Town Crier Articles

Remembering the "Mayor of Charlotte Park"
Posted on April 1, 2024 6:55 AM by Mary Cheston
From his porch chaise, Chuck Stetler could peruse much of the comings and goings of the Elizabeth Davis Boulevard area, and was always ready with a quip or comment, especially if your car was parked wildly or your trash can was a little late being put away. Often, Chuck was one of the first people that new owners would meet. And with his trademark suspenders, who could forget him? The Stetlers helped to organize the first social gatherings in Charlotte Park as new neighbors moved in. In fact, to support the Tremba family who bought a home while their daughter played for the William & Mary women’s basketball team, Chuck (and David Burket) encouraged Charlotte Park residents to turn out for their games – a tradition that still continues today.
Sadly, Chuck passed away on February 29th, about 60 days after the death of his wife Susan. The Stetlers arrived in 2011, theirs was the second home built, as Charlotte Park’s single family homes were being developed. Thus, Chuck had a wealth of institutional knowledge about the NTRA. We fondly called him “Mr. Mayor” since all manner of issues were within his grasp. 
Chuck first volunteered for the NTRA’s Finance Committee. With an eye for return on investments, he championed a proposal to show the Developer Board how the NTRA’s replacement reserve funds could generate more money if invested in a CD ladder (See February 2016 Town Crier, page 5). As a reward for his insights, Chuck was nominated from the floor of the NTRA Annual Meeting and elected to the 2016 Residential Advisory Board (RAB). He served as Vice Chair and then RAB Chair from 2017 through the assumption of Homeowner control in mid-2020. He kept his sanity by following professional sports, watching the stock market, and grilling on his beloved Green Egg. “I am a man of few words. At least that’s what my wife, Susan tells me. I’m quiet because I listen to what our residents have to say.”
Chuck was elected to the NTRA Board of Directors in June 2020 and served as its first homeowner Association President until January 2021 when he resigned due to family health issues. 
Chuck considered his greatest New Town legacy to be the removal of the cobblestone rock circle at the intersection of Casey Boulevard and Settlers Market. Chuck pursued the removal of this hazard with James City County, getting the intervention of Supervisor Jim Icenhour and the Board of Supervisors so that the County would move ahead with removal while the Settlers Market bankruptcy and bond issues were tied up in court. As Chuck put it, those “jaw breaker rocks" had to go!  
Susan Stetler was also active in our Association serving on the Landscape Advisory Committee and its Chair from mid-2014 to 2019. The LAC oversaw the selection of a new landscape contractor (2018) and coverage for trail maintenance under her leadership. A talented artist, Susan loved to create whimsical paintings and share them with friends. To ensure that New Town residents were showing their Tribe spirit, she made green and gold scarfs for all the neighborhood women to wear at William & Mary basketball games.
New Town was a special place to the Stetlers, even as they relocated to a retirement facility. This quote that Chuck used in April 2020 at the start of Covid captures them both, "I think that when the dust settles, we will realize how very little we need, how much we actually have, and the true value of human connection." 
Chuck and Susan modeled how human connection can make a true difference. For those of us lucky enough to know them, their passing is a huge loss.
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