Cayman Brac economy

| 06/08/2011

Upon seeing for myself the current economic distress in Cayman Brac, I feel compelled to call on the government to begin immediately a program of sustainable economic development in Cayman Brac. At this time there are few private sector jobs for our young people after completing high school or tertiary education. They are forced to relocate to Grand Cayman in search of employment.

Because of this, Cayman Brac has an aging and shrinking population with few encouraging prospects.

I have continued to help Cayman Brac throughout my life. I have tried to provide everything, from airline service to the construction and operating of two hotels. At this time I am more concerned for the future of Cayman Brac than I have been at any time in my life. Failure to act quickly will result in Cayman Brac getting to the point at which it will no longer have a viable population. I am hereby suggesting the following in an effort to change the current situation:

Reduction of planning fees, especially those fees pertaining to clearing of beach property.

A complete review of the planning laws with a view to simplification, reducing restrictions, reducing fees and being made more builder friendly.

The total reinstatement of the duty concession that was in place for Cayman Brac from the mid 1990s until it was allowed to partially expire on 30 June, 2011.

Upgrading of the airport to accommodate international departures.

After airport improvements, provide concessions to any airline providing service to Cayman Brac from non CAL destinations.

Enhancement of the Cayman Brac tourism product, with a greater part of DoT’s budget earmarked to promote the Brac.

Low license fee and exemption of work permit fee for the first 2 years for any business that relocates to Cayman Brac, with a total of 15 or more employees.

Change the purpose of the new hurricane shelter to that of a facility which can provide back-office support to various government departments in Grand Cayman. It could still
function as an emergency shelter when needed.

Provide fee incentives to any financial service business, that is willing to be located in Cayman Brac.

Enhance the high school and UCCI facilities in Cayman Brac to better prepare our young people.

Encourage the building of a marina, and reduce duty for boats and yachts that are imported into, and home ported in Cayman Brac.

Offer special concessions for high-tech firms to locate in Cayman Brac.

Identify, preserve and enhance Cayman Brac’s natural features (i.e. caves, splits, ponds, etc.), while also ensuring access and information to residents and tourists.

Review the feasibility of allowing water sports inside of the reef of the south west coast of Cayman Brac.

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (61)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sad to hear today that Mr. Linton has passed on. We have truly lost an icon. May his soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine upon him.


  2. BracFan says:

    I'm also concerned about the Brac.   It's getting almost impossible for non-citizens to own a home there and contribute to the Brac economy.

    For example, Brac Power's fuel factor surcharge is 45% of my current Brac Power bill!   We do not live on the Brac for most of the year, and when we spend time in our home on the Brac, most of our budget goes to paying this bill.  We would rather spend most of our Brac money on the restaurants, stores, shops, and the skilled workforce that really help the economy.   But we can't.  I don't understand how this fuel factor surcharge helps the Brac economy.   It's one more reason why non-citizens are quitting the island.

    It's probably more complicated than I understand, so I respect the Brackers who are taking time to understand the underlying problems and propose real solutions for them.  Thank you Mr. Tibbets.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a home on the Brac as well and enjoy spending as much time there as my job will allow.  While I sympathize with the poster about the fuel surcharge, it's important to understand that is the same wherever you live.  I have a home in Florida and have the exact same surcharge each month from FP&L, it just fluctuates with the cost of oil.

      I will say that I was amazed and pleased that CBP&L didn't include a hurricane recovery charge after Paloma.  I'm not sure how they absorbed all the expense they must have had to recover and rebuild, but God Bless Them.  I know FP&L sure passed that on to us in Florida!  FP&L charged us a hurricane recovery surcharge along with a fuel surcharge for many months after the hurricane in Miami!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are blaming the wrong company here. The power company is only passing along the increase which Chevron/Texaco is forcing them to pay. The real culprits are Chevron. CBP&L employs a lot of my family members and they all live and work in the Brac so I would say that your bill contributes greatly to the Brac’s economy.

