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Candidate hopes to use experience as register of wills

July 19, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

SMITHSBURG

If elected as Washington County Register of Wills, Kevin Miller said he will bring experience through his age and background in marketing and education to the position.

Miller, 64, a Republican, of 22154 Pondsville Road in Smithsburg, filed July 3 to seek the post.

"My entire life is based on curiosity and wanting to know. I see myself as an educator from Day One. That's my role here in this whole episode," Miller said.

Incumbent Register of Wills John R. Bloyer II, a Democrat, filed March 14 to retain the seat he has held for three terms.

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The men are the only candidates for the post. The general election is Nov. 7.

Miller said, "I feel deeply that no office should run uncontested ... Unfortunately, a lot of elected positions are not contended."

The Register of Wills works with the register association to automate the records of the county office. Bloyer has said that because the records are automated, both office staff and the public can get information about estates more quickly and efficiently.

"A lot of our population is above my age. There are many, many, many of those citizens that own property ... Today, we're dealing with real issues when it comes to estates and property," he said.

Miller retired after 10 years of teaching art and technical education in Frederick County Public Schools. Before that, he spent 32 years in marketing and communications, working for national and international agencies in New York and Philadelphia.

He has lived in Washington County for 11 years. Miller said he and his wife of 40 years, Carol, moved to Washington County after devising a marketing study that pointed them to Frederick and Washington counties.

"It's ideal, absolutely ideal in our minds," he said.

He has three children and six grandchildren.

Miller is the membership chairman of the Mason-Dixon Council of Boy Scouts of America and is a Tiger Den leader for Pack 26. He served on a Washington County Board of Education study group that made recommendations for enriched programs.

The register's office opens more than 950 estates a year and takes in for safekeeping about 1,400 wills a year, Bloyer has said. The office also helps the public with estate procedures allowed by law and serves as clerk for the Orphans Court of Washington County.

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