Who is Helen Baca Miller

Helen Baca Miller PhD (middle) was mayor of the Town of White Springs, Florida. She was the vice chair of Florida Leaders Organized for Water (FLOW), a member and President of the Suwannee River League of Cities, and serves on the Florida League of Cities Energy & Environmental Quality Legislative Committee. She organized the Helping Our People Excel (HOPE) programs in White Springs to deliver education and community services to at-risk youth and their families. These services include HOPE summer and after school programs, teen internships, adult and community education, and the fuel bank that salvages trees throughout the year to cut, split, and deliver fire wood during winter months to low-income families.

 

Dr. Miller secured money for the Youth Programs in White Springs through a benefactor from Michigan, who stated this about Dr. Miller:

 

 

H.B. Calder, Ph.D.

1159 Little Bird Court

Henderson, Nevada 89011

I am writing concerning an article entitled “White Springs council votes to declare Miller seat forfeited” which appears in your 22 June edition and subsequently appeared on your website.  Since the actions discussed predominately concern funds which I provided, I believe it appropriate to provide my insights.

 

I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Dr. Helen Miller for nearly twenty-five years.  While in Ann Arbor, Michigan she maintained full-time employment; volunteered in the City to plan, fund and implement a wide range of infrastructure projects oriented towards improving public safety, and served as president of the Ann Arbor Huron High School Athletic Booster Club, working throughout the entire public school system to restructure and expand girls and boys athletic programs, implement fund raising programs contributing in excess of $500,000 annually to pay for sports activities, infrastructure shortfalls, awards events and more and to implement a school system-wide alcohol and drug diversion program (which subsequently was deployed State-wide, including the University of Michigan).

 

When Dr. Miller retired to Florida she recognized the needs of White Springs’ youth and decided to bring her experience and expertise to the challenge.  Working with church groups and community leaders, one of her first activities was to put in place a summer program.  Though I personally have no ties to White Springs, I gladly offered to help fund these efforts through my Charitable Giving Fund because I felt that the programs would impact the lives of young people and because I knew that Dr. Miller would be successful.  Between 2010 and 2015, I contributed $134,500 directly to the city of White Springs for the purpose of supporting the Project HOPE and the summer activities for the youth of White Springs.  In 2016 , I contributed an additional $15,000 to the Hamilton County School District for the exclusive benefit of White Springs youth/Project Hope.  In this regard I provided funds to be spent at the exclusive direction of Dr. Miller for any general expenditure she deemed appropriate to facilitate her summer, or other programs; a provision agreed to by the White Springs Town Council in 2010.  I visited White Springs several times and  observed first-hand the ongoing activities, I was impressed with the activities and continued my funding on an annual basis.

 

I have known Dr. Helen Miller to provide nothing less than the highest quality work at the highest level of integrity.  The expenditures made with funds provided by my contributions were proper and well within the grant guidelines.  I am proud of the results that Dr. Miller’s tireless efforts have achieved for the White Spring’s community and for its youths.

 

Sincerely

H.B. Calder, Ph.D.

 

 

She has worked tirelessly for the White Springs Community, always attempting to secure economic development, jobs and programs to assist those who may have dealt with hard times.   The council (with the exception of McKenzie) does not feel these programs are necessary and blamed Dr. Miller for the loss of the Juvenile Justice Program when it was the fault of Stacy Tebo and the Power of Three.  They agreed to the project, signed the contracts and let the matter go, blaming Dr. Miller.   We need someone in office who wishes to assist ALL THE CITIZENS OF WHITESPRINGS, and not just a handful of relatives and friends of the Power of Three.

 

She would assist in providing us a more efficient Town Hall, stop the nepotism by making certain fairness prevails.  She will work toward getting our Fire Department back as it was and eliminate those who are not qualified firefighters so that safety of our firefighters is number one.  She will hire the most qualified and get a Town Manager who is willing to undertake the position of Town Manager without micromanaging, suing another city during work hours, taking notes on everyone who comes into Town Hall; Taking off more time than allowed by contract or personnel manual; isolating his or herself in an office and only communicating by e-mail; a Town Manager who has more experience than his or her staff and who is willing to train staff and communicate changes, et al.

