RINCON — After toiling in relative obscurity on the Zoning Board for two years, Michelle Taylor will soon find herself at the front and center of Rincon government.
Taylor is set to be sworn in March 22 as a member of the city council. She was the lone person to qualify last month to fill the vacancy left by the September 2020 resignation of James Dasher.
“I had a bunch of friends say, ‘You need to run for city council.’ I’m like, ‘No. I don’t want to do that. I like being incognito,’” Taylor said.
After prayerful consideration, however, Taylor gave in to the prodding because she cares deeply about her city. She and her husband, Dr. Richard Taylor, have lived here for 23 years.
Taylor’s primary concerns as a council member will be growth and beautification.
“When I first moved up here, I didn’t like (Rincon) too much because it didn’t have very much,” Taylor said. “Boy, how I wish we could go back to those days. Somebody should have shut the gate because it is so busy.”
Taylor wants to be sure that Rincon expands in an responsible manner.
“I’m concerned about the direction that our community goes,” she said. “I’m concerned about too many neighborhoods. They need to slow down the building per se.”
Taylor also listed public safety and recreation as priorities.
“Maybe we have more parks,” she said. “We have Macomber Park but I’m talking like a walking park or a dog park — something where people can get together and be more of a community.”
Beautification was paramount to Taylor as a Zoning Board member. She served with Patrick Kirkland and Freddy Long, who also recently ascended to the city council.
“As we grow, I want our community to be pretty,” she said. “That’s why I liked the Zoning Board. It helps us guide where the city is going and it makes sure we stick to the laws to protect how our city is going to look.
“Actually, I kind of wish our city was more like Guyton — historic and all — but I think we can do things to beautify it and make it more appealing looking.”
Taylor thinks aesthetics should be considered before approving building permits.
“When they are building these strip malls and stuff, I would like them to be prettier than just a metal building,” she said. “I hope we are all on the same page with that because it needs to start with City Hall.”
Taylor is a proponent of decorative lighting that is called for in the city’s long-range plan for Ninth Street and Fort Howard Road. She also has an idea for immediate improvement.
“Have you seen those banners (that hang on light poles)? I think they have them in Springfield,” she said. “I’m going to suggest that at our next meeting. We need to do something.”
Taylor is hopeful that more people will get involved in community decisions and activities.
“It’s sad that people don’t take the needs of their community in consideration,” she said. “If everyone would volunteer for something in their community, think what kind of community we would have.”