Ask Mike Anything
Frequently Asked Questions
Submit your questions and Mike will reply directly to you with answers. This page may even get updated so that others can benefit from your submission!
Why are you running?
This is a critical time in Noblesville’s history. There is unprecedented pressure being put on our city as we grow. Decisions are being made that will have long-lasting impact. Currently they’re being made behind closed doors and being presented to the public as done deals. We must improve the transparency of our public discourse and make City Hall work for the people, not special interests. That’s why I’m running.
What will you do?
I will change the culture in City Hall so the public has more say in future decisions that have long-lasting effects. I will listen to what people say and adjust my thinking based on their input. I will set a direction for future development and pursue the kind of projects that fit our city’s unique character and that implement recommendations made in the housing study the city commissioned. I will do a better job of ensuring that tax abatements are used as an economic development tool instead of political favors. I will redesign the traffic patterns on the west side of the river to make the Federal Hill more accessible and bring badly needed residential property to that area. I will take a second look at the Pleasant St. bypass to make sure the plans set more than twenty years ago is still the best route to move traffic quickly and efficiently across town. I will aggressively pursue Firestone to get something going on that blighted property. I will re-engage with our merchants and businesses so they know they have an ally in City Hall. I will rethink trail development so our trails serve as a real transportation alternative instead of just a recreational opportunity.
Why should someone vote for you?
We need a truly new perspective not a continuation of the status quo we’ve had for the last 16 years. For more than a decade we’ve settled for whatever comes our way. As a result, we are now preparing to demolish historic buildings to erect an out of scale building half a block from the square. We let a neighboring city sever the connection of our railroad to Indianapolis and drove our railroad out of town. We continue to give unnecessary tax breaks to favored businesses to the detriment of our residents and the schools.
We have no plan to correct the design deficiencies in the area around Federal Hill Commons and will continue to suffer parking and access problems until we figure it out. Firestone continues to be a blight with no plan to improve it. I’m the most qualified and educated candidate in the areas needed to bring real solutions to these challenges.
How much time do you plan to dedicate to Mayoral duties?
My wife and I have raised five amazing children who are now grown and living on their own meaning I have a lot of time to devote to the tasks at hand. I live three blocks from City Hall which is just a few minute walk from my home. I currently spend about 60+ hours each week on my business, but any business owner knows that work never really stops. If elected I will either close or transfer operation of my business so I can devote my full attention to city business. In my mind being Mayor is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle and a calling. There is no limit to the time or attention I will devote to carrying out Mayoral duties.
What do you believe the Mayor’s most important daily task is?
To get out of the office and interact with constituents.
Do you think TIF districts should be closed out when they expire and not extended?
Prior to the expiration of a TIF district a full analysis needs to be conducted to determine what the return on investment has been and what gains have been accomplished. TIF districts are meant to accelerate the improvement of underutilized land. The decision of whether to end or extend a TIF district needs to be case by case and in the context of the goals set forth, the economic climate, needs of the city and other dynamic factors.
How do you plan to promote transparency?
By opening a dialogue with the public on important decisions, listening to their concerns and adjusting city policy to address them whenever possible. By holding regular town hall meetings in person and via online channels to give people a chance to speak their mind and interact with their elected officials. By holding informational sessions with local business leaders to help develop a partnership between them and the city. By proactively reaching out to newer subdivisions that are often disconnected from our public discourse. Lastly better utilizing modern technologies and social engagement platforms to connect with people who cannot attend meetings in person or want to easily find information online.
What is the biggest challenge the new Mayor will be facing?
Changing the culture in City Hall and overcoming the increasingly negative perception the public has regarding the way the city conducts its business.
What other board positions, jobs, etc. would you be balancing along with being a Mayor?
I currently serve on several non-profits that do business with the city. I’m on the boards of Noblesville Preservation Alliance and Noblesville Main Street. Also the grants review committee of the Hamilton County Community Foundation, which manages the Noblesville Fund. I belong to all four Chambers of Commerce and serve on the Business Advocacy Committee in Noblesville. I belong to the Noblesville Midday Rotary Club. All of these positions and memberships would be evaluated in light of the new responsibilities as some may have a conflict of interest and my full attention would be on serving the people of Noblesville as Mayor.
What would you like to see done with the old Firestone land?