   

Dr. Miller held previous positions with St. Edwards University, Exxon USA, and EPRCo, Texas Department of Commerce, Texas Engineering Experiment Station, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. She also consulted with private companies and public agencies. She was a founding director of both the Texas Innovation Information Network System and the Texas Technology Transfer Association, and served on the board of the Technology Transfer Society. Mayor Miller received her BBA, MBA, and PhD degrees from The University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

 

Although the following letter exceeds the 200 word limitation, the fact is that the

26 June 2017

Letters to the Editor

The Jasper News

P.O. Box 370

Live Oak, FL 32064

Dear Editor,

I am writing concerning an article entitled “White Springs council votes to declare Miller seat forfeited” which appears in your 22 June edition and subsequently appeared on your website.  Since the actions discussed predominately concern funds which I provided, I believe it appropriate to provide my insights.

I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Dr. Helen Miller for nearly twenty-five years.  While in Ann Arbor, Michigan she maintained full-time employment; volunteered in the City to plan, fund and implement a wide range of infrastructure projects oriented towards improving public safety, and served as president of the Ann Arbor Huron High School Athletic Booster Club, working throughout the entire public school system to restructure and expand girls and boys athletic programs, implement fund raising programs contributing in excess of $500,000 annually to pay for sports activities, infrastructure shortfalls, awards events and more and to implement a school system-wide alcohol and drug diversion program (which subsequently was deployed State-wide, including the University of Michigan).

When Dr. Miller retired to Florida she recognized the needs of White Springs’ youth and decided to bring her experience and expertise to the challenge.  Working with church groups and community leaders, one of her first activities was to put in place a summer program.  Though I personally have no ties to White Springs, I gladly offered to help fund these efforts through my Charitable Giving Fund because I felt that the programs would impact the lives of young people and because I knew that Dr. Miller would be successful.  Between 2010 and 2015, I contributed $134,500 directly to the city of White Springs for the purpose of supporting the Project HOPE and the summer activities for the youth of White Springs.  In 2016 , I contributed an additional $15,000 to the Hamilton County School District for the exclusive benefit of White Springs youth/Project Hope.  In this regard I provided funds to be spent at the exclusive direction of Dr. Miller for any general expenditure she deemed appropriate to facilitate her summer, or other programs; a provision agreed to by the White Springs Town Council in 2010.  I visited White Springs several times and  observed first-hand the ongoing activities, I was impressed with the activities and continued my funding on an annual basis.

I have known Dr. Helen Miller to provide nothing less than the highest quality work at the highest level of integrity.  The expenditures made with funds provided by my contributions were proper and well within the grant guidelines.  I am proud of the results that Dr. Miller’s tireless efforts have achieved for the White Spring’s community and for its youths.

 

Sincerely

H.B. Calder, Ph.D.

734-645-****

It is time that many of you understand what Dr. Helen Miller has done for the youth of White Springs.   I once heard a complaint  that Dr. Miller took the children to see the Globe Trotters which was an expense that should have not been done.  Yet, Dr. Calder apparently has entrusted his grant money to Helen Miller so that she could enrich the children’s minds and provide inspiration.  This was not money the Town had to spend even though the Town charges each citizen a ten percent utility fee monthly as well as taxes and utility charges.  Dr. Miller secured her own benefactor who had no interest in the Town of White Springs, for you the people.

