Nicole Miller tapped to be new Lake Elmo city administrator

18 April 2024

Nicole Miller has a ready answer when she’s asked during job interviews to explain a difficult time in her career.

Miller was serving as city clerk of St. Anthony Village in July 2016 when St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights.

Nicole Miller (Courtesy photo)

“I can speak to that time, mostly in regard to communications,” Miller said. “It was a challenging time for our community and staff. I am proud of how, with the support of our council, staff was able to improve upon providing transparent communications and sharing the good stories of St. Anthony.”

Miller, 42, who most recently served as assistant city manager in St. Anthony, is the new city administrator in Lake Elmo. The Lake Elmo City Council on Tuesday night approved her contract and agreed to pay Miller a salary of $151,126 a year. She starts June 3.

“I was looking for a community that I felt would be a good fit with my skills,” said Miller, who has a background in strategic planning and communication. “I’m looking forward to being part of the team by understanding the council’s goals and supporting staff with implementation to achieve those goals. I’m very interested in community engagement and building trust with the community, and I’m looking forward to learning about the city operations and getting out in the community and building relationships.”

Miller started at St. Anthony Village as city clerk in 2015 and was later promoted to administrative services coordinator, assistant to the city manager and then, earlier this year, to assistant city manager. Prior to that, she worked in the private sector and as administrative assistant to the city administrator in Wyoming, Minn.

She also has been a paid, on-call firefighter for the city of North St. Paul and worked as a senior court clerk for Hennepin and Ramsey County District Courts.

Miller’s first experience working in city government was in 2007 when she worked as an intern at Oak Park Heights City Hall and Bayport City Hall.

“What really stuck with me was the ability to serve residents and to help them when they came in – in a meaningful way,” she said. “Even if it was just letting them know where to drop their utility bill payments, it was very rewarding. I liked being able to interact with people and be part of the community and make it better.”

Miller, of Wyoming, has a master’s degree in public administration from Hamline University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.

She and her husband, Randy Miller, who serves as public works supervisor for North St. Paul, have three children.

Twenty-five applicants applied for the job, and Miller was one of three finalists. The others were Renae Fry, former city administrator in North Branch, and former administrative coordinator in Sauk County, Wis., and John Young, tribal administrator of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe in Lac du Flambeau, Wis.

Former Lake Elmo City Administrator Kristina Handt was let go in November. She is now interim administrator in Forest Lake.

City officials have asked Interim City Administrator Clark Schroeder to stay on for a few weeks after Miller starts in order for there to be a few weeks of overlap, Schroeder said.

Miller will be a valuable addition at Lake Elmo City Hall, Mayor Charles Cadenhead said Wednesday.

“Her previous experience and communication style will be great for Lake Elmo,” he said.

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