I’m disappointed but not surprised by our local official’s response to the threat clearly presented by the unmarked shoals, to boaters transiting the “Hole in the Wall" which was outlined in the Jan. 2 Virginia Gazette article “Local Boaters raise bay safety concerns.”
I applaud Craig Metcalfe’s initiative, as the good citizen with the first torchlight pointing out the monster approaching the village. And, as I’ve observed at all levels of government, the officials are pointing to others — or no one at all — to tackle the imminent threat. Like that proverbial "crosswalk in every town, which obviously needs a stop sign" because it's so dangerous to pedestrians, the authorities will wait until a death or two occurs before addressing it.
You know, I’ve never understood how any official, once an obvious danger has been shown to threaten the citizenry, can just shrug and explain, "it’s not my job.” This vexes me. They should use their elected/appointed stature within the community to proactively seek out the responsible party and direct the problem to them. Instead, it is more often than not thrown back upon the citizenry to provide a solution with their own resources — not those of their officials.
Shall we just sit back and watch the shipwrecks attributable to these unmarked shoals occur? Shall we wait until these damages and/or deaths raise the situation to a sufficient number of reportable accidents (their threshold for level of “concern”) before prompting any attention from our local officials?
Is the solution for the concerned citizenry to raise the money and emplace the needed signage, adequately marking these dangerous shoals for all boaters out of their own pockets? That could probably work. Or do we vote out the nonresponsive officials, who are paid from our taxes, at the next opportunity and seat individuals who do have the community's best interest and safety in mind? Or both?
We need officials capable of engaging and solving a clear and present danger within the community, even if it’s not “officially" in their job description.
Just my 2 cents worth
Wm. Lee Trolan