In order to understand the tumult we are experiencing today in Wellington politics, it is necessary to understand our political history.
After incorporation, the primary voting block was sports (athletic program) families, as we were building park facilities at the time. Phone banks were set up to contact every “recreation” family to solicit their vote for one set of candidates, our original council.
Years later, more recently, the Wellington Chamber of Commerce became the political mechanism, by supporting a slate of its members, never mind that they represent the business community in general, which is probably less than 5 percent of Wellington. They were successful and put in their candidates.
Now the interests of the chamber are not necessarily the interests of the homeowners in Wellington. To cite but a few divergences: density, signage aesthetics (more and larger), traffic, etc.
Enter Jeremy Jacobs, an Equestrian Preserve resident who became unhappy with the proposed changes near to him, inclusive of a large commercial element, a hotel and the possibility of necessitating widening both South Shore Blvd. and Lake Worth Road to accommodate the would-be burgeoning traffic.
Mr. Jacobs asks to build nothing, to construct and/or change nothing. He wants only to see the Equestrian Preserve stay as it was intended, so he used personal funds to back candidates that agreed with him.
Enter Mark Bellissimo, a member of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, and aspiring developer of the Equestrian Preserve. Besides no longer having an acquiescing council, he also appears to have problems meeting village codes and deadlines, and at times constructed without permits and took off village “red tags” that were put up for safety considerations.
On top of this, members of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce have insulted our elected leaders, besmirched our village as “anti-business” and have whined and complained continuously, yet this in the only business that seems to be having trouble with our council. Anti-business? Hardly!
Ironically, it is not Mr. Jacobs who almost weekly is represented in paid ads in the papers and/or continual negative letters and quotes in the press. Rather, it is Mr. Bellissimo and his cohorts. They foment the dissension and no one else. Especially insulting is his term “Gang of Three” because it is a play on the Chinese “Gang of Four” during Chairman Mao’s reign in China. All the nastiness, the name calling and yes, the implied threats (concerning the future of our equestrian community), all emanate from Mr. Bellissimo and cohorts.
Wellington and especially our revered equestrian community were around long before Mr. Bellissimo, and will be long after he is gone, and I find it sad that one person can cause so much ill will. His lawsuits (about a dozen) hurt our village and will cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars, but actually it is his “I can do what I want irrespective of village code,” and his denigrating my home town that I find so offensive.
It is my hope that our preserve remain as it is and that it does not become despoiled by a developer. Large commercialism and a hotel have no place in our preserve, nor does the ensuing traffic and road widening that would follow. This was stated in the vision conference during incorporation and by the visionaries (over 150 volunteers) who spent an entire day developing the plan for our future, and then saw it come to fruition.