Now a high school teacher, Meagan Biello, 32, of Ball Ground, hopes to take the seat Moore will vacate at the end of the year, after he was eliminated from the race in May.
The Creekview High School teacher said she’s lived in Cherokee County her entire life, and has two children with her husband, Alex.
Biello is set to face off with opponent Wes Cantrell in the July 22 general primary runoff election, and said the biggest issues facing the county are transportation, economic growth and education.
“I would fight to end the regional transportation system, enabling counties and other municipalities to work together to solve their transportation issues based on the needs of their local businesses and residents,” Biello said. “I support legislation that decreases the bureaucracy for small businesses, encouraging homegrown entrepreneurship and enabling small businesses to grow rather than regulating them out of business.”
When it came to transportation alternatives, Biello said it’s important for the state to weigh options and listen to residents.
“The state must weigh the benefits of saving money and not investing in infrastructure, against the benefits of making the investment in our infrastructure systems, in order to attract new businesses and residents to the area,” Biello said. “The state has to take into account the fact that we are a commuter city and state, and expansions to MARTA and other alternative transportation measures could be considered on a county-by-county basis.”
She added, “letting the voters decide where particular funds should be spent on infrastructure development, expansion and maintenance enables the people to have a voice in the decision.”
Biello said she would address education concerns by advocating for more school choices, “especially for high school graduates, so we can ensure they are workforce ready if they choose not to attend college.”
As part of the advocacy, Biello said the first bill she would author if elected to the state House of Representatives would deal with improvement of high school diploma requirements.
“Not every student needs to attend college, and we must equip our high school students with the skills necessary to enter the workforce and become productive and contributing members of society upon graduation,” Biello explained. “When graduates are qualified for higher paying jobs right out of high school, they tend to rely less on government assistance in the long run.”
Students who receive more vocational training in high school could also help decrease the dropout rate, Biello said, adding “it ties directly to economic growth for the local economy.”
When asked about what should be done to strengthen ethics laws in Georgia, specifically relating to campaign contributions, Biello said the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, formerly the state ethics commission, “must be a completely separate entity — apart from the government — and it needs to have full authority to investigate and prosecute infractions that break the law.”
“We must also ensure that they have the resources they need in order to carry out the assigned task. Having an attorney on staff is critical to their job. However, in Georgia, many months have passed since an attorney has worked in this office,” Biello said. “Complaints pile up without being investigated and the public loses faith in the system.”
Biello said her education and experience make her the right choice for voters.
“With a business degree in economics and political science, and experience as a teacher, I can add meaningfully to the discussions about educational policy, growing the economy, decreasing government regulation and reducing the tax burden,” Biello said Friday. “I live here, work here and send my children to school here. I have the most invested in this community, and I intend to listen to the people of this district.”
Biello is an active member of the PTA at two schools, a member of the Holly Springs group The Armed Lady and sits on the PEACH Project board for domestic violence awareness and prevention.