Anniston Water Works general manager Jim Miller to retire
by Laura Camper
lcamper@annistonstar.com
Jan 19, 2013 | 5102 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<i>Jim Miller</i>
Jim Miller
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Anniston Water Works and Sewer Board general manager Jim Miller announced Friday his plans to retire in mid-June after spending 17 years at the helm of the utility.

Miller said he’s staying on to finish some projects already started, including the water main extension to Honda Manufacturing in Lincoln. Then he plans to “try some other things while he is still relatively young,” he said.

“I farm on the side,” Miller said. “I want to cattle farm and grow my own hay.”

He’ll be retiring to his farm in rural Jefferson County about 80 miles away from Anniston. But, Miller said, he intends to make frequent trips back to Anniston to maintain the many friendships he has made here.

Miller said he’s considering doing some consulting work in the utility management business.

Jimmy O’Dell, chairman of the board, noted that while Miller headed the water works, he trimmed staff by 37 percent, implemented state-of-the-art technology and revamped the board’s organizational structure.

“I hated to see him retire,” O’Dell said. “He’s done everything the board asked him to do plus 100 times more.”

O’Dell was on the board when it hired Miller over dozens of other applicants. Miller was the board members’ fourth interview and they knew immediately he was the candidate for the job. Over the years, they’ve not been disappointed, O’Dell said.

“Not only that, he did a lot for the entire community,” O’Dell said.

In 2012, Miller was named The Anniston Star’s Citizen of the Year. Miller has filled seats on several boards over the years, including the Spirit of Anniston Board of Directors. Miller also serves on the Public Building Authority and the YMCA Board of Directors, both of which will lose his services after he retires.

“He will be missed,” said Anniston City Planner Toby Bennington, who worked with Miller through the authority. “He provided stellar, stellar leadership.”

Miller served as chairman of the authority, which organized the construction of the Department of Human Resources building and is working on the Justin Sollohub Justice Center. Bennington said Miller’s knowledge of working with both public and private sector companies along with his attention to details were important to both projects.

“He was the leader, but he looked at the PBA as, ‘We’re a team and this is our responsibility to the people,’” Bennington said.

Once the justice center is finished in the spring, Miller will step down from the PBA, he said. He said his term on the YMCA board has already expired, but he stayed on with the expectation that he would leave after his retirement.

The water board hopes to hire a new general manager from within the employees at the water works, O’Dell said. It has already advertised the position internally and is waiting to see who applies, he said.

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.

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