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Three decades of service

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An editorial by the CKNJ Editorial Board

The headline read, "End of an era." And indeed it was. The headline was from the Dec. 30, 1998, issue of the Central Kentucky News-Journal and was accompanied by a story about Robert L. Miller's last day as Campbellsville's mayor after more than three decades.

Last Friday, Miller died at the age of 83.

Miller was instrumental in providing much of we take for granted today - a plentiful water supply, a city pool and park, housing units for the elderly and more.

He was without question 100 percent dedicated to helping the community and its residents. He was also a genuine person who was always approachable. He made time for everyone - from a resident with a complaint about garbage to someone with influence on a broader level.

Miller also took pride in the community. He could often be seen picking up trash, weeding a flowerbed or sweeping a sidewalk in addition to presiding at City Council meetings or working on budgetary issues.

Oddly enough, this month has also been the end of another type of era.

Anyone driving past the former Fruit of the Loom location on Greensburg Road will have noticed the demolition of that property.

And most with any knowledge of Campbellsville's history will acknowledge that Fruit of the Loom's closing was the beginning of the end of Miller's reign as mayor. Both Miller and then-judge/executive Fred Waddle were voted out of office, blamed by many for the closing of the factory and the loss of thousands of jobs.

However, we can't help but think, perhaps, that elected officials are oftentimes faced with too many insurmountable expectations. We're quick to blame when things go wrong, but do we always give proper credit when it's due?

Miller is certainly due. Indeed, residents commended him each time they re-elected him.