Wellington Winterfest moved; Chamber of Commerce slams Wellington leaders

Winterfest plans change sparks anti-business claim

WELLINGTON, Fla. - Accusations of Wellington being anti-business are coming from the cities Chamber of Commerce president in the form of a letter.

The letter written by Alec Domb blasts the village for not responding to plans for this year's Winterfest amongst other projects the Village council hasn't approved.

Newly-elected Mayor Bob Margolis said the accusations are driven more by politics than business. 

Wellington's amphitheater was the place for Winterfest last year, but this year, it looks like the event's headliner, Vanilla Ice, will be gracing the stage at a different location.

"The (Mayor and the Village Manager) said to us send us an email let us know the events you want to hold and we will get back to you," Domb said. "That was on August 28th.  We've waited and they've never got back to us."

Margolis said he does support the Winterfest event, but the decision isn't one that comes to council.  He said staff must approve the request.

Domb said he never contacted staff to book the venue, but instead he responded with a lengthy letter, blasting the work of the Mayor and the village council.

"These guys have not done what they've needed to do since they've been elected. They're anti-business," Domb said.

"It's easy to say anti-business without looking at the facts of what Wellington is," Margolis said. "It's a bedroom community and most of our residents go someplace else to work."

The anti-business sentiment is nothing new for Bob Margolis.

Earlier in the year, he met with the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce about the stigma.

"We told them that 95 percent is residential and only about 3 percent is commercial," he said. "We agree that there should be more businesses, but I care about the businesses that are vacant now."

"I'm not talking about renting a space," Domb said. "I'm talking about people who want to build a structure or build a business."

The mayor's response is that Wellington is at build out right now and there are not many more places where jobs can be created.

Winterfest will be held December first at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center instead of the Amphitheater as of right now.

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