One of the major items of business on the agenda at the Democratic Elbert County Assembly on March 5 was to nominate candidates for local elections, and for the District 3 county commissioner's race, the delegates chose longtime county resident Barbara Miller.
Miller says her priorities as commissioner would center on budget details, an in-depth look into fracking, and property tax structure.
“We need to think about potentially looking at our tax structure; to see where taxes are either fair or unfair and where,” she said. “Because we're having trouble with money in the county, we need to take a look and see, is the taxing system fair here?”
Originally from Columbus, Indiana, Miller has a bachelor of arts in history from Carleton College and a master's degree in elementary education from Indiana University.
She worked as a schoolteacher for five years, teaching middle school social studies for two years and as an elementary school teacher for three years. Later she worked as a computer programmer and has worked as a homeopath since she moved to Elbert County in 1993.
Miller has followed politics all of her life and sees her analytic ability and work with computers as an asset toward being a county commissioner.
“I'm highly analytical, very left brained,” she said. “I can take a look at data, analyze it, and see how to move things around. I do that for homeopathy too. I take a look at cases and analyze things that don't look like they go together.”
Miller will face either Scott Wills or Grant Thayer for the District 3 seat and acknowledges that running as a Democrat in a constituency that predominantly votes Republican will be a challenge. She plans to aim her messaging at the high number of independents living in Elbert County.
“A lot of commissioners in the past have done things, made decisions long before they got out to the public meetings, so we're going to try to run things as the law expects us to run them and not as convenience make them work for us,” she said.
Miller plans to spend a significant part of her campaign talking to residents and listening to their perspectives. Her overall message to Elbert County voters is that she is straight and honest.
“What you see is what you get. I'm not trying to hide anything … that's just my nature. That's just who I am,” she said. “I'm going to do that as a county commissioner.”