By Rick Smith
Joel D. Miller is the elected, long-serving county auditor in Linn County, Iowa’s second-largest county and home to the state’s second largest city, Cedar Rapids.
Miller has occupied the post since early 2007 when he won a special election to fill a vacancy. He was easily reelected in 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020.
As county auditor, Miller has advocated for better oversight of county spending; objected to no-bid contracts; questioned managers who added to their salaries by taking cash instead of using vacation; opposed the practice by some department heads of maintaining special bank accounts outside the purview of the county treasurer; and called for a limit on the number of employees who take county-owned cars home after work.
Miller’s tenure in elected office has featured an independence and a willingness to challenge the status quo. He has not been a “dutiful wallflower,” The Gazette in Cedar Rapids said of Miller in endorsing him for reelection along the way. Gazette columnist Todd Dorman has written that Miller has taken a place among the “rattlers of government cages.” In other words, other elected officials have not always agreed with him — from those in county and state government all the way to President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. (CONTINUED)