At last Tuesday’s Wellington Village Council meeting, Councilman Matt Willhite attempted to lead a charge to fire Village Manager Paul Schofield. The only person who followed Willhite was Councilman John Greene.
Willhite had the audacity to blame Mr. Schofield for the village being broken. That comment backfired — big time. The reaction that occurred by other council members and the audience against Greene and Willhite just might reverse the disintegration that has been occurring with the Wellington Village Council.
Speaker after speaker got up and said it was the council that was broken and that the agenda of Greene, Willhite and Mayor Bob Margolis was the cause. Some pointed to the war being carried out by these three against Mark Bellissimo and the equestrian venues that was wasting taxpayer money on litigation ($2,700/day) and hurting the local economy.
People who were prominent supporters of these three got up and stated their disgust at having supported them.
The tactics of Councilman Willhite come from the playbook of McCarthyism. Replace facts with innuendo. Employ government resources to attack enemies you’ve created in your own, vindictive mind. And most important, further your own grandiose political agenda at the expense and pain of others.
It was a cowardly effort by Willhite and Greene to avoid responsibility and blame others for the fiscal and economic damage they have caused Wellington residents and businesses.
The council meeting could very well be a seminal event. The energized audience made it clear that the council, and particularly Greene and Willhite, were being held accountable for their actions and that they would not be able to blame Mr. Schofield or anyone else.
Mayor Margolis, showing some independence from Greene and Willhite, suggested retaining an expert to analyze the situation in Wellington with respect to the council and management. This was supported by council members Anne Gerwig and Howard Coates. And while this effort might result in progress, until the controlling majority of Willhite, Greene and Margolis cease their relentless and costly war against Equestrian Sport Productions and Mark Bellissimo and accept accountability, nothing will change.
A final note about Councilman Greene, whose credibility has been lost by the residents of this village. He again complained that criticism toward him was unfair to his family. Come on, Mr. Greene. You have brought it upon yourself. If you can’t stand the heat, we welcome you to get out of our village politics.
Jack Mancini, Wellington