I write this as a 30-year resident and business owner in Wellington, and as someone who has probably crossed swords with [Village Manager] Paul Schofield more than anyone else in Wellington — and I lost more battles than I won. When I first met Paul, one of my clients had a number of lawsuits against the village, and Paul called me and asked if we could meet.
We met over chicken wings and beer and within an hour formed a relationship of mutual respect for each other that allowed open discussion on issues with the result of litigation being solved and litigation being avoided, as we had the ability to talk things out and come to an agreement that in most cases avoided litigation. Our wings and beer meetings solved more issues than you could ever imagine.
When we disagreed, we did so with an understanding and respect for each other. I can honestly say I never left a meeting with Paul, or had a conversation with Paul, when I did not walk away a smarter guy.
Having been here as long as I have has allowed me to work with every manager who has served Acme and then Wellington upon incorporation, and not a single one has had the breadth of knowledge and experience that Paul had and still has. There is no one who understands Wellington and Wellington’s past and current issues as much as Paul. We cannot lose that knowledge.
It is truly amazing that [Councilman John] Greene and [Councilman Matt] Willhite are pushing this effort to fire Paul, but not at all surprising. Greene and Willhite have unsuccessfully tried to stop significant projects in Wellington, tried to stop the village from trying to settle ongoing litigation and tried to force the hiring of a village attorney they could control.
Their efforts failed and the projects continue to move forward, a path to settlement is now in place, and the village is fortunate that we have Laurie Cohen as our village attorney. And we can thank you, Mayor [Bob] Margolis, for being the swing vote on all three.
Mayor Margolis, your supporting keeping Paul in place will be the most critical vote you will have cast in your role as mayor. You are truly the man in the middle as to your right you have two council members who have supported Paul.
To your left you have two council members whose sole goal has been and continues to be to undo all the good that Paul and the past council has done for our village. Greene and Willhite have created an atmosphere of fear of job loss, not only with Paul, but also with all the staff. They have created a siege mentality so the ability of Paul and the staff to do what they were hired to do is severely hampered.
Your vote to keep Paul in place will send the message that you want our village to move on from all the litigation, the fighting and the unbridled hatred that has existed from those on your left and that has so divided Wellington. Your vote to keep Paul will send the message to staff that fear will not be allowed to control how you do your job and will let staff wake up with a renewed energy to keep Wellington moving forward.
Mayor Margolis, you have consistently publicly praised Paul’s efforts since you were elected. Please continue to do so by giving him your support to remain as our village manager and bring an end to this ugly chapter of Wellington history.
Mike Nelson, Effective Solutions Inc.