Wellington Council Nears Final Approval Of $134 Million Budget

The Wellington Municipal Complex.

The Wellington Village Council held its first formal public hearing on its budget for fiscal year 2021-22 on Monday, Sept. 13. The second public hearing and final adoption of the budget is set for Tuesday, Sept. 28.

Only two members of the public spoke regarding the budget, and both were in support. Also on the agenda was a series of housekeeping measures designed to keep village codes consistent with state ordinances.

Deputy Village Manager Tanya Quickel presented the balanced budget for the review, hearing and discussion.

“We remain committed to moving forward, forging a progressive way for the Village of Wellington that is sustainable in the future, as evidenced by your direction in policy here,” Quickel said.

The ad valorem tax rate remains at 2.47 mills, unchanged from the current year, in the total $134 million budget.

Property owners, however, may see a small increase in their local taxes if their property values increased.

Mayor Anne Gerwig stressed that the budget does not include any borrowing.

Vice Mayor John McGovern was happy with the village’s transparent budgeting process. “This is the budget that shows all the money that comes into the village from all sources, taxes, grants, everything,” he said.

Councilman Michael Napoleone added that it is a village budget that serves Wellington residents well.

“We have maintained services without raising the millage rate,” he said. “There are a lot of items that are in this budget. For example, the sheriff’s substation is not being built in this budget, it is just being designed in this budget.”

Gerwig said that could help the village get more grants.

“When grants come along, they are almost always a requirement in them that the project be ‘shovel ready,’ so for us to plan for these things that we’re not going to build yet, it’s good preparation,” she said.

Councilwoman Tanya Siskind thanked Quickel for her hard work. “You and your team do a great job of planning these projects and moving them along because they were planned, so they were ready for the next step,” Siskind said. “This is how the budget process works for projects.”

Councilman Michael Drahos supported paying for projects without borrowing. “We asked staff to find a way to pay for these things, so we don’t have to borrow money, and they’ve done it,” he said.

McGovern also noted that the budget sticks to keeping 25 percent reserves.

Quickel agreed. “We stick to that,” she said. “We have $16 million in unassigned reserves.”

McGovern added that it is also a budget that treats employees well.

“In the budget, we do not lay off a single person,” McGovern said. “We are giving a 3 percent raise, 2 percent cost-of-living and 1 percent for a merit raise for those who qualify for it.”

The staff’s budget analysis shows total revenues, transfers and balances of $59,829,231, with special revenue funds of $16,203,681. The capital funds, debt service and enterprise funds add to the total of $133,998.688.


  1. Vice Mayor John McGovern, does our Village really “treats employees well”? Let us do the math. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 14, 2021 Economic News Release Consumer Price Index, “cost-of-living” was 5.3% annually, not 2%. Even adding the merit raise it falls short of reality. In addition, what about our reserves? 25 percent of our “$134 million budget” is $33.5 million, not “…$16 million in unassigned reserves.”

    Our Mayor’s comments about grants seems awkward. However, is it good business to spend millions of our tax dollar on designing amenities that only the Council wants hoping the grants will bail them out? Kept in mind, that someone has to pay for these grants. How much of our taxes when to grants for another municipalities?

    Can the Council borrow money without We the People’s vote?

    After viewing the budget video, I have the following comments:

    This budget again subsidizes Palm Beach County School Board for $274,000 of our taxes. At least it’s not $12 million. In addition to subsidizing Palm Beach County Commission for $60,000 for public transit. Both of these government entities have a much larger budget than ours, so why are we subsidizing them?

    This budget is also, “buying lunch” ($51,150) for the Seniors Club instead of helping those seniors who really need help, like “Meals on Wheels” or “Area Agency on Aging.” The video also stated that we had 3,392 senior riders with the Wellington Star program.

    Apparently, there is many people throwing trash on our roadways, 1,155 bags. How many violations has be Village issued?

    Parks & Recreation had 308,000 participants in their programs. The projected 2021 population is 63,942 so did every person living in our Village participate in 5 programs? Or, are we subsidizing the parks and recreation programs of other municipalities?

    What do the 2,600 license businesses in Wellington get for our $100 yearly business tax? ($260,000). The county business tax is only $33.

    Finally while our Village maintains 375 land miles of our roadways, what about the numerous private roads? The north end of Forest Club Drive was own by a HOA that dissolved more than 20 years ago. This section of the road is used by 3 complexes, serving 274 homes or more than 500 cars. This section is truly a public road and I urge the Council to direct the Manager to include this with the Casa Nella Foresta roadway improvement. Let us spend our taxes on Village properties instead of subsidizing other governments.

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