Brac will get investment too, says deputy premier

| 12/10/2010

(CNS): The minister for District Administration has told her constituents that the premier’s recent global treks are necessary to stimulate inward investment, which will include the Sister Islands. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said that during their travels McKeeva Bush and Cline Glidden MLA were both keeping a keen eye out for investment that would benefit Cayman Brac. Speaking at a public meeting, the deputy premier said the pair was looking, in particular, for investment partners for a proposed cruise berthing harbour on the north coast of the island. She also revealed that, despite the constraints on the public purse, the road upgrades and other projects were going ahead on the Brac, including privately owned parking lots adjacent to the roads.

The inward investment that O’Connor Connolly spoke about is expected to help a proposed jetty and marina by Dervin Scott in the area referred to as Scotts Dock. The minister also confirmed that government supported another proposed marina adjacent to the recently constructed Alexander Hotel on the south coast of Cayman Brac.

Hosting a town hall style meeting on Friday (8 October) at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre, O’Connor Connolly, along with government officials, briefed around 45 Brac residents about ongoing and forthcoming projects for the Sister islands. The deputy premier admitted the difficulty government had in paying bills and expenses because of the recession and government’s debt.

She said the seasonal cycle of government revenue along with the repressed local and international economy meant that government was unable to meet all of its financial obligations and was forced to prioritise public service payroll. She said operating debts to small businesses were also at top of the payment list but other bills would remain unpaid until the government cash flow improved, hopefully in January. O’Connor Connolly said that would be when normal revenue patterns improve and funding for the approved borrowing was secured.

Regardless of the government’s financial troubles, the Sister Islands MLA assured the attendees that the ongoing asphalt paving programme of the north coast road of Cayman Brac was not threatened. The job has currently reached Stake Bay and will continue to the fire station at the West End of Cayman Brac. In the second phase Gerald Smith Drive will be paved down to Brac Reef Hotel. The third phase will be to pave the south coast road and then the Bluff roads. She also said that privately owned parking lots adjacent to the main roads would also be included in the public project.

The work is being conducted by the National Road Authority (NRA) crew from GrandCayman in conjunction with the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Public Works Department (PWD).  She said this arrangement has allowed for cross-training.

PWD on Cayman Brac will be relocated to an already designated site on the Bluff. The current location and staff will be revamped, with all employees being outfitted with new uniforms and improved skill sets. "I want and they want to have pride reintroduced in PWD," noted the minister.

She said she wanted to see greater tolerance towards those government employees that might have drug or alcohol problems and that these employees must be afforded help for their vices. The minister proclaimed that the community cannot afford to write-off young people.

The minister further promised the local PWD improved resources and more tools to get the job done. "They must be provided with whatever they need to make their environment better and safer," she said.  

Other infrastructure enhancement work throughout Cayman Brac includes a cement cabana at the Spot Bay Park, an enclosed bandstand in the Creek at the Panama Canal, and a bathroom and cabana at a new park in Watering Place, across from the soon to be completed new cemetery.  

Additionally, government will receive this week a mobile fueling trailer with a capacity of 500 gallons of gas and 500 gallons of diesel. Following the success of the mosquito abatement program on Grand Cayman, Brackers learned that the MRCU spray plane could soon be redeployed to spray over Cayman Brac.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    any money spent on the brac is money down the drain……

  2. Kerry Horek says:

    I am really sick and tired of all the rubbish.

    My Brackers no longer need to be begging for things, and hearing the same sad story over and over.  ‘We don’t have the funding’ or ‘We can’t put that in the budget now’. 

    Caymanians should not have to live like this in their own country.

    A few questions for our Deputy Premier since we are so cash strapped:

    1. Can you pay your bills without any problems, you know like only pay half until you can get the other half paid, and you still don’t know if you can even do that or when?

    2. Do you eat well every day? I know many of your consitituents are on potted meat and crackers and will soon be down to the crackers alone.

    3. Why do you need a guard to protect you from your supporters?  Who in Cayman Brac or Grand Cayman will want to harm a hair on your head?  We don’t even want to see your head or your face because you have failed us, so there’s no need to be afraid of us.

