In preparation for working on the Town’s 2017 budget, council met for a work session on Thursday in order to prioritize budget items. The ‘A List’ for 2017 is listed below:
IV.1 Town Council Priorities
• Prepare and maintain a rolling 5 year CIP
• WTP and WWTP Improve Facilities
• Business Development. Create Economic Development Committee
• Future Land Use Plan – Boundary Adjustment
• Establish a Corridor Overlay for Routes 184 and 642
• Continue Alley Easement and Ownership Project
• Work to eliminate substandard housing in Town
• Work with non-profits to aid property owners who cannot repair their homes
• Comprehensive Review of Town Code
• Continue a Recreation Program
• Continue Support of Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
• Establish a Town Community Center
• Develop Town Parking Solutions • Promote water and energy conservation
• Research Chesapeake Bay Meteor Impact interpretive center
• Continue more cooperative agreement with County Sheriff and more flexible Police Schedule
Basketball Nixed by Natali, Bannon
Even while $75 was still listed as part of the 2015 CIP, basketball courts in Cape Charles are not only a non-priority, it turns out they are entirely unwelcome by all members of council except Frank Wendell. The majority of the pushback against bringing basketball home to Cape Charles,revolves around the notion that it also brings in an un-welcome element. That is, older African American males. The concern is that, not only does the CCPD not have the man power to police urban street ball action on and around the courts, the image of black men, talking trash (this is basketball, right?), and listening to hip hop may frighten away tourists, which have become, at least in this Council’s eyes, the golden cow.
While Frank Wendell attempted to argue the social and cultural context basketball still plays on the Eastern Shore, for the rest of council, the visual detriment, and overhead required just did not meet the requirement threshold. Wendell countered that, at least the Town could purchase a mobile, removable set of baskets that the youth could use, but that also met with resistance.
Mayor Proto said that, even so, somebody would have to put them up and take them down. Wendell countered, reminding the mayor that the town employed several employees, whose job it was to complete such tasks. Wendell also asked council, that, since basketball is not an acceptable activity, which sports are? Bannon responded that soccer was okay, as was baseball.
Note: Mirror staff has to note that it is ridiculous for Mr. Bannon to even mention baseball as acceptable. He was part of the council that fully supported turning the old Cape Charles Little League into a cotton field (metaphor intended), not to mention his being one of the architects of the $10 deal that gave away not only the indoor basketball courts in the school’s gymnasium, but also the outside courts right next door.
Wendell told the Mirror, “It is just so disingenuous of the mayor, and the council not to take into consideration the need for our youth to be able to engage in what has always been one of the Shore’s favorite sports. When you look at all the waste in this Capital Improvement Plan, all the money they are spending on breakwaters and corridor development, whatever that is, spending on trails non-sense parking ideas; who does that benefit? All the millions they are spending, and they couldn’t spend anything to keep the old school public? It goes to show you just where the priorities are around here. Good luck.”