A Claypool man who previously served on the town board for 18 years is likely the next member of the town board.
Don Miller, 72, is the only person who filed his declaration of candidacy with Kosciusko County Republican Committee Chairman Mike Ragan by Sunday’s deadline. Ragan is to make an appointment to the Claypool Town Board at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14 at the county clerk’s office in Warsaw.
The Claypool Town Board middle district seat became available after Nate Morton resigned Jan. 30 without ever taking the oath of office after being elected in November. Morton won the November general election against Democrat Elizabeth Heiman, 27 to 22 votes.
Miller served on the town board for 18 years, after filling a vacant position, until about 2015.
Asked why he decided to put his name in for the Claypool Town Board, Don said, “I just responded to a request that there was a vacancy and they were in desperate hopes to get it filled.” He said with some prayer and consideration with his wife, Vicki, they determined it was time for him to help out.
Don retired from Phend & Brown in 2016, where he was a plant manager and quality control division manager. When he was retiring from work, he also thought it was time for younger people to get involved with the board and that’s why he also decided to not seek re-election then.
As to how he wants to help the town of Claypool, Don said, “In light of the current affairs of the country and society, I want to contribute to good purposes.”
He said the town has to deal with a number of things that have increased the utility rates for the town’s residents, causing struggles, and he hopes the town board can get things into a better framework. Being a small town, Claypool has a small amount of people to carry the burdens.
If appointed by Ragan on Wednesday, Don’s term won’t expire until Dec. 31, 2027. While he said he has been “somewhat” connected to the town’s issues since his retirement, he’s not been intimately connected to them so he’ll have to relearn some things. He hopes his experience and knowledge can add credibility to the mix on the town board.
Don and Vicki have been married 53 years.
“I’ve been blessed with a very good mate,” he said.
They’ve had three children, raised primarily in Claypool. He said they moved to Claypool from North Manchester about 42 years ago.