Editor’s note: The following letter, addressed to Wellington Mayor Bob Margolis, was sent to the Town-Crier for publication.
Dear Mayor Margolis:
You have a bad habit of chastising and blaming the Wellington Chamber of Commerce for any business that fails and for empty storefronts. Let me give you something to think about. As you are well aware, the Village of Wellington was incorporated in December 1995 with its first council seated March 1996 and shortly thereafter the Mall at Wellington Green opened.
What else occurred around the same time? Today is the 14th birthday of Google, which started in 1998. Hard to believe they have been around only 14 years. How about Yahoo? Started in 1995. How about eBay? Started in 1995. How about Craigslist? Started in 1996. How about Amazon? Started in 1995.
Talk about major competition for the merchants in the existing shopping centers in Wellington. Not only did they have to compete with a brand-new regional mall, but even tougher is the competition of lower retail prices simply a click away. Tell me you have not shopped online.
The point is that instead of finding fault and pointing fingers at the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, which is fighting daily for the business community and for the residents of Wellington — who frequent the local businesses and are employed by the local businesses — you need to be out there promoting those businesses that were able to fend off the mall and online retailers and encouraging others to open, instead of stifling their operations with arcane codes and your “we are only a bedroom community” attitude.
Instead of pointing out a few empty storefronts, how about crowing about businesses that were here when we incorporated, when the mall opened and when the behemoths of online retail started and are still here serving Wellington? Pick any shopping center you want, and we have the heroes of the business community. How about Gabriel’s, Backstreets, Schaefer Drugs, Scotty’s, Tackeria, Pizzazz, Horizon Pools, Ultima Fitness, Woody’s, Sanda Gané, Town & Country Travel and so many others out there working hard every day since well before we incorporated.
Try to focus on the hardworking business success stories instead of your focus on those who tried and could not make it as they had a difficult time competing with the Googles of the world and major chain store retailers in the mall and along State Road 7.