Zachary Miller Joins the Race for Chelan County Commissioner Seat

During a Town Hall Meeting on May 7, Cascade School Board Director #3 Zach Miller announced his intention to run for Chelan County Commissioner. In this run, Miller wants to stress his need for a balanced approach to politics and his enthusiasm for public service.

“I think public service is different than politics because this isn't about any prestige or power. I just want to go to work for the people of Chelan County.”

Miller is known for his work as the Executive Director for Tall Timber, recently ending his tenure on May 1, along with his participation on the Board of Equalization and a Legislative Committee member for the Washington State School Directors Association. He has also been on the board for Upper Valley MEND and the PUD Building Advisory Committee.

He hopes to keep his role on the school board if elected as commissioner and states that he can handle both responsibilities, with the commissioner job being his primary duty. He will also put his masonry business, Miller Stoneworks, on pause if elected.

“[The school board role is] not a full time role, it's not something that has daily or even weekly  commitments. Most of it is done in a very flexible way,” Miller explained.

Key issues that Miller wants to focus on include the burgeoning short-term rental crisis in Lake Wenatchee, which currently has 15% of its housing supply belonging to STR owners. He is supportive of the commissioners’ new regulations for short-term rentals. Miller is also supportive of high-density housing and believes it is necessary for community development, referencing the impact Sen. Brad Hawkins’ affordable housing bill will have on the Chelan County housing crisis.

“I would love to be a part of seeing how that money is going to get divided up and work with the various entities like [Upper Valley] MEND, the housing authority, all of those places that are actually going to be building these. But the other part about just availability of housing is we have to create more housing stock, there has to be more high-density housing.”

He will be running as a Republican alongside opponent Shon Smith. However, he wants to stress that he would be classified as a more moderate Republican and holds the philosophy that the Republican party leads more openly and collaboratively than other parties.

Miller expects the race to bring much more engagement than in previous elections and that it will be a close race come primary time and illustrates his admiration for his opponents for putting themselves out there. He also notes how difficult the race will be for him due to his centrist stance.

“It will be interesting to see because the way that it's laid out is that you have Shon, who's on the more conservative side, you have Anne who's on the more progressive side, and you have me who's more in the middle in the moderate position, which is usually a more difficult position to to win from,” Miller states. “But that's how I actually feel about it, so it's more important for me that I'm honest, rather than do something to try to get elected.”


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