A quick chat with Board of Selectman, Bruce Miller
N MAGAZINE: What originally brought you to the island?
MILLER: The glamour of washing dishes at the White Elephant.
N MAGAZINE: If you could magically change one thing on the island what would it be?
MILLER: Totally reinvent town government. Consider either a representative town meeting or a town council, along with either one full-time, well paid, selectman or a mayor.
MILLER: To begin with, it was surprising to discover how many people really don’t want to see anything get accomplished, preferring to have things stay exactly the way they have always been. In addition, everyone involved in town government is struggling to simply maintain the status quo and put out the never-ending fires, so there is, understandably, very little enthusiasm for new initiatives. To have any hope of success, you have to stay relentlessly focused on the goal and not be shy about constantly nagging the people who are in a position to help you.
N MAGAZINE: What’s the biggest problem facing our community in the immediate future?
MILLER: Housing for the middle class, specifically apartment housing which, back in the 1980s, we had the wisdom to essentially ban through misguided zoning.
N MAGAZINE: Do you have thoughts on solving it?
MILLER: Identify a parcel of town-owned land (possibly even re-purposing Land Bank holdings) and make it available to a private developer subject to carefully defined criteria.
N MAGAZINE: You come across as a pretty calm and collected kind of guy. Does Bruce Miller have a wild side?
MILLER: Yes, but if I told you more, I would have to kill you.
N MAGAZINE: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
MILLER: When I was in the resort hotel business in the early 1980s, I used to fly back and forth between Nantucket and Shelter Island in my own Cessna 140.
N MAGAZINE: Imagine you’ve been put in charge of creating a time capsule for Nantucket: what five objects would you put in it so that people would understand the island 200 hundred years from now?
MILLER: 1) A copy of N Magazine; 2) An aerial map of the island’s coastline; 3) A menu from American Seasons; 4) A video of the Atheneum Turkey Plunge; 5) A photo of our
harbor-front tank farm.
N MAGAZINE: What’s next for Bruce Miller?
MILLER: More golf. More bridge. More travel. Continued involvement with several ongoing town issues.