Parking Tickets, Sewage, King Neptune & Patrick Hand

7-foot statue of King Neptune has been donated to the town and will be installed on the Bay Avenue boardwalk between Washington and Jefferson avenuesl

Cape Charles Wave

May 25, 2015

Even as the previous mayor of Cape Charles successfully fostered a culture of incompetence and ineptitude, and set the bar so low that even the most flexible amoeba would have to find new and creative ways to limbo under it, and even as we thought it was a record that would never be replicated, the current mayor, with his implementation of reverse angle parking as part of Mason Avenue’s “Street Improvements,” has proven that he is more than up to the task of duplicating, if not surpassing, his predecessor’s dubious achievements. However, having the town’s current Planning Commission at his disposal certainly gives him an edge, and puts this goal well within reach.

During the police report to Town Council May 19, Chief Jim Pruitt reported that due to the new reverse angle parking they were able to issue nine parking tickets in just the first week. With the cat somewhat out of the bag, Mayor George Proto nearly knocked over the microphone as he exclaimed, “I just want to say that the town did not do this to make money!”

“I think we need an ordinance for this,” Councilman Sambo Brown said. “Right now, they’re writing tickets based on Virginia Code, and all that says is you need to park on the right side of the road. Even if they pull in head first, they are still on the right side. This could be challenged.”

The town has put up signs, and is issuing tickets without first having an ordinance to back it up.

Councilwoman Joan Natali noted, “We may have fallen short here,” to which Proto responded, “We maybe could have done a better job.”

During Council comments, Vice Mayor Chris Bannon added, “Given so many people’s inability to park, we could start charging a fee to let them parallel park on the other side of Mason Avenue.”

Chief Pruitt also reported that there were three felony assaults against police officers this month. “Would you care to elaborate on this?” asked Councilman Steve Bennett.

“No I would not,” replied Pruitt.

“Are things getting worse here?” asked Proto.

“You just never know when these things are going to happen,” Pruitt said. Whether this scuffle was related to the new reverse angle parking was not disclosed.


The Treasurer’s report indicated that the town is even, or slightly ahead, in terms of its overall financial health. Given this news, Councilman Tom Godwin asked, “I’m curious — how are our tourism gains affecting Nags Head? Are we putting a big dent in their business?” On any given summer weekend, there is a 15 to 30 mile backup from the Wright Memorial Bridge, and at the Route 12 split, it can take over an hour to make the 5-mile trek north to Duck. Given this anecdotal evidence, it appears to some that Cape Charles must be having a severe, detrimental effect on the blue waters and tasty waves of the Outer Banks.

Assistant Town Manager Bob Panek made a cameo appearance to update Council on the PSA’s latest attempts to ravage the Shore’s rural character, as well as gutting the businesses in downtown Cape Charles. According to Panek, the firm of Hurt and Profitt, in a completely unbiased report, concluded that the Bayview sewage treatment plant would not work as the Southern Node of the system.

Surcharges and connection fees are still an issue — the county continues to argue that it is inappropriate to charge new customers any kind of hookup fee for sending their waste products into Cape Charles. Cape Charles still hopes to get a little more in return than what the county is presently willing to send them; however, this will still have to be worked out. Consensus was that Council needs more data and more discussion. A work session is planned for later this summer.

During the Recreation report, Director Jen Lewis announced a robust list of summer activities that will be taking place at the beach and in Central Park. Activities include Arts & Crafts, Adult Book Club, Scrapbooking, Cape Kids Clubhouse, Beach Fitness, Beach Volley Ball, Basketball, Cornhole, Flag Football, Can Jam, Kickball, and Tennis. (CLICK for full schedule.) Part of the schedule indicates that basketball will be back in Cape Charles, even as the courts have been disassembled by developer J. David McCormick. Where this basketball will be played is still a mystery. Did McCormick visit Lourdes this spring and receive a vision of the Virgin Mary convincing him to put the courts back for the kids?

Mayor Proto announced that King Neptune is coming to Cape Charles. A 7-foot tall maquette (a model used as a prototype for the giant 34-foot bronze sculpture on the Virginia Beach boardwalk) has been donated by Wyndham Price and will be installed on the Bay Avenue boardwalk between Washington and Jefferson Avenues. The statue will be dedicated 10 a.m Saturday, June 13, followed by a reception for the sculptor, Paul DiPasquale, and donor Price hosted by Arts Enter Cape Charles at the Stage Door Gallery.

DiPasquale’s work has always had a profound place in Virginia, including the Arthur Ashe memorial, the bust of Mills Godwin “The Education Governor,” the “Headman,” a 14-foot-tall bronze and wood boatman, and the Virginia Beach Police Memorial.

The first annual “State of the Town” meeting will be held at the Civic Center 10 a.m. Saturday, May 30. Mayor Proto, staff, and some members of Council will be on hand to review and talk about the last year, and the overall status (or lack thereof) of Cape Charles. There will also be a question and answer period.

