Former Santa Barbara Mayor Harriet Miller was honored with the League of California Cities Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award at the league’s annual conference in Long Beach on Friday.

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Harriet Miller

A Santa Barbara city councilwoman from 1987 until 1994, Miller was elected mayor in 1995 and served until her retirement in 2002. She was a board member of the League of California Cities, the National League of Cities and the Institute for Local Government, and she represented Santa Barbara in the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. Miller was also superintendent of public instruction for the state of Montana and served as director of American Association of Retired Persons in Washington.

Former Mayor Hal Conklin, himself a former past president of the League of California Cities, presented Miller with the award.

“Harriet Miller epitomizes a true public servant in the very best sense of the term,” Conklin said. “That’s why the league’s past presidents selected her for this prestigious award. She consistently demonstrated a great capacity to lead, a genuine concern for people, and the ability to make a difference. Harriet’s service advanced the quality of life for Santa Barbara residents and helped the League of California Cities become a more effective advocate for all California cities.”

Miller spoke about her long-term commitment to community service.

“Local government is the most meaningful to me,” she said. “It’s the level of government closest and most responsive to the people.”

The League of California Cities was established by and for city officials in 1898 to provide opportunities for members to meet and exchange ideas, set policies, and advocate for legislation that protects and upholds the principles of local control.

Marcelo A. López is the city of Santa Barbara‘s administrative services director.