About Me

Hi! I am an editor, photographer, long-time Farmington resident, and your City Councilmember.

In 2016, I was fighting to save Victorian houses downtown when a former Mayor and councilwoman said, “You know, if you really want to make a difference, you need to run for Council yourself.” So I ran — and was the top vote-getter in 2017.

I promised to focus on making Farmington an even better place to live. I worked to pass a voter-approved millage that got the city’s finances back in the black. I voted to fix battered streets and overloaded drains and finally made the Farmington Road streetscape (coming 2022) possible. I championed new investments in parks, pathways, and energy-efficient streetlights plus the creation of a new walkability committee.

In tough times, I’ve stood up for our community. When the pandemic hit, I voted to help our downtown businesses through the new social district and outdoor dining. When cronyism threatened our library, I spoke out publicly against it. In August, I went to Lansing to advocate for residents experiencing recurring electrical outages.

This summer’s violent storms have made clear that combating the effects of climate change needs to be our #1 priority. To stop the flooding and to tackle the outages, we need better infrastructure that can handle this new reality. I will provide the leadership and do the work to make it happen.

I know that solving problems takes research and investigation. It takes going out and asking people for input. I’ve been your advocate, your problem solver, and your voice on City Council. You can trust that going forward, I will be there to champion the issues that make a difference in your lives every day.

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My day job is managing editor at a trade magazine that covers heating and air conditioning. We keep small business owners up to date on new technologies, legislation, and how to run a better business. I also report for Northville’s monthly magazine The ‘Ville. I am one of the original members of the Warnerettes Parasol Drill Team, I once volunteered as publicity coordinator at the Warner Mansion museum, and for two years I ran a then-and-now history column called Vintage Point.

Committees I’ve served on: Multicultural Multiracial Committee (MCMR), Elections Committee, Parking Advisory Committee, Charter Review Committee, Farmington Area Arts Commission, Pathways Committee, Historical Commission. I am also a member of the Farmington Area Jaycees.

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On the Issues

I am running for re-election to Farmington City Council on Nov 2, 2021. I stand for progress in our historic downtown, investments across our neighborhoods, depoliticizing our library, and city government that is transparent and accessible. My votes reflect my belief that Farmington’s best shot in the 21st century lies in boosting what makes the city unique.

It’s time for… (click bold text for more info on each):

Preserving Farmington’s character:  Farmington is a historic town and family community. I support the right development for the right place to enhance (not bulldoze) what makes the city unique.

Boosting our downtown: I’ll see the Farmington Road streetscape to completion and keep working with businesses to bring new solutions for new norms, like outdoor seating and the social district, that support local businesses and make the downtown more vibrant.

Dealing with climate change:  My #1 priority will be investing in our infrastructure so it can stand up to increasingly violent storms that are knocking out power and flooding streets. I propose a stormwater management plan that includes “gray” infrastructure (pipes underground), “green” infrastructure (drainage ditches, retention ponds), and incentives for residents to do native plantings, rain gardens, and pervious pavement.

Inclusive government:  I will continue to call for remote public comment option at in-person Council meetings. I will keep working to make sure Farmington voices are heard, no matter which way people choose to communicate.

In the News

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I’m working hard to bring about the change that Farmington residents voted for in November 2017.

Follow my votes and my progress on City Council in the local news coverage below.

PATHWAYS COMMITTEE

I helped form a new committee focused on walkability in Farmington, with the goal of connecting walking and biking paths from the city’s farthest outlying subdivisions to its downtown core. The Pathways committee is up and running and meets the second Wednesday of the month; I serve as the Council liaison.

Founders Festival

My colleagues on City Council are leading the charge to keep the Founders Festival alive — and bring it back downtown where it belongs. We started summer 2021, with a downtown event run by the City (as opposed to the Chamber, who relinquished it in 2020).

Farmington Community Library

I never thought I’d be calling on an appointed board member to resign, but I also never imagined the damage that this board member would do to the community resource that is the Farmington Community Library.

Farmington council member Maria Taylor in a Friday social media post said “turning a blind eye” to Largent’s behavior “is simply enabling it to continue. Farmington deserves better.” –Farmington Voice, 8/2020

Supporting good governance sometimes means a good fact check, as I did in this editorial called “Stop Micromanaging the Library Board.

