“I’ve spent 25 years making technology work for people. For the last 4 years, I’ve enjoyed the effort to make government work for people too.”
Mike’s record is one of fiscal conservatism, pragmatic approaches, strategic thinking, and–most of all–listening to the people of Hoover.
Pro-growth, but guided by process
Mike believes that growth is good. But it has to be done in an intelligent and methodical way.
Mike fulfilled a campaign promise when he voted for Hoover’s first-ever adopted comprehensive plan. “It’s politically risky to be on Planning and Zoning. There are many controversial votes. But that’s where things like the comprehensive plan live, and it was important to me to be a part of that thoughtful process.”
In other growth-related votes he sought to balance the legalities and ethics of property rights, the concerns of the people, and the charge to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. “You’ll never get everyone to fully agree on everything about new development. However if you can ensure integrity in the process of building consensus, you can make sure everyone is heard and as many issues are addressed as possible. And you’ll ultimately make a better decision with your vote.”
Mike has carefully evaluated additional regulations, rejecting unneeded rules and damaging moratoriums that create more problems than they solve. In cases of compelling public interest, he has voted in favor of tax incentives and other plans that bring good things to the city or promise to usher in more economic development in the future.
As a long-time technologist, he led the effort to pass Hoover’s “small cell” ordinance. This ordinance created a streamlined approval process for small cell towers that still held the telecoms to a high standard. As a result, Hoover has one of the highest adoption rates in the state with nearly 100 new towers. These towers are providing better coverage and higher connection speeds for our citizens.
“Government has a great deal of power. It’s all too easy to cause tremendous damage by using that power to implement well-intentioned policies that do more harm than good. In general, government needs to get out of the way however there are some times when we can partner for a common purpose. Really great things can happen when local government and private interests partner to work towards things that are good for everyone.”
Mike voted against tax and fee increases in favor of finding ways to cut spending. This voting record includes a strong “No” on the tax increases in 2018 and a vote against building permit fees that have cost new home buyers millions. And he wasn’t afraid to vote against budgets that he felt had too much spending in the same year. In 2019 he joined the Council in reasonably cutting spending before passing the FY 2020 budget.
Focusing on what’s important
While all spending must be carefully evaluated, Mike has strongly supported spending on core functions of local government such as roads, public safety (police/fire/emt/dispatch), our municipal courts, and funding of schools.
Another 2016 campaign promise was kept when he voted with the Council to approve increased funding to the school system. Mike supported subsequent efforts to help schools through bolstering the SRO (School Resource Officer) program and other efforts to keep our children in a safe, secure learning environment.
“These are things that are critical to the functionality of a city. They keep people safe and contribute to the quality of life in a way that only a city can. As such we need to make sure they are well funded and supported.”
Beyond City Hall
Mike has spent extensive time working for Hoover outside of City Hall.
He formed the informal group dubbed “the Hoover Technology Round Table”. This group meets occasionally to discuss public and private technology initiatives in Hoover. It has resulted in businesses relocating in Hoover and increased collaboration in tech related business.
Mike co-founded the 501c3 non-profit Destination Hoover International. This group facilitates cultural exchange and education with the many diverse people of Hoover. The goal is ultimately to send people of all kinds from Hoover to the countries of the world and bring people from all around the world to Hoover.
The future of Hoover
“I’m excited for the future of our city! There are so many great things happening already, and still so much potential. We have had and will continue to have our share of setbacks and challenges, but we’ll work through them just like the people who came before us did. We will always make room for one more, and will continue to make Hoover a better place!”