Saturday, April 23, 2016
State Rep. Tom Taylor of Dunwoody apologizes to voters for DUI arrest & he still has my support.
The Dunwoody community was shocked when our State Representative Tom Taylor of Dunwoody was arrested last week and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Rabun County. Tylor, 54, a Dunwoody Republican who worked diligently to create & serve the City of Dunwoody, had a blood-alcohol content of .225, nearly three times the legal limit of .08. Taylor was stopped at 2:45 p.m. on April 7 for driving 72 mph in a 45 mph zone with four juveniles in his SUV, according to the police report. Officer Michael Bennett reported that Taylor exited his vehicle and was also legally carrying a gun on his hip.
These salacious details made national news just weeks before the election and for some, this mistake is enough for Dunwoody residents to vote for the other guy no matter what. I understand that perspective but let's also realize that Tom has a problem that he will work to correct and maybe this community should compare Tom's voting record against what the alternative candidate will bring to our community.
As per the Crier... "Taylor came to local attention through his work with Citizens for Dunwoody, serving as vice president and then president. He was a leader in the three-year fight for cityhood, taking a prominent role in successfully lobbying the General Assembly to allow a referendum.
That and his work as chairman of the Police Task Force, helping to establish the Dunwoody police department, led to his election to the first City Council. In 2010, when Dan Weber decided on short notice not to seek re-election to the state senate and state Rep. Fran Millar decided to move up, Taylor ran for the state house and was elected.
In the state house, representing Dunwoody and pieces of Chambee and Doraville, Taylor is best known locally for championing a bill to create an independent school system for Dunwoody. Less publicized was his work on legislation to force DeKalb County to sell its parks in Dunwoody to the city for $100 an acre and convey $7 million in bond funds for Brook Run Park to the city. In 2011 he was chosen Rookie Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Despite his short tenure in the house, Taylor was chosen as chairman of the MARTA Oversight Committee and is on several key committees such as economic development and tourism, governmental affairs and regulatory industries."
Bill Torpy the straight talking columnist in the AJC (whom I admire and who reminds me of Chicago's Mike Royko) wrote a spot on the perspective of Tom's arrest just prior to reelection where he outlines the options for the Dunwoody community. My favorite quote is "There are a lot of preeners, egotists and even loons in the state legislature. Taylor isn’t one of them." "Tom Owens, is a well-known, self-appointed, in-your-face, conspiracy-minded, immigrant-fearing fringe candidate. To put it mildly. The prospect of Rep. Tom Owens (R-Dunwoody) heading to the Legislature has GOP and Dunwoody politicos guzzling Maalox by the pint."
Mr. Torpy is spot on, as a Dunwoody politico (I prefer the term public servant) I know Candidate Tom Owen as I have been in numerous meetings (1, 2, 3) with him and I detest the thought of him representing our community! Character goes a long way for me and your history of arrests and interactions with law enforcement usually shows an aspect of ones character. This is Tom Taylor's first offense and he is taking full responsibilities for his actions. Now let's compare that against candidate Tom Owen whereby he was charged for spitting on a businesses door because of his intolerance against immigrants and whereby he thought they were funding terrorism. There are numerous stories on candidate Owen within the links on this blog post where there are numerous restraining orders filed against him because of his threats of violence against various people, and his intolerance for differences.
As a fellow Dunwoody City Councilman, Tom Taylor and I have had a long friendship based on mutual respect but when we talked earlier this week I informed him that he needs to regain that level of respect from not only myself but from the entire community and this needs to be done by kicking this habit in order to clear any demons that he may be facing.
Once that is done, I believe Tom Taylor should be reelected to the Georgia Legislature in order to represent us and push the needs of our community within the State Legislature. If you disagree with my assessment, I respect that decision but I would like you to be fully informed as to the other choice for State Representative as it is my opinion that Tom Owen is not a viable candidate to work with others in the state legislature to push for positive change in our community.
In case you are not fully aware of the story of Tom Taylor or the history of Candidate Tom Owen, here are a few links.
AJC - Georgia Rep. Tom Taylor charged with DUI in Rabun County Thurs Apr 14
The Crier - Taylor apologizes to voters for DUI arrest
AJC - Rep. Tom Taylor said DUI arrest was his wake-up call Thurs Apr 21
Atlanta Area Lawmaker with DUI – His Opponent says He’s a Drunk
Ga. State Rep. Tom Taylor Of Dunwoody Charged With DUI - Full Report
AJC - Bill Torpy at Large: Kids, a .45 and a high-speed DUI
Peach Pundit - Tom Owens, A Man Amok from Oct 2014
Doraville Police Report - Tom Owen for spitting on a business.
MARTOC Chairman Arrested for DUI
AJC - And you thought DeKalb politics couldn’t get any crazier? http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/and-you-thought-dekalb-politics-couldnt-get-any-cr/nhfzZ/#8bad1097.3715759.735516
Tom Owen addresses the DHA Political Forum - watch the question & answer at 29:55