Port board faces dissolution

| 29/06/2011

(CNS): Several members of the Port Authority Board are being removed as a result of a dispute with the premier over his decision to stop the talks with GLF Construction in favour of a Chinese firm to construct the cruise facilities. Following speculation that chair Stefan Baraud had departed along with a number of the other non- government members over the weekend, Woody Foster, the deputy chair, confirmed Tuesday that he was one of the people set to be removed but he had already resigned over the current situation with the cruise berthing facilities. CNS contacted the Port Authority on Tuesday about the dissolution of the board but the director’s office said he would not be commenting and directed enquiries to the premier’s ministry.

CNS contacted the ministry staff, the premier’s office and the chair of the board but we are still awaiting a response to confirm the official reasons for the removal of the members.

Noel March, one of the non-government board members, said he had been informed by the board chair that the premier had decided to dissolve the board of directors at the weekend and that only the long-time members (pre 2009) would remain. But he added that he had not yet received official confirmation of his own removal.

It is understood from other sources that on Friday the board members had made it clear that they wished to re-establish talks with GLF/Royal construction as the preferred bidder but by Saturday the premier had told the board that he would be continuing the negotiations with Chinese Harbour Engineering Company. However, it is also understood that the premeir will need to consult with Cabinet and gain its approval before the members who have not resigned can be removed.

Since the premier halted the negotiations with GLF in April, various FOI applications have revealed that the board was only consulted about the decision after it was made although the premier has said that he had consulted with the port chair.

An FOI request has also been made by the independent member Ezzard Miller for the minutes of the most recent board meetings, which may shed light on the sequence of events, but he was told the documents could not be released until the directors had officially signed and accepted the record. However, as it appears that most of those members may now be forced to quit and it is not clear who will be able to authorize the release of the minutes.

Following the premier’s decision, it is understood that GLF Construction/Royal Construction partnership had indicated to the Port Authority and the CI Government its intention to take legal action on the matter. In such circumstances, if the suit were successful the board members could all be liable if it was shown they were complicit in the decision of the premier if it was it found to be wrong in law.

Since terminating the negotiations with GLF, the premier has signed a ministerial MOU with CHEC which does not included the Port Authority. He said this was to allow talks to take place between the Chinese firm and the government on the three projects that the company may be taking on.

Although the original RFP was solely for the George Town cruise facilities, the negotiations now include a cruise pier for the Turtle Farm as well as the renovation of the jetty at Spotts. Work on this, the premier has revealed, will begin next month regardless of the outcome of the other negotiations.

CHEC has advanced the government $3 million for the work at the alternate location for ships to anchor when weather prevents use of the George Town harbour, and government has agreed to pay the company back that money if the two parties fail to reach an agreement on the full project package. (See China gets 49yr concession)

Category: Politics

Comments (87)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Men who have made important contributions to politics often get so consumed by self-importance and a sense of entitlement that their failure to get their way is presented as the total failure of the country. Such men have been thrown up by virtually every country that went through prolonged economic or liberation  struggles.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In the Compass article, the premier says that the former board members were "not willing to carry out government policy and were proving “to be stumbling blocks”.  This is because he fails to understand that the board members job is to be impartial and make sure things are handled fairly and that due legal process is followed. XXXX

  3. Anonymous says:

    So, instead of actually doing something about unemployment in Cayman, Mr. Bush has seen fit to fire a group of honest, upright, intelligent Caymanians in order to provide jobs for the Chinese, while our people and their faminies continue to go hungry. Not to worry, Mac, the people of Cayman really no longer expect any better from you. But we do intend to make it better for ourselves.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As long as they don't let Elio back on the Radio to further remind us he has no spine

  5. Anonymous says:

    The most sickening thing about the continual demise of our country is the deafening silence from the UDP members!!! How can you sit silently by and allow ONE man to destroy the stability and reputation of these islands??

    Mckeeva has to be stopped. I plead with Mike, Julianna, Rolston,Mark, Cline,Eugene,Ellio, and Dwayne please please have a heart to heart sit down with Mckeeva and let him know he is losing touch with the people again. He is wrong and his actions will only lead to destruction!!

    Voters please start bombarding these individuals with calls and emails and stopping them on the road to voice our disgust with their SILENCE.

    We need integrity discipline respect and decorum back in the LA.

    • Anonymous says:

      they had their chance…. when mckeeva was off island and the no-confidence issue was raised……..it is too late for them now…their fate is sealed…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of them Mr. Premier if they do not want to do what you said.  As employers they know that if an employee does not do as the boss wishes then there is only two alternatives.

