Wellington Walk and Talk program gives residents chance to learn, vent


A young mother holds her child as she stands next to her car and speaks with a code enforcement officer. An elderly man stands outside his home speaking with a law enforcement officer.

These are scenes you could find during one of Wellington’s Walk and Talk program installments, where village staff and officials join Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies to hoof it through neighborhoods, answer questions and hear feedback.

WELLINGTON READERS: Sign up for The Post’s weekly newsletter for Wellington news

The program put on by the village’s Community Services Department has been around in some form for nearly a decade, and provides Wellington residents an opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation about the issues and programs that affect their neighborhood.

The Walk and Talk program will be in these neighborhoods from 4-6 p.m.: Pine Valley on Jan. 9, Folkestone/Yarmouth on Jan. 23, Goldenrod on Feb. 6, the multi-family homes on 12th Fairway on Feb. 20, Periwinkle/Lily on March 6, the south side of Hawthorne on March 13 and Westhampton on March 20.

LIST: Wellington’s top 5 stories of 2017

The concerns raised during each Walk and Talk can vary depending on the neighborhood and time of year, Assistant Village Manager Jim Barnes said.

“It truly is reaching out to the residents,” he said.

The Walk and Talks also give residents the chance to meet people behind their utilities requests, or code compliance notices, or even the village’s annual holiday food and toy drives, which are organized by Community Services.

“You’re putting faces with names and you have a contact, so it’s not a blind number that you’re calling at Village Hall,” Barnes said.

RELATED: Two Wellington parks projects in works with sales tax money

The Community Services Department also coordinates with Neighborhood Watch groups, some of which have evolved from Walk and Talks through the years, Barnes said.

Where a Walk and Talk focuses on individual residents’ concerns, a Neighborhood Watch meeting can be a way for residents to “provide the village with their concerns and comments more effectively as a group,” Barnes said.

He added that entire neighborhoods are able to meet with essentially the same team that does the Walk and Talks: Community Services, code compliance, PBSO and other village staff and officials.

Many questions involve crime or neighborhood upkeep. And Walk and Talks can be scheduled to address issues the village sees as well. After a rash of car burglaries this fall, members of the village council joined staff to go door-to-door in one of the affected shopping plazas.

RELATED: Tennis pros plan ‘sports ranch’ on part of Palm Beach Polo north course

While Barnes acknowledged the team members may not have all the answers at the time, they take notes and call residents back, or have a person in the appropriate department reach out instead.

“Even if we’re just a clearinghouse for additional information sources, that’s a big help to residents,” Barnes said.

“The big thing is we’re bringing the village to them,” he added.

For more information about Wellington’s Walk and Talk or Neighborhood Watch programs, go to www.wellingtonfl.gov or call Wellington’s Community Services Department at 561-791-4796.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Ibuprofen appears to mess with male hormones. Should you be worried?

In recent decades, prompted by concerns that men’s sperm quality is declining, researchers have looked at things they suspect of potentially disrupting the body’s endocrine system - from chemicals in water bottles to WiFi laptops to wearing tight underwear instead of boxers. You can add ibuprofen to the list. In a study published in the...
Lifestyle changes for better blood pressure
Lifestyle changes for better blood pressure

If you’re worried about high blood pressure, there are some things you can do beyond taking appropriate medication. The American Heart Association (AHA) points to some not-so-difficult lifestyle changes to delay or lower high pressure and reduce the risk of illnesses associated with it, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Here&rsquo...
So what’s high blood pressure?
So what’s high blood pressure?

When headlines about new blood pressure guidelines pinged across my phone recently, I remembered a man my inpatient team had admitted to the hospital not long ago. He had gotten up in the middle of the night to use the toilet and passed out, hitting his head on the floor. The first people to find him described him twitching, so he initially got a battery...
5 reasons not to diet in 2018, and what to do instead
5 reasons not to diet in 2018, and what to do instead

January, a.k.a. National Dieting Month, is once again upon us. Before you sign up for another a restrictive eating plan that has been designed by someone who doesn’t even know you, here are five reasons to opt out of diet culture this year. 1. Diets don’t work. Anyone who says they have found the proven way to lose weight and keep it off...
JUST IN: Third person hit by Brightline train since debut last week
JUST IN: Third person hit by Brightline train since debut last week

For the third time in the week since the Brightline train started its service from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale, a person has been hit by the passenger train, according to Fort Lauderdale police. Detective Tracy Figone, public information officer for the police department said, a pedestrian attempted to cross the train tracks at Northeast 3rd...
More Stories