Candidate Interviews: Cathy Heighter, Candidate for Palm Coast City Council


The Flagler Buzz has contacted all of the current local candidates for City council and School Board that will be on the November ballot.  Most of the candidates agreed to answer a list of questions that we have compiled based upon residents questions on public forums over the last year.  Cathy Heighter has submitted her answers to our questions, and you can read her answers below.  They have not been changed, edited or altered in any fashion.


⦁ 15% Tax hike for homeowners has been proposed, what are your thoughts on this matter, and if elected how would you confront this situation on the board?

Ms. Heighters response:

I am opposed to 15% tax increase for homeowners. The timing is just not good for this increase right now with families struggling to make ends meet. We are going through very difficult times right now and families are suffering with all the rising cost of living and the thought of trying to keep their homes and now facing homeowner insurances going up and now the city comes up with a %15 tax increase. Where will our people go? I do not consider Palm Coast an affluent city but mostly a working-class city with many retirees and average household incomes of approximately $48,000.00-$50,000 annual income. A %15 tax increase and the rising cost of insurance will hurt many families. I would propose no tax increase at this time.

⦁ Council seat raises – where do you stand on the council positions getting a raise?

Ms. Heighters response:

A 151% increase for council members is not fair to the taxpayers of Palm Coast. However, I am not opposed to an increase within reason for council members. I do recognize that sitting on city council requires time, energy, preparation, and hours spent in the community and at community meetings and events

⦁ City workers – how do you feel they are treated? Do you feel our city staff, not management, not office personal but the “boots on the ground” out there doing the dirty work, is making a fair wage compared to other cities of this relative size?

Ms. Heighters response:

City minimum wages are $12.00 per hour and will increase to $13.50. These men and women work hard to keep our city beautiful and clean. With the rising cost of living, I feel that these workers deserve an increase in wages in order to be able to live and feed their families.

⦁ How do you feel about the catastrophe of the Holland Park Splash pad? What would be your idea on how to recover this disaster in a more expedient way?

Ms. Heighters response:

The repairs to the pad either by repairing or reinstallation pf the feature. This was a great feature for the park and many children and adults enjoyed the splash pad. Its ashamed that it was completed on May 14, 2021, and portions of the pad had to be closed by September of 2021. With a project of this magnitude there must have been some type of warranty agreement on the work performed to install the pad. I understand that the city council is considering taking legal action against the installation contractor and I agree with taking legal action against the contractor.

⦁ Development – This is a hot button issue. Many people are pro development period, and many believe we need to slow down and make sure our infrastructure is growing quick enough. Where EXACTLY do you stand, and how do you expect to try and reach a fair compromise for both extremes?

Ms. Heighters response:

Our city is experiencing rapid growth at this time, and we do need to make sure that our infrastructure is prepared to keep up with the growth. As a realtor and business owner here in palm Coast I travel the city daily and see the changes in traffic, traffic is much heavier, travel time from one location to the other is longer. It might help if the city considers installing different roadways to divert some of the traffic which will move traffic quicker to the same location of travel however decrease the traffic congestion on Palm Coast Parkway and other major throughfares in the city

⦁ Police force – This is another hot button issue I have seen brought up more than once. We have a lot of people who are pro the idea of a City police force, and we have a large camp who are pro sheriff only. Where do you stand on this issue, and how do you propose to ensure we have a large enough force to protect an ever-growing city like Palm Coast?

Ms. Heighters response:

Our sheriff’s department has requested more deputies to be on patrol in our city. I feel that our Sheriff department, Police Department, fire Department should all be amply funded to serve and protect the citizens of Palm Coast. Without these department being properly funding our city could turn in complete chaos without having enough of staffing or volunteers to serve the needs of our rapidly growing city.

⦁ Code enforcement – Another hot button issue. We have alot of people who feel our codes are outdated and need to be revisited because we have alot more young people moving here and these codes are not always feasible for younger working/business owners/families. On the other hand many are pro the codes staying as they are; they feel it keeps the city to a higher standard. Where do you stand on this issue?

Ms. Heighters response:

Palm Coast. I love this city and when I moved here in 2005 though this is the most beautiful clean city I have ever seen. Today here in 2022 my thoughts have changed, because of changes in the laws which have come sown form our Capitol city of Tallahassee, restrictions have been made on how code enforcement is able to operate and with one of the changes in particular puts the citizen in jeopardy of retaliation form neighbors who refuse to e in accordance with code enforcement laws causing our beautiful city to begin to look like a dumping ground in some areas. We do need to work on getting this law reversed in Tallahassee so the City of Palm coast can be in control of its laws which make the decisions regarding our code enforcement laws in in the City of Palm Coast, and not what suits Tallahassee. Since the laws have changed there are areas in Palm coast which have begun to look like a dumping ground because residents are afraid to report code enforcement violations for fear of their own safety and wellbeing. Code enforcement needs more “Boots on the Ground Worker” and changes in the laws for the City of Palm Coast. Lets all work together to keep our city a lean place to live, work, play and create lasting memories for our families. I respect the work that code enforcement does , however I feel that they too are understaffed to do the necessary job which is expected by the residents of the City

⦁ Accessibility – Do you feel the council members are accessible to their constituents? If no, how would you propose to change that? If yes, what makes you think that?