    Make no apologies Mr. Premier if they get in you way remove them.

    • Anonymous says:

      The employer is not the Premier.  The employer is the people of the Cayman Islands who pay for all those who work in a Government ministry, department or statutory authority.  Those are the people they answer to.   The law says only Cabinet can appoint and dismiss members of the board, one individual does not have power to do so.

    • Anonymous says:

      A hope y trip up n pop y mout.

    • Anonymous says:

      We sincerely hope you don't get fired for your poor English, or your glaring lack of intelligence.

  7. Anonymous says:

    glad to see Stephan finally wised up to the fact that McKeeva was using him.  Stephan may have been acting with good intentions but i believe he now sees the light – to McKeeva putting Stephan in that position was a strategic move.  McKeeva thought he would be able to control Stephan. Stephan was fooled for a short while but it looks as though he is figuring out what McKeeva is all about XXXXX

    Wonder when the other staunch UDP supporters will get some sense? Doesn't look like there is any hope for McKeeva's cabinet colleagues acting with good sense or with Cayman, its future and its people, at heart.


    • Anonymous says:

      That is precisely why Stephan was put in that position. He was seen as someone who could be pushed around and used to 'cover up'. Everybody eventually wakes up to McKeeva, Including Stephan. Mac's 'colleagues' seem to be in a particularly deep coma but we continue to pray for them. Our sincerest congratulations, Stephan. You have served your country well.

  8. Anonymous says:

    HONABLE BOARD MEMBERS are to be admired

    There are a number of honest and ethical, very  honourable members of the port board (excluding the Chairman) which include Woody, Carson, Carlon, Sonny Boy & Paul who we know are good men who have done the right thing and are standing by the right decision for the port as they know that the port will be caught in a legal battle with GLF because of the incompetance of the man we know as our DICTATOR. The port will be financially liable for the blunders, interference and mismanagement of the DICTATOR and these good men are smart enough to stand by their conscience in doing the right thing. XXX


  9. Anonymous says:

    Last call – Last beg- Last plea. Mr. Governor, please dissolve this government and call fresh elections.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @ lets face facts. Respect is due to Mr. Foster. His name is a respected name in these Islands. His Father miust be smiling now, as David would have done the same. Governement only works if laws are respected, the laws are what stops chaos and other misdeeds. The fact is Mr. Foster  knows the facts, we only think we know. Watch this space………

    Who's name is the most respected Mr. Foster or other people with an axe to grind.

    • Anonymous says:

      You too have our respect and our congratulations, Mr. Foster. You too have served your country well in our ongoing war against darkness and evil. Thank you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I believe it is time to set up a protest outside of the Governor's residence. After all, the sidewalk right infront of there is public. Maybe this would help get our concerns across. Hmmm

  12. Anonymous says:

    Where were all of you on Tuesday???????????? I was at the march.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see those board members have some integrity and courage!!!  This is how this man rules by fear and intimidation, making ppl stiffle their own opinions and beliefs because of fear of being stigmatized and repercutions that would follow if they did not agree with him!!!!  Cayman it is time for this to stop, including the ppl who vote for hi because of what he has promised them your country is worth more than that, stop being selfish!!!!  Proud Caymanian

  14. Anonymous says:

    No, it's okay, Mr. Premier, we'll do the honorable thing and resign because your deal with the Chinese stinks to high heaven.  By the way, are you considering standing down following the announcement that you're under investigation for financial irregularities?  Sorry, what was that?  Honorable?  It means. . . 

  15. anonymous says:

    Lets face facts…..All Boards are to execute Government Policy according to the Rules of Board.

    They act, and are, at the pleasure of the Government. They do not have independent authority to do anything else.

    Should they disagree with government policy they should resign (as it appears happens here) or they can be replaced if they are seen to be countering Government policy ( as may also be the case here).

    Not sure we have a technical problem here at all.


    • Anonymous says:

      What you state is correct but not applicable. You misunderstand what "govt. policy" means. It is general in nature. What it does not mean is that you can interfere into the decision making of the Board on a particular case. e.g. that CHEC must have the contract cannot be the subject of govt. policy.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually most statutory boards are there to fulfill the requirements of the law which created the relevant authority. I know that a politician or two may consider the relevant laws and safeguards as mere obstacles to their whims or profits but that should not be what determines what boards do.

    • Subway Cookie says:

      Incorrect in theory, unfortunately correct in practice.  The Port Authority Board, assembled by the Governer has the statutory right to regulate its own procedure (with limits) – see section 3 (9) Port Authority Law.  The property vests in the authority.  So, no they are not merely there to carry out the 'policies' of which ever Government is currently in power.  If so, then what is the point in having an authority?  Government could simply implement its own decisions with no need for a port authority.

