An enthusiast’s view of America’s Original Seaside Resort… by Meghan Kunz
I understand that the new Convention Hall debate is vital, and how there are many vested interests and emotions which come into play regarding this plan. I was struck by Jack Wright’s words in the Ramblings column on July 27 – that some folks feel that the longer they’ve been a resident or vacationer of Cape May, the more heavily their opinion should be factored. From the flip side, I also see how some people may feel that the longer they’ve been around, the more they’ve seen — in terms of successes, failures, mishaps, bad judgment calls, and shrewd decision-making. These people may feel that they have an insider’s perspective to what newcomers may gloss over. Newcomers may breathe life into something that has become stagnant. However, the overall decision must propel the continued growth of the Cape May.
I live in a small town that shares many of the same struggles Cape May currently faces. It’s actually ironic how the issues almost parallel those of Cape May: parking meter woes, new building in the heart of town being re-constructed, overzealous parking ticket distribution, some citizens welcoming change and others not so much. In the end, the interest should be for the growth of the town. It is certainly difficult to deal with change, but sometimes it just has to happen.
Not that my opinion in this matter counts. I’m not a citizen of Cape May and I don’t pay property taxes there (though if I could reduce my property taxes here to a Cape May amount, I could afford a second home!). I’ve vacationed there my entire life, so we’ll round it out to roughly 30 years. I’ve seen some pleasing changes and some unsightly ones. There were some I did not initially agree with, but as time passed, I realized that they were the right decision for Cape May and aided the town’s continued progress. Which Convention Hall design would offer the most options? Is the larger design more risky but also more beneficial in the long run?
The similarities between my town and Cape May end with the local economy: my hometown isn’t largely supported by tourism. Cape May plays host to a wide variety of local happenings and larger scale events. The more functional the accommodations are, the more Cape May can provide to its citizens, its returning visitors, and the future tourists who have yet to discover it.
I’ll leave you with an observation from Benjamin Franklin: “Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”