Cathy Hoechst, Mount Dora City Council At-Large Candidate

Name:  Cathy Hoechst

Age:  67

Have lived in Mount Dora since: 1983

Professional Experience and Background:

My background is primarily one of hospital and business administration.  I retired from Orlando Health as a Vice President and Chief Information Officer.  Following that retirement, I served for 10 years as the president of the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce.

Community Involvement:

I currently serve on the board of the Lake Cares Food Pantry, the Friends of the Library and I am a Kiwanian.  I am a graduate of the Mount Dora Citizens’ Police Academy, have served on the board of the Ice House Theatre, the Rotary Club, South Lake Hospital’s Management Board, and Pop Warner Football and I am involved with Women for Hospice. I am a graduate of Leadership Orlando and Leadership Florida.  Of course, I am also a former mayor of the City of Mount Dora.

How will your professional and educational experience, or your background, help you to perform the duties of council member, if you are elected?

In all of my previous roles the skills of thoughtful oversight and budget management were required.  My positions required me to be fiscally conservative and accountable to stakeholders.  That will help me to hone in on the areas of greatest concern and to know the questions to ask to get to the heart of the issues before the council.  Those previous roles I held also taught me the importance of oversight and clear guidance, as it relates to sending a clear message to the employees charged with carrying out the tasks established by the policy makers – in this case, the city council. I believe I have considerable experience and insight to offer as a member of the council. Those attributes, combined with my willingness to reach out to all citizens of Mount Dora for their thoughts and input in this critical time that the city is entering with the coming Wekiva Parkway and the exciting introduction of a new city manager will make me a worthy public servant.

Why are you running for a Mount Dora City Council seat?

As a citizen of this town and an active member of the community’s civic organizations for over 30 years, I can definitely say that my record shows I believe in public service.  Through the time and energy I have spent in serving our community,  I have developed a skill set that would serve the citizens well and be valuable to the council.  I would like to be a part of this influential, decision-making body.

What 3 issues do you see as the top concerns for the City Council to focus on now, and going forward?

There are quite a few issues, and many of them center on infrastructure, the backbone of city services.

  1. Planning for economic development and establishing an infrastructure to execute that plan.  Talking alone, doesn’t make it happen.  Having the right people and infrastructure in place is critical.
  2. We need to continue with the work of implementing the elements of the city’s Envision Plan and provide an environment that will create adequate tax revenues – in other words: business first, rooftops second.
  3. We need to do a better job when it comes to building relationships outside of Mount Dora.  We are not as involved as we should be in working with our neighboring communities in planning for the future.  We need to be a part of the decisions that are being made around us because those decisions will have a huge impact on Mount Dora.  We can’t just keep doing the same things over and over.  We must progress and reach out to those governing bodies that surround us.

Much has been said at council meetings about the need for an economic development director/planner in Mount Dora.  What does the term economic development mean to you?

To me, it is a broader conversation than what I have heard discussed to this point. It’s more than downtown.  We need to work with all of our property owners who want to see the city remain prosperous and we need to send a message out to the business community that we want diversity.  In our Innovation District we need to be looking to industries like distribution, pharmaceuticals, light industry – true diversity that spans the economic development spectrum.  We need to plan and to have someone help the stakeholders execute that plan in a way that is advantageous to us all.  And we need to pull that message together, to focus it.

What brief message (3 sentences or less) would you like residents to hear about your candidacy as they consider their choices for office in November?

  1. I believe I am the best choice for the Mount Dora City Council At-Large seat as I have  a wealth of community knowledge, an understanding of the issues before us, an understanding of the role (as a previous council member), a willingness to listen and learn, a financial oversight background, and a proven, strong commitment to help all of Mount Dora continue to move forward in a thoughtfully measured, fiscally responsible manner.
  2. For over thirty years, I have been a part of building this thriving community by working here, and also by making and supporting critical decisions that are fiscally sound and that provide a lifestyle that all Mount Dora residents can enjoy.
  3. I have proven leadership skills, management background, and team-building abilities combined with a greater vision focused on producing results for the city, its residents and businesses.

Email contact: CathyHoechst@gmail.com

Telephone Contact: 352-516-7749