Letter: Wellington Divisiveness Continues

Again, about the Wellington Village Council election: Super PACs could be a useful election tool in the vetting process of candidates, but of course, the information has to be legitimate, which was my complaint in the last Wellington election. The winners were supported by the same individual who falsely smeared [former] Mayor Darell Bowen’s credibility, and enough people actually believed it, causing these results. So, the seats are filled for now, until the next election.

I was hopeful that Wellington’s best interests would still be served over the next two years, allowing wounds to heal and the village to prosper for all of its residents, not just to kowtow to one wealthy individual’s whims. However, those hopes dwindled after the Tuesday night council meeting, showing that the divisiveness in this community will continue. Also, upon hearing the list of committee applicants, it became apparent why one frequent writer is willing to heap praise, even where little is due.

When Wellington became the village, those elected to serve on the council were required to sit in non-partisan seats. Last week a frequent writer admonished Councilwoman Anne Gerwig for her statement about conservatives on the board. I assume he was referring to her response to a question at one of our Palms West Republican Club meetings, where she was our guest speaker two years ago. She was asked if the Wellington council was conservative or liberal, and she responded something like, I know this will come back to bite me later, but I think most of the council members lean toward conservatism. So perhaps the writer attended that meeting, or possibly an article was written about the PWRC including her comment — I don’t really remember. I do remember hearing that three of the five now-seated council members claim to be Republican, but who can tell? It is quite clear that Ms. Gerwig prefers tea over Kool-Aid, but I have never heard anyone say that she flaunts it.

Risking another halo-effect situation, I have heard that Councilwoman Gerwig has always been fair-minded, even-tempered and professional in all that she does, even when she isn’t in favor of a particular project. At another club meeting I attended, numerous complaints were expressed to her about the 9/11 memorial, but she didn’t place blame on anyone. Instead, she stated that all of the council members’ names appeared on the memorial plaque, and left it at that. The memorial obviously became an emotional and political situation that the council had to resolve collectively, and one that Wellington will have to live with.

One last thing for the record, I have nothing against Councilman Matt Willhite, personally. I was even quoted in a Town-Crier article about the elections, as supporting him, back when he first ran for the seat, which I’m sure can be verified. I would hesitate to ever criticize a person willing to serve his or her community, unless I felt that their intentions were misguided.

I have said all that I intend to about these topics, probably to the relief of many readers. We need fresh voices of expression.

Marge Fitzgerald, Wellington