The Best Place For Families

The Best Place For Families Recent Magazine Ranking Just Confirmed What We Already Knew

By Jim Barnes, Wellington Village Manager

Wellington was recently ranked among the top ten “Best Places to Live for Families” by Fortune magazine. This year’s ranking showcases communities across the nation where multigenerational families are most likely to have access to critical resources, community support and financial well-being. To select the “Best Places to Live for Families,” Fortune evaluated nearly 1,900 cities, towns, suburbs, exurbs, villages and townships that had approximately 20,000 residents across all 50 states. This range provided a broad universe of places that offered high-quality amenities in communities with a hometown feel. To help thoroughly analyze each place, Fortune reviewed more than 200,000 unique data points across five broad categories: education, aging resources, general wellness, financial health and livability.

Wellington In The Top 10
Wellington broke into the top ten, coming in 8th in the rankings overall — and the only community in Florida on this year’s list. Many of the indicators used for these rankings align with the village’s strategic focus areas, so making the top of this list validates our commitment toward success in the areas in which we are most invested.

This ranking is just one of the many accolades we earned recently. Wellington’s success in this ranking is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team. By continuously delivering best-in-class services, we have made Wellington a great hometown that meets the diverse needs of our residents. We extend our sincere gratitude to everyone involved for their vision and commitment to making Wellington a community of choice for all.

National Civic League Award
Our efforts to engage residents, particularly our youth, in decision-making and strategic initiatives recently garnered recognition from the National Civic League. Wellington ranked as a finalist for the prestigious 2023 All-America City Award, recognized among the top communities in the nation for civic engagement. We assembled a dynamic team of “All-America City Representatives,” composed of students, education and government leaders, as well as community advocates, who traveled recently to Denver, Colorado, to present the inspiring story of their work to a jury of esteemed national civic leaders.

The heart of Wellington’s compelling presentation revolved around the success of three key programs: the HYPE tutoring program, the Tom Atkins Civics 101 civic engagement program and the SWAG internship program. These initiatives showcased Wellington’s dedication to nurturing youth voices and empowering residents, including young individuals, to address crucial issues such as diversity and inclusion, and college and career readiness.
The recognition as a finalist for the 2023 All-America City Award is a testament to the remarkable achievements and unwavering dedication of our community. While we did not secure the top award this year, we take immense pride in the progress we have made in building the civic capacity of our young people and fostering a more diverse and inclusive environment.
Wellington remains committed to empowering our residents and strengthening our community for a brighter future.

Taking Stock Of Our Community
As we work on next year’s budget, it is time to take stock of everything we accomplished so far this year. Recently, the village earned Moody’s highest Aaa rating, which is an improvement from the village’s previous rating of Aa1. The upgrade to Aaa reflects a growing and high-wealth economic base, robust financial position and strong financial policies. Wellington’s financial position is healthy given its fund balance and liquidity, tax base and exceptional budgetary management. The rating agency recognized the village’s tax base, conservative budgeting, strong and proactive management team, and operating fund balance as proof of the community’s financial stability.

Other Awards For Wellington
The village’s Public Works Department once again earned reaccreditation through the American Public Works Association (APWA). Reaccreditation recognizes a commitment to the highest level of service to the community. As part of this process, the APWA evaluated 265 of our policies and procedures and awarded the village 100 percent full compliance on all of them. Our public works team underwent this rigorous process all while managing new challenges presented by evolving work conditions.
Similarly, Wellington’s Administrative & Financial Services Department earned several awards and acknowledgments, including the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

More Than Just The Awards
As you can see, the past year has been a great year for us. But it’s not about winning trophies or plaques; we value these awards and recognitions because they serve as third-party validation that we are delivering on our commitments to the residents of this great community. I hope you join me in feeling the immense pride that comes from building a better community through strategic planning, community engagement and accountability. Our village has demonstrated remarkable resilience over the past few years, and we will continue to strive for excellence as we propose a budget for Wellington Village Council consideration for fiscal year 2024. Our promise to you is that we will continue to deliver best-in-class services and amenities for our residents, businesses, workforce and visitors. We are hopeful that the future will bring more achievements, accolades and experiences of which we can all be proud.