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Miller files for council seat instead of mayor

Jeff Miller, the local dry cleaner who says he wants to make city policies more business friendly, filed this morning to run for the Hendersonville City Council instead of mayor.

Miller said that on the City Council the board members have as much power as the mayor in terms of raising issues that need study or change, and a council member's job is less time consuming than mayor with all the top job's ceremonial obligations.
"I feel like I can come in there and serve better if I work from the ground up," he said. "This will give me time to still run my business and help veterans and learn the ins and outs of the City Council. I still plan to have an immediate impact on how the city works with businesses in the community."
Miller, the founder of HonorAir, owns Miller's Fine Drycleaning on King Street, one of the oldest continuously operating businesses downtown. His announcement last week that he was strongly considering filing for mayor was followed later the same day by the City Council's decision to add a discussion of commercial water rates to its next agenda. The council has ordered the utility staff to draft revisions to the commercial impact fees after local business lobbyist Larry Rogers showed members the city's fee calculation of $284,138 to open a new carwash. The developer passed on the plans.
"I think it took them too long to get to it and what I was amazed to find out was that when they passed it nobody looked at a real life experience and how it would affect new and existing business," Miller said. "It's a shame that it took kind of a threat to bring it up to the forefront.... It shouldn't be that difficult to find a balance between residential and commercial users because we all need each other."
Miller said he has spoken with Hendersonville business owners who feel disenfranchised.
"Business owners, most of them, don't live in the city and they really have no voice," he said. "There's no way to get them a vote but I think they deserve a strong voice."
Miller joins incumbent council members Jeff Collis and Jerry Smith and former members Ralph Freeman and Diane Caldwell in the council race. Mayor Barbara Volk has filed for re-election.