    4. Can you honestly say that you are doing everything for your country to benefit ALL your people, the Caymanians?  

    5. This is the second time you are claiming the country is ‘cash strapped’ but yet I don’t see you in your so-called ‘high profile’ position taking a considerable pay cut, or doing away with the unnecessary perks!!  I see you lavishing in them and enjoying them.  I heard you got a new protocol car, is that true?  Why? What happened to the other new one you had?

    6. Do you sleep good at night?  Especially knowing that the very people who voted for you are in dire straights trying to make two ends meet, and as soon as they do your Govt. imposes some new or increased fee and takes the few extra pennies away again, while you sit back and agree with it. Do you know those same people are not sleeping at night, and also do you know that those same people are about to loose their homes to foreclosure?

    I dont see you imposing an emergency injuction on the Banks to prevent foreclosures until we are out of this recession.

    7. Lastly, I feel that you have lost your compassion for your country and it’s people and that discourages me along with many of your constituents.

    We have ALL lost faith and confidence in you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good Lord JuJu! Why didn’t you get Fresh Image to help you put a better spin on that halloween tale of woe?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was thinking of starting a small business in Cayman Brac. A small paving company that would repair potholes, pave driveways, or even pave parking lots looked sustainable, but how can anyone establish a business in Cayman Brac if they have to compete against free?

  5. David R. Legge says:

    In journalism we have a phrase called "burying the lede." It means simply that the most important part of the story is not in the headline or the first paragraph or two. The article above is a good example. The third and fourth paragraphs contain information that deserve serious scrutiny. They read, in part:

    "The deputy premier admitted the difficulty government had in paying bills and expenses because of the recession and government’s debt.

    "She said the seasonal cycle of government revenue along with the repressed local and international economy meant that government was unable to meet all of its financial obligations and was forced to prioritise public service payroll. She said operating debts to small businesses were also at top of the payment list but other bills would remain unpaid until the government cash flow improved, hopefully in January."

    The implications of a government unable to pay its bills to businesses which in good faith supplied products or rendered services suggest a financial situation far worse than is known, if not to the general public, certainly to me.

    I have heard anecdotal tales (of the Marl Road variety) of the government’s being "slow pay or no pay," but the Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly’s public confirmation of this constitutes real "news," and I’m wondering if any CNS readers have more knowledge than I do (and are willing to share it) about how dire the government’s financial position really is.

    CNS note: In journalism we also have a phrase called "Putting the new stuff at the top". I’m surprised you didn’t know that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too funny! Well said CNS. Mr Legge, try to keep up.

    • David R. Legge says:

      I have indeed heard something about "putting the new stuff at the top," but unless I’m mistaken, I thought that the Minister’s pronouncement that the government could not meet its financial obligations was "new stuff."

      If she, the second highest elected official in Government, had previously made such an admission in public, I happily concede your point. To me her words were "new news"—and very disturbing news at that.

      P.S.: Regardless of whether your "lede" was buried or "new stuff" is of little importance. The reality is that your story—like most articles you publish—was well reported and well written. Remember, I’m one of your biggest fans and appreciate the service you provide!

      CNS: It’s not "new" because someone else said it, David. Thanks for your constructive criticism. We think you’re wrong about what is most newsworthy.

      • yeah right.... says:

        When the Deputy Premier met with her consituents to ask if they wanted the $9 million hotel, CNS reported her admission that it had been hell to scrape up money to pay the civil servants’ salaries just a few days before because Government was having cash flow problems.  This is at least the second time recently she’s let that one "slip".  But what does it matter? The government says this without realising that in theory they are shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly.  If there are no repercussions for their statements and their actions, they are free to rule as they wish.  We, as a people, allow them to treat us like doormats, so they will keep wiping their feet…

        • David R. Legge says:

          Thanks, ‘yeah right’; I had missed that earlier reference, but your (and my) point is not in the least diminished. The issue here is a public admission (or two) by the Deputy Premier of the Cayman Islands that our government cannot pay its bills. This, for a country, is a shocking revelation.

