About Me

Hi! I am an editor, photographer, and Farmington resident since 1999. I got into local politics after a former councilwoman pulled me aside, as I was organizing a petition drive to save Victorian houses in downtown Farmington, and said “You know, if you really want to make a difference, you’re going to have to run for Council yourself.”

I ran in 2017 and finished as the top vote-getter, winning a 4-year term as Farmington’s youngest female city councilmember. I then had the surprise of my life when I replied to an email from TIME magazine about women running for office and had my photo featured as part of a collage on the cover of the Jan 18, 2018 issue.

Since then, I’ve read hundreds of pages of zoning code and learned more about water and sewer repair than most people care to know. I’ve posted meeting recaps on Facebook, waded through a flooded Farmington street (twice), and worked to pass a voter-approved millage that ended the all-too-often flooding, got Farmington finances back in the black, and finally made the Farmington Road streetscape (coming 2022) possible. When the pandemic hit, I helped create a social district where you can #supportlocal and drink on the sidewalks downtown. I voted for expanded outdoor dining and socially distanced city services to protect the public and our civil servants against COVID-19. And I’m not done yet.

I live in downtown Farmington and, as a self-avowed history nerd, routinely risk my life by standing in the middle of Grand River to take photos of old buildings. This should come as no surprise to those who know me; local history has always been one of my passions. I’ve twirled an umbrella with the Warnerettes Parasol Drill Team since its founding, volunteered at the Warner Mansion museum and Farmington Historical Commission, and for two years ran a then-and-now history column called Vintage Point in the local newspapers.

I’m in the unique position of being 30 years old but enough of a Farmington lifer that I still call 9 Mile/Farmington “the old Farmer Jack’s.” I think millennials and long-time residents would agree that our historic small-town feel plays a big part in creating the sense of place we associate with our city. Balancing that authentic, historic feel with a 21st-century vibe will always be one of my top priorities as a city councilmember.

My day job is managing editor of The ACHR NEWS, a trade magazine publication that covers the heating and cooling industry. I also report for Northville’s monthly magazine The ‘Ville, and in the past, I have worked for Michigan History Magazine, the Farmington Observer, and the Novi News. As an editor, my job is to combine multiple viewpoints — sometimes clashing viewpoints — to get to the heart of an issue. I know that solving problems takes research and investigation, and it takes actively going out and asking people for input. That’s what I do when reporting, and what I strive to do on Farmington City Council as well.

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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.

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

Sensible development that complements, not bulldozes, the historic city we love — and stays in scale with the surrounding neighborhoods

Boosting our downtown through new norms like the social district — common-sense parking laws and better walkability — and restoring Farmington icons like the Founders Fest and the library

Modernizing our infrastructure because true progress means prioritizing neighborhoods all across the city, with investments like roads, trees, water mains, sidewalks, and broadband

Inclusive government so local democracy fits with our busy lives — and our concerns are heard and addressed

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.

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, starting summer 2021.

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 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 is now underway.

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, 8/2019

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, and “Mayfield Lake” is now once again a normal residential street.

Historic Preservation

I am a huge proponent of adaptive reuse: a type of historic preservation that renovates 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 by new owner GLP Financial.

“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.

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

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).

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 and my team of volunteers talk to people across the city who will vote in the November 2021 election. That means printing fliers and signs and pins, mailing literature to homes and apartments, and paying for my website and some Facebook ads and maybe a few pizzas for my volunteers.

Anything you can chip in would be most appreciated whether it’s $5, $50, $500, or somewhere in between.

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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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