During her first term in office, Cheryl was elected by her fellow Councilmembers to the post of Deputy Mayor and two years later was elected Mayor for 2013-15. In those posts, Cheryl initiated numerous programs that emphasized her commitment to listening to residents’ needs and implementing policy to achieve community-wide goals.
Cheryl ensured that residents had greater access to decision-making through programs like the off-site Council meetings and “coffee with the mayor” gatherings, where she met with individuals to hear about their personal concerns.
She serves as Chair of the Economic Development Committee and steered the five-year Economic Development Strategy. Several key projects have begun during the last 5 years, including Kaiser Permanente’s decision to build a 55,000 square foot office building(now under construction), Brooks Institute moving to downtown Ventura and a proposed four Star Hilton Hotel on Harbor Blvd.
She proposed and advocated for the Downtown Ambassadors Program, to keep our downtown clean and safe for residents and. She had a key role in numerous public/private partnerships like the development of Kellogg Park. As a council member she has advocated for a number of community improvements like new play equipment in parks, street improvements and a moratorium on additional massage parlors. She is proud of the balanced budget the city has been able to deliver in spite of lean economic times and has served on the finance subcommittee all 5 years. She chaired the city’s 150th birthday celebration and established Ventura’s first Sister City relationship with Loreto, Mexico.
In her next term, Cheryl aims to continue to bolster Ventura’s economic base, provide more services for our community’s senior population, boost public safety including sustainable funding for all fire stations, develop a safe and sustainable water supply, work on protecting our beaches for the enjoyment of our residents and tourists, continue to establish a supported housing opportunity for veterans, and ensure that the City’s infrastructure is maintained and improved.
Cheryl is currently a board member on the Ventura Visitors and Convention bureau, Downtown Ventura Organization and the Vice Chair of the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County (EDCVC). She is also a member of the Rotary club of Ventura and the Pierpont Community Council. In addition, Heitmann serves as a board member on the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance, is the alternate member to the Ventura County Air Pollution Control Board and is the city council liaison to the Ventura Port District.
She is presently the Vice Chair of the Women’s Caucus of the California League of Cities. Her work has led to numerous honors: Top 50 Women in Business (Pacific Coast Business Times), 2008; Top Non-profit Leaders, Pacific Coast Business Times, 2010; and Outstanding Citizen Gold Award from the California Teachers’ Association, among others.
Ms. Heitmann is married with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. A licensed clinical social worker, she served as the executive director of the Ventura Music Festival 2006-2012.
To learn more or get involved, email Cherylheitmann@gmail.com or follow Facebook at Re-elect Cheryl Heitmann, Ventura City Council.