In Wellington, four seats on the Wellington Village Council could have been up for election this year, but only two drew more than one candidate. While Councilman John McGovern and Councilman-Elect Michael Napoleone were automatically awarded their seats, voters will weigh-in Tuesday, March 15 on one council seat and the mayor’s post.
MAYOR’S SEAT — In this race, voters will choose between incumbent Mayor Bob Margolis and his challenger, Councilwoman Anne Gerwig. Margolis brings decades of service to the community, having served on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board before six years on the council and his election as mayor in 2012. As a 33-year resident of Wellington, we respect his desire to give back to the community. However, the past four years have shown that he is not the best person to hold the gavel. Under his watch, a divided council has been ground to a halt by divergent personalities that he has been unable to bring into harmony. This has lost Wellington key staff members and has dragged it into a number of lawsuits.
Wellington needs a steadier hand, and that is Gerwig’s. Time and again, she has been shown to be more in touch with the residents of Wellington than other council members. She fought the council majority when it proposed to fire Village Manager Paul Schofield after Schofield guided the village brilliantly through an economic downturn. She was paying attention to the voice of the people. This is a role that Gerwig has played many times, such as when the village was willing to cut down trees that did not need to be destroyed. The council backed off and another solution was found. While other council members stand behind protocol, Gerwig is out in the community, speaking to people and seeking solutions to problems.
Make no mistake, Margolis is a good person who cares for this community. His key shortcoming is that he tends to be too willing to be a follower and too often is not the leader that Wellington needs. Gerwig can be that person. The Town-Crier endorses the election of Anne Gerwig as mayor of Wellington.
SEAT 1 — In this race, voters will choose between incumbent Vice Mayor John Greene and his challenger, attorney Michael Drahos. Greene is a far more polished candidate today than he was four years ago. Then, his knowledge of many issues was limited. He has come a long way in the last four years, now able to talk intelligently and charismatically about many of the issues facing Wellington. However, he has often been a divisive presence on the council, unwilling to compromise with those he disagrees with. While he rails about the special interests of others, he seems to clearly have special interests of his own. He also comes across as fairly thin-skinned, unwilling to accept criticism.
Drahos, on the other hand, brings a lifelong perspective of the village, having grown up in Wellington from a young age. He offers expertise on planning and zoning matters from his six years on the Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board, and also served two years on the Wellington Education Committee. His legal expertise has given him a vast understanding on the wide variety of issues Wellington faces. With deep roots in the community, Drahos is interested in moving Wellington forward and looking toward the future for the community, rather than continually fighting the battles of the past.
While both have good intentions for Wellington, Greene is more of a talker and Drahos more of a doer. The Town-Crier endorses the election of Michael Drahos to Seat 1 on the Wellington Village Council.