When members of the Wellington Village Council meet next week with representatives of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), both sides have an opportunity to come together and let the community heal, putting an end to some of the legal matters that have plagued the community for too long now.
For more than a year, Wellington has been embroiled in legal battles that have cost the village’s taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and divided our community. Further, the controversy has put the continued success of Wellington’s equestrian venues in doubt.
Next week, council members will have a chance to talk with WEP Managing Partner Mark Bellissimo and his representatives in an attempt to resolve two lawsuits WEP brought against Wellington last year.
The lawsuits arose when current council members chose to rescind approval of two measures that were passed by the former council to allow for the operation of the Equestrian Village site for horse shows.
The popular Global Dressage Festival has proven to be a success, bringing a new level of dressage competition to Wellington. It is clear that dressage riders are willing to come to Wellington if there is a competitive show season for them. All members of the council have expressed support for dressage in Wellington, even if they didn’t necessarily agree with the particulars of the Equestrian Village project. We hope that all involved can remember this going into the discussion next week.
We believe everyone involved is trying to do what they believe is best for the community. It will take open minds and a willingness to compromise to resolve the questions at hand, and we hope that all sides are willing to have an honest dialogue and work toward a collective vision for Wellington’s equestrian future.
It is time to set aside past transgressions and bruised egos and remember that we all benefit from the success of our equestrian community. Whether it’s polo, dressage, show jumping or casual riding, it’s the equestrian season that keeps our businesses full and property values high.
The only way Wellington can walk away from this as a winner is if we walk away together, as a community once again intact and working toward a common goal. Let’s hope that is what happens.
The Voters Should Be Satisfied
The expectation of reconciliation may be premature. The fact is that there are two factions, neither of which is particularly interested in what is best for John Q. Citizen of Wellington. If that were the case the council would not have decided to rescind the approvals that a prior council awarded to the developers of the Equestrian Village. That approval was earned and awarded after careful consideration. The approval occurred after due diligence and public comment.
The fact is that on the one hand the developer is interested in a return on its investment, even in this miserable economy. It apparently believes that with the revenue from the commercial enterprises, the fun and games can commence and continue. On the other hand the three new members of the council are interested in only one thing. Representing the interests of those who were instrumental in their victory, and by that this commenter is not referring to the voters.
The voters should be satisfied with the government that they selected. When the final votes were tabulated, three new members of the Wellington Village Council were seated. At least one can say that voters this time knew what they were voting for, unlike the vote they cast for the free Inspector General that is now costing them $7.5 million dollars a year.
Still the voters should be satisfied. They either voted for what they wanted and got what they expected, or they voted for what they thought they were going to get and are still satisfied with what they got.
In either case, let us not blame the council or the developers. They are merely doing what is expected of them from their financial backers.
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