Ms. Heighters response:

I do not feel that City Council members are accessible enough to their constituents and this is something I look forward changing should I am voted into city County for Palm Coast Dist. 4.
This is a big concern of mine. I wish to b available to the community and be approachable by my constituents. I look forward to showing up at events, not as a politician but as a City Council member that is concerned and interested in what is going on in our community. I look forward to having community forums with my district or any individual who would like to attend to discuss issues of concern in their community. I have a heart for the people and love the city of Palm Coast which I am looking forward to serving. This position as a council member for me is about being a voice and a servant to the residents of the City of Palm Coast.

⦁ Businesses – Do you feel that we are doing enough as a city to entice businesses to come here? If yes, please elaborate; if no, please tell us what you would suggest we as a city do.

Ms. Heighters response:

I am in full support of the businesses which are here in Palm Coast and look forward everyday to supporting our small businesses. However, I do feel that as a rapidly growing city we will need to bring in larger corporations which will offer hire paying jobs to the resident of the city who wish to live and work here to support their families. We need higher paying jobs and bigger corporations to be invited to come to do business in the City Of Palm Coast.

⦁ Maintenance – Obviously the canals are a big issue for folks over in the F and C sections…. how do you propose to handle their lack of maintenance, and how would you reiterate to the city as a whole that this issue affects all of the residents, not just the canal residents?

Ms. Heighters response:

As I a realtor showing properties all around the city, I often hear complaints about the canals which run behind many homes here in Palm coast and the fact that hey are not somehow maintained much better. These canals were meat to be a beauty feature for the homes that sit on them not a breeding ground for bugs insects and garbage which is sometime floating through the canals. Some of the canals have become an eyesore and even at times makes the property very undesirable and a hazard for families that have young children. The bugs and insects create and issue not only for the canal residents but also the surrounding residents.

⦁ Parks and Youth – Obviously parks and rec is a big thing for palm coast, we have quite a few parks. The question becomes, what are we going to do for our youth? Not all youth  play pickle ball or tennis. Do you have ideas on what we should be doing with our parks and rec to help provide some youth activities for ALL ages, and ALL financial backgrounds. While Palm Coast does offer teen activities, many can cost money, which some families may not have excess in. We all want our kids to stay busy, so they stay out of trouble. What are some of your suggestions for this tricky area?

Ms. Heighters response:

We need a recreation center or sports activity center for the youth in the City of Palm Coast equipped with indoor and outdoor activities and a swimming pool for young people and adults. I would propose using the once very popular Frieda Zamba Pool and recreation area to be revitalized and updated to suit the needs of our growing population and our youth.

⦁ Green Lion Cafe – This has been a huge ordeal lately. What is your take on how their contract was handled, and what would you have done\do differently?

Ms. Heighters response:

The negotiations o this topic has gone on for some time now and my opinion on it is this matter is that the restaurant should be responsible for paying their fair share of the water bill. I do feel that installing a separate water meter would be a possible remedy. If the city feels its loosing so much money by covering the water bill maybe, they should consider the cost over a long run if they continue to pay for the water or is it more feasible to install the water meter. I currently have no idea of what the cost will be to install a separate water meter, but I can’t imagine that I would cost more than $24,000. Per year. I could be wrong, but it is worth looking into if they have not already


⦁ Sidewalks and bike paths – Many neighborhoods, like Lehigh Heights, don’t have sidewalks that go all the way to the end of their neighborhood; bike paths, sidewalks, etc, should extend to every neighborhood entrance, and that is how MANY people feel. Where do you stand on that and if elected would you fight for better bike paths for our kids and bicyclists?

Ms. Heighters response:

I am in favor of better, more bike paths and sidewalks. This is one feature of our city which makes it so beautiful attractive and unique. We are I definite need of sidewalks which will of course be an attraction to individuals/ new residents who are moving into our city.

⦁ Finances – Do you feel our finances as a city are transparent enough to provide confidence amongst the residents? If not, what would you propose to be done to make it transparent? If yes, please elaborate.

Ms. Heighters response:

Total transparency with city funds and the use of them, not just what the city wishes to share. Every budget every expenditure which affects the taxpayers of this city should be accounted for While attending city council meeting over the last several months I have heard citizens/residents bring up issues on where certain funds that were once available for use of a proposed project for the city have been unused and now somehow, they cannot be accounted for the possible use of projects which are being voted on or approved but the funds are not there for.

⦁ Palm Coast just got that $700,000+ dollars in grant money. How do you feel about the direct path and projects for those funds?

Ms. Heighters response:

1. First and foremost, make sure that our fire, sheriff, and police departments are properly funded to ensure the well being and safety of the residents of Palm Coast.
2. I would like to see improvement in the infrastructure of our city roadways and improvement in creating better traffic flow without interfering with the safety and wellbeing of residential neighborhoods which are experiencing heavier traffic in residential neighborhoods.
3. Use of some of the funds for sidewalks and bicycle path
4. Recreation center for our youth, young adults, and seniors
5. Improvement in safety measures for senior housing communities
These projects may far exceed the funds available but I feel that these ideas are a good place to start with our cith a safe, beautiful place to live, work play and create lasting memories for our families.


These candidate interview posts will continue as candidates turn in their answers to our questions. All city council candidates who agreed to participate have been given the exact same questions.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *