EDITORIAL: Frank Wendell for Mayor


May 4, 2014

Cape Charles residents owe a metaphorical vote of thanks to every candidate running for election on Tuesday, because in most of the rest of Northampton County — Cheriton, Eastville, Nassawadox, and Belle Haven — candidates for mayor are unopposed. Only in Cape Charles and Exmore do voters have a choice.

Dora Sullivan also ran unopposed eight years ago when she was first elected mayor. So we see the contrast of this year’s political contest as a healthy sign of democracy in action. We’re also encouraged by the fact that both mayoral candidates are fine exemplars of Cape Charles – both are upstanding citizens willing to expend a great deal of time and effort in the name of public service.

We believe that either candidate for mayor would serve to the best of his ability, and would uphold the principles of honesty and fairness. That said, we cannot vote for both of them; we must make a choice. And we believe there are overwhelming reasons to vote Frank Wendell for mayor of Cape Charles.

1. Frank Wendell has a long, outstanding record of public service to this, his hometown. As a young man he served on Town Council for 12 years before “retiring” to devote more time to his business and family. Then, two years ago, outraged by the secret plans to divest the town’s school and auditorium, basketball court, and parkland, he returned to public service, winning a seat on Town Council.

2. Mr. Wendell has never shrunk from fighting the good fight. Almost 20 years ago he led the opposition to County plans to permit a maximum-security federal prison to be built nearby. Dickie Foster subsequently stated that if the prison had been constructed, he never would have built Bay Creek.

3. As a current Town Council member, Mr. Wendell was the only one to recognize the foolhardiness of encouraging commercial development on Route 13 by extending a sewer pipe from the town’s wastewater plant. Other Council members have admitted that Rayfield’s Pharmacy could go out of business if the town facilitates competition on the highway, but they want to go ahead anyway. They seem not to understand that while the town has no legal control over what happens on the highway, it has the power of the pipe.

4. Likewise, Mr. Wendell is the only Council member who understands the importance of negotiating with developers to ensure the town’s best interests. When a developer requested exemption from timely payment of utility fees and other town code requirements, only Mr. Wendell urged a quid pro quo in the form of negotiating for adequate downtown parking. [Read more…]

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FRANK WENDELL: Why I’m Running for Mayor


May 4, 2014

I am running for mayor because I love Cape Charles. It’s just that simple. My grandfather, Frank Wendell, emigrated to Cape Charles from Lockenhaus, Austria, with my great-grandfather Joseph in 1884 at the age of 12. My family has been living and working in Cape Charles ever since. My father, Francis Wendell, lived his entire life in Cape Charles and taught me at an early age the value of public service and giving back to your community. So we’re all come-heres from somewhere – some just got here sooner than others.

Small-town life in Cape Charles has gained a lot of appeal in the last 20 years, and the town has benefitted greatly from the resurgence and investments that accompanied it. How we go forward without losing our small town charm and quaintness is one of the many challenges we face as a community. According to the Cape Charles Comprehensive Plan Vision Statement, “the people of Cape Charles cherish and nurture the unique qualities of this small historic town.” I encourage all the town’s people to become more familiar with the Comp Plan and participate in its updating currently in progress.

The issues, opportunities, and challenges facing Cape Charles are as diverse as our richly diverse community:

  • Emergency medical services and our public school system require us to partner with our county leaders in solving these complex problems that have a tremendous effect on our collective economic development.


  • The PSA-proposed Southern Node sewer project and commercial development of Route 13 has benefits, but in my opinion the risks to our downtown outweigh the benefits.


  • Our $10.8 million debt and our continuing need to build, acquire, and maintain infrastructure will remain an ongoing challenge.


  • Harbor development, beach replenishment, and Phase 2 of the Community Trail Project, along with the cooperative efforts with Southport, Bay Creek, King’s Creek Marina, Bayshore Concrete, and Bay Coast Railroad all offer reason for great optimism.


  • Proper management of the town’s 30-employee workforce while insuring proper compensation and keeping town taxes and fees reasonable and fair is paramount. [Read more…]


DAVID GAY: Why I’m Running for Town Council


May 2, 2014

I’m a full-time Cape Charles resident and live in the historic district with my wife Karen.  We chose Cape Charles as our retirement home because of the warm and friendly people, proximity to the bay and the charm of the historic district. We appreciate those, who like us, took a chance on Cape Charles.

I retired last year from Holcim, Ltd., an international building materials manufacturer where I served on the executive committee for their US subsidiary (Aggregate Industries). I have held senior management positions at Holcim, General Electric, and Fannie Mae with extensive experience in consensus building, cost reduction, and service improvement. I bring a business oriented approach to town government.

I hold a BA degree from Lynchburg College and attended business development programs at the Harvard Business School and Cornell University.

I am a member of the Cape Charles Historic District Review Board and served as the Chairman of the Historic District Review Board in 2013.

I am running for Town Council to promote Open Government, Efficient Management & Fiscal Responsibility and to acquire Emergency Medical Services.

Open Government

Cape Charles is a great town with many points of view. We all want the best for our town and no one should be left out of the decision making process.  I believe it is the job of government to serve all the people. To ensure that when major issues are under consideration all sides have a chance to provide input and that this input is openly discussed and considered by the Town Council before voting on a resolution. I don’t believe the current administration has embraced real dialogue with the citizens of Cape Charles and this has led to the unrest in town. We can change this dynamic by holding quarterly Town Hall Meetings and running citizen friendly Town Council Meetings.

Fiscal Responsibility

Town spending is growing beyond our means. According to the 2000 and 2010 US Census our population is decreasing. Former residents say they left town because of double taxation, high water and sewage fees; and other residents, concerned with rising costs, are considering leaving as well. [Read more…]