A new city attorney was sworn in during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Gary Miller, former Canadian County district judge, was sworn into the position after Council members approved an agreement paying him $6,000 per month.
Miller’s employment is immediately in effect and “thereafter will continue such employment at the pleasure of the City,” according to the agreement, which can be found within Tuesday’s agenda at www.cityofyukonok.gov/documents/agendas.
The agreement also states the conditions the “attorney is willing to accept.”
The City of Yukon began advertising the position after former city attorney, Mike Segler, retired.
Miller was one of two applicants for the city attorney position.
Miller previously served as the city attorney for the City of Yukon in 1993 after being a private practice attorney from 1978 to 1993. He then joined the court as an associate district judge in 1993 until 2008 when he stepped down to join the Oklahoma Department of Human Services as the Children and Family Services director from 2008 to 2010. Miller served as the county’s district judge from February 2010 until he retired last fall.
“I was a judge for 23 years and I learned real quick I couldn’t just sit at home and watch TV all day. I have to have something to do,” he said.
Miller added that he didn’t know the position would become available when he retired as the district judge, he just saw that Segler was retiring and gave the city a call to ask if they were hiring someone new.
“I like this kind of work. You don’t have a lot of emotions running it like you do maybe in a divorce case or criminal case or something or something like that so I enjoy this kind of work,” he said.
Miller said he feels comfortable because he knows people here, including most of the Council, the city manager, assistant city manager and a lot of the staff.
“I have found most of them are really nice people who are just trying to do a good job at what they’re hired to do,” he said. “I think interacting with them would be very pleasant. I look forward to getting to know some that I don’t know at this point in time. Having good people to work with makes a big difference in your job, and I think these folks are just good folks.”
Segler called Miller to offer help if he needs it. Miller was also offered help from Fenton Ramey, who he shares an office with and has also previously been the city attorney for the City of Yukon.
“I feel really blessed to have two former city attorneys who are willing to help,” Miller said.
One thing Miller is doing is meeting with each Council member individually as well as the city manager, assistant city manager and department heads to ask for their input about what they think needs to be done, Miller said.
“I have been removed from the city’s operation for 23 years so I’m sure there’s a lot of things out there that I don’t know about, but I’m sure these folks will be glad to educate me,” he added.
Miller was originally born in Texas, but he moved to Yukon in 1972 after he got out of the service. He was a part of the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Miller is a sports fan who loves to fish. He also enjoys traveling with his wife and spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“I’m going to enjoy slowing down a little bit from what I have been doing,” Miller said.
He said he’s kept himself busy with his time on the bench; the founding of Gary E. Miller Children’s Justice Center; serving on numerous committees and boards across the state including being chairman of the Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee, serving on the Oklahoma Post Adjudication Review Board, serving as an Oklahoma Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and being appointed to the Oklahoma Court of Appeals Emergency Panel.
Miller is also a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Canadian County Bar Association.
Miller said he was awarded “Citizen of the Year” by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce in 2001 and he still feels privileged to have received that.
“That’s quite an honor and I’ve always been very proud of that,” he said. “I look forward to the job and to the work. I think it will be very enjoyable.”