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Greater Political Influence – and Other Benefits –
for Wellington Homeowners

A grass-roots movement is under way to provide a greater political voice for Wellington homeowners. The Council of Community Associations (CCA), spearheaded by a number of HOA Presidents, will provide an important communications bridge between homeowners and their government representatives. It will function through a Homeowners Advisory Board, comprised of Presidents of major HOAs and POAs in the Wellington area, currently representing 66 homeowner associations (expected to increase to over 100 by year-end).

This effort is supported by Wellington Mayor Bob Margolis and other members of the Village Council, by Wellington City Manager Paul Schofield, and by other local officials. [See the Government section in What They're Saying.]

Working together with the Village, the Homeowners Advisory Board can achieve the twin pillars of good governance – greater voter evolvement and government transparency – provided in large part by the improved communications and other programs offered by the Palm Beach Grapevine, the website of the Associations. Even more important to residents is the greater influence with political leaders that translates into major improvements in their lives and lifestyles.

 

The Little-Known Secret for Gaining Political Influence

The most powerful, yet so simple and basic, way to increase your influence with elected officials is to VOTE. However, as few voters understand, the admonition to vote is not because of the "Every Vote Counts" theory but rather because of the little-known fact that elected officials rely on the actual voting records of an HOA or other association in determining the extent of the accommodation that they will offer these communities. They also view their size and commonalty of interest. Thus, a 1,000-home HOA with a 10% voting record would have nowhere near the influence that an amalgamation of HOAs comprised of 10,000 homes with a 60% voting record would enjoy.

This influence is emphasized by the experiences of other federations of HOAs in Palm Beach County. They have all told us that their government officials take their wishes into serious consideration in passing legislation. If they are unsure, they ask the federations BEFORE proceeding. Surprisingly, Wellington is virtually the only municipality in Palm Beach County where the HOAs have not joined together into a federation, and therefore lack political clout (and the benefits of the economies of scale, such as in buying group insurance). This failure to amalgamate is due to lack of a catalyst until now, and not because of any resistance by Wellington officials. Rather, they have been very supportive of our efforts to amalgamate. See Support Letter from Wellington and What They’re Saying: Government.

One way to increase participation in the electoral process is to incentivize voters. Our elected representatives, knowing that we are sensitive to their actions, will be more inclined to recognize the needs of residents over those of special interests.

We recognize that special interests are not necessarily a negative force; and indeed often provide valuable resources to a community. Unfortunately, however, some special interests are detrimental and should be contained. Knowing that voters are supporting their actions against negative interests, legislators will be buoyed by that support, and protect the community's interests more vigorously.

Over time we hope to make Wellington and Palm Beach County jurisdictions among the most voter-involved in the country.

Greater Political Influence

One of the primary goals of the Council of Community Association is to increase the influence of the HOAs in Wellington, which have a large commonality of interest, by amalgamating them into a larger group and encouraging them, through a variety of programs, to vote.

  1. Improved Communications. Our website, the Palm Beach Grapevine, provides a number of unique communications techniques to improve communications among HOAs, homeowners and Village officials. See Homeowners: Messages and Government Officials: Messages. Further, these are easy to prepare and very interactive because of the templates, portals and "push technology" that we provide. See Homeowners: Guide.

  2. Candidates' Forum. This regular feature is aimed at increasing voter involvement and transparency. It is the result of a joint effort by the Council of Community Associations and the Homeowners Advisory Board. See Candidates' Forums.  

  3. Town Hall Meetings.  Starting this season, our Homeowners Advisory Board will sponsor monthly meetings with our government representatives, at Village, County, State and Federal levels, as well as heads of major Departments and Committees, such as Seniors, Education, Sheriff, Fire Rescue, State Attorney, Planning and Zoning, and Equestrian. This will allow residents to question and interact directly with the people who have a major impact on their families’ lives and lifestyles. 

  4. Issues Checklist. As part of our goal to strengthen the twin pillars of good governance -- increased voter involvement and transparency– we will provide an “Issues Checklist” showing the position of our legislators, by vote or commitment, on issues of major significance to their constituents. While these issues will initially be defined by members of our Advisory Boards, we invite other organizations to submit issues which they believe are of importance to the community. The Checklist will reflect the position of our legislators on these issues. However, we recognize that not all issues can be simplistically answered with a "yes" or "no" response. Therefore, we provide the opportunity for them to explain, clarify or discuss the nuances of their position. Their comments can be accessed by clicking on their initials (in the first row) or on their name (in the legend). See Issues Checklist.

