A familiar face will soon greet those who wind up appearing before the judge at the Brookings Municipal Court starting this month. The Brookings City Council voted on Sept. 14 to have Judge Gary Milliman replace Judge Rich Harper, who retired effective Oct. 1.
In his most well-known, local public service role, Gary Milliman previously served as Brookings City Manager from 2007 until he retired in 2018, upon which he City Council named him “City Manager Emeritus” and named the City’s Emergency Operations Center in his honor.
Last year, he was honored with the Herman Kehrli Award by the League of Oregon Cities in recognition of his “outstanding public service career that has provided lasting benefits by exceptional contributions to city government through his dedication, leadership and professionalism.”
Milliman has been serving as a Judge Pro Tem since 2013, attending every court session and presiding over court in the absence of Judge Harper. In 2019, he was appointed as Municipal Court Judge/Truancy to preside over citations for violations of mandatory school attendance provisions of state law. COVID-19 curtailed his position as Truancy Court Judge, which he did without receiving compensation.
In addition to serving alongside Judge Harper since 2019, he is a judge for three other jurisdictions on the south coast: Port Orford, Powers and Lakeside.
His court proceedings are orderly and follow court rules, procedures and policies that he has established in each jurisdiction. Milliman stated his judicial philosophy in his letter of interest to the City.
“My judicial philosophy is to gain compliance. For example, I often have defendants appear several times in court if they demonstrate making progress toward compliance. I would prefer that defendants use their resources to pay for compliance rather than pay a fine. I have reduced or suspended fines depending upon compliance. And I have levied fines of up to $7,500 for noncompliance.”
Milliman has studied at the National Judicial College, including the “Special Courts Jurisdiction Program,” as required by the State of Oregon to serve as a non-attorney Municipal or Justice Court Judge. He also has completed coursework in Information System Security and Awareness and specialized training in Commercial Driver’s License Enforcement.
His judicial education is on top of his Bachelor of Arts from California State College at Los Angeles and Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California, as well as completing coursework through Harvard University for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.