MILTON — Mayor Heather Lindsay has served the city of Milton for several years in different forms, from attorney to volunteer to her latest role — the first female mayor in the history of Milton. Though it's what she does, she said, more than who she is that will matter to the city.

Lindsay was born in Milton and has over 20 years experience as a lawyer. In addition to her law practice and role as mayor, she serves on the executive council of the Escambia/Santa Rosa Bar Association. Lindsay and her children, Isabelle and Fox Gampher, are also members of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. 

Lindsay said she has come from a long line of public servants. Her mother was a teacher and her father is a lawyer with whom she still practices law today. Her grandfather was on the city council and her great-uncle was a property appraiser.

Before running for office, Lindsay said she prayed before she made a decision. She said Milton citizens strongly encouraged her to run for mayor, but she wanted to be sure she was the best advocate for the citizens of Milton.

“Being a Miltonian means we treat each person with dignity and respect,” Lindsay said. “We honor our military and our elders, and we cherish our children.”

During her campaign, Lindsay said she and former Mayor Wesley Meiss spoke about how to better unify the city.

"Wesley told me during our conversation that whoever wins that the mayor's going to have to make a commitment to unify the divergent groups in our community," Lindsay said.

Lindsay said that was something she agreed with and is determined to do. She said right now she feels the two major issues dividing the city are concerns over Main Street Milton and the expansion of U.S. Highway 90. She said she wants to continue to work with the city to resolve these issues. 

"I think we have made progress," she said. "I think right now the council probably agrees on maybe 80 percent of the issues. I know a lot of people are concerned over the issue of widening Highway 90, and it has been an issue for a long time, and it will continue to be a big issue."

Lindsay said she is committed to the historic downtown. She said she is proud of the public works department's recent renovations to the festival area in the downtown area, which she believes will attract a lot of people. While she is a supporter of downtown, Lindsay said she wants to see all of the city grow.

"My focus is for all of Milton," she said.

There was one voter Lindsay said she heard about who'd never vote for a female mayor, but otherwise no one else had a problem with the idea as far as she knew. She said she doesn't feel being the first female mayor makes her special or historic. Her actions, she said, will determine her legacy.

"I believe there could have been several other women just as qualified as I was," she said. "I don't believe just because I am a woman means I did anything significant."

Lindsay said her children are proud of the fact that their mother is mayor, even joking with her how she had to make small sacrifices they were not expecting.

"My kids said it's a sacrifice that I'm not there to cook for them as much now," Lindsay joked.

The only thing she did not expect upon becoming mayor, she said, was the the difficulty in splitting her time between her roles as parent, lawyer and head of the city.

"I knew it would be a juggling act ... I just didn't anticipate how much at times," she said. "But everyone has been so incredibly gracious to me. My law firm, the city, my family have just been so wonderful ... just truly a blessing."

Lindsay said her plans are to get resident feedback as she goes through her first term before deciding if she will run for re-election.

"You are here to serve the people," she said. "If they believe I should serve again, they will tell me."