It’s time for this little crusade — this attempt to micromanage the actions of the Library Board when there’s clearly no legal basis to do so — come to an end so the people we entrusted with leading our library can focus on their job.”Farmington Voice, 2/2019

Farmington Road Streetscape

I voted to apply for a TAP grant, which we have since received, that will allow us to invest in the Farmington Road streetscape that is 10 years overdue. Expect work to begin in 2022.

“To me, the Farmington Road streetscape is the single most powerful project that we, as Farmington leaders, can carry out to ensure a brighter future for the downtown we all want to see grow and thrive.”

FUNDING FARMINGTON’S FUTURE: THE 2018 MILLAGE

We asked voters to invest in Farmington’s future, and Farmington said “yes!” I championed the millage, designed mailers, put up yard signs, and wrote editorials including this Readers’ Digest version of municipal financing.

“The millage is to compensate for what the state won’t do to help. It’s taking action to close the gap, fund what we love, and start investing in our future again.”

MarijuanA

In November 2019, Farmington voted nearly 2-to-1 in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana via Prop. 1. Although Council passed an ordinance banning pot shops in Farmington, I made sure we included language stating that we intend to revisit the issue once the state finalizes its laws regarding regulation of the marijuana business. Ultimately, I’d like to put the question to Farmington voters.

TREE SURVEY

Trees are city infrastructure as much as sidewalks, roads, and water/sewer. They make our neighborhoods desirable — and, like other forms of infrastructure, they need to be maintained. I got a tree study added to our official Council Goals, and it has since been completed. My next goal will be budgeting for and implementing a tree maintenance/replanting plan across the city.

Food trucks

I want to change the rules and allow more food trucks in Farmington, so I got an ordinance update added to our Council work plan.

Taylor said … she’s talked to people in a variety of age groups, from seniors to families and millennials, and many of them wish to see more food trucks downtown, especially at events like the city’s Friday night concert series, Rhythms in Riley Park.Farmington Press, 8/2018

Mayfield Reconstruction

When I saw a video of someone paddling down Mayfield in a canoe, I grabbed an umbrella and walked through the flood to see how deep it was. (The water came up to my thighs — and that was on the sidewalk.) I posted the photos on social media, then worked to get funding for repairing the Mayfield drainage system in the 2019-2020 City budget. The project was completed in late 2020.

Historic Preservation

I am a huge proponent of adaptive reuse: renovating old buildings for cool new uses. I approved two adaptive reuse projects in Farmington: the Masonic Temple, being upcycled into Blue Hat Coffee, and The Village Mall, our iconic 1920s bank building being transformed into glass-walled offices.

“I am absolutely thrilled to see new owners GLP Financial Group bringing this Farmington icon back to life. This entire redevelopment is historic preservation done right.”

I also saved a historic barn by posting about it on Facebook. The barn, located behind the former Ginger’s Tea House, was taken to the Oakland County Pioneer & Historical Society in Pontiac. Regrettably, the house was demolished for redevelopment (which I voted against).

Farmington City Council Member Maria Taylor, who describes herself as a “pretty outspoken historic preservationist,” created the Preservation Farmington post on Facebook. She said it has been shared more than 600 times and viewed by nearly 94,000 people. –Detroit Free Press, 1/2018

VAPE SHOP

I called for a ordinance change to zone smoke/vape shops out of downtown, which Council and the Planning Commission ultimately approved. The vape shop across from the Civic Theatre had been repeatedly cited for selling to minors. It is no longer there, and smoke/vape shops will no longer be allowed to move in downtown.

TIME Magazine Cover

That’s me on the cover of TIME.

I’ll admit: When I got an email from TIME asking if I’d like to submit a headshot for a cover on women running for office, I almost hit “mark as spam.” And I really didn’t expect it would be used. But a month and a half later, my phone started buzzing with texts from friends saying “OMG you’re on the cover!”

I’m just below the “S,” on the right side of the page. The photo was taken at a fall 2017 candidate forum at Farmington City Hall. How cool is that?

 

Donate

Help share our vision for Farmington’s future!

