Our lovely village of Wellington, with its blue-blood equestrian lifestyle, tremendous schools and lush greenery, has long been the envy of many Floridians, especially when we get to rub elbows at the gym or Publix with neighbors like Bruce Springsteen, Bill Gates and Tommy Lee Jones. Until the Palm Beach Post published its interview with sugar farmer Rick Roth, who knew that Wellington was so special that we even have two current Florida state house representatives living in our village? Thanks, Rick Roth, for helping out our legitimately elected State Rep. Matt Willhite in looking out for Wellington in Tallahassee.
A quick search of public records shows that Roth filed with a Loxahatchee address on his financial disclosure in 2017 and from his daughter’s homesteaded home in West Palm Beach in 2018. His campaign account has his Wellington address as its place of business. The Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office shows his homestead exemption in Wellington’s Aero Club, and a homesteaded property is, according to Florida Statutes 196.012(18), “that place where a person has his or her true, fixed and permanent home and principal establishment to which, whenever absent, he or she has the intention of returning.”
When the Palm Beach Post questioned Roth about it, he was unclear which district he claims to live in: “Roth would not say whether his wife still lives in the Wellington home. ‘I can’t answer that question. What my wife and I do personally is nobody’s business,’ Roth said when asked about the homestead exemption. ‘I live in the district.’”
Nobody’s business, Rick. Really?
Voters living north of us in The Acreage and Palm Beach Gardens, who understandably would like their own resident state representative, can fix their problem and elect on Nov. 6 a candidate who lives and teaches in District 85, school teacher Ellen Baker.
Jody Young, Wellington