Thomas “Tom” Taylor (I)
Defense contractor/ consultant
Past political experience: Three years (2005-2008) as volunteer advocate at the General Assembly for Dunwoody incorporation as Vice President and later President of Citizens for Dunwoody, Inc . Elected to “founding” Dunwoody City Council, served 2008-2010. Elected to and serve in Georgia House of Representatives, 2010-present. Chairman of MARTOC (MARTA Oversight Committee)
Other experience in the community: Volunteer at Kingsley Elementary and Peachtree Middle Schools. Board member (now “ex-officio”) of Dunwoody Homeowners Association. Youth soccer coach for 18 seasons at Ashford-Dunwoody YMCA
Q: Why are you running for this office?
A: To continue serving my district and my state, delivering on legislation that improves education, transportation, economic development and public safety in my district and throughout the state.
Q: Why should the voters choose you?
A: Experience and seniority (which translates to knowledge and ability to get things done), as well as my record of delivering on what I promise.
Q: If elected, what’s the first thing you want to accomplish in office?
A: Continue to deliver on key issues in the district, including the ongoing I-285 / 400 project to improve our very serious traffic issues, as well as continuing to pursue education reform by continuing to work for passage of an independent school system bill.
Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the district you seek to represent?
A: The largest current problem is the continuing dysfunction and corruption in the DeKalb County government and school system which, although all of this district is incorporated cities, still has a huge detrimental effect on us as part of DeKalb County.
Q: What do you see as the biggest problem facing the state?
A: As it involves almost half of the entire state budget, that issue is still K-12 education reform. We still have very poor educational outcomes despite these spending levels. This is a continuing work in progress for myself and many other legislators.
Q: If a “religious freedom” bill similar to the one passed this session and vetoed by Gov. Deal is offered again next year, how would you vote on it?
A: I would have to see the language in a new bill, but if it came up again with the same or similar language as in the 2016 session, I would vote against it just as I did in the 2016 session.
Q: If it comes up again in the legislature next year, would you support some form of new tax to expand MARTA?
A: This is a moot question, as the MARTA tax issue was settled during the 2016 legislative session. On Day 40 (last day of session), a compromise deal was worked out between the involved parties (DeKalb County, Fulton County and City of Atlanta). This allowed DeKalb and Fulton to opt out of the tax increase, while allowing Atlanta to increase their sales tax for MARTA to expand the system within their city limits. As chairman of MARTOC, I was part of the team that negotiated this deal.