to think no one else in this city agrees.

    Ivy, what if we bulldoze everyones house but yours?? Seriously, you are right that there are a lot of good people in LFE, I just can’t help but think the number of those good people is trending downward.

    goodneighbor – what do the M/A have to do with LHS? It’s a county school run by the BOE, not the M/A. As far as resigning to run for a higher seat, neither Obama nor McCain had to resign to run for higher office, if you don’t have to resign to run for president, why should you have to in order to be mayor of La Vergne?

    Everyone else – Mike and I traded some emails beyond the one above. For me personally, I don’t care is one of the Alderman wants to run for Mayor when that post comes open. I don’t think Senna could have have not run for re-election and had a serious chance to run for mayor after being out of the limelight for 2 years. Many people are talking about certain people wanting to run for mayor solely to eliminate the city admin job and become full-time mayor. I think that is a BAD idea. In a small city like La Vergne, we need a non-political administrator to run the city. A smaller town is more easily corrupted (see cooperstown tennessee) even by a good person who only has to answer to voters every 4 years.

    My ideal candidate would be the person who had a written plan to reverse the rental trend in this city, commitment to infrastructure improvements that would attract homeowners and business alike, and a committment to reduce crime in this city. The substation shows a committment by the city to reduce crime, but I’m still waiting to see what we can do to reverse rental trends and attract businesses.

    At this point, I think the city either needs to seriously consider merging with Smyrna or copying what they are doing. Not to eliminate our elected officials, but so we no longer have to fight a losing battle with a larger city that is on our back porch.

  18. What’s everyone’s vision of the city. Some people are ok with rental property, some aren’t Do you guys want to look like Brentwood? Do you guys want to look like Smyrna?

    Senna or Mike, the property that is in between the townhouses and the library, across the street (73rd ave) from that horrible looking weekly rentals/campground, is that section 8 housing?

  19. I had written the most beautiful, eloquent response to this post and for some reason, my computer screen flickered and I was taken to a “yearbook yourself” page. RAWRRRRR! So let me try again.

    I was one of the people who did not at all like Senna. I did not want to hitch a ride on the Sennamobile because she seemed like a smart-aleck, know-it-all, trouble-maker who was trying to rock the boat.

    Then I started this site. I put out feelers to our elected officials – wanting to tell our opinions, ask questions, and have them talk to us through this forum. I was told in no uncertain terms that they would NOT be talking to us except by phone (“if you’d ever bother to pick up a phone”) and this site was nothing that would ever interest them, a phenomenal waste of time, and negative (whaaa?).

    Then I went to a Board Workshop and saw how our city is managed. This deaf person couldn’t hear the mumbled comments. When asked to speak louder or into the mics, they refused. One board member just sat mute, a bobblehead nodding along with what everyone else said. No intelligent comments or questions ever passed the member’s lips. The member was “just happy to be there.” After only one hour and just as the meeting got interesting and budget issues were about to be discussed, the meeting recessed so the board could take a pizza break. During that time, not one member came out to talk to citizens who were in attendance. Instead, we were left sitting for an hour while they went somewhere else in the building to enjoy their pepperoni pie.

    When the meeting resumed, Senna questioned why the budget was being increased for “infrastructure.” She asked what the extra money would be used for. No one was able to give her an answer, and no vote was taken. YET people said Senna is the one who defeated the measure. What? How can a measure be defeated if it WAS NEVER VOTED ON?

    Senna has repeatedly asked that more funding be given to the police and emergency personnel. These personnel deserve higher pay and better equipment.

    If I ever have the opportunity to cast a vote for Senna for mayor, you can bet I’ll do it. I want someone in charge who recognizes that we need some positive change. Someone who isn’t afraid to question the way things are done. Someone who isn’t afraid of new ideas, new technology, and brave enough to face the realities of what needs to be done to preserve our reputation and keep our streets, families, and businesses safe. This is a great place to live and I want to be able to hold my head high to tell people that. I WANT someone to rock the boat, dang it!