Your contribution will help me connect with people in Farmington who will vote in the November 2021 election. That means printing fliers and yard signs, mailing literature to homes and apartments, and paying for some ads and maybe a few pizzas on Election night. Anything you can chip in would be most appreciated whether it’s $5, $50, $500, or somewhere in between.

VIA PAYPAL

Make a secure online payment via PayPal by visiting www.paypal.com/paypalme/maria4farmington. (Please include your email address so that we can confirm your contribution.)

VIA CHECK

Download and print a donor form. Fill out the form. Checks can be made out to “Committee to Elect Maria Taylor.” Send the form with your check to: Maria Taylor, 33414 Oakland Apt. 2, Farmington MI 48335

Please note: We cannot accept corporate contributions. Donations are not tax deductible.

Thank you for your support!

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Meet the Team

WHO WE ARE

Hi! We’re Maria Taylor, Johnna Balk, and David DeLind, and we’re running for Farmington City Council in the election Tuesday, November 2, 2021. There are 3 seats available, and the 3 of us have been working together as a team — pooling our resources, talking each other up while knocking doors — because we know to make real, lasting change, it takes people who share the same values to make that happen. Colleagues who will lead Farmington forward and create the kind of future we want for the hometown we love.

Please check out our bios and key issues below, and click over to our websites and Facebook pages to learn more about each candidate.

MARIA TAYLOR | INCUMBENT COUNCIL MEMBER

I’m an editor, photographer, history nerd, and Farmington resident for 20+ years. First elected to City Council in 2017, I stand for progress in our historic downtown, investments across all our neighborhoods, depoliticizing our library, and city government that is transparent and inclusive. I’m an outspoken historic preservationist and proponent of upcycling old buildings to cool new uses. I’ve also championed walkability through the formation of the Pathways committee. My votes reflect my belief that Farmington’s best shot in the 21st century lies in boosting what makes the city unique.

maria4farmington.com | facebook.com/maria4farmington

JOHNNA BALK | CANDIDATE FOR COUNCIL

Twenty-five years ago, Erik and I chose Farmington to raise our family. Today, with my kids grown, it’s my time to serve. School, kids’ activities, and eight years working at the downtown library have prepared me for this moment. These experiences have shown me what people love about Farmington, what keeps residents here, and what brings new families to our city. My desire is to ensure Farmington continues to be a community of great neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown, and great neighbors of all ages, cultures, and walks of life.

johnnaforfarmington.com | facebook.com/johnna4farmington

DAVID DELIND | INCUMBENT COUNCIL MEMBER

I believe in the importance of community service. After Amber and I chose Farmington as our home, I stepped up to serve on the Board of Review. In February 2020, I was appointed to serve on City Council. I work in the utility field, and as a licensed civil engineer and business manager, I know the importance of investing in our infrastructure and balancing budgets. I believe that maintaining flexible ordinances will help grow Farmington’s local economy — and that a strong grassroots art scene is key to a vibrant, thriving community.

delind4council.com | facebook.com/david4farmington

ON THE ISSUES

Preserving Farmington’s Character: Love our historic city? Love its family feel? We’ll vote for the right development in the right places to support the downtown while staying in scale with surrounding neighborhoods. We pledge to put the interests of the Farmington community before those of developers.

Modernizing Our Infrastructure: This summer’s storms have shown how much our lives depend on reliable infrastructure. Our vision of a 21st-century city leaves no neighborhood behind, with investments from roads, sidewalks, and water mains to broadband and trees. We’re ready to invest in creative new solutions to cope with the effects of our increasingly severe weather, like flooding and power outages, in our city.

An Inclusive Approach to Government: Our city is strongest when it allows residents to connect directly with their local government. We’ll keep exploring ways to participate remotely in City meetings to make sure your voice is heard, no matter which way you choose to communicate with us.

Boosting Our Downtown: We will continue working with businesses to bring new solutions for new norms — like we did with outdoor seating and the social district. We’ll see the Farmington Road Streetscape to completion, and together, we’ll work to restore icons like the library and Founders Fest.

Great Neighbors & Neighborhoods: We embrace Farmington residents of all ages, cultures, and walks of life. We’ll work to keep Farmington an inclusive, safe, and welcoming community that supports fairness for all. We will continue to support the high-quality city services that make Farmington a great place to live.