Existing Benefits

The Council of Community Associations, through its Palm Beach Grapevine Website, offers scores of benefits to general viewers -- with additional benefits for members of an Approved Association. These benefits, which are constantly being enhanced, are discussed in the General Benefits Users Guide.

Planned Benefits (Wish List)

Along with our Homeowners Advisory Board, we are developing a number of new benefits in conjunction with the Village of Wellington and other local institutions. This Homeowners “Bucket List” is comprised of programs that will provide meaningful savings to residents, generate increased revenues for local business, alert residents to little-known activities and benefits offered by the Village of Wellington and make living in Wellington even more rewarding – moving Wellington even higher on the “Top 100 Places to Live.” Among the initial programs in the Bucket List are: 

  • Wellington Charity Scavenger Hunt. The “Great Wellington Charity Scavenger Hunt” is an innovative new program aimed at generating substantial goodwill for the Village of Wellington, improving public awareness of some of its attractions (e.g., Food Invasion, Amphitheater activities and Greenmarket), help local charities, provide College scholarships for some Wellington students, award other prizes, make shopping more enjoyable, generate revenues for local business, produce savings for consumers, help the equestrian community – and generate a lot of buzz and fun,  encouraging families to participate as a family activity.

    We anticipate a Grand Prize of $5,000 (Winner’ Choice of educational scholarships, country club memberships, gift certificates, vacations), Second Place Prizes of $3,000 and at least 20 Runner’s-Up Prizes, as well as Consolation prizes for all participants of a $29 Discount Card and Gift Certificates from local merchants.

    This is an ambitious and exciting new venture, which would not be possible without the support of the more than 100 participating HOAs that will be signing on to this program (almost 70 HOAs, representing more than 10,000 homeowners, have already signed on) and the expected support of the Village of Wellington. This cooperation between homeowners and the Village, along with the support of merchants, restaurants and equestrians, will make the Wellington Charity Scavenger Hunt far more successful than any outside organization, lacking the interactive communications capabilities of the Grapevine, can achieve.


  • Performing Arts Outreach Program. The Council of Community Associations is presently exploring with the Kravis Center and other venues to make the arts more welcoming and accessible to local residents. See Kravis Outreach Program. This program will initially consist of discounts for veterans, seniors, and students as well as discounts for other patrons on seats that the theater does not expect to be sold (nothing is more perishable than a vacant theater seat). This is similar to the “Tkts” discount programs available in major theatrical cities in the world. In addition, we plan to offer bus transportation for theatergoers preferring not to drive. Spearheading this effort is the President on the Council of Community Associations, who has been the President for over 20 years of America’s oldest (82 years) musicians support charity (which helped half of the artists who performed at President Obama’s inauguration achieve artistic success). See Letter of Introduction to Kravis.

  • Discount Program. Unlike other discount programs, our program consists of both Coupons and Savings Cards, and is completely FREE for both merchants and consumers. In addition, it offers discounts from our 16 affiliated programs, providing access to what we believe is the largest range of discounts under one roof on the Internet See Coupon and Discount Center.
     
  • Business Directory, while similar to the popular Angie's List, is better in that it is completely FREE to consumers and businesses and provides greater security against the listing of shills and undeserving merchants and contractors. See Recommended Business Directory.

    https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTf0iXc7IpmI2CFeFF_8mGnBZaXI6ikn0p8NyOFcEqVOg1F7bbdUg Note: Some of these initiatives are envisioned as being offered through the Village (such as the Discount and Business Directory programs) while others are offered independently, but will benefit from government support in some way. However, we do not seek financial support. (All of our programs are free -- to consumers, business and the Village -- and some will replace programs for which the Village is already paying out-of-state providers.) Rather, the support will generally consist only of announcement of the program Indeed, this support will generate not only goodwill for the Village but also give it recognition for innovative services, such as the Scavenger Hunt.

    Financial GuidesTip: In addition to the above Bucket List benefits, the Palm Beach Grapevine offers scores of other general benefits plus some very important additional benefits available only to members of an HOA or other “Approved Association” – and these benefits are all free!

 

Wellington Newsletter


The new digital Wellington Newsletter, which will cover non-controversial and non-political issues, will be emailed to all Wellington residents choosing to receive it. See the first issue of the Wellington Newsletter.


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-o06evaik97M/TeuQNG9Zq0I/AAAAAAAAAuE/JZrhbpwcRgc/s1600/exclamation+point.JPGOur Website has been integrated into the official Website of the Village of Wellington. We believe that the Council of Community Associations will help usher in a new age of good government and homeowner benefits for the residents of Wellington

 

 

 


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