EDITORIAL: Time for a New Team


May 5, 2014

Although the ballot for Tuesday’s municipal elections in Cape Charles contains eight names, deciding whom to vote for is not as complicated as it might appear. There are really only two teams – the old team and the new team. All a voter has to decide is whether to keep the old team or elect the new team.

True, of the eight candidates, only two of them are running for re-election: Town Council members Chris Bannon and Joan Natali. They form half of the old team. The other half is composed of George Proto for mayor and Charles “Sambo” Brown for Council. But the only reason those two are running is because the Sullivans, Dora and Mike, decided not to run.

While it can be argued that Mr. Proto and Mr. Brown have very different styles from Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan, it is a certainty that neither of them would have run against the Sullivans. They are, in fact, Mayor Sullivan’s hand-picked successors.

The new team is a very different story: each of the four candidates is running because they are alarmed by the direction the old team is taking the town. Understanding that in a democracy the only sure way to effect change is at the ballot box, they are opposing the incumbents and their designated successors.

The new team is Frank Wendell for mayor and Deborah Bender, David Gay, and Lynn Mitchell-Fields for Council. Each has his or her own ideas, but on the over-arching issues they agree: town spending is out of control, as are town utility bills. The town is borrowing like there is no tomorrow, and a number of full-time residents who work here for a living are moving out of town to avoid the extortive water bills and high taxes.


Meanwhile, the old team is in denial: they believe that things have never been better, and give themselves the credit. But the renaissance that Cape Charles has enjoyed over the past 20 years is not due to the current tax-and-spend policies. We hope voters will remember that last year when property values fell 36 percent, and Town Council voted to raise the tax rate even higher than 36 percent, Vice Mayor Chris Bannon voted NO. Why? Because he wanted an even higher tax rate!

Voters need not worry that the new team would gut the town. Far from it. But we like Frank Wendell’s phrase: “Together we should strive to reduce spending where we can and spend wisely where we must.” Cape Charles government needs that kind of attitude, and will find it only on the new team.

We observed yesterday how fortunate our town is to have a robust list of candidates: two choices for each of the four offices. Meanwhile, in Cheriton there are only five candidates for six seats and in Nassawadox four candidates for six seats. We hope that Cape Charles voters will turn out in force to take advantage of the real choice they have between the old team and the new team.

And may the best team win!



10 Responses to “

EDITORIAL: Time for a New Team”

  1. Susan Bauer on May 5th, 2014 11:56 am

    As a Marylander who owns property in the historic district of Cape Charles, I am subject to taxation without representation. In other words, I can’t vote in this election. If I could, I would feel fortunate to have two highly qualified candidates for mayor of Cape Charles. However, if the campaign signs for the “new team” are any indication of how they will perform as elected officials, I could not support them. It’s one thing to promise lower water bills, lower taxes and less spending and quite another to balance a town budget and continue to deliver important services and maintain the town’s infrastructure. I have yet to see any detail of how the “new team” plans to accomplish these goals. Water treatment costs what it costs. Better tasting water requires a replacement of our Victorian era town plumbing (at a cost of millions I suspect). Should the new team be elected, I won’t be rushing out to spend all that money they guarantee to save me.

  2. Wayne Creed on May 5th, 2014 5:11 pm

    Thanks Wave staff for great coverage of the election, and for providing a forum for candidates to tell us why they think they should be elected, or why they shouldn’t be ossed out. That said, after much hard work, the Wave should take the rest of May and all of June off…returning for a brief July 4th edition, and then leave to swim and tan until Harbor for the Arts comes back in August. Take a break, you earned it.

  3. Anne Teele on May 5th, 2014 6:20 pm

    I’m curious: how will electing the new team lower my water bill? How will that be accomplished? I guess I’m frustrated by not knowing. Sure, it’s great to hear “I can do it,” but what matters is “How?”

  4. Jerome Schaum on May 6th, 2014 7:43 pm

    I agree with Mr. Creed, PLEASE take a few months off. Or, better yet, make it a permanent hiatus.

  5. Nathan Sparrow on May 6th, 2014 10:21 pm

    Thanks Wave Staff for your wonderful coverage on these elections. Please do not listen to the comments above and continue to do the great work that you do.

  6. Ron Wrucke on May 6th, 2014 10:38 pm

    The Wave stated above “And may the best team win!”

    .. Amen to that …

    .. And as Wayne said to the Wave “Take a break .. ”

    .. Amen to that as well …

  7. Dana Lascu on May 6th, 2014 11:10 pm

    Ignorance will appeal to the ignorant. For the rest of us, please continue to keep us out of the dark.

  8. Deborah Bender on May 7th, 2014 8:25 am

    The residents who clearly live in the dark have spoken. Now the town can go further into debt and continue reckless spending. The voters now have the government that they deserve.

  9. Joe Banks on May 7th, 2014 7:22 pm

    The residents who clearly live in the light have spoken. Now the town can move forward without the reckless name calling. The voters now have the government they deserve.

  10. Thomas D. Giese on May 8th, 2014 4:10 am

    Keep up the good work, I love reading the Wave. If someone does not like the Wave just delete it, very simple.