Volusia County Council District 4 Representative Heather Post talks homelessness, city roles and her inner nerd

The councilwoman represents Ormond Beach, Holly Hill and Daytona Beach.

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  • | 12:37 p.m. March 22, 2017
  • Ormond Beach Observer
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The woman behind the counter at the Ormond Beach Regional Library thinks sees a familiar face, but she’s not sure. She asks, “Are you Heather Post?”

Post, who represents District 4 (including Ormond Beach, Holly Hill and Daytona Beach) on the Volusia County Council District 4 Representative, answers with a nod and a smile. In a recent interview with the Ormond Beach Observer at the library, that smile never went away, whether she was talking about books she has been reading, or about the latest drama on the council.

What's the most surprising thing about being on the County Council?

"The most amazing thing I've seen so far is all of the people and all of the coordination that goes into making our county run smoothly. I had the opportunity to tour a lot of different departments like the water plant, waste water, bridges, and traffic and engineering, and it's amazing to me just how many people are involved in the day-to-day activities."

What issue are you most passionate about facing the County Council?

"In my district, we have a number of projects that are already in the works, especially around the LPGA area. We have a lot of vision for future growth all over the district, and I want to ensure that we’re doing our best in terms of strategic planning for that growth. With economic development and all of those projects coming in, it’s fantastic, but we have to make sure we’re strategically planning for growth in terms of the roadways and things like that."

"I have been working to really build bridges and increase the communication and collaboration between cities and the county. Every month I meet with a number of people from the cities in my district, and I’m very impressed with the level of cooperation they have."

"Having that open communication and them knowing that they can call if they have a question, it's important. One of the big things in building communities and politics is that you hear a lot of rumors. So it’s good for people to be able to call you up and find out what happening before things get blown out of proportion."

"A lot of times, people work in their own bubbles. But nothing can happen in the county without all of us working together. We all affect each other. That was something I said as soon as I came in. My role is to find out what your vision is and what you’re wanting to accomplish, and as long as I agree with it, how can we work together to make it happen." 

What's your day job? How do you balance that with being on the County Council?

"I own the Heather Post Company, where I speak and conduct training all over the U.S. The great thing about it is I can do it once a month or every three months because I'm the boss.

"I teach situational awareness, body image and projecting a professional image on the front lines. Being in law enforcement for two decades, they teach you things like if a person has their fist closed they might be taking a swing at you, but with this, it's more about being aware and tactical. Being situationally aware is being aware of the person in front of you, but also the room and your entire surroundings." 

What's the most recent book you read?

"This is gonna sound real nerdy, but I love to learn. I'm like a sponge. I'm fascinated by almost any subject. So the last book I read was actually a book about the weather, like on all the different kinds of clouds. I don't really read fiction books or stories." 

In the campaign, you said a polygraph test that showed you had used cocaine in the past was a forgery. Can you explain that situation?

"My opponent and that whole team came up with a lot of ridiculous stuff during the campaign. Bottom line, the best candidate won and we’re moving forward. They know what occurred, and I know occurred, and it is what it is." 

Are you on the homeless advisory board for Daytona Beach? How would that role impact your votes on the County Council?

"In this role, it’s very important to have a whole perception of everything across the board. Homelessness is a very public issue right now, and it’s one of the things I immediately jumped into to learn about. We have a bunch of different committees working throughout the county, but not necessarily together or on the same page."

"I've met with the Coalition for the Homeless, FAITH and First-Step Shelter, and I told them, 'The fact that I’m here doesn't mean that I’m 100% for what you’re suggesting.' I’m still a part of the discussion, but we've been talking about it for too long. We need to make a decision."

"I've been attending all of these meetings, and I know that things have been proposed to the county. Everything has been going back and forth for a while now, and we can alleviate any more wasting time by everyone sitting down at the table and talking about it. If there’s something I know that I would never vote for, I would rather tell you now."

"First Step has asked me to be on the board, and I said that it doesn’t matter to me whether I'm on the board or in the audience. I just think it’s important to be a part of the conversation."

What is something Volusia County needs to do to help the homeless population?

"Being part of the discussion is the best thing. We don’t have to agree to everything, but ignoring it isn’t helping either."

What were Sheriff Mike Chitwood and County Manager Jim Dinneen arguing about?

"Chitwood is just not in favor of a charter form of government, and unfortunately, that’s what we currently have."

Is that something you'd be interested in changing?

"Certainly not this month or next month. That’s a process to go through if anyone would want to change that."

How do you feel about the way they're handling this disagreement?

"A lot of issues have been brought up, and some are very valid issues. I think it’s important to look at the meat of what’s being said. Let’s work on the meat of what’s being said and set any personalities or posturing aside."

Commissioner Rick Boehm said the crosswalks should be the county's issue, not the city's. What do you think the county's role should be?

"My role is to help advocate for the cities within my district. I'm the one who initiated this whole crosswalk discussion. There are things the county needs to put through, and there are things we can help the city put through. If we (the county) ask for too much across the board, we're not gonna get anything. So we just need to spread it out."  

Is there anything else you're excited about when it comes to your future work on the County Council?

"I'm very excited about the U.S.1 corridor. There are some great things in the work there. And I’m very excited about the collaboration between the city of Ormond and how together we can make a lot of things happen." 






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