Wellington Council Discusses Use Of Logo, Village Seal

Wellington Village Council members tentatively approved a measure Tuesday to clear up some confusion over which combination of its logos and mottos constitute the village’s official seal.

For many years, Wellington used a seal with three trees, but it was recently redesigned to include a symbol of the village’s equestrian elements and, later, the tagline, “A great hometown, let us show you.”

Village Attorney Laurie Cohen noted that state law lets municipalities develop their own official seals and specify how they can be used. However, she noted that the horse head and slogan had never been officially included in Wellington’s seal.

“We’re proposing that we designate these as part of the official Wellington seal,” she said. “So, along with the trees that have traditionally been our logo, this would allow any combination in any color to be considered the official village seal.”

The ordinance would also allow staff to create regulations for outside parties to use the seal at Wellington’s discretion.

Councilman Matt Willhite asked what the difference between an official and unofficial use would be. Cohen explained that an official use of the seal comes from the village, while unofficial would be used by a third party, such as a charity or other organization.

“You can choose to allow unofficial use of the seal, or just reserve it for official use,” Cohen said.

Willhite said he agreed with the regulations to allow unofficial use, but wanted to see rules drafted for official use of the seal by representatives of the village, such as employees. Village Manager Paul Schofield said the matter could be handled internally.

Willhite asked for clarification about using the logos together or separately. “What can we do with these?”

Cohen said Wellington could choose to use the trees by themselves, the horse head or the slogan, and it would be considered an official seal. “It allows for any combination in any color,” she said.

Councilwoman Anne Gerwig asked about village partners using the seal. “If we partner with the Boys & Girls Club, will they be allowed to use the seal?” she asked.

Cohen said they would, if they are authorized to do so. “My recollection is that when we are a co-sponsor of things, we allow the seal to be used. It’s being used in its official capacity,” she said, adding that anyone who uses the village seal and is not an employee or representative of Wellington would have to request permission to use it.

Gerwig suggested companies making presentations to the village be allowed to use the seal in a presentation.

Vice Mayor Howard Coates said he wanted to make it clear that the village is not changing its official seal but merely adding additional options. “We are not changing anything,” he said. “We are adding some language and a slogan to accentuate our existing logo.”

Cohen agreed. “We’re just adding some flexibility in what we can use as our village seal,” she said.

Coates acknowledged that Wellington’s classic orange and green seal has become part of the village’s history. “I think part of the concern is we know there is a history in the orange and green trees,” he said.

Cohen said the council could choose to eliminate the other seals and use only the orange and green trees. Then Coates pointed out that even that had not been officially designated Wellington’s seal, and she agreed. “None of this has been officially designated,” Cohen said. “The only thing that has been done is the orange trees have been copyrighted.”

Willhite didn’t like the potential for the seal to be used in any color and said there should be official colors. “If you wanted to put it on a shirt in another color, you could do that, but I think these should be the official colors,” he said.

Cohen said that would be possible, but noted that if someone changed the color of the logos, it would no longer be an official seal. “You can direct the manager to say you want the seal in the green color, but designate the seal in any color if future councils want to change it,” she said.

Willhite asked whether state law allows for two official seals. Cohen said there was no language that says two seals are permitted, but noted that the wording to allow “any combination” of the logos in the official seal would allow Wellington to use any portion of the seal in an official capacity.

Gerwig said she didn’t want to see Wellington replace its existing signs to change the colors.

“Although I see the benefit of branding, I wouldn’t want to replace all the existing entry signs, as they don’t seem to have a uniform,” she said. “But, in the future, I would say we use the seal. I just don’t want to see us replace everything we have.”

Willhite agreed. “I do think we have too many renditions of the seal,” he said. “I’m not suggesting we go back and change anything.”

Schofield suggested that the official seal be designated in its original colors to be used on official documents and other items but that the council also protect the ability to use it in other colors.

“What you see in those colors is what we can begin transitioning everything to,” he said.

Gerwig made a motion to approve the ordinance setting guidelines, which carried 4-0, with Councilman John Greene absent due to illness. The ordinance will get a second look later this month.


ABOVE: The different elements of Wellington’s logo under consideration to be part of the village seal.


  1. If you think you live in Wellington, think again. You live in Willhiteton. For years, Councilman Willhite has expressed his disdain for the Washingtonian Palms that line Aero Club Drive.

    Now, an ‘experiment’ is taking place, with the urging of the Councilman, to remove the trees. This ‘experiment’ was secret. No charettes, no meetings, no discussions with homeowners (all which would have probably happened if the removal had been in the precious moneyed Equestrian Preserve).

    Washingtonian Palms are highlighted in Highwaymen art. They are a part of the FL landscape. They lift the eye and present a link between the landscape and the broad sky-a skyline prospective. But, Councilman Willhite wants HIS way. He wants them all gone. He has worked for years to get this done because these trees do not meet with HIS approval.

    Think about the palms that line Forest Hill Blvd near South Shore. They present their trunks to the traveling public. Their large branches have caused cars to stop and change lanes because they fall into traffic lanes and are so huge that the undercarriage of a car could be damaged. The other day when traveling by this area a huge part of a palm fell into a car lane and just missed damaging a car. Wait to Wellington starts getting a bill for damage to vehicles from these palms.

    Councilman Willhite is a micromanager. He wants his way with everything in the village. From the overcost of the 911 Memorial (he personally decided not to accept a regular beam from the building and chose the extra large beam which had to be re-engineered at an additional cost to the taxpayers. He said the memorial would be paid for by donations, but, unfortunately left the Village in debt with the costs and also with high on-going maintenance costs. And Willhite, once again wants the council to spend more money hiring more employees-grant writers for Wellington. That seems to be all he wants to do…spend, spend, spend.

    Can’t wait till the guy is termed out of office. He directs staff. He talks rudely to Wellington administration and staff during televised meetings. He divides Wellington residents. He was the one who caused the public to come out and support Village Manager Schofield when Councilman Willhite wanted to fire Schofield. He causes such dissension on the council. He fails to compromise and a review of his voting record reflects that. A difficult, difficult person. The other Council members give too much sway to Mr. Willhite.

    Sorry, I ever voted for the guy.

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