- The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board
In Wellington, this year’s election for two Village Council seats lacks the polarizing rhetoric and soaring campaign contributions of 2016. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues for voters to weigh.
These same voters who decided to limit development within the Equestrian Preserve by approving a controversial charter amendment, on March 13 must decide who is best equipped to handle Wellington’s continued transition to a mature city.
SEAT 2: Councilwoman Tanya Siskind, 49, has served ably since her appointment two years ago when Anne Gerwig stepped down to become mayor. Recognizing her strengths, she right away stepped up to become a leading voice supporting the village’s public schools.
The Post endorses Siskind because she has also made public safety a top priority, as strengthening the village’s already good relationship with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office will be key to the success of initiatives like Operation Wild Stallion — a three-month crackdown on driving under the influence and underage drinking. Siskind also emphasizes the importance of the village being proactive about joining the county’s fight against the opioid epidemic.
“We’re in a good position, financially, but we must remain fiscally responsible,” Siskind told The Post Editorial Board. For example, she said village staffing is “right where it should be currently at about 314 employees for 63,000 residents, but we can reduce that to about 280 or so through attrition and by doing away with unnecessary positions and still maintain a higher quality of service.”
Her opponent is Frank Ferrano, a 61-year-old auto parts store owner and former village utilities department director, who also prioritizes fiscal responsibility, but whose warnings about future shortfalls seem ill-founded.
SEAT 3: The Post endorses Councilman John McGovern, 43, for re-election.
McGovern says the village “has to begin adjusting to the fact that growth is causing the village to become the geographic center of Palm Beach County.”
Beyond committing to keep taxes low and funding public safety, he said, “we have to place an emphasis on overall strategic planning.”
To that end, he said the village must continue to attract families by supporting its public schools, considering community development block grants to help repair aging housing stock and exploring housing assistance for white-collar professionals like teachers and firefighters.
His opponent, Bart Novack, 61, did not accept an invitation to meet with The Post Editorial Board.
Read all of The Post’s endorsements online at www.MyPalmBeachPost.com/2018-endorsements.