Decisionmakers: Ed Miller |

Decisionmakers: Ed Miller

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunEd Miller

It’s no wonder Ed Miller is known around the Tahoe City area as the “unofficial mayor.”

Not only has Miller served on the Meeks Bay Fire District board of directors for 26 years, but he has also spent the past 20 years as a chairperson on the El Dorado County Civil Service Commission.

Add to those two feats Miller’s experience as a public information officer for both the North Tahoe and Meeks Bay Fire Districts, his position on the board of Tahoe Women’s Services and his stint as executive director for the Tahoe City Downtown Association during the group’s beginnings.

A Tahoma resident for nearly 30 years, Miller said he strives to connect the unincorporated El Dorado community to its county seat in Placerville. The small West Shore town is separated from the rest of the county by Emerald Bay and thousands of acres of forest.

“I love Tahoma and I love the West Shore,” said the Northeastern U.S. native. “It feels like a small town. Everyone knows everyone. And on our street, all the neighbors know each other and we get together from time to time. It just feels like home.”

Miller said he first became involved with the Meeks Bay Fire District shortly after he moved to the lake when he joined as a volunteer. Eventually, he was promoted to lieutenant, and soon after was asked to join the board to fill a vacant position.

The rest is 26 years of history, Miller said.

“It was a very small, sleepy district 26 years ago,” he said. “And now we’re modern and well-equipped. We’ve grown with the needs of our community.”

The Meeks Bay district goes beyond protecting homes from fire, Miller said. The agency also acts as a link between residents and the county government. If there’s ever a problem in the neighborhood that needs to be addressed by the county, Miller said he tries to address it.

“We are so far away, and we’re separated by Emerald Bay,” he said. “We [at the fire district] know who to talk to, to speed up the process.”

In his 26 years with the district, Miller implemented a policy that requires all board directors to graduate from the California Special Districts Management Program. He also hired Meeks Bay Fire Chief John Pang.

In the near future, Miller said he would like to see a new fire station for the district. With increased staff and apparatus, the district has outgrown its current station located in Meeks Bay.

Miller said he would like to see that happen soon ” before he retires, even though he has no immediate plans to leave the district.

“I enjoy what I’m doing,” he said. “I love public service and I have no plans to retire.”

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