Letter: Let’s Get Our Chamber Back

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce, under its political action committee, took an outrageous step recently in sending a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, asking that Mayor Bob Margolis be removed from office. Wellington Chamber President Alex Domb, who signed the letter, uses as the basis for it a recent news story filled with unsubstantiated claims of an ethics breech that even Domb isn’t sure is true.

As a former member and board member of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, I am deeply concerned that the Wellington Chamber has drawn its membership into dirty politics based on unsubstantiated reports and unbeknown to most of the membership.

There is another situation the membership should be aware of. A little more than a year ago, in December 2011, a board of directors meeting was called, at which time I was asked to step off the board. I was accused of having a conflict of interest and of breaking confidentiality by sharing information that had been sent to the entire board. Why were they so intent on keeping secrets? Obviously, they had something to hide.

In a spirit of cooperation and because I represent many in the equestrian industry, I agreed to do so. However, former Mayor Darell Bowen, along with Mike Nelson, whose Effective Solutions works for Glenn Straub’s Palm Beach Polo Holdings, and Michael Stone, employed by Equestrian Sport Productions, remained on the board, despite their obvious conflicts with political positions the Wellington Chamber would take.

I was a member of the President’s Circle, co-chair of the Wellington Chamber’s Equestrian Committee, responsible for creating the community brochure of equestrian events that went out to all Wellington residents, and had worked side by side with Executive Director Michela Perillo-Green on a number of projects. After a few days of pondering the board’s decision, I made one of my own and tendered my resignation from the Wellington Chamber.

It became clear that these members’ interests at that time and continuing to today are focused solely on supporting a select few members of the business community and continuing a contrarian fight with the duly elected members of the Wellington Village Council. It is also obvious that the Wellington Chamber of Commerce has taken this position regardless of whether its membership agrees. There is no question in my mind that the average members of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce have no idea of the political nonsense its leadership has engaged in on behalf of all chamber members.

It is the duty of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce to advocate for the business interests of all its members, not a select few. But the most recent political bombshell shows clearly that the Wellington Chamber continues to focus not on improving the business climate but on continuing a fight with the Village of Wellington. I am thankful that I have found within the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce an organization that does not engage in political dogfights, but supports its entire membership without pitting businesses against each other.

The membership at large of the Wellington Chamber should take back control of the organization, refocusing it on building a business climate in which all Wellington business interests can thrive. Unfortunately, the current leadership of the Wellington Chamber does its members a great disservice.

Mason Phelps Jr., President
Phelps Media Group


  1. Seems like the Wellington Chamber kicked out Mr. Phelps, he’s not happy about it and wants a place to rant. Chambers encourage growth and positive development – that’s what Wellington’s is doing. This community is glad you found another outlet too.

  2. If Mason dislikes the Chamber then I like the Chamber.

    he is part of the Jacobs/Hirsch cabal that controls Wellington to suit its purpose.

    That is why i am moving.

  3. Seems like they got the Chamber back, from you! Lately your efforts to tear down business is not someone who should sit on any business promotional group.

  4. The Welllington Chamber would like a Vilalge Council back whose sole mission in life is not to stop everything that ESP tries to accomplish because of how their election campaign was funded.

    The Chamber is involved in many other issues in Wellington suppporting the Wellington business community. The battle between ESP and the Council is simply front and center.

    This same Village Council tried to favor one nightclub/bar over everyone else’s. It appears this is because one Council member receives free lodging, meals, vacations, and donations from the owner and another gets large checks. When other operations tried to apply for the EXACT same hours, they were denied.

    After major objections from the Chamber on behalf of all Wellington busiensses, the Coucnil changed position and allowed the same hours for others – only after attempting to force them to pay $3000 for the application to do the same thing the other club was doing for free. Again, after Chamber involvment, the Council backed off and decided equal treatment for all was in order.

    The Wellilngton Chamber continues to battle for a major economic improvement in Wellington with the Medical Arts District. The Mayor says there is one party against the Medical Arts District therefore its over.

    Council members are supposed to be leaders. Leaders solve problems. The current majority has no leadership at all. Problem comes up – stop everything. God forbid there should be a problem that have to actually solve.

    It is the duty of the Wellington Chamber to represent all Wellington businesses and the Wellington Chamber does just that. If you only hear about the one in the press, you missed all the other issues the Chamber addresses.

    You would like to have the Chamber back – the Chamber would LOVE to have a functioning Council back. The current leadership cant’ or won’t, solve anything. There is no effective leadership witht he current Council.

    As well intentioned as Mayor Margolis may be, in practice he is totally ineffective. In the nine months since the new majority was put in place, the only thing they have accomplished is to enlarge the division in Wellington. The only decision they can come to is —– to not make a decision and hope the courts will make one for them.

Comments are closed.