Havre Daily News
The director of a local nonprofit agency charged with providing assistance to low-income residents, getting victims of domestic abuse back on their feet and educating young children is leaving his post to rejoin the political arena.
District IV Human Resources Development Council executive director Vic Miller will resign his post Wednesday. He filed Monday to run for the Blaine County Commission, on which he served from 1996 to 2002.
Miller said Wednesday he wants to focus on his campaign, assist with a few other political campaigns and work on a number of personal projects. He also has a side job: professional musician.
“I just feel the urge to run again,” Miller said. “It's not fair to take a paycheck and not have 100 percent energy for (HRDC). It's a good time to get out of the way and get some new leadership.
“I'm at the point in my life where I have a number of projects I want to get done,” he added. “It's time to do them.”
HRDC board president Lowell Long said a committee has begun work on finding a new director. He said Miller has done much for low-income residents in Hill, Blaine and Liberty counties and on the Rocky Boy's and Fort Belknap Indian reservations.
“It's been a pleasure for me working alongside him for the last three years,” Long said. “I've known Vic for a long, long time. I think he's done a good job for us. I've gotten along with him real well. He's done a really good job at the legislative level, trying to keep us funded as much as possible.”
Hill County Commission chair and HRDC board member Kathy Bessette said Miller has been an asset for the agency.
“It's been great working with him,” she said. “He's a very dedicated individual and really believes in what HRDC stands for. Even though there have been a lot of cuts at the federal level, Vic and his staff have pulled through and have gotten things done.”
Miller also served as chair of the HRDC state directors association and spent time speaking with policy makers at the state and federal level to ensure HRDC had the funding it needed to get people back on their feet.
He said he had a “wonderful” time working at HRDC.
“It was great, you know,” Miller said. “It's always been a challenge to do what we can ... and help people out.”
HRDC administers programs for housing assistance, domestic violence prevention, energy assistance, employment training, adult education, and Head Start and Early Head Start.
Miller said some people misunderstand HRDC's mission. The agency isn't there to provide long-term assistance to low-income people, he said.
“We're there to be a short-term assistance to get peole back on their feet,” Miller said. “We work more with the working poor, rather than long-term folks.
“We can easily say 60 percent of our population across the area are directly involved with poverty, and by its nature, we can say the rest are indirectly involved,” he added.
Miller served one term as a commissioner before Blaine County's district map was redrawn in 2002, preventing him from running for re-election.
According to the Blaine County Clerk and Recorder's Office, Miller filed Monday as a Democrat for the District 3 seat now held by Art Kleinjan. Miller is the sole candidate at this point, but candidates have until March 23 to file for the election.
Miller also previously taught at Fort Belknap Community College and served as mayor of Harlem.