Keith Miller

Title: Mayor Pro Tem

Municipality: City of Kings Mountain

Position Interested In: District Representative (District 11)

Tell us why you would like to serve in a leadership position at the League. In particular, specify goals you would like to accomplish as an officer or board member and indicate how, if attained, they will help to achieve Vision 2030 – the League’s future vision of how cities and towns will operate in 2030.

As the Vision 2030 pamphlet points out, our state is at the inflection point of numerous trend line changes: multiple demographic shifts, rural-urban balance, home-rule aspirations. In addition, our state, like many “in-play swing states” will continue to experience pushes and pulls from national and global interests. I am well-read on many of these issues. I aspire to use that knowledge, along with my skill sets, to help our state navigate these changes and emerge in the most optimal positions possible, while preserving the connection to the rich history of our state.

Vision 2030 includes a focus on Disruptive Trends. I have a strategic vantage point from which to view trends. My 22-year municipal advisor practice has spanned many states (AL, CA, CO, FL, IL, NC, MN, SC, TX & WI). This has familiarized me with municipalities nationwide. That helps me offer the League ideas that may be new to our state and helps me evaluate programs from a wide perspective. It also gives me access to a broad brain trust I can tap to help the League chart the future.

Inter-jurisdictional and regional collaboration are among the Vision 2030 listed challenges. During my tenure in Kings Mountain we have won many big economic development (ED) projects, exceeding $2 billion, and an oft cited differentiating factor has been the exceptional collaboration demonstrated by all the jurisdictions working on the ED packages: Our city, Cleveland and Gaston Counties, our PPP Economic Development Partnership Corporation, the NC Dept. of Commerce, our local public school system, Cleveland Community College, Gardner Webb College, Cleveland County Chamber, Centralina Council of Government, NC DOT, our local State and Federal Legislative delegations, the Governor’s office and Atrium Health System. This experience has taught me to value and protect our intergovernmental relationships. I use my Dale Carnegie training and crisis management studies to mitigate headline and interpersonal political risks. These skill sets should help me help the League address inter-jurisdictional collaboration challenges.

The Vision 2030 Operating Principles include controls over revenues and leveraging technology. In Kings Mountain we have maneuvered from being a serious casualty of NAFTA’s destruction of the textile industry to being financially sound and diversified in our manufacturing, retail and service industries. A key to that remarkable recovery has been our use of controls, sound management decisions, proactive strategy and fiscal conservatism. With respect to leveraging technology, we were the first NC city to utilize Performance Energy Savings Contracting and the first NC city to deploy bidirectional smart meter technology for electric, water and natural gas utilities. I played key roles in each of these initiatives. I believe that testifies to the likelihood that I may help the League operate consistent with the stated principles of controls over revenues and leveraging technology.

Tell us about your experience as a municipal official. You may want to include information on your service on the municipal governing body, other related boards and special areas of interest.

I am in my 4th term on City Council. Between my 1st and 2nd terms I served on the Planning and Zoning Board and the Board of Adjustments and was vice chair of both. I have chaired the city Finance Committee, Nominating Committee and Housing Committee and served on the Strategic Economic Development Plan Steering Committee. My dominant skill sets fall in policy analysis and financial analysis. My education and professional backgrounds fall in these same areas. I have built numerous financial models and graphs of city enterprises and financial data. I currently also serve on the Gaston Cleveland Lincoln Municipal Planning Organization. I ran our Energy Savings Performance Contracting analysis and decision process. I also helped initiate development of our Legislative Conditional Use Zoning as an alternative to our Quasi-Judicial process. I have attended numerous development classes offered through the UNC SOG.

Tell us about your educational background, professional experience, and/or community or civic activities. 

I have a Master of Public Administration (2018) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science (2006), both from UNC Universities, with GPAs of 3.75 and 4.0 respectively.

By trade, I am a Municipal Advisor Representative, Investment Advisor Representative and Financial Consultant. I have managed bond proceed reinvestments for more than $1 billion of municipal bonds. I have been a co-underwriter of municipal bond issues and municipal derivatives. I have passed the level one exam for the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

I have taught Sunday School at First Baptist Church Kings Mountain for over 30 years, served on numerous committees, volunteered on many projects, served several terms as a deacon, and have completed Disaster Relief Team Chaplains training and Chain Saw training. I managed the Church Softball team for about 20 years. Refereed basketball for about 15 years. When my children were young, I coached baseball and soccer teams and served on the PTO. Annually I volunteer to judge the Senior Projects at the High School. I was the executive producer of Cross Walk and Judgment House Christian drama productions for about 10 years.

Have You Participated in Any NCLM Events or Committees? 

  • Town & State Dinner or Town Hall Days

  • Legislative Lobby Days

Please provide any other information you would like the Nominations Committee to consider.

Kings Mountain is blessed to the be the home of our Speaker of the House, Tim Moore. I have known Speaker Moore since his high school days. I think we enjoy a good working relationship. I may be able to triangulate to enhance collaboration between the League, Kings Mountain, District 11 and Speaker’s office; hopefully improving synergies that enhance the good work we can all do together.

I have 3 grown children who are all great people and great citizens. One is an attorney; another an engineer and the baby is a registered nurse. Julie and I will celebrate our 38th anniversary this year.

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