Mayoral candidate Carol Bacha was dressed in a full nun’s habit for her interview with Palm Coast Observer Publisher John Walsh.
Bacha is a nurse, a musician and a nun in the Russian Orthodox Church since 2015. She referred to herself as a “singing nun” and broke into song on occasion, remarking that she wanted to keep it fun.
When asked to close the interview with anything she’d like to share with Palm Coast voters, Bacha belted out her own version of an American classic: “This land is your land. This land is my land. From Palm Coast to Flagler Beach.”
The full video of Bacha's full interview and an edited transcript are below.
What makes you qualified to be mayor of Palm Coast? Top three qualifications.
I’m an emergency responder. I’m a licensed nurse and I’m trained as an educator who defends the democracy of our republic of America.
What would you say is the biggest issue facing the city of Palm Coast?
What to do next.
One of the issues that would be brought before our new mayor is hiring our next city manager. Do you think the city should enlist ... a professional executive-hiring consulting group?
You know when you have the little checkmarks? I accept A. I accept B. Both answers. And if we want to be the vision of what Palm Coast is created to be, we need to create independent volunteer study groups that offer a voice in this decision making.
Do you have anybody in mind now that you feel would serve well as city manager?
… So you ask me question A, question B, and I tell you both. Question C, because we need to engage our citizens. C is for citizens because the city manager is the chief.
Personally, what is the largest budget you’ve managed?
The largest budget I’ve managed is so large, that it’s incalculable. That happened in my political training. I was asked to return to the country that a princess was exiled from. And when I got that call I was the nurse at a hospital in Florida. And at that time I had with me my two children. So the largest budget I’ve managed was to purchase two $2 tickets for my children to go see Santa Clause at Holmes Regional hospital in Melbourne, Florida. And I asked the hospital … I wanted a good deal for a pair of medical gloves and needles because this was the height of the AIDS crisis in Romania. That’s where my princess friend was being asked to return to. ... She was asked to come back to put her stamp on the hospital, Christiana, for children with AIDS, so the hospital Santa administrator gave me what we estimated to be in the area of $3 million when I asked for two $2 tickets for my children to see Santa Clause. Vote for Bacha for mayor and I’ll get your money’s worth and you’ll hear the rest of the story.
Do you feel our taxes in Palm Coast are too high, too low or just right?
Well the value of my house this month went up $10,000 from last month. And the month before it went up $9,000 and the month before that it went up 8,000-some dollars … So what is my tax responsibility? Is my tax too low? Is my tax too high? We have to digest what has just happened to our real estate.
Some candidates pledge a line by line audit of the annual budget. How would you know if a number is in line or out of line for that item?
You mean in-line, out of line like roller skates?
Is it a normal fee or are we spending too much in this area or are we not investing enough?
It depends how much hot air you blow into it. Again that has to be examined. ... When I need to answer those kind of questions I need to go to those kind of people who have the professional expertise.
There were two recent transactions approved by our City Council. Would you propose to defund MedNex? Or would you support it as is?
MedNex needs to continue … (but) MedNex can only go forward in my scholarly opinion and in my moral and ethical views if Bethune-Cookman (University) has a seat at the table which is going to be the leading seat.
Another budget item that was recently approved was over $5 million to invest in redevelopment and enhancements at the local tennis center. Would you support that or would you support defunding that?
...What I can understand that has been transmitted by good people like you in the news is that that is an issue where funding of the pickleball is from a special fund, so I would have to know more about that special fund.