Councilwoman Anne Gerwig and her financial backers are misleading voters with half-truths.
The accusation that Mayor Bob Margolis had a technical ethics violation in 2012 has been the subject of numerous television commercials and multiple mailings. What they don’t say is that this issue was forced by circumstances outside of Bob’s control. After winning both the election and the recount, Ms. Gerwig still refused to swear Bob in, and his opponents filed a lawsuit, forcing Bob to defend his mayoral win. A legal defense fund was established, and donations into that fund were reviewed.
The other thing they don’t say is that Anne Gerwig committed ethics violations herself in 2012, 2013 and 2014 when she failed to file the appropriate forms with the Commission on Ethics pertaining to financial gifts she had received. The ethics commission found probable cause, and she negotiated a settlement… just like Bob.
The Margolis campaign has not harped on ethics violations. Neither candidate is unethical; the violations were both technical in nature and neither affect the way Anne or Bob perform their jobs for our village.
But another issue that does affect the way Ms. Gerwig performs her duties as a council member is quite apparent. As an elected official, it is your job to determine when you have a conflict of interest and recuse yourself from voting on items that could enhance your own personal wealth. On 22 different occasions, Ms. Gerwig determined that a conflict of interest existed, making her unable to vote on the topic at hand. As a result, on those 22 occasions, she refrained from having involvement in major issues affecting our village, such as the sheriff’s contract, the tennis center, the community center, a trail crossing by Palm Beach Point, issues surrounding the use of K-Park, etc… No one begrudges the success of her family’s business or the partnerships that she has established, but the conflicts they present keep Anne Gerwig from doing the job that the people of Wellington elected her to do. I applaud her ability to recognize when she has a conflict of interest and step aside. Unfortunately, you can make money from the taxpayers, or you can represent them as their elected official — but, as Anne Gerwig has decided 22 times and counting, you cannot do both.
Kathleen Kurit, Wellington