The bonds between Jewell White of Paris and her daughter Brenda Miller of Bryant are more than mother and daughter.
You see, White and Miller are both serving as Aldermen in their respective towns — White in Paris and Miller in Bryant.
And, White said they may be the only mother-daughter combination serving on separate City Councils in the state.
The pair were also featured in an article in the March issue of Town and County, a monthly magazine published by the Arkansas Municipal League.
In interviews last week, White and Miller said they frequently talk about issues their towns are dealing with and see their service as another way to make their communities better.
White has been a Paris resident since 1963 and worked for the city 24 years before retiring in 2007. White has also served as a member of the Paris Planning and Zoning Commission. Last year, White won a two-year term as Alderman and began serving in January.
Miller moved to Bryant in 1989. She served as a member of the Planning Commission and the Bryant School Board. She was appointed to the City Council in 2010 and later won the position in an election.
"It’s not something I envisioned us doing together," Miller said from her Bryant home. "It just happened. It’s exciting because I’ve asked her about things these last two years because I knew she had the knowledge. Now, it’ll be even more intense because we’re serving at the same time."
White said she and her daughter talk almost every day and send text messages.
"Quite often, we’ll bring up things we’re both dealing with as an Alderman," she said. "Of course, her priorities will be different because she’s in a more populated area."
Bryant is about 30 minutes south of Little Rock and has a population of 18,000. Paris has a population of about 3,500.
White also discussed running for the Paris City Council with her daughter.
"So told me to go for it and that she thought it was great," White said.
Both women said that having the other to talk to and knowing each other so well helps in their city work.
"It’s helpful to have someone to talk to who knows you and the city so well," White said.
"Paris and Bryant are somewhat similar in that both towns have a mining background and the mines went out and both towns were affected by it," Miller said. "Basically the biggest difference is we’re located on the interstate."
Although they communicate about their City Council service one-on-one, there are occasions where business doesn’t come up.
"When the whole family is together, we don’t talk about city business that much," White said.