Questionnaires are given to candidates in contested races where there is more than one Republican candidate. This allows voters to gain a more clear picture of the platform and issues that the candidate is running on and promoting. We encourage all voters to get to know their candidates and make informed decisions when voting.
Position: CEI Board of Trustees, Zone 1
Amy Gardels (Has not returned the questionnaire.)
Barbara Miller- response below.
We will be searching for men and women of good character, virtue and
integrity, and who hold constitutional and traditional values.
The BCRCC encourages candidates to participate in this process and other opportunities to present themselves to the voters such as forums, town halls, social media, speaking before the BCRCC, and “Meet and Greets.”
Please tell us the following information about yourself:
Name: Barbara Miller
Position Running For: College of Eastern Idaho (CEI) Board of Trustees, Zone 1
Tell us a little about yourself and your family, how long you have lived in the area and your occupation.
My family immigrated to America in 1964 from Austria with $200 in their pocket and the only one that spoke English was my father. So English was not my first language. Upon graduating HS in 1979, I went to work in retail sales but without any form of higher education my options were limited. So I started community college and then started working in escrow full time in 1981.
Earning a living took precedence, so I paused college with 6-9 credits completed. I started work in the escrow field in the closing department and worked my way up to Escrow Officer. I
worked in escrow for 8 years. During that time, the opportunity presented itself to attend law school as a “special” student (i.e. one without a college degree) at the University of West Los Angeles School of Law (founded by Bernard S. Jefferson to provide the opportunity to achieve a law degree via a non-traditional route, i.e. not through a 4 year college and ABA approved law school with the resulting staggering student loan debt). UWLA was WASC accredited but not ABA accredited. I went to school nights, working days, first in escrow and then as a law clerk while I was in school, to support myself and pay for school.
I passed the “Baby” Bar following my first year and then graduated UWLA valedictorian and acquired my Juris Doctorate cum laude in June of 1991. I passed the CA bar on my first try and also the separate Ethics bar with included background investigation. I was sworn in by the CA Supreme Court in December 1991 and admitted before the US District Court for the Central District of CA and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in January of 1992.
I met Danny when he was a student in the class I taught at UWLA, as an adjunct professor, following my graduation. We were married in 1993, had one child and moved to Omaha, NE in 1997. In Omaha, NE Danny worked for the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) in the Contracts Dept. and I worked for the UPRR first in their Law Dept. and then in their Labor Relations Dept. We had our second child in Omaha in 1999.
In 2000 we had the opportunity to purchase and run our own business, a Harley-Davison dealership in Coos Bay, OR. Danny did the sales and oversaw the service department. I ran the accounting, personnel and business end of the dealership. We both handled inventory management. We grew that dealership exponentially, turning it into a multi-million dollar dealership, and received the Gold Bar and Shield award on more than one occasion. We had our third child in Coos Bay, OR in 2006.
We sold the dealership in 2006, purchased a business here in Idaho and moved to Idaho Falls in February 2007 with our two youngest children aged almost 1 and 8. Danny grew up throughout Idaho but mainly in this area and always had a desire to return. In 2009-2010 I had the opportunity to teach the legal classes in the Communications Dept at BYUI. Unfortunately, due to a house fire we had in 2009 I was not able to continue teaching.
Since 2010 I have been busy raising our two youngest girls, participating in their schools and activities, handling various family affairs, with church service and running our business. Many events that
occurred starting in 2019 have motivated me to become politically and civically active to hopefully help preserve our republican form of government.
Please answer the following questions (You may use additional pages of paper, simply attach and number your responses accordingly):
1. Do you have experience as an elected official and if so, what was your position, and how would you describe your voting record?
I am the Treasurer of the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee (BCRCC). I was also Student Body President at UWLA. I have always voted Republican.
2. What is the role of government in education?
I do not believe that government should have any role in education. However, I am aware that the Idaho Constitution provides:
“The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.”
I do not believe that the government can legislate “intelligence”, that can only be inspired.
3. Describe why you are running for this particular office. What are your
qualifications? What are your goals?
I am running for this office/position because I am passionate about education. Education and learning is a lifelong process. Education and the knowledge we acquire is the only thing that we can take with
us when we leave this earth. Knowledge is power. I thoroughly dislike the concept of “it’s not what you know but who you know (crony capitalism)” that is partially to blame for where we are as a society. I love to share what I have learned, experienced and acquired with others in order to help empower them. I tutored all throughout law school and have formally taught whenever given the opportunity.
