By editorial board • 

Hill stands head and shoulders above his competitor for mayor

Seldom has an editorial board faced an easier choice than retired banker and longtime civic leader Scott Hill for mayor of McMinnville.

Hill combines 37 years in banking, much of it at the executive level, with 22 years in city government, the last 11 as councilor and council president.
Holder of a degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University, he has served on the city’s budget committee, urban renewal committee, audit committee and Visit McMinnville board. He has also held leadership posts with the Downtown Association, Chamber of Commerce, Library Foundation, Kiwanis Club, Lung Association, United Way and Boy Scout organizations.

In Hill’s Voters’ Pamphlet statement, he said: “While raising our family, we have had the opportunity of taking full advantage of McMinnville’s resources, including its remarkable schools, parks and historic downtown, attending church here and living among amazing friends and associations. We could not have been more fortunate.”

Now retired, he is prepared to make preserving that livability a full-time mission. And he displays knowledge, experience and judgment commensurate to the task.

Opponent Jared Miller is an earnest young single father with the best of intentions. Despite employment and child care commitments, he has become an almost omnipresent follower of local city and county government.

However, he’s short on credentials and long on baggage.

He augmented his high school education with a smattering of community college credits and a tour in the military, cut short when he become sole source of support for his son. His employment history is manual rather than administrative in nature. And his community engagement has resulted disproportionately with the criminal justice system.

Though his record includes only one criminal conviction, for contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor from 2001, it includes arrests for statutory rape, burglary, assault, theft, criminal mischief, reckless endangering and harassment, all leading either to acquittals or dismissals. It also includes probation violations and a pending case for failure to register as a sex offender.

To his credit, Miller is utterly forthcoming about his past. He said the rape and sexual delinquency charges stemmed from a consensual relationship at the age of 18, the failure to report charge from a change in state law that caught him unaware, and the other charges from domestic incidents he described thoroughly in response to questions.

But his contribution would best come, as it has previously, as a volunteer champion of citizen involvement. Steering the ship of the city should be left to Hill.