      • Anonymous says:

        The real culprit is not Chevron when it comes to the price of fuel or power on the Brac. It is the governments inability to manage subsidies that should be in place for smaller communities. The price of fuel and other necessary services like Utilities, shipping and retail profits should be controlled with goverment subsidising the cost of these services in order to keep people living here and businesses operating without huge loses. Remote communities all over the world are subsidised by their governments so that the culture can be preserved and the community continues to be sustainable. There is just no political know how or will in this country to be responsible to their constituants and their country's economic health. I give up!

    • Anonymous says:

      BracFan:  At leastyou can leave.  Locals have to stay and pay those big bills.  We have to choose between putting food on the table and putting money on our light.  Not a good choice is it?


  3. Anonymous says:

    Why don't Mr Tibbett's buy the old Tiara and reopen it, that would be a help to the economy, or get DART to buy it, they seem to have no end to money, and seem quite keen on property in these islands

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you see a sign saying "For Sale" on Tiara?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hahaha. Tiara used to be the original Brac Reef and then he sold it.
      Why would he buy it back? And like the other poster says, is there a for sale sign on it?

  4. Andrew Reid says:

    The reality is that the capital district is where the office jobs are and those are the jobs Caymanians want. It matters little whether you are from West Bay, Old Man Bay, Gun Bay, or Stake Bay. If you want to participate in the professional/administrative sector, you must set a course for Hog Sty Bay.

    Given the small size of Grand Cayman, it is not feasible, or indeed necessary, to try to replicate the George Town office sector in the outer districts. However, the Brac is something of an exception in this respect. It has always suffered a more acute form of population drain as its young people have little choice but to relocate to the big island.

    But, with the quality of life on Grand Cayman in decline, the Brac can expect some economic revival as retirees move there seeking a more tranquil pace. This is already happening and residents of Grand Cayman (many of them Brackers) have been purchasing land and building homes on the Brac with this in mind.

    There is one thing that government could do to assist the Brac economy and this is to open a small Companies Registry/Monetary Authority office.

    The existence of a strong financial industry has created a large professional/middle class population which sets Grand Cayman apart from the rest of the Caribbean. No other country in our region has anything like it and it continues to show great resilience in the face of international interference and successive governments viewing it as perpetually taxable. It is possible to extend the benefits of this industry to the Brac.

    Just as lawyers and accountants came to Grand Cayman seeking a particular island lifestyle, it is very likely that a new generation of professionals can be attracted to the Brac. All they need to set up shop is good communications and the ability to obtain certificates on a same day basis. This won't happen overnight, but people forget that Grand Cayman's financial sector developed over several decades.

    The Brac has no crowds, no traffic jams, no armed robbers. All very appealing!


  5. Anonymous says:

    After reading all these comments, as a Bracker who has been running my own small business for the past three years, here is what  I think we needto do to get this economy up and sustained. Piped water througout the island, a decent shipping company, gas and food price reduction, encourage our youth to seek employment in the tourist sector, and gain a qualification in that field, abolish the roolover policy, treat the Brac economy as just that, and not compare it to the bigger island, mentor our young, one and all without and predujice. I could go on and on, so lets rool up or sleeves, one and all for the future of our island. I hope the present government heeds most of what was noted by the majority, and especially from those older wiser heads, we do not have to do everything that was suggested, but most are needed, the time is now

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Mr. Tibbetts for your words of wisdom and for suggesting a sensible and practical use for that 'hotel' on the bluff. That is so foolish! You care about the Brac, not about getting votes. The Governor should listen to you. Who in their right mind would spend that amount of money on a building that hopefully will never be used (for the intended purpose).

  6. Anonymous says:

    I would have more respect for Linton if dropped the O.B.E. after his name.

    It is nice to have the honor but do you have to bring attention to it?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a proud Caymanian and after reading your comment I did not realize that Cayman had so many idiots that would make such a statement. If someone recognizes you for your hard work, nothing is wrong with that .often times our children work hard and we do not compliment them. Mr. T was a fine respectable man with good common sense and very humble man may his soul rest in peace.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The world is in a economic decline, building is not the answer Dubai has more buildings than they can handle read this maybe government can find a solution in this article

  8. Nonnie Mouse says:

    We already spend a fortune subsidising the Brac. If all these super successful Brac families are such great businessmen then they can invest their capital in businesses there rather than writing long letters asking for charity from Grand Cayman duty payers.

