On March 4, 2021, the Town of Cape Charles was notified by email that Councilman Lawrence “Chris” Bannon tendered his resignation as a member of the Town Council.
The resignation is effective immediately.
Bannon served on Town Council for 25 years. He was also instrumental in leading the Friends of the Cape Charles Library. His tireless work, dedication, and fundraising efforts forged a path for the library to move into its new home on Mason Avenue, establishing the Cape Charles Memorial Library as a major data and intellectual touchpoint for folks on the lower shore.
Not all of Bannon’s service was without controversy.
Bannon was one of the major proponents of annexing the Brown and Root property that is now Bay Creek. The agreement between the town and Bay Creek developers has been described in many ways, but we will leave it as just being dubious. What is for sure, the Virginia Taxpayer, and more importantly Cape Charles’ residents, have been left holding the financial bag for everything from the shiny new Bay Creek connector road to the construction of the wastewater plant.
Part of the Annexation push was to fundamentally change the character of Cape Charles, to change it from what the new folks that came here called a dump, into a Wal-Mart version of Cape May. For better or worse, Bannon and his crew have succeeded in turning a quaint, fun, and quirky town into just another predictable tourist trap.
This was accomplished by blood simple gentrification. How many people that live in Cape Charles were actually born there? You can count them on one hand. Families? African-Americans?
Bannon also found himself at the center of the Old School fiasco–there were many issues, including election manipulation, false statements, and a general will by Town Council and the Mayor to mislead the public. An example is what appeared to be an open and shut case of insurance fraud. The Town paid the school developer McCormack $41,000 from its claim of earthquake damage. The wall was ‘fixed’ for a couple of thousand dollars. There is much more. The deception and fraud around the Old School run deep.
Even with the disagreements, it is acknowledged by this writer that Chris Bannon is a very nice person with a good heart and a good soul, and in the end, he should probably be remembered as someone that loved Cape Cape Charles, and as one of its most durable advocates.
The Town Council will begin consideration of an interim replacement in the coming weeks and would welcome letters of interest from qualified residents who wish to be considered.
Anyone interested should submit their letter and qualifications to the Town Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 23, 2021.
So it goes.