If you care about Wellington, smart growth, education and raising your family here, you need to care about the upcoming Village Council election.
Voting is scheduled for March 19, 2024. Yes, that’s months away. But it’s time to start paying attention — if you weren’t already.
There hasn’t been an election this important in Wellington in nearly a decade.
With three of the five council seats — Seat 1 held by Michael Drahos, Seat 4 held by Michael Napoleone and Mayor, the seat held by Anne Gerwig — up for election, and all three of the current council members in those seats term-limited, the majority of the council could change.
I say “could” because there is a possibility that one council member who is term-limited from his current position could return to the council, if he is elected mayor in March.
Either way, the body that oversees so much of what makes Wellington, Wellington, has the potential to go in a different direction.
The composition of the council — including members John McGovern and Tanya Siskind, who will be term-limited from their seats in March of 2026 — has remained the same since 2016.
That means for nearly a decade, the same five people have collaborated to direct Wellington’s trajectory.
With Wellington close to being built out, the future of any boundary expansion or major redevelopment within Wellington’s boundaries will be in the hands of this incoming council.
So far, eight people have filed to run: two for Seat 1, three for Seat 4 and three for Mayor.
The candidate qualifying window is from noon Nov. 7 — happy birthday to me! — to noon Nov. 21.
Wellington’s charter states that candidates for council must be registered to vote in Florida, live in Wellington and maintain residency in the village throughout their term in office.
While eight people have filed to run, more could file and qualify before that November deadline.
Want to keep an eye on who’s running? Click here for the election information page on Wellington’s website. You also can contact Village Clerk Chevelle Addie for more information at 561-791-4118.
Who is running?
Here’s a look at who has filed to run. If you’ve lived in Wellington for longer than 10 years, some of these will be familiar names, including Michael Napoleone — current council member and vice mayor who is running for mayor — and Bob Margolis, a former Wellington mayor and council member.
Mayor: Michael Napoleone, Bart Novack and Kesnel Theus
(Candidates: If I have an incorrect website linked above, please click here to email me.)
Because this is a municipal race, you should expect to see all of these candidates at local events and speaking with groups and organizations to share their platforms.
Not sure how to talk with a candidate?
Here are some Wellington-specific questions to help you start the conversation:
- What is your position on growth and redevelopment? What are Wellington’s opportunities, and what are its strengths?
- What is your ideal future use for Wellington’s K-Park property on the southwest corner of Stribling Way and State Road 7?
- How do you feel about development in the equestrian preserve?
- How would you work with local agency partners to alleviate traffic issues in and around Wellington?
- What more can Wellington do to ensure our public schools remain top-of-the-line?
- With growing inflation, what can Wellington’s government do to make sure it continues to be fiscally sound?
I would suggest choosing one or two questions that are the most important to you so that when you meet a candidate, you can quickly find out how their values align with yours. Remember to keep it as local and Wellington-specific as possible.
It’s never too early to start caring about local government.
If you aren’t a registered voter, there’s still plenty of time. The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections’ website has more information about how to register to vote.
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