Morrisville, NC – This is an installment in our Candidate 2019 series, in which candidates get to respond in their own words to the same three questions.
We publish the responses in the order we receive them. This questionnaire is submitted by Michael Schlink, running for Morrisville Town Council in the District 1 Seat.
Why are you running?
It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Morrisville for the last eight years. During this time, Morrisville has received national recognition in 2019 as ‘a best place to live in the U.S. and in NC,’ achieved a Town AAA Bond rating and made many
other successful and positive differences in keeping Morrisville moving forward. My proven record of leadership and service shows I can bring about tangible results with a demonstrated ability to collaborate and work on a wide range of issues with staff, citizens and other elected officials as the office demands.
My accomplishments include pulling together the Town Council and Public on some bold Visions and Innovative Ideas:
- LED INITIATIVES for more schools in Morrisville, thus requiring fewer reassignments, through dialogue with Wake Co. Officials & RTP to build Parkside Elementary & purchase additional RTP land for a STEM HS or Middle school in Morrisville,
- DROVE EFFORTS for a joint 911 CALL CENTER with Cary & Apex decreasing our Fire & Police Emergency Response times by up to 2 minutes and saving our town hundreds of thousands of dollars,
- SUCCESSFULLY ADVOCATED for the addition of a New Council voting seat for the Providence & Kitts Creek neighborhoods and to END GERRYMANDERING in Morrisville by taking the politicians out of drawing the district boundaries.
I have brought steady leadership and transparency from my experiences in the military and as an entrepreneur organizing and working with staff. I have championed the idea of data driventown decision making, use of technology and improved efficiencies to raise everyone’s qualityof life and in providing our residents a better connection with their local government. I am committed to spending tax payer funds wisely and judiciously.
Relationships, building trust and being honest, matter! I will continue to work inclusively with fellow Democrats, Independents and others to build solutions that work for all of us. It takesfour votes to pass Town Council motions: “Getting to Four”, requires listening, being open- minded, and being willing to negotiate in good faith setting aside divisiveness.
I am honored to be endorsed by elected fellow Democrats at the Wake County and School Board level, other nearby towns, colleagues on our Town Council, including
Satish Garimella and Steve Rao who commend my collaborative skills and leadership.
I humbly ask for your vote on November 5.
What are your top 3 priorities and how will you get it done?
- Put Public Safety & Neighborhoods First. Our Town’s first responsibility is the healthand safety of its citizens. Public Safety is “No Place for Politics.” I will continue to make sure that First Responders have the resources they need to do their job including the necessary collaboration, equipment, regional support and information in maintaining our safe town status. We need put forward a voter bond referendum to invest in our aging town building infrastructure.
- Smart, Balanced Growth. This is listed also as a top resident priority from our biennial Town Survey. We must continue our progress made over the last seven years in updating our building standards, leveraging our town funding of roads, re- evaluating our mixed use ratios, ensuring infrastructure and town services will support current and future resident and business populations. Development should pay for itself. Implement the Wake Transit Plan with our commuter rail Transit Orientated Development (TOD). Divide the much needed NC 54 road improvements into three workable and State fundable projects for quicker implementation.
- Protect our Environment. Morrisville’s environmental record for the last seven years is good and we have made constant improvement as evidenced by my Sierra Club endorsement, but it can further improve using open data and innovation. Buffers between development uses should be expanded including setting aside more open space and adding greenways for town-wide connections. I advocate for adding more protected bike lanes and leveraging the reach of the Go Transit bus system into Morrisville.
As we move forward, we must continue the work of integrating our strategic planning with necessary and future voter-approved Bond funding to address the needs of safety, roads, parks and new town facilities. Town leadership efforts aimed regionally at finding solutions for balance growth and mitigating traffic congestion must continue. We must expand our town neighborhood outreach program for our UDO process, listen to residents and be transparent at the council table so that everyone is heard and understood.
Give us a brief bio and tell us about your relevant experience
As a husband, father, veteran and entrepreneur, I first became involved in our communityaffairs 25 years ago relative to Wake County School reassignment concerns and effects of Cary’sgrowth and its traffic impacts on our neighborhoods. My wife and I have raised our four daughters in Morrisville where our daughters attended Wake County Schools, graduating from Enloe High School, where I volunteered for years, coaching girl’s lacrosse and soccer.
An endorsement by a fellow Town Councilor may answer the question of why vote for me;
“I serve with Michael and have found him to be a consistently trustworthy, reasoned and thoughtful decision-maker. He does his homework, has built strong relationships with other elected officials and staff — ultimately resulting in effective and innovative solutions that have improved our community and in tackling complicated policy issues. ”
– Satish Garimella, Morrisville Town Council Member
Read more in the Candidate 2019 series.