Thursday’s Town Council Meeting began with letters from the group The Concerned Citizens of Cape Charles, ratcheting up their attacks on the Coastal Precast Concrete plant.
Town Clerk Libby Hume read letters for nearly 40 minutes, the majority voicing disgust and anger against the work taking place on the industrial zoned property.
Coastal Concrete reopened the old Bayshore plant after it closed in 2018, supplying jobs to Northampton County residents.
The pressure from the concerned group of citizens is beginning to take on a serious tone. The group is hoping to bring in Delegate Rob Bloxom and Senator Lynwood Lewis to help put a stop to the work, thereby alleviating what they consider the nuisance of dust and noise caused by the folks working at the plant.
The complaints ranged from accusations that the plant was polluting the environment and destroying Cape Charles’ natural habitat, that particulate matter in the form of dust could cause respiratory disease and cancer, as well as claims that the noise was making all the old people irritable.
It should be noted that when taxpayer monies were used to construct the new connector road leading right into Bayshore, not a peep was made because Bay Creek residents were happy to get a shiny new highway for their neighborhood. Now that the road is being leveraged by the working class, all of a sudden it has become an issue.
It should also be noted, that the Mirror has confirmed that several of the complaints are coming from people with incomes in the high six figures, as well as retirees with massive nest eggs.
While the party line of the so-called concerned citizens is “we don’t want the plant to close”, private conversations expose this sentiment as a lie. The ultimate goal is to shut down the plant and remove the last vestige of blue-collar working-class blokes, most of which have been run off and squeezed out by the gentrification of Cape Charles.
It seems the apartheid gates of Bay Creek weren’t strong enough to contain the intellectual sludge from leeching into the historic district. The “elites” that have moved here and turned the town into a pathetic joke, will not be content until the will of the northeast liberal Bourgeois has fully eradicated all signs of local shore people.
Unless these people shut up, or hopefully move away, this schism will never be closed. The divide runs very deep, as the last presidential election proved. Cape Charles is nothing but a microcosm of the class hatred and bigotry that defines the new America.
The election of 2020 exposed the deep rift that exists between liberal elites in high density, wealthy urban centers (and who have now moved down here), and the rural working class. The angst generated by Coastal Precast Concrete comes from the fact that these elites that “come here” have no real understanding or appreciation of what it means to be working class. They have nothing but contempt for the kind of jobs available for them, the kind of jobs needed to provide for their families.
The war on Coastal Precast Concrete is a war on the working class. The divide between the “working class” and the “elite” is the defining issue in American politics, especially at the local level.
The folks that make up the working class on the lower Eastern Shore have experienced economic stagnation–social mobility has declined, while inequality has widened as wealthy retirees have moved into their homes, taken over neighborhoods, as well as the town council.
The plant reopening was a wish come true for many that have lived and grown up here.
While the dust and noise generated by ordinary men at work may seem to be the issue, the distrust and disdain expose something more insidious and deep-seated.