Interview by Flowery Branch High School intern Grace Slayton
Meet Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller! Mike has served as mayor since 2010 and previously served as Post 4 Councilman, Mayor Pro-Tem and Interim Mayor. He is married to Diane Miller, and together they have two children, David and Tanner.
“I don’t know if I would say I chose to be mayor, or if it just found me,” he said.
Mike is a native of Columbus and has a bachelor of arts in music, masters of arts in educational administration and supervision, and an educational Specialist degree in educational leadership. He taught public school for 13 years and is now a golf pro at Lake Lanier Islands.
We want to thank Mike for sitting down with us recently and telling us more about his life and love of Hall County.
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I was asked by some neighbors in my neighborhood to run for City Council. I got elected. Five months into it, one of our council members, who was mayor pro tem, resigned. I was elected by the council as mayor pro tem. Then, just a matter of days later, the former mayor decided her and her husband were going to move back to Florida. So, I was thrown into interim mayor. That means in five months I went from being on the council to being mayor, so I don’t know if I would say I chose to be mayor, or if it just found me. I had been interim mayor for several months before I decided to run November of that year. So, I ran and got elected.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “My favorite would be Moonie’s Barbeque. I love the brisket.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “I’ve lived in Hall County since 2004, so that’s 15 years. But when we first moved here I was a high school band director at Lumpkin County High School in Dahlonega. The first three years we lived in Hall County I worked there.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Hall County?
A: “That would be Phil Niekro. He is a former Atlanta Brave. He was in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. When I was growing up, I wanted to be able to throw the Knuckleball like Phil Niekro. Phil now lives in Flowery Branch, and since I’ve become mayor I’ve been able to do several charity events with him. Even as I get to know him, I still freak out every time I see him. The experiences he had in major league baseball, and listening to the stories he has, makes him fascinating. He has an outgoing, silly personality that makes it all the more interesting.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “I would say Scotland, to play St. Andrews Links: The Home of Golf.”
Q: What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: The first movie I remember seeing was one of the original ‘Star Wars,’ in the late 70s.
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 artists you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “Being a former music teacher, I like almost all music. But I would love to see Elvis Presley, Keith Whitley, and Queen.”
Q: What current/ former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Hall County?
A: “I would say Liberty Candy, because it’s that hometown feel, but it’s the stuff from my childhood. It takes me back, and it gives a feel for what Main Street really is.”
Q: Choosing anyone alive and non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why?
A: “Jack Nicklaus, because he’s the greatest golfer of all time. The stories I’m sure he could tell would be fascinating to me.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “It seems like we have it all, with the lake, and mountains. We also have city, and country. You can get everything right here in Hall County.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: “Living here in Flowery Branch. I hope to still be working at Lanier Islands as a golf pro. My kids will be driving, so hopefully not having a heart attack.”
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I played the trombone. I actually got play for President H.W. Bush when I was in the Olympic Band. He was so close that I realized I could have taken my trombone slide and poked him in the back of the head. But their were snipers, since it was in the Georgia Dome, so I would probably be dead if I had done it.”
Q: What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Family, relaxation, and peaceful.”
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: “Carrie Underwood.”
The Faces of Hall County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email firstname.lastname@example.org.