VERO BEACH — Dean C. Heran, brother of local utilities activist Glenn Heran, has decided to run for the Vero Beach City Council seat held by Ken Daige.
A former teacher with degrees in finance and elementary education, Heran has never run for office before, but he said he will file candidacy papers when he returns from vacation July 5.
“I have three major points I’d like to see if I can help achieve,” the 46-year-old Heran said. “Number one is to get the City of Vero Beach electric system sold to Florida Power and Light. Secondly, to try to merge the city water system with the county water and sewer system, to regionalize it; and third, to try to see the city move toward a smaller, more efficient budget.”
Heran said he started coming to Vero Beach during summers off from college after his parents William and Vivienne retired to Florida about 25 years ago. After teaching for three years in Hawaii and one year at an American school in Spain, Heran settled in Vero Beach.
“I kept coming back. It seemed like for longer and longer every time,” Heran said.
Eventually, he made Vero Beach his permanent home, bringing with him his wife, Tamara. They have a 6-year-old daughter who attends Beachland Elementary.
“Vero is a great place to raise a family and everybody is very friendly,” he said. “We love the beach and the river, we enjoy kayaking in the river.”
He quit teaching in the mid-1990s to help run the family rental property business. In that capacity, he came into contact with many people being pinched financially by Vero Beach’s soaring utility rates.
“It started with Glenn’s efforts and then neighbors would come up to me and say that they that they really like and appreciate what our family is trying to do,” Heran said. “That’s definitely one of the reasons our family got started in this was to get the bills down for our customers.”
Heran said he would bring with him the experience of running a business, budgeting and dealing with lots of different personalities. He’s also worked as a residential contractor on homes, duplexes and triplexes where he honed his project management and organizational skills.
Their father, William Heran, is a long-time member of the city’s Finance Committee and he will get him up to speed on budget issues, which will be critical to the city in the coming years, he said.
Glenn Heran said that he and Dr. Stephen Faherty will serve as advisors on utility issues.
“I’m totally excited that my brother has decided that he’s actually going to do this,” Glenn Heran said. “The last two years, our family has been heavily engaged in these issues.”