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Village Vision News

Village administrator supporters ask board to rescind resignation

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mayor: Decision has been made, search for replacement has begun

Departing Village Administrator Mike Miller had plenty of vocal supporters in attendance at the regular meeting of the full board Oct. 21.

Miller, who assumed his duties in June 2012, turned in his letter of resignation earlier this month. The announcement of his resignation was made by Mayor Marilyn Johnson at the board’s Oct. 7 meeting.

Miller was not without critics during his tenure, but it was supporters who came out to voice their objections to the news of his resignation.

There was plenty of criticism for the board from residents and business leaders, who did not hide their frustration with a board that has found itself too often in a search for an administrator over the last six years. More than one person used the word “embarrassment” to describe their feelings in recent days.

The clear message from those who spoke: Rescind Miller’s resignation.

T.J. Jackson came with a petition in support of Miller and spoke first, noting Miller’s willingness to work for the people of Forsyth.

Developer Steve Horve called Miller “the most professional” administrator the village has had, adding that Miller is “a young guy; he’ll be here a while.” Horve went on to say that the whole situation was embarrassing, especially since Forsyth is the envy of other communities, a reference to its prosperity.

Dale Colee, who recently signed a lease agreement to open a new pharmacy in the old Yummy Yummy location, said Miller was instrumental in his decision to expand his business in the village.

“I’m somewhat embarrassed, and that pains me,” Colee told the board. “I don’t want to be the laughingstock of Macon County.

“This board and Madam Mayor, you need to get your act together.”

Jim Peck, former president of the Maroa-Forsyth school board and an alternate member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, expressed his concern over getting another qualified administrator to come to town if the last several have been driven away by micromanagement.

“Rescind his resignation,” Peck told the board. “Work out your differences, and leave him alone.”

Mike Unruh said he was “flabbergasted” by Miller’s resignation and that he had been a pleasure to work with and should be retained. Ron Oliver said the “internal turmoil” that was causing Miller to leave did not speak well of the board.

Perhaps the most powerful comments came from Jane Miller, Mike Miller’s wife, who requested that the issue be reversed on the spot, especially given the opinions expressed by those in attendance.

“Is it a dead issue?” Jane Miller asked the mayor from the podium.

“From what I know, I believe it is,” the mayor replied.

Mike Miller thanked people for coming and said that he’d always wanted to do what was right for the village. Then he cited a private conversation between himself and Johnson saying only that “the mayor has chosen to move on.”

The mayor then closed the public comment portion of the meeting and proceeded with the rest of the agenda.

“I appreciate all the sentiment out there,” Johnson told the audience. “Mike has resigned. I have accepted his resignation. The village needs to move forward. The search for a replacement has begun.”

The special meeting on Oct. 24 was to discuss employment issues, presumably as they relate to Miller, so it was held in closed session. Prior to going into closed session, public comments were heard. No action was scheduled to be taken by the board afterward, and at press time, no news had come from the meeting.

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