DO YOU THINK OUR MAIN STREET/DOWNTOWN IS HEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL? IF NOT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO CHANGE THAT?
Thanks to the resilience of the citizens of Cape Charles, downtown and Main Street are successful. However, as with any successful venture, one must not become complacent. We must ALWAYS be looking for ways to improve. As mayor I will march towards that goal by working hand and hand with Main Street. I will meet with every store and restaurant owner to find out their needs and what we, as a local governing body, can help them with their business.
Thriving businesses help fund our town, so I view this as one of my top priorities.
WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT FOR OUR TOWN (AND COUNTY) RIGHT NOW: BUILDING NEW HOMES AND COMMERCIAL SPACE OR REHABBING/EXPANDING/BETTER UTILIZING OUR EXISTING HOMES AND STOREFRONTS?
I think right now they are both very important. Rehabbing and utilizing our current homes and buildings is paramount to preserving the charm and history of our town. However, as our community grows, it’s equally important that new “smart growth” housing and construction projects continue to meet the needs of our growing community. Part of that new housing should be a focus on increasing the availability of workforce housing.
SOME PEOPLE CONTINUE TO SAY THAT WE HAVE TRAFFIC PROBLEMS DURING THE TOURIST SEASON. THIS OF COURSE INCLUDES PARKING, AS WELL AS REVERSE-ANGLE PARKING. WHAT DO YOU THINK? HOW WOULD YOU MITIGATE THOSE CONCERNS OR CHANGE THE SITUATION?
In the summer months parking has become an issue. Our current town council has this issue on their ’23 agenda. First and easiest solution is much better signage on Mason for the municipal parking lot. I would also get with Canoni to widen the municipal lot to make it angle in parking and double the town lot. As mayor I will work with V-Dot, Town Manager, and Town Council to find other options for parking of vehicles, boats, and trailers, particularly as our population swells during the tourist season.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING IN OUR ZONING CODE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
The zoning rule I think needs to be modified is Appendix C Cape Charles/Coastal Sand Dune Zoning Ordinance. It is already on the town council agenda for ’23. The beach is the crown jewel of Cape Charles and its #1 draw for locals and tourists who fund Cape Charles through tax revenues. We have to maintain it, get the dunes under control and gain back precious beach space.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO INVOLVE RESIDENTS IN THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS IN OUR TOWN?
If elected mayor I will have full transparency. I will actively seek the thoughts and opinions of all constituents, so every voice is heard. In addition to regular town hall meetings, I plan to communicate with citizens by social media and email but have the residents choose if they want their notifications through the mail. I will regularly communicate with citizens and community stakeholders to involve and get their opinions on the issues important to them and to Cape Charles.
IF SOMEONE CAME TO YOU WITH A PROPOSAL TO BUILD A NEW PIECE OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE IN OUR TOWN (ROAD, STRUCTURE, OUTDOOR VENUE, ETC.), HOW WOULD YOU EVALUATE WHETHER OR NOT THAT PROJECT WAS WORTH IMPLEMENTING?
I would first ask the question: “Does this benefit Cape Charles?” If that answer is no, then I would fight to oppose that proposal. If, however, my answer to that question is not a firm “NO”, then I would surround myself with experts and professionals to evaluate the project. I would simultaneously get resident opinions and suggestions before making any decision.
IF ELECTED, WHAT THREE STEPS WOULD YOU TAKE TO PUT OUR TOWN ON A FIRMER FINANCIAL FOOTING?
I believe firmly that a thriving town is what is needed to continue to improve the financial footing of Cape Charlies. It’s no secret that our town was once a boom town of sorts. However, when the ferry left in the 50’s and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel was built (affecting the demand for the railroad), it had a devastating and negative economic impact on Cape Charles.
As our local economy suffered, so did the financial footing of the town. That is why we must implement policies that help to fuel the recent revitalization of Cape Charles. This first includes, as I mentioned earlier, working hand-in-hand with our town businesses to ensure their success. Secondly this also includes promoting a healthy balance of housing. Creating policies that promote a mix full-time housing vs. part-time housing vs. workforce housing vs. vacation housing is critical to stimulating our local economy and keeping it on its current track. Simply put, a booming local economy directly equates to a thriving tax base. Lastly, I feel strongly that Cape Charles has not received its equitable share of tax revenue from Northampton County (particularly in regards to the larger industrial business in town). I would fight to ensure that Cape Charles received its fair share.
IF THE TOWN RECEIVED A $1 MILLION GRANT TO USE FOR THE TOWN ANY WAY IT WANTED, WHAT WOULD YOU PROPOSE AND WHY?
I would propose using the money for beach replenishment and our harbor. The beach is the crown jewel of Cape Charles and our #1 draw. It needs to be beautiful, accessible, and maintained. Additionally, the harbor is a huge part of Cape Charles and is in need of some upgrades and repairs. I would work with the Harbor Master and fishermen to identify their needs and implement strategies and allocate funds to meet those needs.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO SPEND TIME IN OUR TOWN?
Like many others in Cape Charles, my #1 favorite place is my front porch. When not relaxing in a rocking chair on my porch, I love spending time on the beach, going to the concerts in the park, going to dinner with my wife, meeting up with friends at all of our great restaurants, and just walking Theo (My Golden Retriever) around town meeting residents and seeing friends.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT CAPE CHARLES? WHAT DO YOU NOT LIKE ABOUT CAPE CHARLES?
Having called Cape Charles my home for over a decade (in both Bay Creek and the historic district), we love the sense of community. I love how friendly everyone is, the sunsets, boating, and the beach. Sometimes I must pinch myself to make sure my life is not a dream. If I have to find something I don’t like it would be that Cape Charles does not have a dry cleaner…there I said it.