Shenandoah County budget official takes Winchester job

By Alex Bridges

Shenandoah County’s budget manager plans to take a similar job with Winchester Public Schools in May.

Garland Miller Jr. takes over as the system’s finance director effective May 5.

“It’s definitely a wonderful opportunity,” Miller said Friday. “Those jobs don’t come open very often so, when they do, you consider them.”

“I’m honored they selected me,” Miller added.

Miller succeeds Linda Meadows, who retires June 30. Miller noted that the division built in about two months of overlap to allow him to spend time working with Meadows and other schools officials during the transition. Miller still has six weeks serving Shenandoah County during the crucial time when administrative staff and the Board of Supervisors work on crafting a budget for fiscal 2015. Likewise, he’ll remain available to help the county transfer his duties to other workers and his successor.

The county’s next steps in filling the budget manager position were not known Friday. Miller said he has notified county officials of his pending departure.

The 48-year-old Winchester native has more than 24 years of experience in local government finances and economic development — 14 of which he has spent as the county’s budget manager. Miller’s career in Shenandoah County began as its economic developer and then as its budget manager. Prior to joining the county, Miller worked at the Planning District Commission and then for the Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission.

Miller doesn’t expect much difference between dealing with government finances and those of a school system.

“It’s a different set of issues,” Miller said. “The mechanics are the same but the issues are different. The focus is different.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Miller added. “It is going to be demanding position but it’s also bringing a different perspective on it that’s beneficial as well.

Miller holds a bachelor of arts degree in economics from the College of William and Mary and a master’s in business administration from Averett University in Danville.

Miller, who lives in Strasburg, sees this opportunity as a return home.

“It’s a bit of a homecoming for me,” Miller said. “I look forward to the challenge.”

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com