Please complete the following District 6 candidate questionnaire for the Equestrian Sport Council. We ask that you stay within or close to the maximum number of words specified for certain questions.
We have 989 members of which about 250 are Wellington residents. We will make your responses available to our members by Facebook and email. Please return the completed questionnaire no later than 9:00 a.m., Thursday, October 24, 2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Please indicate the type(s) of equestrian events have you attended in Wellington:
I have attended all major equestrian events in Wellington including:
Show Jumping – WEF, Friday& Saturday Night Under the Lights, The National Horse Show, The Big and Small Shows
Polo – I attend nearly every Sunday event at IPC, and have attended events at Gulfstream and Everglades.
Arena Polo – El Sol and Polo West
Dressage – WEF, Dressage Under the Stars, Regionals, Dressage at IPC, Training Clinics, Olympic Trials
Various events at Little Wood, White Fences, Jim Brandon, Posse Grounds
3) Have you attended an event at the Van Kampen Covered Arena at Equestrian Village?
4) a. Please describe the importance you place on Wellington’s equestrian industry (scale of 1-10 with 10 highest) relative to the economies of:
Western Communities: 8
Palm Beach County: 8
b. General comments on economic importance (100 words):
The equestrian industry in Wellington is a major economic engine that drives our economy. Direct impact is derived from the property taxes, values and services related to the actual equestrian events. Further, direct impact is realized through tourism, hotels, restaurants, transportation, shopping, and local businesses providing the necessities required to service a major industry.
Wellington has become a world destination for equestrian events. Participants from foreign countries as well as local riders compete in all levels of competition and in the enjoyment of the horse world. There is a reason Wellington is called the Winter Equestrian Capital of the World.
5) As a County Commissioner what would you do (if anything) to help increase the economic benefits of Wellington’s equestrian industry? (150 words)
I will work with the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Board, Sports Commission, Business Development Board, Wellington Council and other public and private organizations to promote the equestrian industry. It would be nice to host the World Equestrian Games.
A number of venues are season specific and can be utilized more fully in the off season months. The equestrian grounds can be used for other non industry specific events as is the case with the International Polo Club and the various sporting events hosted during the non-equestrian months.
Evaluating alternative uses for county and privately owned venues opens many opportunities. Building on the concepts others have already put into place are car, motorcycling activities, hot air balloons, the arts and film industry, team sports like lacrosse, field hockey, baseball, softball, football, musical and festival. I look to how a venue or asset can be temporarily repurposed for even further benefit.
6) Do you believe there are any problems created by Wellington’s equestrian industry and if so do you have any remedies? (100 words)
Waste disposal from the industry is something that has been a problem. The County Commission also is the governing body of the Solid Waste Authority (SWA). The SWA has a new $700 Million mass burn incinerator scheduled to come on line shortly. The District 6 Commissioner should work diligently to explore all options of utilizing the incinerator as a solution to equestrian waste disposal. A long term solution that is required as the growth of the industry continues.
7) Wellington has had a much divided Village Council since the Wellington election of March, 2012. A council majority was elected (Bob Margolis, Matt Willhite, John Greene) that reversed approvals that had been granted to the already built Global Dressage venue at Equestrian Village.
In the 2014 Village election, the voters overwhelmingly re-elected the two incumbents (Anne Gerwig and Howard Coates) who were often at odds with the controlling majority on major issues. Unfortunately the 2014 election did not alleviate the divisiveness on the council. What if anything would you do to try and end the divisiveness? (150 words)
As a proponent of Home Rule governing, I would respect the will of the Wellington voters and support their choice in leadership decision making. The County should have a limited role if any in the governing decisions of the Wellington municipality.
I am a long time resident of Wellington and have appeared before the Council on more than one occasion to voice my opinions and concerns. I have the power to vote for my governing leaders as a resident and make my positions known.
Additionally, as a fully invested and committed owner of an equestrian facility in Wellington that derives income from the Winter Equestrian Festival, all actual and appearances of conflicts of interests need to be considered and eliminated as a county commissioner.
8) Please provide any additional comments regarding Wellington’s equestrian industry (150 words):
In 1999, I purchased my property in Paddock Park 2. Since the completion in 2004 of my boutique style facility that I personally designed from concept to completion, consisting of an eight stall barn, regulation dressage arena with mirrors, turnouts and 75 foot round pen, I have been fully invested in an equestrian property to support the industry. Riders including Steffen Peters, Lisa Wilcox, Marco Bernal and others have ridden in my arena.
When I chose Wellington and the equestrian industry as my home and a source of retirement income, I spared no expense in establishing my commitment to this community. Future plans call for even more investment to further enhance the existing level of my dedication.
I am the only candidate in this race to purchase and live in an agricultural property and have done so for more than ten years continuously with no plans for changing residency.