Reading in both the Town-Crier and the Palm Beach Post, the story is that the Wellington Village Council this past week considered the purchase of a nearby office complex that is adjacent to their village campus. They gave some very good reasons for use, transitional and long term, while noting that the purchase was a good investment for their taxpaying citizens. The uses would range from possibly keeping the current tenants under contract, netting Wellington a profit, and then moving to village use and including some incubator space for up-and-coming new businesses.
This is government taking advantage of the market conditions and then looking to the long term — plus the added benefit of negotiating with the owner for a payback donation of $1 million.
But north, across the road, the Royal Palm Beach Village Council, in a similar situation, had the chance to purchase the Temple Beth Zion land, located directly on the RPB village campus and the missing piece in completing a full service area. They voted to not consider such an investment. This was a short-sighted response, having no thought to the advantage of purchasing the property while the price was more than right and knowing that it was a one-time opportunity. Instead, the council continues to be more interested in putting more and more money into parks, even a Taj Mahal for dogs. The RPB council acts as Aesop’s grasshopper in playing and paying for today and not planning for the future.
Congratulations to Wellington for getting past their differences and putting their leadership to work for their investors. As for Royal Palm Beach, some real leadership seems to be needed to get them to move forward and to invest in the future of their village and not squander the present.
G.L. Curtis, Royal Palm Beach