Saturday, May 6, 2017

“Is Arden really in the Village of Wellington”?

The blog post last week was titled, “Arden is open in Wellington! And it’s only about an hour from Lake Worth Beach!”

The answer is no. Arden is not in Wellington.

The community of Arden doesn’t even exist yet (here is ‘an address’, an empty lot, 912 Wandering Willow Way). Why is this important? Because the City of Lake Worth, its elected leaders and administration, needs to watch how the Village of Wellington deals with this. More about that below.

To put it mildly, the electeds in Wellington are not happy.

The “new master-planned community in Palm Beach County” called Arden is located at 19425 Southern Blvd. west of the Village of Wellington in unincorporated County. The Post beat reporter in Wellington, the actual village, is Matt Morgan. He penned an article titled, “Wellington has an issue with Arden development: It’s NOT in Wellington!” Here is an excerpt from the article:

     It’s a big deal for the council because it could mislead people who want to buy a home in Wellington and don’t realize it’s not in the village, McGovern [Vice Mayor John McGovern] said.
     When someone buys a home in one of these outside communities, Wellington doesn’t see any benefit in taxes or otherwise.
     “We want people who desire and intend to live here to know that by going there that is not what we’re doing,” McGovern said.

The Village of Wellington is very aware of its brand and how important it is to protect that. What will they do? It will be interesting to find out.

The City of Lake Worth lost its “brand” many years ago and is still trying to create one. For many people “Lake Worth” extends all the way to the edge of the Everglades. Some time back here in the City of Lake Worth some thought of a way to deal with this: create our own unique brand by renaming our City. Read about that using this link.

For someone thinking about running for a seat on the Lake Worth City Commission this is a ready-made campaign issue. Maybe even a winning one.

How badly has the “Lake Worth” brand been damaged? Consider just one example, our local beat reporter from the Post — from news about the number of homeless in our City (false and misleading data) to flawed crime data from real estate aggregation sites — just reports like those hurt and misrepresent our City for years to come.

If Matt Morgan wrote an article in the Post about Wellington that falsely misrepresented that City there would be hell to pay. But he knows how much pride there is in the brand they’ve spent decades working to create. 

Would a new name for our City do anything to help fix the false image of Lake Worth so many have? It’s at least “Worth” a conversation and community debate.