I enjoy reading the letters to the editor, and I particularly enjoy following some of the more prolific letter writers, including George Unger. I even find myself agreeing with him from time to time. Unfortunately, his last letter (“Underhanded Wellington Politics,” Feb. 5) completely missed the Mark (pun intended).
Mr. Unger decries the “disgusting new level” to which Wellington politics has fallen, however, he must have a very short memory. It was a scant four years ago when forces in this community, for their own selfish benefit, spent more than $1.4 million to elect Bob Margolis, Matt Willhite and John Greene (the three amigos) to the council.
Two years ago, another $425,000 was funneled through the state political party apparatus back to the local party, and amazingly ended up supporting a couple of nobodies against the re-election of Anne Gerwig and Howard Coates. Why? Because they couldn’t be controlled. Why weren’t you outraged about that? In spite of the outsider money, Gerwig beat her opponent by more than 62 percent.
The truth is that the last four years of the “amigo” administration has been disastrous for the Village of Wellington. Margolis, Willhite and Greene have wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer’s money fighting unnecessary fights against the dressage arena and the show grounds for their political benefactors, which made Wellington the laughing stock of the horse world and business community.
I know that it is sport in Wellington to bash Mark Bellissimo, and people either love him or hate him, but more than $1 million went to charity last Saturday night because of him, his family and his partners, whether you like it or not. And building a world-class equestrian center and dressage arena are hardly paving over the “pristine equestrian preserve.” But let’s not let the facts get in the way of some good local folklore.
After one year of work by the Charter Review Commission, Willhite introduced his own charter amendment affecting the equestrian preserve by preventing “transient housing,” which includes hotel accommodations and apartments. Willhite probably can’t even spell the word transient on his own. So who drafted this charter amendment that had nothing to do with the work of the Charter Review Commission? We’ll never know, but that’s the way the three amigos roll.
Did you follow the K-Park fiasco? Margolis, Willhite and Greene asked developers to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars submitting proposals to the village, and after ranking the most intensive use of the property the highest, including 400 rental apartments and plenty of commercial retail space, Margolis had the audacity to look the audience in the eye and claim to be a “tree hugger,” and announcing hypocritically that he would prefer K-Park to remain a park. Park? What park? It’s a tenant farm, not a park.
Development in Wellington does not run smoothly. Talk to any business person who has ever had the misfortune to have to apply for a permit to build out a retail space, or anyone who has ever applied to put an addition on their home. It’s almost impossible to get anything done in this town. That’s why we need change.
Alec Domb, Wellington