As noted above, I have taught as an adjunct professor on two occasions and I have also taught numerous classes in church, including the adult Sunday School classes. I love to see the spark of curiosity and reflection lit in others, whether young or old. Based upon the non-traditional education route that I myself took I feel that I have an understanding of CEI’s mission and goal as a community college that is career path and trade school oriented. I am thoroughly in favor of it and would love to see it grow and become a true alternative choice to the 4 year and beyond college path with its resulting financial burden. Having successfully held fiduciary positions (attorney, escrow officer
and multi-million dollar business financial manager), I have experience in being a trustee.
4. Describe experiences where you are or have been engaged such as non-profit organizations, clubs, churches, boards, commissions, etc., where you have been of service to others.
I am currently the Treasurer of the BCRCC. I was the Student Body President at UWLA.
Since converting to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1998, I have been a RS President, a YW President and in the Primary presidency amongst many other callings.
I have been a Girl Scout leader.
5. Do you describe yourself as fiscally conservative? Please, elaborate.
Yes I am fiscally conservative. My fiscal philosophy basically boils don’t to “if you don’t have the money, don’t spend it” and “if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it”. Also, don’t tempt yourself by going window shopping!
6. Do you consider yourself as socially conservative? Please elaborate.
Yes – I am a temple recommend holding member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I try every day to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. To live as He lived, to teach as He taught and to love as He loved. Our journey in life is not all about “me” and what “I” want.
7. CEI hasn't gotten the enrollment they expected. What is your vision for growth, and expansion for enrollment for CEI? And how will CEI distinguish themselves from the other options (ISU, BYUI)?
I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Rick Aman (CEI’s president) and tour CEI. From what I have learned of CEI, it is intended to be a less financially burdensome bridge between high school and
traditional colleges; and a career/trade oriented school. I think that CEI should embrace those rolls and work more with our other property taxpayer funded high schools in awakening those students to the possibilities and opportunities that CEI offers. For example, dual enrolled students could attend CEI as opposed to Idaho Falls High School, thereby exposing those students directly to CEI and alleviating some of the overcrowding at IFHS and other high schools in the area. The same could be done with students enrolled in AP classes. The high schools could offer tours of CEI (like a field trip) starting at the freshman level already. Many high school students are anxious to start their adult lives and this would be a great spring board for them.
8. How will you help students become productive members of society?
Hopefully working closer with high school students would give them an opportunity to self-direct their careers and adult lives as opposed to tuning out because they fail to see or recognize the need for the education that is being provided to them.
9. Are there any problems with how CEI is run, and what would you do to fix them?
Having not previously been on the Board of Trustees, nor attended CEI personally, I am not in a position to answer this question.
10. How much do county taxpayers contribute to the CEI budget, and how is that money allocated? And do you believe that taxpayers and students are getting good value from this investment?
I am aware that CEI is funded (at least in part) by Bonneville County taxpayers but I am not aware of how those funds are allocated. I believe that CEI is being underutilized by taxpayers and would like to
see that improve with CEI working more symbiotically with our other taxpayer funded high schools.
11. Article III of the state GOP Platform states that we uphold "the quality of education provided for its citizens. We believe that successful education is a joint responsibility of the individual, the
family, and the community. As with government in general, we believe the most effective, responsible and responsive educational system is that system closest to the people." How will you help the people of Bonneville County have a voice in CEI decisions?
CEI could periodically canvas members of the community, businesses and/or students and their parents (if the students are underage). It is my understanding that CEI has done this with businesses to help them determine the direction and content of their curriculum and courses.
12. Section 8 of Article III opposes any social justice indoctrination or funding for such programs. Do you agree that social justice programs, as mentioned in the IDGOP Platform, should be banned from the CEI campus?
YES! “Social justice” foments nothing but nihilism and despair. I would like to see students be
empowered with choice and responsibility for themselves.
13. Do you believe that students, (and their parents, if underaged) have the right to bodily autonomy regarding any medical treatments or procedures, including masks or vaccines, and that students should not be disciplined or expelled for their medical decisions?
We will post your responses to our website and share these responses to our social media accounts so that the voters can get to know you as a candidate.
Please respond by October25, 2022 so that we have time to let the voters know more about your candidacy.