By Erika Webb
DELTONA -- There is a new vice mayor in town.
Commissioner Heidi Herzberg was elected to the position in a 7-0 vote by her fellow commissioners on Nov. 18.
She said she's not sure how all of the other cities select vice mayors, but it is written in Deltona's charter that each November, following the date of the general election, a new vice mayor will be elected.
The position doesn't come with a hike in pay or power, Commissioner Herzberg said.
"If the mayor is unable to perform duties, the vice mayor does his ceremonial duties," she explained. "It's a title only. We are seven equal votes. The mayor doesn't even have more power. He's the ceremonial head of the city and signs ordinances and legal documents on behalf of the city."
Vice Mayor Herzberg is serving her first term on the commission. She was elected in 2010 and will serve through 2014.
"I will run again ... for something," she said.
By day the vice mayor works as a hairstylist at Beautiful Salon and Day Spa in Ormond Beach.
"My parents have always had small businesses -- a movie theater, grocery store, restaurant ... my dad had an air-conditioning company," she said.
The family moved from Wisconsin to Deltona in 1983 after Vice Mayor Herzberg's father bought two lots there. He opened a hair salon in Ormond Beach and his daughter built a following there.
But home is where the heart is, as they say.
And Vice Mayor Herzberg is determined to do all she can for the city she loves.
Being a commissioner is very time consuming "if you want to be engaged," she said.
"Today, it was my day off and I spent it in Orlando at the Florida League of Cities Legislative Conference. Now, I'm on my way ... the commission is meeting with Sheriff Ben Johnson at the Volusia County Emergency Operations and Sheriff's Communications Center and Stephen Saboda Training Center for a three hour tour."
Since Deltona contracts with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office for law enforcement, it is customary for the commission to meet with the sheriff to learn about facilities, equipment and any updates to policing policies and practices, she said.
In addition to tirelessly campaigning for a humane solution to the city's ever-growing stray animal population problem, Vice Mayor Herzberg is on the board of directors for the Volusia/Flagler Boys and Girls Club, is the city's representative to Team Volusia Economic Development Corp. and represents Deltona with the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor. She also is on the executive board of the Volusia League of Cities.
"If you want to be successful and do the best for your community, you have to be engaged," Vice Mayor Herzberg said. "Whatever I'm doing is for the betterment of 85,000 people."
Her biggest goal is to interact and engage with other cities in Volusia as well as other cities and counties across Central Florida.
"You gain so much knowledge about what works, what doesn't work and what does or does not apply to Deltona," she said.
Calling Deltona a "young city," the vice mayor compared it to a teenager struggling to find an identity.
"What's best for our residents as a young city as we continue to grow?" Vice Mayor Herzberg said. "We need to define who we are and what we want to be."
Deltona has great sports fields, the best soccer pitches around, she noted.
"The Philadelphia Union practices here for goodness sake," she said. "We have to look at our assets and promote them."
"It's hard to define who you are as a teenager and that's Deltona right now," she reiterated. "We're at a crossroads."