Putting a high shine on Downtown

By Jolissa Doornink It’s 3:30 on a Friday afternoon. The City of Duluth bustles as the work day is ending and residents are heading home. The afternoon sun has begun its descent, set to disappear behind the hill in a few hours. However, that doesn’t make Scott Miller’s neon-green shirt shine any less brightly.

Miller is one of the many citizens of Duluth who has just finished work for the day. His bright shirt is the first thing that catches your eye when he walks through the door of the Clean & Safe Team downtown office. He sits down and removes the various communication devices that he carries every day:  two cell phones, a walkie-talkie and a police scanner.

Miller has been on his feet all day but won’t mind getting up in the morning and returning to work.

“I love it, I love what I do,” he said.

Miller is a member of the Clean & Safe Team in downtown Duluth. A project of the Greater Downtown Council. The Team was created to promote hospitality and safety in downtown Duluth.

Miller is very outgoing, which helped him land the job.

“We hire for personality and train for skill,” said Kristi Stokes, president of the Greater Downtown Council.

It’s that personality that makes Miller so good at his job. His favorite part of his job is helping people, like a lost tourist.

“I give everything I’ve got to put smiles on people’s faces. When I see someone who’s disgruntled, they’re like a beacon, and I have to go help them,” he said.

As a member of the Clean & Safe Team, Miller’s job is mainly to patrol the Skywalk system, where he does much more than just help lost tourists. He goes out of his way to hold doors for people and have friendly conversations.

“I’ll say goodnight to everyone on their way home,” he said.

Some of Miller’s longest days are during Duluth’s summer Sidewalk Days.

“It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done here,” he said. “We’re the ones that are pushing the broom at the end of the whole thing. It’s so full of energy, though, that I’m too busy to be bummed out.”

Miller’s helping hand extends beyond tourists. He also comes across some of Duluth’s less fortunate.

“We work with the Churches United in Ministry Center (CHUM), so we keep a look out for homeless people. Whenever we can get a homeless person into the shelter, we’ve done a really good job.”

Miller hasn’t always had a job he’s loved. Before becoming a member of the team in 2005, he was a telemarketer.

“Since I’ve had this job, I’m off the six-foot leash that was my phone cord,” he said.

Overall, Miller couldn’t be more satisfied with his job on the Clean & Safe Team. He is an advocate for them wherever he goes, as he wants everyone to know what he and the Team are doing to better the downtown community.

“There’s nothing we can’t do… if we can’t do something, we’ll find someone who can,” he said. “I’m always trying to make sure we shine as bright as our shirts.”

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