Council met May 14 to discuss Patrick Hand’s Strawberry Street corridor street. Even as the Harbor Area Review Board recommended that Council approve the Harbor Development Certificate, a layer of distrust and questions about Hand’s plans bubbled to the surface during a vigorous debate regarding the architectural plans. The majority of the consternation came from Councilman Bennett who contended that the plans erroneously indicated that the property would be purchased by the Town “as a future phase.” He also voiced concerns that the roof line was “out of character with the surrounding buildings,” and that the lower balconies should be removed (or, since they are proposed to be only 4 feet above the surface, the underneath area should be enclosed). The larger issue involved the Site 1 plan, which Bennet felt was not in conformance with the guidelines.

Bennett also wanted to see more details, specifically “which areas were residential and which were commercial.” Given all these issues, Bennett said he did not think the project was ready to be voted on. The consensus was to hold another work session to try and work through these issues.

During public comments, John Burdiss, board member of the Cape Charles Christian School, thanked town staff and the many volunteers that made this year’s Crabby Blues Fest a success. “This was our most successful event yet — the dunk tank was a big success. Crabby Blues is our biggest fund raiser.” Burdiss noted that the festival netted over $14,000. “We’re shooting for $20,000 next year,” he said.



8 Responses to “TOWN COUNCIL
Parking Tickets, Sewage, King Neptune & Patrick Hand”

  1. Sandy Mayer on May 25th, 2015 1:59 am

    So do we need extra parking police now that we have a more efficient parking situation? It may work in a city situation but seems awkward here.

  2. Marita Patterson on May 25th, 2015 7:13 am

    I believe this article was incorrectly filed. It should be listed under “Opinion,” since Wayne cannot resist inserting commentary into an otherwise possibly factual account of the meeting.

    Indeed, Wayne Creed’s reporting is uniquely his own, as regular readers are well aware. It could be classified in the same genre as Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” — a factual news report presented in a tragicomic and often hilarious format. –EDITOR

  3. Stefanie Hadden on May 25th, 2015 8:58 am

    Just because something is donated to the town doesn’t mean we have to accept it. Part of the grandeur and fun of the King Neptune statue in Virginia Beach is its enormous size. A mini-me version isn’t quite the same thing. Statuary on the boardwalk invites climbers too. Are we going to hand out tickets to kids who want to clamber over the statue? Just say “no, thank you” on this one.

  4. Anthony (Tony ) Sacco on May 25th, 2015 9:52 am

    I suggested years ago to Cape Charles to have the “Lonesome Sailor” of WW2 I was willing to contribute to, and Col. Langley (retired from the Marines attached to the Pentagon) of the DeCanio development to have a nuclear submarine put in the harbor of Cape Charles to attract tourists. All of that fell on incompetent people that have been running our county. A retired NYPD Captain, who was third in line to be the Police commissioner, was ready to share his salary with the Cape Charles Police Officers, and his application was put in the bottom drawer and not to be considered. And you wonder why we are the poorest county in Virginia and tenth in the country. I’m disgusted with angle parking and the Govenment of our county and its townships marching backwards instead of forward like the rest of the country. I’m motoring across the bay to do all my shopping so I don’t get a ticket for some stupid ordinance.

  5. Sandy Mayer on May 25th, 2015 1:01 pm

    I have to agree with the above comments.

    Neptune is the Roman king of the sea. Surely we could come up with our own symbol be it sailor or oyster man instead of being a smaller version of VA Beach statue. I am sure we could afford to buy our own more appropriate symbol signifying who are.

    Are we reducing our police department to parking violations? Do we need to hire a meter maid to give out parking tickets? Is our “safer” parking situation going create an expensive annoying situation for local residents? What about all the violations of dogs on the beach. Tourists are completely ignoring the NO DOG rule and bringing their animals to the beach because they know there is no one enforcing the beach regulations.

    Mr Creed your comments are opinionated and inappropriate. I take serious offense with the derogatory statements about our past and present mayors. It is a time consuming and difficult voluntary position. We should be grateful that we have people that are willing to serve in such stressful capacity.

  6. Clay Shrum on May 25th, 2015 6:27 pm

    Totally on point. Enough BS CC! This isn’t lil VA Beach. I don’t think anyone who is here wants that or they would be across the bridge. Ship that Neptune back & how about the new mayor check with his constituents before accepting an offensive monument.

  7. David Gay on May 27th, 2015 9:12 am

    It is not the Roman god Neptune but the Greek god Poseidon. It should be placed on the beach emerging from the water to warn swimmers of the drop-off from the shallow water to the boat channel that is 15 to 20 feet deep!

    And how about a 30-foot Mermaid to go along with the Merman? Just to be politically correct.

  8. George Ferguson on May 31st, 2015 7:37 am

    If you really have to have Neptune for some unknow reason, put it on Sandy Island to keep boaters from running aground at high tide. I guess next we will have a statue of Lucky [the dog who is honorary mayor] placed on the boardwalk.