A little tidbit that some Pequot Lakes residents may not know about their mayor, James Tayloe, is where his football loyalties lie.
A Minnesota resident for 16 years, Tayloe - whom many know better as “JT” - likes the Minnesota Vikings. However, having grown up in Montana, his go-to team is the Seattle Seahawks. When the two teams play each other, Tayloe admits he roots for the Seahawks, as he did on a trip to Seattle last December to watch the two teams play.
Another tidbit residents may not realize is why Tayloe decided to seek the mayor’s seat. He said he delved into city politics after the controversy over Trailside Park improvements arose, including the possible use of taxpayer dollars and how the idea was brought to the people.
“I didn’t like the idea. I still don’t,” he said Friday, Sept. 13, while sitting at his desk in the mayor’s office at city hall.
Tayloe admits he isn’t in that office often. Former mayors going back many years were retirees, possibly with more time on their hands than Tayloe, 41, has. He doesn’t think people are used to having a mayor with a full-time job.
But calls to his city hall phone number go directly to his cell phone, and he does have Fridays off from his job as plant manager at Diversified Specialties, Inc., formerly known as Permatite Manufacturing, Inc., on County Road 11. The company manufactures weather stripping.
He uses those Fridays to catch up on city work and to participate in a monthly meeting of area mayors who gather at Breezy Point Mayor Tom Lillehei’s home to learn what’s going on in each other’s cities.
After serving as Pequot Lakes’ mayor for nearly nine months, Tayloe said he’s learned a lot.
“I learn something different every day,” he said. “I was never in politics, beyond high school student council. I like it. You meet a lot of people.”
Tayloe was born in Billings, Montana, and grew up in Roundup, Montana, a city just a bit smaller than Pequot Lakes. After graduating from high school, Tayloe moved to Renton, Washington, near Seattle, for eight years, where he worked as a mechanic at a bowling center.
That’s where his Minnesota ties come in.
Tayloe met his wife, Christa, at the bowling alley, where she also worked. She grew up in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.
“The bowling alley closed so we were both jobless,” Tayloe said. “Her sister lived out here and was getting ready to have twins, so we said, ‘Let’s go.’”
He had visited Pequot Lakes for his sister-in-law’s wedding and said: “I just loved the area.”
Tayloe worked for Schwan’s for four years, and when their daughter, Jordyn, started school he joined DSI. Christa is a paraprofessional at Eagle View Elementary School and is guest services assistant manager at Narveson Management. Jordyn just graduated from Pequot Lakes High School and attends the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
While he misses Montana and visits his home state every August, Tayloe loves Pequot Lakes. What has kept him here, besides his family?
“The school and community as a whole,” he said. “It’s small. It’s quaint. There’s not a lot of crime.”
Tayloe is involved in the community beyond being mayor. He is active with Pequot Lakes Youth Sports, including umpiring, and is on the Pelican Lakes Conservation Club board of directors.
When he’s not working his full-time job or for the city, Tayloe enjoys anything outdoors, including ice fishing, deer hunting, four wheeling and snowmobiling.