Tryon candidates provide bios

Published 6:59 pm Thursday, October 20, 2011

Editor’s note: The Bulletin asked municipal candidates to provide biographical information. Below is the information provided by Tryon candidates. Incumbent councilman Roy Miller and challengers George Baker and Jim Scott are vying for two open council seats. Incumbent Mayor Alan Peoples is running unopposed.
George Baker
George Baker is 68 years old. He and his wife of 21 years moved to Tryon in 1993. He has served on the Tryon Planning Board and currently serves on the town’s ABC board.
Baker completed his undergraduate studies at State University of New York at New Paltz and his graduate studies at Columbia University, University of Southern California and New York University. He has degrees in education, clinical psychology and physics.
Baker’s working career, teaching, which he said is still his first love, was interrupted by the Vietnam War; he served in the USAF 5.5 years as pilot, nuclear safety officer and missile safety officer.
After discharge Baker worked for Johnson and Johnson and Isomedix. His final position at Isomedix was vice-president, director of operations. After taking the company public in 1984, he retired in 1987.
Roy Miller
Roy Miller was born in Tryon in 1965 and received his basic education in the Tryon public school system. He studied business management at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. His parents, Sarah and Leroy Miller, still live here in Polk County.
He is married to Michelle Mealy Miller, and they have two girls: Jasmine, 21, a senior at NCA&T, and Jonai, a junior at Polk County High School. He has lived in this community for nearly 35 years, working in various positions from operations manager to retail sales.
Miller is currently in his eighth year as an elected Tryon councilman. He also serves on various boards, which include the Eastside Advisory Committee, Tryon Parks Committee and Head Start Policy Council. He has served on the Polk County Chapter of ARC, Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry, Public Works Committee and several others.
“I love working on behalf of our citizens, and if re-elected I will continue with putting them first,” said Miller.
Jim Scott
Tryon Town Council candidate Jim Scott has been a resident for 12 years. He was born in western Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a chemical engineering degree. During his business career he worked for Esso/Exxon and came to North Carolina as district manager in 1970. He was later group vice president of subsidiaries for Engraph, Inc., a Charlotte printing and packaging firm. Now retired, he has an Internet stamp and coin business. His wife, Jean, was born in Jackson County, N.C., and they have two grown children and three granddaughters.
Scott is active in the community. He is currently on the board of the Foothills Humane Society and has been president of the Godshaw Hill Residents Association and the Thermal Belt Community Tennis Association.
He has been a member of Rotary International for almost 40 years, continuously since 1975. He was director, secretary, vice-president and president of the Dilworth (Charlotte) Rotary Club and vice-president of the Mecklenburg County Rotary Council. He was a member of the Tryon Thermal Belt Rotary Club for 11 years and served as director, treasurer and president, as well as assistant district governor for Western North Carolina. He was chairman of the Fabulous 4th Bike Tour for five years, which raised more than $50,000 that was donated to area charities. Scott was also an instigator and fundraiser for the Tryon Rotary Clock Tower and did the landscaping and maintenance for many years.
Scott served as a member of the Tryon Town Council from 2003-2009 and was mayor pro tem the last three years. He was active on the Eastside Advisory Committee, Tryon Downtown Development Committee, Tryon Parks Committee and the Tryon Depot Master Plan Committee.
“During this time the town recovered from the serious financial crisis of 2002 and the property tax rate was reduced three times,” Scott said. “Much was accomplished during those years.”
Alan Peoples
Joseph Alan Peoples, born Dec. 1, 1945, graduated from Franklinton High in 1964 and went on to Louisburg College and then the University of Tennessee, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in education. He received his master’s degree in educational administration from the University of South Carolina in 1979.
At UT he participated in ROTC and he continued a career in the military through January 2000, when he retired as an LTC.
Peoples spent most of his life in the education realm of Polk County as a principal, beginning in 1979 at Stearns Elementary, then following at Mill Spring Elementary, ICC-Polk as a teacher, Polk Central High as an assistant principal, Tryon Elementary/Middle as principal, Tryon High School and Polk County High School. Peoples has also served as the head track coach at Polk County High School since 1989.
In government, Peoples has served as Polk County commissioner from 1997-2000 and as mayor of Tryon since 2001.

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