          In a country as collectively skilled in business as the Cayman Islands claims to be, I cannot imagine why this issue is not getting serious media attention, calls for accountability and transparency from the private sector, and a straightforward address to the nation by our Premier or Financial Secretary on the true state of Cayman’s finances.

          As a small businessman (but with some "big business" experience), I can say without fear of contradiction that if a company—or a country—cannot pay its bills and can barely meet its payroll without employing fiscal gymnastics, then that entity is clearly surviving on temporary life-support systems.

          If the Cayman Islands government is in this precarious position, we, the peopleof these Islands, need and deserve to know exactly how bad it is.

           

          • Rabble Rouser says:

            If the Cayman Islands government is in this precarious position, we, the people of these Islands, need and deserve to know exactly how bad it is

            Justice Henderson received $1.3 million in 2009 as compensation for his wrongful arrest.

            This year Burman Scott was offered $7,000 in compensation. for his wrongful arrest.

            If Stuart Kernohan’s representative in the Cayman Islands has recently been offered anything more than two stale patties then CNS can remove McKeeva’s "Countdown to Success" calendar.

          • Anonymous says:

            Mr. Legge,

            Apparently, we have money to fund all of the UDP’s first class trips abroad but no money to pay government bills or civil servants.

             

  6. Tara says:

    "….other bills would remain unpaid until the government cash flow improved, hopefully in January…."

    The government has absolutely no right ordering things or using services it can’t pay for – the world is in the current mess it’s in (at least the French have it right when they refer to it as "la crise") because we’ve nurtured the belief that we’re all entitled to whatever we want whenever we want it even if it’s bought on credit that we can ill afford to pay – is it any wonder this house of cards came toppling down on top of us and now the government, in an attempt to feed the hungry monster that keeps demanding more is prepared to put others at risk in order that they themselves don’t have to (God forbid) tighten their belts and perhaps actually stay at home in Cayman, observing the penny saving ideas such as remembering to turn off the lights when leaving a room and actually make some sense of this debacle instead of mistakenly thinking that we can "borrow our way out of debt".

     

  7. Anonymous says:

    What Sis. Julie failed to mention was about the trip she and her bodyguard had to Africa. I thought she would have at least mentioned it, and let us know what was the purpose and how can it benefit the Sister Islands. Maybe she will mention it in her next meeting. These  meetings seem to be getting popular these days. Since government is struggling to pay bills and salaries, it would seem a trip like this must have been very important and for her not to tell the people about it, seems as if something is amiss there.

  8. S. Stirrer says:

    Miss Julie has had since 1996 to do something for the Brac. I think 14 years is quite enough time.

    • Anonymous says:

      14 wasted years. Cayman Brac should have voted in a useful pair of MLAs a long time ago.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Brac is what Grand Cayman was and would love to be again. A much slower life, very little traffic and most important a SAFE place to be. We do have our problems with crime but nothing like GC. If you want the shopping, night life and fast pace then yes GC is for you.  Cayman Brac is holding on to what it was and is  trying to just improve the island enough to bring in business.  We do not want to be like GC. We just want to be the place that people go to get away from a busy life and get in touch with the peace and calm. Your comments against the Brac are not deserved 21:47.  I for one would love for the Brac to remain as it has been for years but people have to make a living and if we want our young people to stay on our island then we must find jobs for them. We deserve a chance. 19:47, 19:13 and 22:02 please direct your comments to those that deserve it and at least give the Brac some type of positive comments. We have cause you no harm and would appreciate understanding.  

    Lastly, remember that it is just not us that live here that read these comments. Negative comments such as these are really not doing us a lot of good.  I guess you are more set on destroying us than helping to make it better. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    If O’Connor-Connolly and the remainder of the UDP stopped wasting huge sums of money on travel the government would be better able to pay its bills

  11. Anonymous says:

    What has this got to do with investors in the Brac? What about non government employees with problems?

    "She said she wanted to see greater tolerance towards those government employees that might have drug or alcohol problems and that these employees must be afforded help for their vices."

  12. Warwick Hunt says:

    Wow! Wide Load!

  13. Bracker Blood says:

    I really love this story.

