Wellington’s Vision: Still Kicking The Can Down The Road

As Wellington continues to grow, much discussion has been had on what it should look like in the future. Whether you favor economic growth, a bedroom community or a little bit of both, Wellington needs a cohesive vision for the future before progress catches up.

Past attempts to plan for future growth, such as Wellington 2060 and the Medical Arts District, have fallen by the wayside, leaving Wellington struggling to find its identity while other communities take advantage of growth opportunities — opportunities Wellington could continue to miss out on to the detriment of its residents.

After nearly eight hours of discussion on Wellington’s future Wednesday, only one thing was clear: more discussion and a lot more action will be needed to carve out a clear vision going forward. Although much was said at the meeting, key issues — from senior housing and K-Park to community development — were left with vague intentions and plans for more discussion sometime in the future.

This has been a continuous problem for Wellington, not just with the current council, but with just about all councils dating back to incorporation. Lack of consensus leads to big issues being pushed back and delayed. Senior residents, for example, know very well the sound of empty promises being made for future plans. After a long discussion on senior issues this week, what was the action plan? Another survey.

If discussion of the issues seemed more pleasant this week, it’s because council members seemed to agree only to continue to kick the can down the road, saving actual decision-making for another day. Seniors have been asking for affordable housing for a decade, and the fate of K-Park is being left to the vision of developers who hope to attain the property, rather than the council, which remains wishy-washy on exactly what should go there.

The starting point for discussion should be a clear idea of the identity Wellington needs going forward, whether it’s a bedroom community, economic hub or equestrian mecca. With those ideas in mind, council members can then decide whether projects fit that vision, not the other way around.

Recent divisiveness in the community is partly to blame, as leaders have struggled to work together in a professional manner, let alone come to a consensus on key issues. But if Wellington is going to continue to prosper, council members must come together and make concrete plans — not just throw out vague ideas. With split ideologies on the dais, it’s unlikely everyone will be happy, but this council must learn to compromise for the good of today’s residents, and tomorrow’s.