      Now, in practice, as we see here the Premier is forcing out dissenting members as if he (personally and not as a representative of the people or any government agency) can simply veto any decision.  If we don't play his way by his rules then he will take his 'ball' and go.  However, in this case the 'ball' he is playing with is the future of these Islands.  The Premier XXXX has now even resorted to removing his own supporters!


    • Anonymous says:

      This is not even policy.  A policy would be "Let's acquire cruise ship berths." The Board would then action that policy.  The Port Director according to the law, should be carrying out that order for action in accordance with Government's laws, regulations and procedures that outlines how you go about such things, including the Central Tenders Process.  However, here you seem to have a one man show that is like a mad elephant raging through town trampling on everyone and obeying no rules in the process.  Very, very sad.  I am glad the Board stood up to him.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes we do have a technical problem…exactly how the f*** do we get rid of McKeeva.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is really good, but I think it could get a whole lot better!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why didn't Mac take $3 million from the Nation Building Fund instead of borrowing it from CHEC?

    Are their interest rates the same as Cohens?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a new one on me. I always thought that if I hired a contractor to work on my house that I was supposed to pay him for the work. Now I find out that I could have gotten money from him up front and got the work done. Imagine that, a contractor who pays you up front so yo will allow him to work for you. What I don't understant is when I finally pay the contractor for his job, do I have to give him back the "up front" money too? Maybe he'll be a generous contractor and just let me keep it.

  18. G says:

    The Premier is under alot of STRESS. For any of you that don't know what that is, you should trade places with the Premier. Or, better yet, see if you can come with solutions and recommendations on bettering the economy instead of tearing down the man all the time and accusing him of corruption.

    • Anonymous says:

      I'll trade places,…… anybody know where he is?

    • Anonymous says:

      Corruption? Thats absurd for you to even think that much less say it here!

    • Anonymous says:

      The stress is self-inflicted I have no pity.  If he didn't want to be in this position he shouldn't have chosen politics.

      Anyone with a good understanding of government and economics would do a better job – I'd love to trade places.  But a basic knowledge or better still, qualifications in government and economically related fields should be a pre-requisite.

    • Anonymous says:

      "if yah cant take the heat…stay out the rass kitchen!"

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Hmmm…? You know you are right. The ideal solution to alleviating Mac's stress and bettering the economy would be for Mac to resign. There! Two birds with one stone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those with integrity are never stressed.



      • Dred says:

        I wouldn't say that necessarily.

        I know personally I could never hold office in Cayman because I feel too personally about everything. I love this little 2 x 4 plot of land we call the Cayman Islands and it grieves me when I see what is happening today with all the crime and people not having jobs and businesses closing. It would hurt my heart and I know I would be under stress 24/7 because everyday would be filled with me trying to change it all in an instance and we all know this is something that will take time to resolve.

        To me if you are not under some degree of stress something is wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      Solution after solution has been offered and researched and printed on this website that could better the economy and create jobs. The Premier's ego prevents him from engaging in rational adult conversation with people who offer good advice. He acts like a bully when anyone suggests that he might not be making good decisions and doesn't know how to listen. He is not qualified to make policy on matters of economics. If he is soliciting advice from others,  it is apparently not working.

      There is a difference between the budget and the debt. The budget is to determine how money is spent for the coming year and how much is projected to come in to government. Always it is hopeful that more comes in than goes out. Unfortunately, this budget year will see more going out than coming in. Things like the Turtle Farm, Pedro Castle, Cayman Airways and other money losing entities will continue to drain revenue and eat up all of the recent tax increases. The budget shortfall means no money left to pay the half billion dollar debt bill that will eventually come due. Not to mention the interest payments on that debt.

      Yes there are obvious solutions but you won't see the Premier entertain them because votes matter more than people.


  19. Anonymous says:

    I consider these board members to be bright smart individuals. But Mac did not want thinkers on the board. he wanted puppets. Good job for standing your ground on this one Stefan and Woody. Lets see which dummies take their place.

    • Anonymous says:

      They will be replaced with yes-men who will get things done albeit right or wrong. The Premier needs people who will help him get his ideas into practice. He dont need other Dictators to dictate to him.

  20. Say It Ain't So says:

    We are asking for the governor to intervine what about the Attorney General? Clearly he has something to say regarding the cancelling of the GLF contract. Its obvious the Premier took it upon himself and ignored the board on the China Harbour MOU. What if the country is faced with a lawsuit? who's going to pay?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Nation Building Fund

    • Dred says:

      Let's just put it this way. We already know which side his bread is buttered on. All I have to do is say BT Elections. The law was broken there also and he SHOULD have said something. SHOULD being the operative word.