  20. Totally agreement with you Kathy!!! Senna=Maverick of La Vergne

  21. Totally agreement with you Kathy!!! Senna=Maverick of La Vergne

  22. Why, yeah, I like you, Senna. I think you do a great job.
    I think from now on, though, I’m going to try to stay out of these type of discussions and let whatever barbs fly, fly, because it looks like there may be a different approach to the next election.

    Seriously, though, can of whoop_ss aside, I think Mike Slinker probably was looking at the possible good of the TDHA program, and was looking at the fact that only a portion of the funding must go to low income individuals. Many times, these are people that are povertised by inefficient regulation of corporations and trade by our federal government…but then sometimes it is given to people who take advantage of the system. Sounds like more inefficient federal regulation to me.

    Regardless, the intent is for it to be a good housing program. A lot of the funding, if granted, can be used for purchasing foreclosures and other city land investments. It could be a helpful program, and that is what I think Mike was saying.

  23. I bought my townhouse through THDA over 2 years ago. I’m glad that program is in place. I wouldn’t have gotten a house without it – as far as I know. However, I take pride in my home, this is my first house and I do keep my property in tip top shape and would love to see the city improve more on the cosmetic side.

  24. Actually the idea of using funding to allow the city to buy foreclosed homes and land investments is a great one. I’ve proposed before to buy some of these homes and set them up as art studios, dance studios, etc… anything to attract a culture for the arts here.

    I’d also love to see a street corner grocery next to the new police substation. Very select properties would have to be rezoned, but there could be very strict requirements to meet these new zoning codes.

  25. Wow — where does Mike Slinker buy his grapes!! They appear to be very sour.

    Section 8: Let’s see — let’s just “suppose” a developer builds homes with a company in which he has ownership, sells these homes with his own realty company, owns the morgage companies that lend to the buyers (0 down, or $150 moves you in — lease to own), the homes are foreclosed on when the buyers can’t make those huge balloon payments, the developer kicks the buyers out, the developer goes to the Feds and offers the homes for Section 8 housing –then the government pays the developer for renting these homes — WHO WINS HERE? Pretty nice way to come out of a loss, wouldn’t you agree? SOMEONE IS MAKING MONEY HERE. Any guesses who it is?

  26. I think I have an idea of who it is, but I’m being Shhhhh!!!!

  27. goodneighbor — how is considering running for another office mid-term of your present position a “waste of money” for the city. If you are serving the people & doing your job in your present position (which I might add Senna does very well), how is that a bad thing? Didn’t Ms. Green run for mayor while “filling in” for Mike Webb; didn’t Ronnie Erwin run for Mayor while he was vice mayor? As far as putting an elected official on a “pedestal” — I think you are wrong about that. What people are doing is recognizing the good things one does and letting others know — whether it’s fighting for additional funding for the police dept., fire dept., emergency crews, roads, etc. or getting up in the middle of the night and checking a drainage problem that a citizen calls about, or noise complaints late at night — I know of no other board member who answers these calls — if they even answer their phones. Do you? If you are doing your job, you don’t have to pat yourself on the back, others notice it & pass the word. I, for one, am glad we have her on the board — someone who is not afraid to vote for the people and not for the “man” with the money every time; someone who studies each item before the meeting, visits sites that are up for certain projects; asks questions; seeks legal advice when uncertain about an item — not one of the ones who just sits there & never does any investigation, but votes anyway. That one would be a “waste of money” for the city. Keep up the good work, Senna — La Vergne needs more like you!

  28. I’ve suggested the city buy up some of the foreclosed propoerties, tear them down, and build parking lots to help alleviate the crappy driveways. You could sell parking permits for $10 a year to help offset the expenses.

  29. No worries, Cricket & Michael, I still love you both. And I can’t agree more about making parking lots, that sounds like a great idea. And to Fred- I’ll be your bulldog anytime you need one.

