Letter: Unger Supports Councilman Matt Willhite

In a recent letter to the Town-Crier, Steve Haughn made numerous statements that fly in the face of public records.

In his attempt to denigrate Councilman Matt Willhite, he accuses our councilman of being the “voice of no and negativity,” yet voting records of the council show Vice Mayor Howard Coates having the most dissenting votes, followed by Councilwoman Anne Gerwig, not Willhite, and that goes back to 2010.

Yes, Willhite was against giving away the premier village-owned piece of property (K-Park) for a state university, and history has proven him correct. The university will be close to Wellington, but Wellington will not be affected by traffic and a requirement for more services. Instead, the property, recently appraised between $9 and $14 million, might be developed for equestrian recreation and other facilities adding to our tax base, and perhaps keeping a bit of open space.

Also, Willhite supported having the county’s inspector general and voted to get Wellington out of the lawsuit against this important watchdog.
More currently, Willhite has been a strong advocate of not commercializing the Equestrian Preserve and putting an obtrusive hotel in the middle of horse country.
This will save our community from traffic congestion and millions to widen South Shore Blvd. to accommodate the commercialization, which was never considered by the previous council when they approved the commercialization.

Furthermore, Willhite believes (as we all should) that all construction should be preceded by proper permitting and timely applications, something that an equestrian developer has neglected to do, which only recently, he once more displayed disdain for proper permitting, having poured 5,000 pounds of concrete for lighting and temporary power, installed without permitting, in violation of village code and safety concerns.

Can you imagine if a private homeowner did this, continually, and then claims the village is picking on him?

Although Mr. Haughn would have you believe that this is recent, the truth is that problems existed with violations and lawsuits going back more than a dozen years — Palm Beach Polo and now Wellington Equestrian Partners. This is nothing new.

Finally, I would suggest that Mr. Haughn kindly review the election results, where he might find that overwhelmingly, Willhite got more votes than any other person who ran in our last election. That’s positive, in my accounting. That would demonstrably mean that Wellingtonians supported Councilman Willhite, by voting him into office again, and his basic beliefs, bringing up his family here, and devoting his time to us.

Yes, we all can hope for better relations from our elected officials and management, but dissension is nothing new, and we can hope for an accommodation between the equestrian developer and our council that insures no negative impact for the Equestrian Preserve and our village.

George Unger


  1. Who appointed Mr. Unger to the Architectural Committee in Wellington?

    Councilman Matt Willhite, since being elected to the Council, has been very negative during Workshops and Council Meetings. He constantly berates staff and the Village Manager. He views himself as ‘special’ and he sees himself in need of special status. Just ask the Property Appraiser Office and their mapping department.

    If Councilman Willhite wants to seek higher office, his personality and negativity will get in the way. In addition, he has a constant need to spend Village residents’ tax dollars; instead of saving Village residents money.

    Ask Councilman Willhite if the Wellington residents are still paying off the Memorial debt, which he stated would be totally paid for by private donations. It is nice to have a Memorial in Wellington, but Willhite’s extravagance mired the Village in debt. He travelled and picked out the beam which required additional engineering. He sought the costly, eternal flame and fountain. Look at the Memorial at the Fire Station on Northlake Blvd near Palm Beach Gardens. It acknowledges the loss with a simple memorial, not the ostentatious and on-going, perpetual debt of the flame and water fountain which Wellington residents will continually pay for on a monthly, on going basis for eternity.

    Councilman Willhite doesn’t know how to compromise, work out problems. He demonstrates over and over an inability to work with others. The Equestrian ‘debate’ is just the current example of his contrarian nature. Dig out the tapes from years ago when Benacquisto and Priore were on Council with him. There’s meeting after meeting of his negative approach to governing.

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