Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
A retired Havre railroader has declared his candidacy for the state representative position being vacated by Rep. John Musgrove, D-Havre. Democrat Perry Miller said he has always been interested in working to solve problems that come up in the community. He said he believes he has some strengths that would help him to do that in Helena if elected as the representative in House District 34. “I have a good common sense about issues and I have an ability to get along with other people and see both sides of an issue to be able to boil that down to some solution,” Miller said Wednesday. Musgrove cannot run for reelection because of term limits. Working to build agreements on issues in the often-contentious Legislature will be a priority for him if elected, Miller said. “We need to reach across the aisle to try to get a consensus on using common sense to solve the problems,” he said. “I think we need more people who are willing to solve the problems rather than stay stuck on their own agenda.” Miller said some of the top issues for him include the state economy. “Good-paying jobs is, of course, a top priority,” he said. Other issues are education and health care, he said, especially health care for children who can’t get it now. He said dealing with energy in Montana, with sharp increases in energy costs in the last few years, is another major issue. “I like the idea of working into alternative energy,” Taylor said. “Biofuels, wind, solar we have all that here in Montana.” He said state initiatives to encourage alternative energy production should continue, which have the added Benefit of helping farmers and ranchers in the state. “It’s a good way to keep the family farms going,” Miller said. Miller said he believes, especially if the economy is strengthened, programs can be strengthened and improved with the current budget. “We don’t need to raise new taxes. We need to find ways to fund this with the money already available,” he said, adding that expanding the economy and new job creation would help with that, especially in the energy industry. “I would say this industry is going to grow immensely in the next 10 years and giving support to the new companies that start up is certainly going to add to our ability to get new revenue,” Miller said. Miller grew up in Sidney, graduating from high school in 1967. He moved to Havre that fall to attend Northern Montana College, now Montana State University-Northern, on a baseball scholarship. After receiving his degree in physical education in 1972, he went to work for the Burlington Northern Railway, now the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Miller, a conductor, retired earlier this year after 35 years of service. He served on the Havre school board in the 1990s, and also sat on boards for the baseball and hockey associations and served on a committee in the late 90s that looked into building a community center in Havre. He has served in many positions for Local 544 of the United Transportation Union, including president, and served as a legislative official for the union. He is also active in the Railroad Pagers service organization. Miller’s wife, Teresa, is chair of the Havre school board. The couple has three children: Wade, 30, is attending MSU-Northern and majoring in nursing; Wendy, 28, is a special education teacher, and Jenny, 24, is a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.