Tony Nelson, Village Council Seat 2

  • What are your top three areas of concern?

In order of priority, 

-Accelerate and continue the education and implementation of the Inclusion and Diversity Initiative.

-Growth and support   for the re-development of existing businesses and provide opportunities for new small businesses in Wellington, thus expanding local job opportunities.

-Recognize and make improvements in the marginal housing and neighborhoods in Wellington.

How long have you lived in Wellington? Name an accomplishment that you are proud of.  

35 years.  The quiet role that I played with the medical marijuana initiative in Wellington from the individual meetings with every council member and the Village manager to the vetting of medical marijuana vendors to the selection of, and contracting of MUV, as a tenant in one of our real estate ventures.

How has the Village Council handled the pandemic and what improvements, if any, do you have in mind?

Overall, the Village has handled the response to the pandemic well. After all, both the Village of Wellington and the county, contractually appointed my Premier team as the first responders. When the county asked the Village to serve as a testing site for the western communities, the Village chose my team. While most businesses were closed and many of the Village employees were working from home for months, I led my team through a series of meeting with the County Medical Director, Dr. Alonzo and her team and the county and city employees. The work culminated in the development of the first Village successful testing site.

How can the Village Council support local businesses, including the Mall at Wellington Green?  

It all begins with the Chambers of Commerce. Between the Wellington Chamber and the Central Palm Beach County Chamber, there are over 158 (Wellington Chamber 132 and Central Palm Beach Chamber 26) categories of business.  I would not even begin to respond to these issues without first meeting with the outstanding and long-time members of the Village Chambers.

How can the Village of Wellington prioritize diversity?

By recognizing and prioritizing this national issue.  It needs a Champion on the Council. Currently, there are 4 council members and the mayor leading the council.  That’s 5 leaders!  They spend a great deal of their time responding JOINTLY to the same issues.  It’s great that they all get along so well, and I will continue that camaraderie, however, I will not be available for every photo opportunity with my fellow council members as I will probably be responding to issues that currently have not made the prioritized agenda.  Imagine if, like a business, your leaders had the ability to individually respond and address issues and concerns throughout the Village as opposed to always attending the same “photo opps”? How much more would we effect by responding to more Village opportunities as individuals simultaneously?

What safety issues are you concerned about in Wellington? 

Primarily two… The level of speeding throughout the Village and the vehicle break -ins, specifically the ability for criminals to gain access into private communities and gated communities.

Are you in favor of the proposed pool project, building two resort style pools (estimated as an over 12-million-dollar project)?  Why or why not? 

I am not opposed to building one, however at this time, how can this project be prioritized over the concerns of small businesses, marginal housing, veterans’ logistical medical challenges and, of course, accelerating the diversity conversation before another national episode?  I would delay this project.

What role should the Village Council play in supporting the equestrian side of Wellington?

I believe that the council has, over the years, positively supported the equestrian side of Wellington.  I would continue this strong support.  It’s one of the primary reasons why I moved to Wellington 35 years ago.  However, I believe that with the past and current councils, this has been given priority over all other opportunities, resulting in missed or delayed opportunities.

What’s the best thing about living in Wellington, according to you?

 A plus rated schools.

How can you help to address the issue of affordable housing, as rent and mortgage rates continue to rise?

Many people dislike the Federal government until they need assistance from Federal government programs. (As opposed to increasing taxes within their respective communities). In 2019, the Federal government spent $51 billion on housing assistance programs.  This was only 1 percent of all Federal spending so certainly not a burden to taxpayers.  Programs like the tenant based rental assistance, project-based rental and homeowners assistance and programs, which include supportive housing for elderly and disabled, need to be explored by the Village.  This would help respond to my top 3 initiatives, allowing for small businesses to employ “some” residents that actually live within the same community where they work.

What major issues need to be addressed in our education system? 

The financial ability for teachers, administrators, and school staff to live within the same community as students and parents.

What advantages do you have over your opponent(s)? 

Experience related to the priorities that I have identified. I believe that I have performed more community service in Wellington than my opponents over my 35 years as a resident. Regarding business, I have more successful business leadership experience than my opponents.  Additionally, the businesses that I have had senior leadership roles with, at my direction or request, have participated in more community service events than that of my opponents.  Lastly, I have strong fiduciary planning, budgeting and oversight experience of budgets exceeding $160 million.


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