A new candidate is joining the race to become Cape Charles’ mayor.
Former town harbor master, Smitty Dize announced his candidacy in the mayoral race this Friday.
Dize supplied the following statement to the Mirror:
W.S. “Smitty” Dize Jr. Candidate for Mayor of Cape Charles
At a very young age I was introduced to the water and have spent pretty much of my whole life either on or around it. With Cape Charles being surrounded by water on three sides, I understand the value it brings to our town.
I’m a native of Smith Island, MD. and started working on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay at age seven with my Dad and later my Grandfather. From such a young age, I learned the bounty our waters offered to our community. At age 14, I purchased my own 28 ft. crab scraping boat learning how to handle huge responsibility and life experiences such as working on motors, repairing gear, managing money, and most important solidifying my work ethic. From that small crab business, I learned more business management in my parents’ soft shell crab wholesale business “Bill Dize & Sons Seafood” taking on managing customers, employees, receivables, freight, inventory and much more. At that point in my life I had been somewhat sheltered to Smith Island and decided to get out of the commercial fishery industry and start my career as a Merchant Seaman. Starting the bottom swabbing decks and cleaning heads to moving my way up to Bosn’ (Foreman), the Merchant Marines opened up a whole new world with different responsibilities allowing me to travel all over the world and learn about different cultures. In my time as a Merchant Marine, I also learned the importance of commerce and on many ships was a union rep supporting my fellow shipmates. I later accepted a job for a dredging company, which required me to work with the US Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to get the job done. A vital skill in order to get projects completed such as, sand replenishment on Coco Beach, construction of the Pier 400 project in Long Beach, constructing a new channel at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, and dredging operations to keep the Mississippi River passable. It was here that I truly got an understanding about water related development and how it impacts the locality for commerce, trade, tourism, and quality of life for residents.
In 2005, I made the decision to leave the Merchant Marines to spend more time with my family and became the Harbor Master for the Town of Cape Charles. During my tenure until 2015, the Town Harbor grew from 51 to 95 slips as it has today. As Town Harbor Master, I was instrumental in developing the harbor, building relationships with visitors and agencies, coming up with creative ideas to bring people to town and much more. In 2015, I left the position as Harbor Master and became the Manager of the Oyster Farm Marina and Vacation Rentals. Since that time, I have created an atmosphere that visitors and residents can both enjoy all with being respectful to surrounding neighbors.
I feel that with all my experiences, with management in both the private and public sector, public relations, government agencies, and different cultures is why I will be a great Mayor.
I am also very active in the community as a member of Elks Lodge 1766, served 20 years as a volunteer fireman, and past president of the Market St. United Methodist Men.
If elected Mayor of Cape Charles on May 1, 2018, I will bring a proven record of leadership, vision, transparency, accountability, and an atmosphere of inclusion where all voices and opinions are encouraged and heard.
“Working together to make Cape Charles better for all”
I would appreciate your vote on May 1, 2018. W.S. “Smitty” Dize Jr.
This message was approved by W.S. “Smitty” Dize Jr.
Dize is currently the Manager at The Oyster Farm Marina & Vacation Rentals. Dize has been credited with turning the Cape Charles Town Harbor and the Oyster Farm Marina into regional destinations. Dize’s forward and creative thinking have included events such as the Clam Slam, Shuck-n-Suck, and turning the C-Pier into a summertime hot spot with live music, cocktails and fresh seafood.