    And a big pffft to Mike Slinker and pals, thinking we put Senna up on a pedestal. She can’t hardly work for us as hard as she does if she’s sitting up on a pedestal.

  30. Senna,
    It is very interesting to see your third comment as stated in your first response above: “Third, I think it is rather funny that you are concerned with my future plans when I have just been re-elected Alderman.” Let’s not forget our initial conversation before the election even began: “At the end of the day, I am a citizen of LaVergne.” Why do you think it is funny about me being concerned about your future? I have a right and an obI hope all 26,427 residents in our city is concerned about your future. You are the newly elected City of LaVergne Alderman for the next 4 years. That title holds a commitment and I hope you show the citizens that you will finish what you start.

    I would like to offer my availability to host a town hall (Q&A Session) at my expense so that each of you can get a true sense of areas that can be put into action on a fairly reasonable timeframe. I will also allow each and everyone to ask any question you may have or ideas that may have been overlooked.

    Ivy — Do you mind sharing some insight with the people who view this site on where you seen me commenting that I thought Senna was put on a pedestal? I am certain that even Senna would not even back your statement. It’s definitely not on this site, nor anywhere else. Senna and I are very cordial even when we did not see things eye to eye or disagreed on issues. Let’s stay on task — LaVergne has alot of work to be done and I am willing to help and offer my resources. The election is over and so should be the campaigning for Mayor. I’m asking the 2 elected officials to give their best — LaVergne needs it desperately. Only time will tell if anything of huge impact will actually get accomplished during the months ahead.

  31. Dear Mr. Slinker,

    Both Ms. Mosley and Mr. Waldron were RE-elected… you were the “Johnny-Come-Lately” if you will. I might have voted for you if I thought your campaign “held water”… but I voted for the person I trusted most! Sorry!

  32. I live in LFE. I definitely prefer looking at an unoccupied house and greenery over a parking lot. Surely, a house has more value than asphalt.

  33. Why are you Aldermans bickering? The election is over…you two won…congratulations to you both…now lets make something happen! Now is now, and whatever happens in the future happens. Just my 2 cents

  34. Actually, one is an alderman, one is a former/future candidate. Honestly, I wish I could have heard more bickering during the campaign. I want elected officials who are passionate about their ideas, and it sounds like both Mike and Senna have passion.

  35. Mike you were asked to state your opinions about the changes that needed to be made in La Vergne during the race. You had another chance to give your opinion during the debate; all you wanted to do was build a bridge and side step the questions that you were asked point blank. Alderman Waldron and Mosley gave answers to questions when asked. They also worked for the positions that they won.
    They worked the poles every day during cold and rain. We all saw them. Mike can’t you see the difference between you and them.
    The voters of La Vergne spoke and you were not on their lips. The aldermanic race that was lost was yours to lose and now you want to tell everyone your opinions and how everyone should work at what you think is important.
    Mike you have missed the boat again. La Vergne is in the deepest recession of its history. We have about 30 police officers to cover all 3 shifts and with a city wide hiring freeze we can’t even replace the city employees that we have lost, we don’t have the money. During the ISO report, we learned that the Fire Department is short 19 men and that we must replace all the old small water mains with new and larger mains or our Insurance rates city wide Business and residential will likely go up.
    Like a lot of the homeowners that you referred to La Vergne is also in deep DO_DO. Mike its time to pull that head out and listen. You had your chance to talk. If you don’t have the time to attend the meetings watch La Vergne channel 3 and listen to the reports given to the board. Mike the people of La Vergne are hurting all over not just in Lake Forrest although Lake Forrest has more than it’s share of problems.

    • It looks to me that things havent changed much from 2 yrs ago until today 2010 and certain people are still avoiding the issues……wow!

      I really now hope that Senna does win the race to be mayor! you go girl!!!

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