Commissioner Heather Carruthers

Current County-Related Committees

  • Monroe County Climate Change Advisory Committee
  • Early Learning Coalition of Miami/Dade and Monroe County
  • Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Federal Legislative Committee / Co-Chair
  • FAC Representative to National Association of Counties (NACo) Gulf Caucus

Former County-Related Committees

  • Monroe County Land Authority Chair
  • Circuit 16 Juvenile Justice Board
  • Ecosystem Restoration Task Force / Everglades restoration issues
  • Criminal Justice Mental Health & Substance Abuse Policy Council
  • Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services
  • Lower and Middle Keys Fire and Ambulance Taxing District Board of Governors
  • Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee
  • Monroe County Community Alliance
  • Monroe County Tourist Development Council
  • South Florida Regional Planning Council, Chair
  • Southeast Florida Regional Partnership (Seven50)

Commissioner Sponsored Initiatives

  • Resolution recognizing the need for maintaining levels of service at Key West Post Office(passed)
  • Sponsored alternating the order of roll call voting to minimize vote counting (failed)
  • Staff review of FDOT plans for Big Coppitt to ensure safe and adequate traffic patterns due to new developments (passed)
  • Discussion and direction regarding recycling in county-owned buildings (passed)
  • Action to suspend code enforcement citations (sign sweep) until review of county sign policy (passed)
  • Action to increase security at Higgs Beach Park (passed)
  • Discussion regarding establishing a “Greet & Go” parking lot at the Key West Airport (no action at that time but later passed)
  • Establishment of an Emergency Medical Transportation Task Force to identify needs and gaps in services and communication regarding trauma emergencies (no action)
  • Resolution to prohibit tethering of dogs (passed)
  • Resolution to oppose any legislation to deregulate insurance industry (passed)
  • Resolution urging immediate passage of comprehensive health reform (passed)
  • Resolution urging immediate passage of the Federal Water Protection and Reinvestment Act (passed)
  • Resolution supporting efforts to protect Florida from offshore drilling and exploration (passed)
  • Resolution requesting FAA conduct a feasibility study on the removal, replacement and/or relocation of the beacon at Higgs Beach Park (passed)
  • Resolution for the state to continue the level of funding to maintain existing juvenile detention bed capacity, services and treatment (passed)
  • Initiative to investigate tolling US 1 in order to help fund state mandated waste water initiatives facility (passed)
  • Resolution supporting “Keep the Florida Keys Beautiful” affiliate committee (passed)
  • Discussion and action regarding Deep Water Horizon oil leak and potential impact on Monroe County (passed)
  • Discussion and prominent advocate for thorough census taking
  • Resolution supporting legislation to fund the Florida Forever program to make Florida Forever a conservation success (passed)
  • Resolution to reopen libraries a 6th day (passed)
  • Resolution urging FL legislature to impose reasonable limits on fees charge for electronic tolling by rental car companies (passed)
  • Resolution supporting cohesive planning with the City of Key West for redevelopment of Indigenous Park and Higgs Beach (passed)
  • Resolution supporting the proposed Miami Int’l Aerospace Show at Homestead Air Reserve Base (passed)
  • Discussion and direction, in conjunction with Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties requesting reclassification to Tier 1 under Urban Areas Security initiative. (passed)
  • Discussion and letter to FDEP Bureau of Beaches for evaluation of beach erosion along Long Beach, Big Pine and potential designation of Long Beach as a “critical erosion” area (passed)
  • Discussion of bus transportation in the Upper Keys, possible needs study and funding sources. (passed)

FIRM Involvement
As well as being a County Commissioner, Carruthers was instrumental in the formation of Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM). This grassroots consumer effort effectively demonstrated that Windstorm rates in Monroe County were excessive and ultimately resulted in a rate reduction benefiting thousands of Florida Keys residents. Carruthers has had the honor of representing the group before Governor Bush and his cabinet in April 2006, and she continues to represent FIRM in Tallahassee.

In response to her achievements with FIRM, in 2007, Carruthers was appointed to Florida’s Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution. State Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty described her as “a forthright citizen and strong advocate for Florida’s insurance policyholders” when he appointed her to this Task Force.

Leadership Roles

  • Past President, Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM)
  • Past Chair, South Florida Regional Planning Council
  • Past Chair, South Florida Partnership (Seven50)
  • Mayor, Monroe County Florida 2011-2012
  • Former Chair of the Lodging Association of the Florida Keys
  • Former President of the Key West Business Guild
  • Graduate of Leadership Monroe County (Class XI)
  • Graduate of the Key West Ambassador Academy
  • Named Leadership Monroe’s 2006 Leader of the Year
  • Event Chair – 2013 Relay For Life
  • Community Contributions / Memberships
  • United Way of the Florida Keys Advisory Board
  • Chorale member and soloist with the Keys Chorale and vocal quartet, Swing Low
  • Featured soloist with the Key West Pops and Island Opera Theater
  • Founded the Southernmost Women’s Invitational Non-Profit Golf (SWING) Tournament, an important annual fundraiser for the health clinic WomanKind Inc.
  • Key West Chamber of Commerce
  • Key West Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors
  • Sculpture Key West Board of Directors

Education Background

  • Graduate of The Good Government Initiative with the University of Miami, 2011
  • Florida Association of Counties: Certified County Commissioner designation 2010
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Wells College in Aurora, New York
  • Post-graduate studies at the Julliard School in New York and SUNY Purchase in White Plains, New York

Professional Background

Carruthers’ business background includes direct marketing, publishing and advertising with companies such as Meredith Corporation, Bantam Doubleday Dell and Ogilvy & Mather in New York City. She also spent several years as a professional singer, performing with choral ensembles from Milan to Manhattan to Mexico City. Carruthers owned and operated Pearl’s Key West, a 38-room, multiple award-winning guesthouse in Key West, from 2000 to 2013.