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Jeffrey W. Miller, ESQ.

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., 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, which has offices in Vandergrift and Kitanning. Jeff said he practices mostly criminal law.

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.

At Borough council meetings you may hear Jeff Miller respond to Borough resident and tax collector 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, stayed at the park all summer 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, he's crossed paths with two of them 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.

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.”

        Comments (1)


“Why are you building houses there? No one will ever want to live in a rock pile!”
This was a frequent question and comment made by some people in 1926 when brothers-in-law Lawrence William (Bill) Darr and Charles B. Hegan bought ninety acres of land on a foothill of Laurel Mountain. They planned to  develop the land into a cottage community, mainly for Pittsburgh residents to enjoy between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
At the start of the new millennium there were one hundred cottages, most of which are full time residences that were remodeled and enlarged.
Major changes occurred as the community transitioned. Gas, electric, street signs and house numbers were installed. The Laughlintown Post Office began to deliver of mail to residents who installed mailboxes.
In 1982, the community seceded from Ligonier Township to become Pennsylvania’s smallest and second smallest borough in terms of land and population. Had the community delayed until the 1990s to secede from Ligonier Township it would have failed: the law changed to require a minimum population of 500 to become a borough. The borough’s 2000 census lists a residency of 189.
The short history of Laurel Mountain Borough is rich and detailed.
A two-part article on the community was published in the Westmoreland County Historical Society magazine in their summer and fall editions, 2001. Copies are available by calling or E-mailing (
LMBoroLMPark@yahoo.com) Carolyn.
She also wrote a small town feature for Focus Magazine, Tribune-Review published in February 2002.
Periodically the Laurel Mountain Borough & Park Online Newsletter will post the chronological history of the community, which will be filed in the “BORO HISTORY” category.   ------Written by Carolyn, L.M.B. site manager

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Laurel Mountain Borough council membership currently has four persons appointed by council to replace members who have resigned.

Monte Holland (Republican), Daneen Kinsey, John Miller and Mary Jane Snyder.

Holland (Rep.), Kinsey (Dem.) and Snyder (Dem.) filed with the Westmoreland County Board of Elections to run in the May primary election for their party’s nomination for a council seat.

Miller is affiliated with the Independent Party.

The Board of Election’s petition to run in the primary election requires a minimum of ten signatures from the candidate’s political party. Since there are fewer than ten residents in Laurel Mountain Borough affiliated with the Independent Party, Miller was unable to submit a petition to the Board of Elections.

Voters of other political affiliation can submit a write-in vote to place Miller’s name on the November ballot.

Joe Griffith (Rep.), council president, is the sole elected official on borough council.

 The appointed borough council members replaced Robert Appleby, Aaron Gougenour, Tom Mizikar, Terry Murphy and Robert Woodall.

Appleby and Mizikar resigned from borough council for personal reasons; Gougenour resigned due to a conflict with his work schedule and Woodall resigned borough council due to relocation and ill health.

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George Shuman---ITWA Author Award Nominee

Below is the latest news concerning a Laurel Mountain Borough resident::
The International Thriller Writers Association announced that “18 Seconds” is one of five nominees for this years Thriller Award in the category Best First Novel. The announcement was made Saturday, March 17, at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in California. Below is the list of the nominees in his category:

Best First Novel
Shadow of Death, Patricia Gussin (Oceanview Publishing)
Switchback, Matthew Klein (Orion)
A Thousand Suns, Alex Scarrow (Orion)
18 Seconds, George D. Shuman (Simon & Schuster)
Mr. Clarinet, Nick Stone (Michael Joseph Ltd/Penguin)

On Sunday, March 18, the Tribune-Review published two articles featuring Pittsburgh area authors. George D. Shuman was one of the five authors interviewed. Click below to read the articles:
Visit George's web site at www.georgedshuman.com
Write an E-mail congratulating him at author@georgedshuman.com
Click on www.ProBlogs.com/beanerywriters , then click on Carolyn's Writings and scroll down to view an article on George.

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