Yesterday I received a phone call for polling about our local politics in Wellington.
The first question was about Jess Santamaria, to which I told the pollster that he was not a Wellington politician and no longer a county commissioner having retired.
Then came some reasonable questions about our village, something that was actually informative. But after I completed my responses, the lady stated, “I’m going to give to you some statements and then ask you questions afterward.” She then proceeded to a litany of character assassinations of both Mayor Bob Margolis and Vice Mayor John Greene, asking nothing about Mike Drahos at all and one innocuous question about Anne Gerwig.
The entire line of questions appeared to be as if Mark Bellissimo wrote the questions, and his name was mentioned therein. After each personal attack on the two sitting candidates came, “Would you vote for this person now having heard this information?”
I told the pollster that this was not a phone poll but rather an advertisement of insulting nature.
Wellington has always had relatively gentlemanly discussions and debates for our local candidates, but this brings Wellington politics to a disgusting new level.
Anne Gerwig changed the scene in her last election by introducing her political party affiliation, which had never been the case here, as most of us don’t look to parties but rather our own people’s convictions in our village, but now it has graduated to something much less neighborly.
All the dissension of the past few years has emanated from one source — Mr. Bellissimo and his mouthpieces at the Wellington Chamber Of Commerce. We have no problem here with development, but it must be approved, construction must not proceed without permits, and this poll and the mentioning of Mr. Bellissimo and Anne Gerwig (whose husband is a engineer) screams of acrimony that has followed both these persons. I have been on the architectural review and the planning and zoning committees, and except for Mr. Bellissimo, cannot recall any bitterness or fighting with any other applicant…
We have a wonderful village, with a thriving commercial aspect, that fits nicely into our community, and I always try to shop locally to help our neighborhood stores. Our equestrian element is world-renowned, and certainly Mr. Bellissimo has expanded it. But it was here and healthy, long before he arrived. I find it tragic that one developer can create such dissension…
Hint: When 99 percent of village development goes along quite smoothly, one has to wonder why one developer can change the atmosphere into acrimonious bombast, and now obviously seeming to intervene into our politics.
I’m sorry that our local politics has come to this. I have been on village committees for almost 20 years, volunteering my time with many others to improve and insure our quality of life. Sadly, some would overbuild, congest our roads, put hotels in the middle of our pristine equestrian preserve, all in the name of the almighty buck.
No, the poll that was a cover for a vicious and underhanded methodology will not affect me. I shall vote for the sitting members of our council. I will not support Anne Gerwig for mayor, for truly she is the only backer of development unstopped, and her missed votes on so many development issues (she has to absent herself due to her husband’s activities) makes her a non-viable candidate, in my opinion.
George Unger, Wellington