The building has been gone for ten years now. Its time to take stock and come up with a plan for the site. The city needs to be more proactive with Firestone to get them to act on redeveloping or selling it so the city can remove this blemish from the heart of our city. We have a redevelopment commission; it needs to get involved. We’ve taken a passive stance on this for too long. The federal government has programs to help; we need to pursue those, especially for the dump on the south side of Pleasant. I support the idea of building a new Police headquarters on part of the slab and will work to also identify other departments and services that could utilize the space as well. This project will help spur additional development in the area. Its time to get creative. This site is in the middle of a residential area and adjacent to our major retail shopping district. There’s no reason it should remain blighted.
How important is the township trustee and township government to the city of Noblesville?
The township trustee and township government structure currently provides vital services to our community, serving families in need of assistance, maintaining the sacred ground of our cemeteries among other things. I will look at the relationship between city and township and asses ways to better integrate and streamline the mission and work of both groups for the betterment of Noblesville’s citizens.
Where do you stand on advocating for child access prevention laws with respect to guns, especially following the Noblesville school shooting?
We need to support our police in their effort to keep us safe by strictly enforcing laws that limit access to guns. Any time a gun gets into the hands of an unstable individual, the entire community is at risk, so we need to ensure that we strictly enforce laws that are already on the books. One misstep can be fatal so the standard needs to be zero tolerance. Beyond that, we all must play a role in being more vigilant regarding firearms. For good or ill, guns are a part of our culture and their possession is guaranteed in our constitution. Therefore, we all must play a part in managing them. The recent incident in Richmond illustrates how that can work. A student’s mother was aware that he had left home with a gun, alerted authorities who intercepted the student before he could kill other people. It’s a sad situation that could have been much worse if not for the mother’s intervention. That’s how the system needs to work.
Do you think property tax caps are fair?
Yes. Politicians are too willing to raise taxes to pursue their own agendas and tax caps help protect the public.
What do you foresee to implement “beautification” and “Welcome to Noblesville” on roads that lead into Noblesville city limits? There are brick pillars defining Noblesville at 146th and Hazel Dell. Do you foresee something along SR 32 and on Conner Street?
Our approach to our gateways has always been haphazard. Some standardization would be a welcome change. I think there are two main opportunities to establish “gateways” in the city: at entrances to the city and at entrances to the downtown district. The gateway at Hazel Dell is attractive and could serve as a model. We already have a similar gateway at Hamilton Town Center. The downtown committee is working on ways to identify the downtown district. Establishing gateways should be part of that effort. In addition to signs and structures I believe more needs to be done to focus on code enforcement and the improvement of the land at the gateways to Noblesville. The vacant overgrown lot at the corner of 146th & Hwy 37 is an example of an area that presents a poor first impression of our great city.
How would you tackle the drug crisis in Noblesville?
This crisis extends well beyond our city’s borders so it’s important to collaborate with other levels of government in a coordinated manner, restricting the availability of illegal drugs as much as possible. Locally, we have the responsibility to provide a social safety net, ensuring our residents have somewhere to turn, an alternative when they might be prone to seek relief in drugs. Churches, non-profits, mental health agencies and our police force all play a part and should be adequately supported. Strong families are an important part of good mental health and the city ought to support family life.
Where do you on a regular basis support local (ie clothing, dining, etc.).?
I live just five blocks from the courthouse square and try to shop at places within walking distance. I support our local merchants on a daily basis. My doctor and dentist are downtown, I eat and drink downtown, buy my hardware downtown and support our arts organizations whenever I can. Paintings from local artists hang the walls of our home. This year I committed to attending at least one event at Logan Street Sanctuary every month. I attend the Farmers Market regularly (and volunteer there several times over the course of a season). Over the Christmas season my campaign launched and ran the Elf on the Square promotion to help our local merchants when the city decided to move the Santa House. I know most of our downtown merchants personally and support them wholeheartedly.
What was your 1st actual live concert you attended?
Creedence Clearwater Revival at Boston Garden in the early 70’s. I’m not sure I was technically old enough to get in but was a great time nonetheless.
Do you have any pets?
Two cats. One is a cripple we took in when a feral cat attacked it and its siblings shortly after it was born. Annabelle was the lone survivor and she has hobbled back legs but gets around OK.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Pork Lo Mein from Happy Dragon.