I have been traveling to Wellington from my home up north for nearly three decades. Leaving for Florida has always been the highlight of my year. I am blessed that I have the wherewithal to show a horse and to have a family at home that understands my passion. And what better place to visit than Wellington? At least that’s the way it used to be.
For the past few years though, it’s just not the same. In fact, because of the constant conflict, the annual visit to the Village of Wellington has lost its luster for me.
The constant battling and all of the back and forth battles between Mark Bellissimo and the Wellington Village Council has become a major distraction, not just for me, but for a number of folks I compete with at the horse show and others I socialize with when I’m not riding. The latest battles involve permits and the ever-present red tags. Maybe someone can explain to me why this is and why it has become such an issue? Why does Mark Bellissimo wait until the equestrians have arrived in Wellington to obtain the necessary permits? Why isn’t all of that construction done over the summer, and why aren’t all of the many tents erected in the months leading up to the Winter Equestrian Festival? This would allow plenty of time to get the proper permits and get all of the projects approved ahead of time.
Instead, every year, it’s always the same thing; there’s a rush, rush, rush to get things done. And when the projects are not done correctly, or they are completed without the necessary permits, why is that the fault of the village? Why does Mark Bellissimo continue to blame the council or the Jacobs family for his lack of forethought and planning?
It seems to me that we could have peace and harmony in Wellington if everyone played by the rules, and there wouldn’t be the issues/problems we have today. It is the job of the village to enforce the laws and codes. It is up to the organizers of any event, including WEF and the Global Dressage Festival, to meet the village standards. If the codes and laws are being enforced fairly, why is it anyone’s fault but the organizer when red tags are placed?
Let’s stop the blame game and play by the rules.