Home > Elections, Grand Visioning, Guest Writer > #TCVote Candidate Survey: Response from Michael Estes

#TCVote Candidate Survey: Response from Michael Estes

#TCVote: Candidate Survey

Name: Michael Estes
Address: 1023 Nakoma Drive
Walk Score: no idea
Age: 61
Seat Seeking: Mayor
Email Address: mestes@chartermi.net


1. What do you do in your spare time?

Sail, fish, plant trees, kayak, hunt, bike and travel_                 

2. What was the last activity you participated in at a Traverse City park?

Attended 911 memorial service at the open space followed by volunteer service at the pancake breakfast for the Tall Ships Festival

3. Name and describe the most memorable public park, anywhere in the world, that you’ve ever visited?

Grand Teton National Park when I scaled the summit at 13770 feet.

4. What is your primary mode of transportation within the City limits?


5. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most likely, how would you rate your likelihood to increase your use of the following personal transportation methods?

(Answers in Bold & Black)

 Unlikely  Likely
Walking 1 2 3 4 5
Riding a bicycle 1 2 3 4 5
Transit 1 2 3 4 5
Calling a Cab 1 2 3 4 5
Driving 1 2 3 4 5

6. In response to question 5, what is your biggest obstacle to more transportation options?

My residence in on one of the largest hills in the city

7. Please rate your level of participation in the following Traverse City activities:

Low High
National Cherry Festival 1 2 3 4 5
Traverse City Film Festival 1 2 3 4 5
Michigan Schooner Fest 1 2 3 4 5
Opera House Events 1 2 3 4 5
TC Microbrew & Music Festival 1 2 3 4 5

8. What are your thoughts about large events, like those in question 7, in Traverse City?

In favor, with limits that contol duration, times and other factors that have a negative impact on our neighborhoods

9. Define, or give an example of, effective leadership that you have seen in Traverse City?

Three years ago the city commission reallocated expenditures and increased street and sidewalk spending from $100,000 to $1.1 million. Also the cooperative effort between the city and the country to begin the process of removing the Boardman dams.

10. What are you for?

Making Traverse City the best that it can be.

11. What do you fear for Traverse City’s future?

Electing individuals to public office who would either stagnate or reverse the positive changes that have occured over the last four years.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This November 8th there are 3 commission seats and a mayoral seat on the ballot in Traverse City. To help us prepare, throughout this week we are running responses from the 9 candidates (7 commissioner, 2 mayoral) to the MyWHaT survey. These will run in the order that responses were received, beginning with Michael Estes’ responses above. The remaining schedule will be one a day during the week and two each on Saturday and Sunday, in the order of Jim Carruthers, Barbara Budros, Robert Donick, David Ford, Patrick McGuire, Timothy Werner, Ralph Soffredine and Jeanine Easterday. 

Please note, the answers are published unedited without annotation. The questions were generated by the MyWHaT advisory council and this contributor. We chose a different path than asking straight-up positions on specific policy or issues. We wanted to get a sense of the person, their individual approaches to life, the public sphere and how they might make decisions.

Comments and endorsements are encouraged on any of these posts. You may even ask questions directly of the candidate, but I can not guarantee that they will respond or even see it. I just ask, we keep it friendly, brief and in-line with our comments policy

Happy Voting!

  1. October 17, 2011 at 9:48 am

    FWIW, when I served with Mike Estes his decision calculus was always organized around “what does the public want?”

    On that basis, Mike supported making Division St more user friendly, bicycle-friendly infrastructure, sidewalk repair, more public restrooms, and park improvements like slabtown beach.

    Without having discussed it with him directly, I believe Mike as mayor would again be a strong supporter of common-sense placemaking and quality of life projects, because he knows that is what a majority of our residents want.

    Best wishes, Chris

  2. R. Shimel
    October 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    A quick Google of Mike Estes told me the following about him:
    • Opposed to mass transit (certainly on record as anti BATA)
    • A Rick Snyder groupie
    • Anti union
    • A privatizer (Lobbied to get a seat on the L&P board for the purpose of selling the locally owned power company… gleefully predicted a big dividend to the city residents)
    • Thought it was a good idea for Michigan to tax pensions (1.7 billion) to offset a 1.8 billion gift to business. If you don’t agree with him you are a “wimp.”
    • Former county chair of the Republican Party, switched to Dem’s when he thought he could get elected as a Dem.
    • A list of his endorsements, past and present, would fill a chapter of the local tea party.
    • Opposed to accessory dwellings.
    • Pension buster. With all of the sincerity of a Fox News host Mike patriotically spews about leaving a better world for “the children” just as his father left a better world for him. The fact is Mike bravely waited until he retired and was financially set before expecting others to sacrifice for his legacy. His father’s legacy, on the other hand, was that of lifelong sacrifice.

    If you side with Mike on the above issues then I think he will be a good mayor for you. I am not supporting Soffredine. I see no positive choice for mayor.

  3. matt
    October 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Great idea. I read all the Chamber of Commerce answers and every candidate pretty much sounded the same (i guess that can be a good thing). It’s nice to have more opportunity to check them out.

  4. October 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks for the feedback. I trust you’ll enjoy the rest of the week, Matt.

  5. james
    November 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Here are the results of a Mayoral survey conducted back in ’07 – the last time Estes ran: http://mlui.org/downloads/mayoral-07.pdf


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