  21. Absurdistani says:

    Congrats to Stefan and Woody for allowing their principles to shine through. 

    We hope that your leadership example serves as a turning point.

    All other intelligent (yet to this point sheepish) followers of the dishonourable Premeir should follow suit and distance themselves from him.


    • Dred says:

      Actually I would have made him fire me. I would not have resigned because I was doing my job. Make HIM make the move. That would show the world what he wants. By resigning he could say they made a decision.

      • Anonymous says:

        To be fair to these gentlemen, prior to the weekend, the general advise given to them was to do the right thing and resign. Now that they have, we are advising otherwise. Its hard to please the CNS crowd. 

        On another note, I would like to commend CNS for being the one avenue in Cayman that allows freedom of speech. I don't know if this was an initial intent, but it has offered people a tremendous opportunity to be heard. Thank you.



        • Dred says:

          I still say I would make them fire me irregardless of what I am advised. If I knew I was doing my job to the best of my ability and that the decisions I had made were sound ethically I would prefer to be fired than resign. By resigning it's like making him win. Now he can say they resigned whatwas I to do but to replace them.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Stand strong Stefan and Woody. We support your actions!

  23. Westminer says:

    The Governor should take over Cayman with an Iron Fist of authority, get rid of the Constitution, and fly the British flag higher than the Cayman Islands' flag!  Enough with this foolishness!  Everyone ought to pay tax and the news media of division should all be shut down for Cayman's benefit! 

    I call for British Rule over this little rock! 

  24. Anonymous says:

    You people don't seem to realize that McKeeva is in it all for himself, and he doesn't like people to reason with him, and if they challenge him, he gets rid of them. Does that seem "democratic" to you?

    All of you UDP drones need to smarten up and stop being about yourselves, and what "Mac" can do for you, and start looking out for your fellow Caymanian. The way McKeeva is preying on expats by offering them jobs and solitude is magnifying the "us and them" situation that has always been a problem in Cayman. Above all, there needs to be a "Caymanians First" mandate throughout all Government endeavors, followed by our welcomed, deserving, Status Holders and then special distinction for outstanding work permit holders.

    "Big Mac" is making a "Big Mess" out of this country, so find a way to kick that guy to the curb. We don't need his kind in power. 

  25. Say It Ain't So says:

    Can the Premier really defy a statutory authority? If the board made a decision how can he override the boards decision. To the members of the port board stand strong, clearly you know what needs to be done. Back off Mr. Premier before you cause us legal woes! 

  26. Dred says:

    Are not many of these people who are resigning his OWN UDP SUPPORTERS?? Is no one safe from this man's wrath?

    To me this more than sends a message that this needs a review.

    Let's look at just a few items:

    1) Cohen deal where he goes around the CTC and chooses Cohen despite the fact that CTC recommends a local provider.

    2) CruiseBerthing situation – His own board is now forced to disolve when then stand up for what they have determine to be the best offer. His decision to go with CHEC was out of the blue and is against the recommondation of HIS OWN PEOPLE. Now he is forcing them out because they do not agree with him.

    3) The investigation – Irregardless of wether this proves to be anything it's still a situation where an investigation is neededmeaning it's sufficiently strange enough that it looks bad even if it may not be.

    4) East End Cargo Port – Despite the fact that even the DOE has come out on this, a department of government, Mr Bush has seemingly already had his mind made up on thsi project. This project impacts this Island in a major way both economically, environmentally and on a community level.

    5) Oil Refinery – This is regarding a project where the technology is experimental and he is giving his blessing on it. Has an environmantal impact study been done? Should this not be shelfed until the process is proven? Yet he is all ready to sign an okay on this.

    6) North Sound Channel – Again threatening one of our long standing treasures in Stingray City and the fragile environment that exist within the North Sound. And he was again all gung ho to let the Chinese step in.

    I am appealing to the Governor to step in. I believe that there is MORE than adequate evidence on the table now that shows something is not right. I believe the Governor should ask his UDP party to have him step down in light of all that has gone on.

    I mean what more does the Governor need? People are marching. Boards are being forced to disolve. Committees in charge of certain processes are being overstepped such as CTC. Recommendations are being thrown in the garbage.

    What does it take Mr Duncan for you to act?

    Please before this issue becomes that much more severe. Don't wait until something DRASTIC happens before you act. Stop doing emergency manegment and start being PROACTIVE.