    It takes how many terms of Ms. Julie’s reign for the sister islands to actually see something getting done.  I wonder who put a fire pan under her in the few weeks?

    Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are always known as the forgotten sister islands. 

    I can appreciate paving private parking lots, but that’s our money you are using to do it with Ms. Julie!!  Will the owner of these private parking lots whom have been blessed with your gift going to be required to refund the NRA? Or has the NRA been awarded a certain amount of charity per project?  If so, lets’ see how many parking lots along the road ways that belong to your your none supporters that will get paved?  (Don’t worry I’ll be checking and reporting back on same).

    Brackers please really think about this whole situation, and think about how long it has taken for you to be noticed by your elected official?  I suppose we won’t hear from them again for another 20+years after this little road paving is complete.  Those roads were in that condition from time I was a child and I am now an adult so that tells you just how long it has been.  Do you want to wait another 20+ years before you get something again?

    Cruise dock facility, we can’t even agree on the one for Grand Cayman, what makes you think we are going to get one that easily in Cayman Brac?  We all know that’s a bag of hot air, and no such thing will ever come to pass. 

    So the 9million that’s been set aside to build Noah’s Ark #2 is going to go where again? 

    Lastly, 45 people in attendance from an island of 1200 people, sure speaks for how much support Ms. Julie is getting.  Yep, people are tired of your rhetoric, and it’s time to hand over the baton Ms. Julie, your time is up.  Please do us all a favour and retire with your big fat bank account that you voted on to increase your pay cheque so you could live a happy life, after you have sucked your constituents treasury dry along with the rest of your UDP Clan.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right, I live in the Brac and I know for a fact that some of the businesses have had to apply to have their parking areas paved.  As of yesterday they are still awaiting the approval of darling dearest deputy premier.  While her church and the deputy district commissioners shop was paved right up to the front door.

      God sees all the the unfairness and wrong doings, remember that while you are standing on the pulpit mrs. oconnor!

       

  14. Anonymous says:

    Pave parking lots next to the road?

    What kind of foolishness is this? They dont even have that many cars on Cayman Brac.

    Oh, I get it! These areas are resreved so Brackers can pull over their cars and wave to Queen Julianna when her chauffer driven SUV drives by!

    And think of it…people thought the PPM were the big spenders

     

  15. ex-oat eric says:

    "but other bills would remain unpaid until the government cash flow improved, hopefully in January. O’Connor Connolly said that would be when normal revenue patterns improve and funding for the approved borrowing was secured"

     

    1st — there will not be any more approved borrowing, remember the 3 year plan!

    2nd — no where else in the world has the economy returned to normal, so it is doubtful that January in be any different than it is today.

    What a bunch of BS! Oh wait — I forgot McKeeva’s got 65 days to pull a rabbit out of his A$$.

  16. Anonymous says:

    If anybody believes that they are actually talking to investors likely to bring money in I have some great swamp land in Florida for you.

  17. Rabble Rouser says:

    She also said that privately owned parking lots adjacent to the main roads would also be included in the public project.
     

    So, when you get caught paving the parking lot of a friend/supporter, instead of apologising profusely and promising to never let it happen again, you just go ahead and pave every private parking lot.

    Did I really get that right? Somehow in print it all looks a bit too surreal. I think I’ll go and plant a few more bananas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Paving friends and supporters’ driveways? So that’s what Juliet was doing in that shot of her atop a bulldozer.

      Knew there had to be some rational reason for her operating heavy machinery.

       

      Thanks for the enlightenment.

    • Anonymous says:

      You got it right

    • Anonymous says:

      Well if thats the case julie you missed quite a few private parking lots in Spot Bay, including some churches.  XXXXXX

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like they’re looking under every rock and up in every tree in every exotic land they travel to.  Sounds rather hit and miss to me.  Are there not more sophisticated methods of attracting investment than flying yourself and a pile of your friends around the world at public expense?

    "Here money, money.  Here, boy".

    What are they really doing?  Sticking a pin in a map to decide their next stop and only checking in at that town’s Chamber of Commerce once they get there?  "Anybody here want to invest in the Cayman Islands?"  This sort of approach makes Mickey Mouse look like Albert Einstein.