The Summer Program began June 13, 2016 and there was a complaint that staff was not paid until July 12,2016 by Hamilton County School District in which name the grant was written in 2016.   The Town agreed that Dr. Miller would be the administrator through Hamilton County.  Yet knowing that Dr. Calder provided the funds timely to the Town of White Springs previously, they should have known the money was coming from the Hamilton County School Board.  The Town Staff complained  when Helen Miller asked the Town to pay the payroll for the three weeks prior to the check being received by Hamilton County, she was denied.   Dr. Miller was questioned why the recipient of the grant had changed from the Town to Hamilton County and it was pointed out Dr. Calder heard things about the town for which he made his decision.  It’s easy to come to that conclusion; one just has to read the paper and it is Dr. Miller who is the trusted friend of Dr. Calder.

Initially Dr. Miller was uncertain who would pay the payroll for the school and apprised Pam Tomlinson our Finance Director.  Pam thought it was great and less work if she didn’t have to do anything with payroll.  Yet when the agreement was finalized and signed by Mayor Rhett Bullard and notarized by Pam Tomlinson, the contract itself made it clear, as it has in the past years under this grant with the Town as the benefactor, “TOWS (Town of White Springs) agrees that all persons TOWS has  involved in HOPE will be employed by TOWS under a written employment agreement”. 

What this means as with any contract or grant stipulations is that the Grantor nor the Hamilton County School Board wishes the liabilities for those employed by the Town and who are within the direct supervision of the Town.  The HOPE program is handled by an endorsement to the General Liability policy as well as the Workers Compensation policy by the Town.  If our Town Manager really has any knowledge of business, she should have read the contract or assisted her incompetent finance manager since she is in charge of staff.

Although the Contract is reviewed by our attorney, Pam Tomlinson, our Finance Director nor the Town Manager whose job this should be, ever reviewed the contracts and did so admit this to Dr. Miller’s attorney.

If you are a manager; or if you handle finances for the grant and receive monies as a result, one surely should know what the contract involves such as providing for up to three certified teachers for two hours a day for six weeks; internet access; educational materials for Arts and Crafts at the Board’s discretion, Contracted High Touch/High Tech STE program hours, Programs and activities that include family Literacy Workshops, Parental Involvement Workshops Training for Staff and transportation.  The Finance manager should be in charge of all purchase orders or payrolls which are utilized under the program.   The Grantor may have chosen a new administrator and Grantee, but the program still remained for the benefit of the Children of the Town of White Springs.

With the three councilors Bullard, Brown and Jefferson, and the fact that Dr. Miller was ousted, there will no longer be funds from this Benefactor.  And the Town,  as long as Mayor Bullard and Stacy Tebo are in charge with the councilors Brown and Jefferson, will not consider anything which benefits the youth of White Springs unless they receive grants for the ball field and play equipment where independent contractors may partake.   They wish no responsibility nor do they wish to take any responsibility for others or for their actions as well.  These councilors do not wish to be bothered with your children or enrich your children’s minds as to new learning experiences.

Karin for the blog

 

P.S.  As you will recall, our new Superintendent of Schools Rex Mitchell also refused access to the rooms prior Superintendent Moffses completed the remodeling only for the HOPE program…the area designated in the grant…. and Dr. Miller had to do the legwork to find another facility.  Nevertheless unlike the Town fathers, we the citizens thank Dr. Miller for the successful program she has provided.  She is far too intelligent for the rest of the clowns and she actually cares about others.

The only thing Willie Jefferson could offer is how to keep your children out of prison even though their vocation is felony theft.

Unfortunately Bullard is not really good with the law nor does he understand the law, but we understand or are told he has other talents like his cousin former manager.

Tonja Brown would be able to teach your children by inspiration of how to remain uninformed, bossy, and ignorant.

Stacy Tebo  probably tell you how important her MPA is and how your can manipulate others into believing you have the power by making frivolous suits against employers or threatening to do so; how to not follow the law and get away with it; how to lie to get your way and possibly how to evade people asking for the results of your drug test.

Do not worry about the Police of White Springs.   The Chief because of her concern for her job will keep all secrets and fabricate things or say she can’t remember things to protect these officials.

THEN WE WONDER WHY WHITE SPRINGS HAS A BAD REPUTATION

Karin for the blog

 

 

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