I am honored to serve the residents of the Florida Keys as a County Commissioner. I am seeking re-election to offer proven leadership, knowledge and experience for the next four years as we face challenges - some old, some new - that will require a deep understanding of our community and our government at all levels.
From my earliest days on the Commission, I have supported increased transparency, advocating for a user-friendly website, "State of the County" reports, use of social media, and a professional public information office. I'm committed to ensuring our deliberations are made in the sunlight and our actions are clear.
We share these islands with diverse communities that stretch from Key West to Ocean Reef. Our economy is reliant on a pristine environment and currently tied tightly to tourism that can result in ecological and community stress. Creating a balance among our sensitive environment, economy and quality of life has been, and will continue to be, my goal as a Commissioner.
During my tenure on the Commission, we have exercised reasonable fiscal restraint, building a flexible organization that responds to changing economic prospects. I will continue to make the tough decisions -- especially during these challenging times -- and look out for taxpayer dollars while maintaining an effective organization to meet community needs.
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I have been deeply involved in community activities for over 20 years, from service on business and cultural boards like The Lodging Association and the Key West Symphony to graduating from Leadership Monroe (Ocean's XI) to my work with Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM).
My record reflects my commitment to balance, transparency, and fiscal responsibility. Among the efforts I have supported are improving clarity in the budget process, enabling workforce housing and addressing issues related to sea level rise and climate change. I have represented Monroe County in Tallahassee and in Washington D.C., and have been instrumental in advocacy efforts in favor of home rule on behalf of the Florida Association of Counties and the National Association of Counties.
I have lived in the Keys for over 20 years, having moved from NYC where I balanced a career in marketing and advertising with a love for music. I owned a large guesthouse in Key West for 13 years, and now am a Realtor lucky to be raising two young children with my partner, Coleen, in paradise.
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Heather Carruthers, Democrat, for Monroe County Commission, District 3