California State Senate District 28 is currently vacant and Idyllwild voters will see five names on the June 3 primary ballot. Democratic candidates are Philip Drucker of La Quinta and Anna Nevenic of Palm Springs.
On the other side are three Republicans — Bonnie Garcia of Cathedral City, Glenn Miller of Indio and Jeff Stone of Temecula — vying for their party’s nomination.
During the weeks leading up to the election, the Town Crier will introduce each candidate to the community and conclude with a story illuminating their priorities and policy differences.
Miller, a native Californian, has been an Indio city council member since 2008. Prior to that he was a member the city’s Planning Commission. He is a certified golf-course superintendent and executive director of First Tee of the Coachella Valley, a life-skills program for youth.
“The Coachella Valley has about 20 percent of the golf courses in California,” he said proudly. These can serve as a magnet to attract tourists and visitors to the district, Miller stressed.
His connection with the golf course industry is a significant positive, in his opinion. “I feel I’m the one with the skill set for the district. I have a business and understand the economy.” Miller had implemented a 10-percent water reduction at the courses he manages before the statewide 20-percent reduction was imposed this winter. “We have to lead by example,” he said.
He believes a large and diverse set of resources is within the district. “The opportunities within the district could allow us to lead the state in jobs if we work together,” he argued. “We have to create well-paying jobs and get middle management positions back with retirement and insurance benefits.”
Miller also stressed his council experience and term as Indio mayor from 2011 to 2012. “I’m able to work across the aisle,” he said. “I’ve worked with [members] of both sides.”
His nonpartisan approach would benefit the district, he added, because it is so diverse. “There are the very rich and the very, very poor,” he said, “gays and straights, not one voter who won’t be affected, and I believe I can work at the state level.”
This sense of diversity, but cooperation, is how he intends to build his staff, one which all groups can feel comfortable approaching.
“The mountain region had fire and road issues, which is different from other areas. I’ll have somebody who understands this area and the constituents will feel comfortable talking with my staff. Too many offices in Sacramento bring in people from other areas,” Miller said.
Miller is seeking the senate seat for several reasons. First, he wants to help this community improve and bring jobs to make life better for all residents. Second, he was candid that he enjoys elective office and the opportunity to meet with different people.
“Their stories are all different, but all the same on what they want for their families and their quality of life,” Miller said.
“I want to help these people accomplish their dreams and goals,” he stressed. “I know it can happen because it happened in Indio.”