It’s out of love for Punta Gorda that John Miller, 78, is running for the District 3 City Council seat this November, he said.
Council Member Gary Wein currently holds the seat but announced on May 1 he isn’t running for a third term.
Earlier this month, Shaune Freeland declared she would be running for the seat, which represents a portion of Punta Gorda Isles and other homeowners west of Bal Harbor Boulevard and north of Aqui Esta Drive.
Miller recently emailed the Sun to announce his campaign.
Why did you decide to run?“I am running because I love this city,” said Miller, a former president of the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association which represents over 4,000 area homeowners of the almost 20,000 residents listed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017.
“I have followed the city’s growth and been a part of it since (Hurricane) Charley,” Miller said.
What are your thoughts on growth?“With the current master planning initiative,” Miller said, “we are in a unique position to continue our city’s growth in a realistic and attainable way that meets our citizens’ desire for that small town feel while growing our commercial base.”
In March, Punta Gorda held a series of meetings, called charrettes, with city staff, residents and consulting firm Dover, Kohl & Partners to develop the Citywide Master Plan — a guide for future development and growth in the city.
Miller served as a facilitator at the charrettes. He has also served on the city’s planning committee that helped develop the city’s Journey to the Future event in January.
He also plans to be a member of the city’s 1-percent Sales Tax Committee, tasked with identifying the next round of needed infrastructure initiatives to be the basis for voting for the 1 percent sales tax in 2020.
What about experience?Miller has been a prominent member of Team Punta Gorda, a volunteer-based group formed after Hurricane Charley ripped through the city in 2004.
Team Punta Gorda helped the city in its redevelopment after Charley with the funding and creation of the Citizens Master Plan, a community-based guide intended to aid the city in its rebuilding efforts.
During his time with PGICA, he has also been a building administrator and director of planning.
He has been a member of the PGI Seafarers and the PGI Newcomers, and later, the PGI Floridians where he served as treasurer and president.
Since October 2017, Miller has served as a government liaison for the board of directors for PGICA, attending all the City Council meetings and writing a monthly article for the community organization.
Miller is also on the board of his condo complex, serving as treasurer and landscape director.
At his church, First United Methodist of Punta Gorda, Miller serves on the finance and the stewardship committees.
Miller is a graduate of the Punta Gorda Citizens Academy, a course designed to give insight into city government and is an active member of the Punta Gorda Last Straw Committee, which focuses on limiting the use of plastic and Styrofoam materials at local restaurants.
In January, Miller also joined the Punta Gorda Police Department’s volunteer bicycle patrol.
Who is John Miller?“You might call me old,” Miller said, “but just check out the things I do — tennis, bicycling, boating and the gym every week — plus everything else I do.”
Miller was born in Mankato, Minnesota, and has 30 years of health care management experience at the University of Chicago hospitals and Smith Kline Beecham Pharmaceuticals.
He and his wife Terry moved to Punta Gorda in 2003. They have three adult children — two in California, one in Connecticut — and four grandchildren.
For potential candidates...Candidates cannot qualify for the Nov. 5 election until June 17, according to City Communications Manager Melissa Reichert.
The other council seat up for grabs this year is District 5, currently occupied by Mayor Nancy Prafke, who is seeking re-election. The mayor position is not up for election because mayors are picked by the City Council.
The city has distributed three candidate application packets for the District 3 seat and only one packet, so far, for District 5.