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Posted on: September 15, 2020

City Reports Untimely Passing of Long-Time, Dedicated Public Servant - Steve Heath


It is with a very heavy heart and great sadness that we report to the Roanoke Community the passing of Ward 3 City Council Member Steve Heath. One of the longest tenured City Council members in Roanoke’s history, Steve served the Roanoke community for 23 consecutive years. He was also a charter member of the Roanoke Economic and Industrial Development Corporation where he served for 21 years. In both his elected and appointed roles, Steve was intimately involved with the quality growth and development efforts in the City; and was unquestionably passionate about the needs of his constituents. His years of service were marked by passion and leadership qualities that were instrumental in numerous City accomplishments to include:

  • 60 acres of developed park land system throughout the City to include multiple major parks, soccer complex, community pool, skate park, splash pads, volleyball courts, tennis courts, and neighborhood pocket parks
  • Construction of critical water and sewer infrastructure (water/sewer lines, elevated towers, ground storage, and pump stations) to accommodate peak usage and capacities at City’s build-out
  • Construction of needed City facilities to include a Law Enforcement Center, Fire Station, Library and Community Center renovations, Recreation Center, Visitor’s Center and Museum, and a new City Hall/Plaza.
  • Adoption and implementation of a phased Master Trail Plan to provide walkability/connectivity to the entire City
  • Numerous economic development efforts resulting in a strong commercial/industrial tax base to offset the property tax burden to Roanoke residents
  • 1 million square feet of retail development
  • 10 million square feet of Industrial development
  • 40,000 linear feet of road reconstruction or overlay throughout the City
  • 200,000 square feet of restaurant space (68 dining establishments)
  • 24 years with no increase to the City’s tax rate, and an assessed valuation property tax base that grew over 1700% during this time.

Steve was integral in these and many other City accomplishments. He was an outstanding public servant who took pride in his community and cared deeply about the residents he served. He was a friend to fellow City Council members, board members, City employees, and residents of Roanoke. We will miss Steve and be forever grateful for his incredible impact on our community.


“On August 27, we lost a great man and councilman, Steve Heath. Steve was our longest tenured councilmember, having served Roanoke since 1997. Steve served several terms as Mayor-ProTem and also served on the Roanoke Economic and Industrial Development Corporation Type A Board. He was part of the Roanoke City Council that hired Roanoke’s first City Manager, Jimmy Stathatos, and our current City Manager, Scott Campbell. Steve was always great with numbers and would analyze our city budget every year. Steve always spoke from the heart and did not hold back when he felt that a developer was not looking out for the best interest of our city. He had a passion for serving and would have begun his new 3-year term at the time of his passing. I had the pleasure of serving as a councilmember with Steve from 1999-2005, and from 2005, when I was elected as Mayor, until his passing. We will deeply miss his service on the Roanoke City Council and are profoundly grateful for his many years of service as he helped Roanoke become what it is today.” - Mayor Gierisch


“Steve’s years of service to Roanoke speak volumes as to how much he loved our city. He was very passionate and fought for what he thought was best for Roanoke. I am so grateful that I was able to work with him the past five and a half years.” - Angie Grimm, Roanoke Council Member 

“Steve Heath was one of the most honest, straight forward, and genuine individuals I have ever worked for. His commitment to the citizens’ of Roanoke was evident with everything he did. I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to know and work for him.” – Scott Campbell, Roanoke City Manager 

The City extends its deepest sympathies to Gayla Heath, Tyler Heath, Randy Potter and Jeremy Potter, and all of Steve’s family.

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