    • Bettlejuice says:


      "I am appealing to the Governor to step in. I believe that there is MORE than adequate evidence on the table now that shows something is not right. I believe the Governor should ask his UDP party to have him step down in light of all that has gone on."

      So Dred, you want the Governor to step in, declare full rule, and introduce direct tax, since that would halt development and the country's revenue.

      You have good ideas, but this one may just kill our financial industry. Look at TCI.

      • Dred says:

        NO. I never said for him to step in and full rule. Did you not read my post? I said for him to step in with regards to issuing a recomendation to the UDP party that he be temporarily if not permanently forced to step aside.

        I believe a recommondation by the Governor may for the UDP party to act. Us saying stuff, Alden saying stuff and Ezzard saying stuff means NOTHING. The Governor on the other hand is a representative of the UK and it could be seen by the UDP party as something of graver consequences should they not act.

        Although I am not fond of Juliana I believe she should be interim Premier until their party can decide if she should continue to act or if they wanted to rearrange their leadership.

        Since we are only now a year and change away from elections they could carry on in that manner until elections.

  27. GOVERNOR PLEASE!!! says:

    The Governor appoints the port authority board members.So where are you now on this issue? Surely you can not watch this board being rigged with the Premier's supporters simply so that the Chinese deal can be pushed thru? Surely by now YOU must be suspicious of the Premier's motives with the Chinese – everyone else is? XXXX

    • Dred says:

      A few on the board were already PRO UDP and that did not help. I guess he will have to hold interviews personally asking "If I should ask you to support a project irregardless of how STUPID it may seem would you vote for it or against it?" Maybe he might find people fool enough to say for it. Hell he get's in every election so I guess he has enough of them around.

  28. Anonymous says:

    With the exception of the persons who are members of the Board of Directors because of their job title they only way you become a long standing director of any Government body is to be a "yes man". If those who remain had any integrity they too would resign but I suppose that for some "integrity" is a word that is overridden by the need to being seen to be in a position of influence.

    As a Director you are supposed to be independent in your thinking and when you are not able to do so because you are being told what to think then it is time to hit the road. Many accept directorships because of kudos and overlook the legal liability that goes with it. Maybe now a lesson will belearned.

    • anaonymous says:

      I remember sitting on a board and surviving 16 years much to my surprise. Then came along el Premier who fired me. Did I get a letter of thanks and telling me of the situation? No, I read about it in the Government Gazette. I am not the only one to receive that treatment.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Stephan and Woody and every soul in Cayman with the guts to STAND UP for what is good and right in our country. We love you and we assure you that God will bless you.


  30. Anonymous says:

    i was going to say… where is the governor? but what is the point , we know he will do or say nothing……..

    we are truly now living in a banana republic……

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, really, you want the Governor to bail you out now?  Is he not doing the right thing by allowing the people decide, democracy.  If he interfered, you would be saying something different.  The people have to decide the governance they want and follow through with it.  If not, then you know what is likely to happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree but we dont have any bananas.

      I had a tree but somebody stole my bananas right off the tree in my backyard.

  31. Recently Enlightened says:

    Wow. There have been many "tongue-in-cheek" comments in the past year and a half about a "dictatorship". But it fast becoming a reality. So much for democratic process!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again Mac cant get his way so you must go. Wake up people this man has lost it its time for him to GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  33. Anonymous says:

    The rest of the UDP should do likewise or they will go down with this Premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      Frankly, I hope they all go down with this ship.

      This country needs new blood in office.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier needs to be reigned in before the bungles he is creating become so vastthat any possibilty of remedying them proves insurmountable

  35. Anonymous says:

    Pity those elected members who stick with the Premier don't show the same integrity as the board members who have resigned.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like big time UDP supporters are scurrying to get away from McKeeva before he comes crashing down.  At least Stefan/Woody/Noel are smart.  Yesterday I heard two different callers to Talk Today compare McKeeva to both Moses and Jesus.  The hardcore (not so smart) supporters will stay with him until the end.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Given the resignations of these honourable people I guess that the Premier will have to find some people he can "wuk wit" .

    • Anonymous says:

      That's right. We desperately need some more uneducated UDP supporters running our country.

    • Anonymous says:

      For those of us that don't know, 'wuk wit' is Chinese for 'push around'.

  38. Anonymous says:

    The stench surrounding this is getting worse by the day.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I applaud those who have resigned rather than allowing themselves to be either pawns or complicit. It is particularly encouraging that there are young Caymanians that choose integrity in situations like this one.

  40. Philip says:

    And the plot thickens.