Amanda Silvestri And Maria Antuña Win Seats On The Wellington Village Council

Amanda Silvestri and Maria Antuña celebrate after the runoff results were announced Tuesday evening. Photo by Denise Fleischman

More than 5,000 residents voted in the Village of Wellington’s runoff election for two council seats held Tuesday, April 2. When the votes were counted, Amanda Silvestri and Maria Antuña had narrowly won election to the two open seats on the Wellington Village Council.

According to unofficial results from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office, in the race for Seat 1, Amanda Silvestri took 2,583 votes (51.79 percent) to the 2,404 votes (48.21 percent) garnered by former Mayor Bob Margolis.

In the race for Seat 2, Maria Antuña took 2,589 votes (51.75 percent) to the 2,414 votes (48.25 percent) garnered by Shelly Albright.

Silvestri and Antuña will take their seats on the dais at the Tuesday, April 9 council meeting.

Antuña was thrilled by the results. She noted that she will now become the first Hispanic person to sit on the council in Wellington.

“Also, this is the first time that three women will be sitting on the council together,” Antuña added.

She thanked everyone who supported her over the last several months.

“It was a hard race. We put a lot of hard work into it,” Antuña said. “We knocked on 1,100 homes in the span of the entire election. It was amazing. I got to know a lot of the residents of Wellington and their concerns, which for me was very important.”

In her campaign, Antuña was critical of the former council’s decision to support the Wellington Lifestyle Partners project. Now that she will be taking a seat on the council, Antuña said her top priority will be to ensure that the requirements placed on that project are fully met.

Other top priorities are “to continue to support our public safety, our police and firefighters, to keep our neighborhoods safe, and to ensure that we are going to protect the equestrian lifestyle, including the land.”

She also wants to work within the village and regionally to fight traffic and find solutions to gridlock.

Keeping with her campaign theme to curb overdevelopment, Antuña said that she has particular concerns with development proposals on the K-Park property owned by Wellington in the State Road 7 area.

“I believe that is something that we need to take a slow pace and continue discussion on what we could do with that property,” she said.

While she has thoughts on a wide array of issues, Antuña said she plans to meet with people to learn more about things before taking action.

“Since I was just elected last night, I want the opportunity to have discussions so that I am prepared,” Antuña said on Wednesday.

For example, she needs to look into the village’s recent rule changes regarding vacation rental properties.

“During my door-to-door knocking, I did ask residents their concerns, and the Airbnb issue was a frequent concern,” Antuña said, adding that she wants to make sure there isn’t more that the village can do to crack down on problematic short-term rental properties.

Silvestri is also eager to get to work on behalf of Wellington residents.

“I am so thankful to the people of Wellington for choosing me and trusting me to work for them,” she said. “I am excited to be sworn in on April 9 and get to work. My main goal is to serve Wellington with transparency and ensure that when I make my decisions, the well-being of our residents and the village as a whole are front and center.”

Silvestri also opposed the WLP project and promised to keep her eye on it as it progresses.

“I was not in favor of the recent rezoning and removal of the land from the equestrian preserve,” she said. “I look forward to working closely with everyone involved to ensure that this project is done properly, and all conditions are met.”

Silvestri is also concerned about what that project will bring to that entire part of the village.

“I have concerns about too many things being developed on South Shore Blvd.,” she said. “This area gets very backed up with traffic, and adding a strip mall, hotel and condominiums will not help matters.”

Her other goals are to “support world-class public safety, keep taxes low, support local businesses and preserve our parks and green space.”