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The City of Brownwood mourns the passing of the honorable Draco R. Miller, a son of Brownwood and longtime civic leader.
Councilman Miller entered his public service career with the City on the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Board in August of 2001. He served faithfully on the P&Z Board until May of 2010, when he was elected as Councilman of Ward 4. Councilman Miller ran for the Ward 4 Council place for three more consecutive terms, and each time he was unopposed. His total time on the Council was 13 years. Councilman Miller was selected as Mayor Pro-tem by his fellow Councilmembers, serving in this capacity from 2014 – 2022. In addition to his elected position, Councilman Miller was appointed by the Council to serve on the Brown County Appraisal District Board from 2015-2023. Councilman Miller also served on many local boards including the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, the Brownwood Education Foundation, the Center for Life Resources, and was a member of the Brownwood Kiwanis Club.
A man of vision and passion, Councilman Miller was awarded the Man of the Year by the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce in 2022. In addition, his business, Draco’s Janitorial and Auto Detailing was awarded the Medium Business of the Year Award in 2019. Councilman Miller’s legacy reaches across the City and has changed Brownwood for the better. His accomplishments while on City Council include the naming of Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza, instituting Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a City holiday, enhancements to multiple parks including Cecil Holman, Coggin, Wiggins, Allcorn, Mayes, Riverside, Fabis, and Trigg, and the construction of the Bert V. Massey Sports Complex, the Camp Bowie Aquatic Center, the Skate Park, the Soccer Complex, and the Senior Citizens Center. He voted for and supported multiple infrastructure improvements like utility upgrades and street paving projects. He supported the vision for the new Event Center Complex and was an enthusiast of Downtown Brownwood’s growth and entrepreneurial successes. Most recently, Councilman Miller advocated for renovations to the Bennie Houston Center. Supporting his desire, the Council has engaged an architectural firm to obtain conceptual designs for a new facility.
Councilman Miller’s commitment to public service did not begin by being appointed to the P&Z Board. He began as a volunteer, putting into action his love for the community and his desire to make Brownwood a special place for all. In his free time, Councilman Miller would often work in Cecil Holman Park with his young children, painting picnic tables and beautifying the park. His love for Cecil Holman Park and the Bennie Houston Center was rooted in his memories of the iconic men for whom the facilities were named. Councilman Miller wanted to honor their legacy and do his part to keep the spirit of progress moving forward. And that he did.
Councilman Miller founded Revitalizing Our Community (ROC) in 2012 (originally under the name Friends of Bennie Houston) to mobilize improvements in Brownwood, specifically aimed at unification and beautification. ROC was the driving force behind the major renovation of Cecil Holman Park in 2017, which combined public and private funds to enhance and update the park. In addition, ROC has contributed to improvements to the Bennie Houston Center and has provided scholarships to graduating seniors. Under Councilman Miller’s leadership, ROC promotes and celebrates Black History Month efforts, Juneteenth Celebrations, and initiated the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The MLK Celebration was a dream of Councilman Miller’s that he made into reality in 2013. The 11th annual event recently took place and centered around unity, prayer, and a call to remember and embody the message of Dr. King. The MLK, Jr. Celebration began on the corner of West Commerce and West Austin Ave. at a plaza that Councilman Miller led the effort to name the Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza in 2011. ROC has been instrumental in positively changing in the community and received the Good Neighbor Award from the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce in 2019.
Mayor Stephen Haynes said of his fellow Councilman, “Council Miller loved this city and served our community honorably. He was approachable. He listened, and he was a strong advocate. His accomplishments are too numerous to name, but, to me, his legacy was his ability to befriend everyone. Everyone knew Draco, and Draco knew everyone. He genuinely loved people. He was thoughtful and caring, and those attributes were contagious to all those around him. He will be deeply missed.”
City Council members and staff will miss Councilman Miller’s sharp suits and stylish shoes. We will miss how he would pray before a council meeting, “Lord, thank you for waking us up this morning.” We will miss sharing meals, swapping stories, and working side-by-side to serve Brownwood. Councilman Miller cannot be replaced, but his spirit and zeal has become part of us, and we will continue his work.
A memorial has been placed in City Hall at Councilman Miller’s seat in the Council Chambers. Residents may pay tribute to Councilman Miller by bringing cards for the Miller family to City Hall. The memorial can be visited from 8:00am – 5:00pm weekdays from now until March 3rd. A wake for Councilman Miller will be Friday, March 3rd at Greater Faith Community Church from 6:00-8:00pm. Public viewing will be on Saturday, March 4th from 12:00-1:00pm at the Brownwood Coliseum, with the Memorial Service at 1:00pm. Interment to follow at Greenleaf Cemetery.