    • Anonymous says:

      I share your frustration. However the majority of the tax payer's money that has been spent on Cayman Brac has been wasted. It appears to only be aimed at getting a MLA re-elcted. Government must create an environment that the private sector can survive in and spend it's money in a way that benifits the long term survival of the island.

      Rather than spending money on paving parking lots, building the hurricane shelter or more toilet blocks perhaps if some of Mr Tibbetts' were followed it would be a game changer. If nothing is changed in Cayman Brac it will continue to be a drain on Cayman's economy. There is NO reason for Cayman Brac to constantly need aid from Grand Cayman save that for more than 15 years it has been mis-managed at the highest levels.

  9. Libertarian says:

    Mr. Linton Tibbetts,

    It appears that you are a man who truly cares for the people of Cayman Brac. Your efforts to increase the private sector jobs in the Brac is noteworthy, and I sincerely hope that all the lawmakers take what you have suggested with great importance!  At the same time, preserving and enhancing Cayman Brac’s natural features is very pertinent. If only we can have more of her beautiful features secured from the greedy hands of investors and well-off few. It sounds like you are looking out for the average local business owner, and I encourage you to do so, and to never be discouraged by what you are witnessing in the political arena. Never let Dart or some big name set foot on the Brac, because he means playing the game of monopoly (and not the game of fair competition).  He means having the government help him to grab up all that he can get. Government should never be showing such favoritism to one entity or a few entities! Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, may be the last piece of the Cayman Islands for even the locals to escape. The runningof Cayman Bracs economy, should be completely separated from government's interference, and the fees should be very low. Regards


  10. Anonymous says:

    Here is a dumb idea from an ex-pat home owner in Cayman Brac. Why not survey the tourists coming to the island for the types of activities they are looking for while vacationing on beautiful Cayman Brac either at the beginning or end of their trip?  I think the DOT needs more hard data from tourists to assist with longer term planning.

    I think Mr Tibbet's idea about 100% foreign ownership of some local business is a good one and should be trialed. If successful, it would boost the local economy.

    Here are my own dumb business ideas that any local Brakker can take up immediately:

    1. Make available for sale (to tourists obviously) the beautiful conch shells harvested during the season. They are a wonderful souvenir for a non Brakker to take home. I once paid $20 US for a large beautiful conch while on vacation in Anguilla – bought from the driveway of a local lady.

    2. Set up a road side "farmers market" which sells 2 or 3 times a week the local harvest. While on vacation, many tourists want to eat the local fruits and veg, but they are impossible to find in the stores. Apples, grapes and oranges are plentiful at home, but tiny bananas, papaya, mango and pineapple are what I crave when away.

    We look forward to spending many years coming to Cayman Brac and bringing more visitors with us to the island paradise that the Brac offers.

    I love Cayman Brac and have never spent even a 1 night stay in Grand Cayman.

  11. ashamed Caymanian says:

    Look, my take is, the less influence we have from outside, with dialect, culture and the "acceptable" way of life, we will not advance.  Caymanians are endangered specieis- end of story.  I say hold on to what you have and find another country to go to, this one is finished.



  12. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Linton, how about getting rid of all those expats at Brac Reef and hiring the Cayman Brackers. It was a time when there were only Cayman Brackers at Brac Reef, but the pay was so small, everyone eventually left. This would be your opportunity to help the young people get a career in tourism, but for $5 or $6 an hour, people can't live on that.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's good.  Tiara Beach only paid me $3.50 and I worked there for 6 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      How about locals realizing that they can’t have these high paying jobs without experience and qualifications. I’m a local but seriously no one should be getting paid a lot of money unless they are willing to educate themselves.

