Iron County Commissioner Dave Miller resigns

Inset: This photo of Iron County Commissioner Dave Miller was taken Jan. 28 at a gathering in Iron County in memory of Mormon Arizona cowboy Robert LaVoy Finicum who died Jan. 26 after federal agents fired on him on U.S. Highway 395 just north of Burns, Oregon. At that gathering Miller spoke of remodel work needed in the hearts of fellow citizens and what it really means to be Americans. Miller has issued resignation as commissioner of Iron County effective Friday. Background photo: Cedar Breaks National Monument, Iron County, Utah | Photo of Miller by Tracie Sullivan, St. George News and Cedar City News; Photo of Cedar Breaks by LeavXC via Wikimedia Commons Sept. 2010; St. George News and Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — After almost three and a half years serving on the Iron County Commission, Commissioner Dave Miller tendered his letter of resignation effective Friday.

In the letter, Miller stated he has accepted an opportunity that will take him and his family out of state “for an extended period of time.”

“(I)t has been an honor to serve as a Commissioner to Iron County, a community I love, in a beautiful setting with many great things happening,” Miller said in his letter. “Over the past years many exciting developments have occurred in our county for which I have great hope and anticipation.”

Miller has been a resident of Iron County for over 20 years. He attended Southern Utah University in Cedar City, where he met his wife, Joy. The Millers have five children, and it is with this next generation in mind that Miller has said he has taken an interest in politics. On his website, Miller said:

Using the time honored standard that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the foundation of American genius I take seriously the charge to keep government accountable to the people. Raising a family here and building a contracting business for almost 2 decades has allowed me opportunity to interact with many people throughout our county. I have seen firsthand the role local leadership plays in respecting the limited role of administering justice and essential services for their constituents.

In his time on the Iron County Commission, Miller has played a pivotal role in many important and controversial issues in Southern Utah. In 2013, he was one of those responsible for getting the national parks open when the federal government shut down. He was also one of those responsible for bringing attention to and seeing through the BLM wild horse issue, helping to convince Congressman Chris Stewart to draw up a bill essentially giving management of the horses to the state.

Iron County Commission Chairman Alma Adams said Friday that Miller was very dedicated to his work.

“We all travel a lot,” Adams said, “but he did a lot of the traveling. He got involved heavily in the situation with the wild horses, which you know are on our western ranges and which need to be brought down to the appropriate management level. … He became very interested in all the public land issues which is one of the major things that we as county commissioners deal with on a daily basis. Of course, we’re not too happy about the overreach of the federal government. He was very animated and diligent in working on those issues.”

Miller also spent considerable time in recent years working on the issue of the Utah prairie dog, which has been listed as a federally-protected species. On his website, Miller said:

As Iron County Citizens, most if not all of us sense the awkward policies surrounding prairie dogs. This dilemma has far surpassed the nuisance stage. The negative stigma of boundless control over the use of our private properties by an unelected minority of groups has been overbearing.

In his resignation letter, Miller said that even though he never looked at his time in public office as a career, he put his whole heart into serving.

I appreciate the support I have received and the friendships and relationships formed. It has been a pleasure and welcome challenge to serve in this capacity.”

Adams called Miller a “great commissioner.”

“He was very intelligent young man with a lot of energy and a lot of capacity,” Adams said, “and we hate to lose him. It will change the dynamic of the commission a little bit. Of course we don’t know how until we get our new commissioner.”

Iron County Clerk Jon Whittaker said that according to Utah Code 20A-1-508, there are actually two processes which occur at this point: the appointment of an interim replacement and the election to replace the officer. As far as the interim replacement, Utah Code states:

To appoint an interim replacement, the county legislative body shall give notice of the vacancy to the party liaison of the same political party of the prior office holder and invite that party liaison to submit the name of a person to fill the vacancy.

Whittaker said Iron County Commission Chairman Alma Adams has given notice to the Iron County Republicans that Miller has resigned.

For the process of replacing Miller, Whittaker said the procedure depends on how long the officer held the position and when he/she resigned. In Miller’s case, the Utah Code specifies that Whittaker is to notify the public and each registered political party that the vacancy exists, after which interested persons may file a declaration of candidacy. If the person is nominated as a party candidate or eligible to run as an independent or write-in candidate, they will run in the regular general election.

In his letter, Miller said he believes the community would find a suitable replacement.

“Because of our citizen legislature model I have great confidence that the community will find and support a replacement for this office that will serve in a way that suits their expectations.”

St. George News and Cedar City News Reporter Tracie Sullivan contributed to this article.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • Laurel March 25, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Good riddance.

    • Chris March 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Agreed. Miller is a complete buffoon, regardless of what Alma Adams has to say about him. Come to think of it, Alma Adams is pretty much of a buffoon too. Miller was always grandstanding, hoping for more media attention than he actually got.

  • voice of reason March 26, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Leaving to be the new head of the Bundy clan?

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