Candidate profile: Chris Miller

Name: Chris Miller

Office seeking: Madison County Treasurer

Party: Democrat

Age: 36

City of residence: Alton

Campaign website: www.chrismiller4il.com

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I’m running because we all deserve more from our County Treasurer than a career politician and political appointee who merely collects and distributes our taxes. We need a Treasurer who knows what it means to cover expenses, pay the bills, meet payroll, and deliver value. Residents deserve accountability and action and I will continue to help small businesses create new jobs while also serving as a tireless advocate for more equitable tax policies that can finally relieve the burden placed on middle- and working-class families without jeopardizing vital public services like police, fire, roads, sewers, and schools.

Although I entered the race through a write-in campaign to make sure the voters had a qualified choice in November, I’ve since met with thousands of residents across Madison County who have made it clear that they are desperate for good jobs and want better public services at lower costs. As a veteran business executive and professor of entrepreneurship, I’m the only candidate on the ballot with the experience and qualifications needed to create change and help foster an environment in which small business owners and startups are most likely to succeed in creating jobs right here in Madison County.

What qualifications do you have for this position? I know both business and public service and understand how to bring these two forces for good together to create lasting and sustainable change. As a successful small business owner and professor of entrepreneurship, I’ve devoted the last 12 years of my life to training and supporting entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses throughout the region. I’ve also founded and successfully operated an accounting firm for over 8 years and therefore have the experience needed to manage the amazing staff that make up the Office of Treasurer.

In addition to being a veteran business executive, I have over two decades of experience in helping individuals, organizations, and institutions design and implement innovative solutions across the wide-range of issues impacting the residents of Madison County. One example that I’m particularly proud of is when I had the privilege early on in my career as community organizer in assisting the residents of Eagle Park Acres to finally get sewers for their unincorporated neighborhood. More than anything, it’s helping communities help themselves that continues to motivate me to this day.

What is the biggest issue facing the Treasurer’s Office? How would you handle it? Having met with thousands of residents across the County, it’s clear that the biggest issues facing voters are high property taxes, inadequate public services, and a lack of jobs. As Treasurer, I will continue to create the conditions necessary for tax-relief by helping small-business owners create new jobs and expand the tax base so that, over time, we can all pay a little less.

Like any good entrepreneur, I haven’t waited to see the changes I want to see in the world and since March have already trained over 100 small-business owners in Alton. To build on that success, we’ve launched my signature policy initiative, the Madison County Regional Investment in Startups and Innovation for New Growth (RISING).

At no additional cost to the tax-payers, MadCo RISING is a collaborate effort of private and public organizations focused on delivering cutting-edge approaches to small business development, new pathways to capital, and free networking opportunities for startups and small businesses. Entrepreneurs of all types are invited to join us in Madison for a free, six-week bootcamp starting October 7th and, with your support, we’ll be able to bring similar opportunities to communities across Madison County at no additional expense to the tax-payers.