Ligonier Mountain Borough solicitor Paul Elias, offered his resignation from this position at the March 21, 2007, borough council meeting. All members of Borough council voted to accept the resignation except for Joe Griffith, who abstained from voting.
“I want to thank everyone for the years I served here,” He said.
Following Paul’s resignation Jeffrey W. Miller, Esq., the current LMB council solicitor introduced himself to council members.
The Bolivar (Fairfield Township) resident is originally from McKeesport. He earned a degree in political science from St. Vincent College in 1988. In 1991 he graduated from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, with a law degree. He’s a member of the Geary and Loperfito, LLC legal firm and practices mostly criminal law.
At Borough council meetings you may hear Jeff Miller respond to Borough resident Craig Miller as “Uncle Craig.” That’s part of the special fondness Jeff Miller has for Laurel Mountain Borough, and the fact that his history with Laurel Mountain Borough extends into his childhood.
In a telephone conversation Jeff Miller said his grandfather, Myers Miller, rented an old cottage located at the intersection of Walnut and Hemlock Roads (now Laurel Mountain Park property). Myers Miller and his brothers were in the lumber business in Duquesne. Jeff Miller believes his grandparents came to Laurel Mountain Park (as it was called then) during the summers, his grandmother, Olive, staying with the children Myers (aka Toby) and Craig. His grandfather was here for weekends.
When the cottage became unrentable (Jeff cannot recall if it burned or just wore out) his grandparents purchased the land now belonging to Craig Miller, on Hemlock Road, and built the “cottage” where Craig Miller lives. Jeff Miller’s parents brought their family to the cottage on weekends during the 1970s and 1980s.
“It seemed like a family reunion each weekend,” Jeff Miller said. “Really wonderful family gatherings.”
Jeff Miller’s fondest memory of Laurel Mountain Park is swimming at the pool. “The water was always so freezing cold,” he said. “I believe at one time the pool was fed by Furnace Run.
“We’d spend endless hours walking that stream, looking for crayfish and noticing the wild trout that swam in the creek.
“It was a wonderful place to spend time as a child.”
Now posted by the conservancy, fishing and trespassing are forbidden. But Jeff Miller said the stream is still loaded with fish,
“You won’t see them laying in there lazily, you’ll only see them dart through the water (you have to look at just the right angle, though). The trout are incredible. They don’t normally get longer than 6-8 inches and are brightly colored.
“I so much still like to go to stream behind the tennis courts—I really, really enjoy that. I think the experiences are Pavlovian in a sense. As soon as you pass the (tennis) courts it’s relaxing, beautiful. Plus the mature forest—hemlocks, oaks—give the sense of the medieval. It’s still a fantastic place.”
Occasionally, when Jeff Miller must travel up the mountain towards Jennerstown, “just for the heck of it” he takes a short cut through Laurel Mountain Borough.
Because his visits were family affairs, he didn’t know many of the neighborhood kids. However, the paths of two other Laurel Mountain Park youth intersected with his path once they became adults.
He became reacquainted with Victoria Woodall when both were students at St. Vincent College.
As local attorneys, he and Barb Artuso occasionally run into each other.
The Geary and Loperfito legal firm provides solicitor services for a number of municipalities and zoning hearing boards. They are involved in Allegheny Township water issues and the Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority, which covers most of Kiski Valley.
Jeff Miller is currently solicitor for North Huntingdon Township, Bolivar Borough, Fairfield Township and for Tri-Community Sewer Authority in Bolivar.
“I feel like I have the experience to assist you in your legal matters, and moreover my firm has a lot of experience in municipal affairs,” he told members of the Laurel Mountain Borough council. “With me you’ll get a wide range of legal experience and I think you will be satisfied.”
Jeff and his wife Mellissa have five children between five and seventeen years old. Their order, from the oldest, is boy, girl, boy, girl, boy.
“They keep us active in the entire valley.” —written by Carolyn C. Holland April 4, 2007