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Your attitude is one of the reasons that Cayman Brac is in the pits: when a Bracker with knowledge and experience has the courage to speak out and offer sound suggestions to better the island, the best some people can come up with is to take swipes at them and try to undermine their credibility. How very sad.

      So why are you singling out Mr. Linton for special criticism? Tell me, how many Bracker-owned businesses on the island do you know of that pay any more than the Brac Reef does for an entry-level service position? Many pay less, especially when grats pool distribution is factored in.

      I should think that when Mr. Linton began working for Cox as a young man he was making a very meagre wage as there were no minimum wage laws in Florida in those days. Instead of whining he worked hard, gained experience, and advanced. He eventually bought the company when the owner was contemplating retiring. The rest, as they say, is history and now Mr. Linton is a very wealthy man. You and many others would do well to learn from his life's story.


      In light of your comments, I doubt given the same opportunity you would have faired as well as he, you would have been too busy grumbling. Your comments call your credibility into question when it comes to suggesting a path to success for the island. You say people cannot live on the wages the hotel pays. Last time I was at the resort the employees all looked alive to me. What is their secret?

      One way to advance the Brac would be to rid the island of whiney people with an attitude of entitlement without the work ethic to back it up. When I began working summer jobs at less than $1 per hour for works weeks that often exceeded 60 hours, I wanted more money, fewer hours, and less hard work. (Also, wine, women and fast cars – but I digress.) In time I got what I wanted and then some. (Including, the wine, women and fast cars – but that's another story and some of it may not be suitable to print here.) I worked hard and diligently, got an education and experience, and eventually I opened up my own businesses and invested my money wisely. The rest, as they say, is history.

  13. Dennis Smith says:

    Just a quick idea. Why not let 100% foreign owned business setup in the Brac. We’ve tried the 40% foreign ownership approach for almost 50 years and its not working. Probably because no one wants to put their heart, soul and life savings into a business that they don’t really own. It’s about the only incentive left that might attract new Foreign Direct Investment.

    Since we let foreigners invest in land, which doesn't generate employment, why not let them freely invest and manage business activities that generate employment and expand economic activity? I doubt that a lot of companies would setup in the Brac but who knows. We might be surprised.

    If we establish or visualize the Brac as a Special Economic Zone without a lot of restrictions and reduced overheads, some creative entrepreneurs might just imagine something interesting that we never thought about. Who knows, it might just work well enough to attract employment from Grand Cayman as well. Then the Brac would need more of everything just to accommodate an invigorated population revival. That in turn would make the Brac more interesting to visit.

    For the most part we seem to be without ideas for fixing this problem ourselves. I for one would hate to see the Brac die just because we are too obsessed with protecting it from foreign investment. Think back to the early days in Grand Cayman, it was foreigners with money; ideas and passion that created the finance and dive tourist industry and that gave us the foundation for our present economy.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Tibbetts has publicized what he observed about the situation in Cayman Brac, and it is obvious that he sees the need for immediate action to be taken by government.
    He was born and raised in the island and has been supportive of his island home all his life..  He has poured money into the island to help it through the years but he realizes that the current situation demands more than he is able to provide.  
    Instead of ignoring his suggestions and offering negative criticism, the naysayers should try to learn from a man of suchwide experience and should support his ideas, and even undertake some responsiblity in solving the needs of Cayman Brac.
    As for the Department of Development and Planning, reputable contractors are constantly complaing of the red tape difficulty and hassle that they are experniencing with projects.
    They say that a number of foreigners who were interested in building in Cayman Brac, left, saying that they will invest their money somewhere else rather than tolerate the hassle that local authorities are giving.
    That is not a laughing matter for know-it-alls to debate, when it has put local contractors and construction workers out of work and reduced the amount of money in circulation.  
    Lack of employment puts more strain on Social Service and is likely to generate crime.
    It is certainly in the power of government to ease restrictions and encourage private investments rather than making the island become destitute, by making more and more laws and regulations, and allowing the discretion of people in authority to create formidable burdens on those who try to help.
    It is time for government to intervene revive the economy of the Brac.   


  15. Anonymous says:

    Casino in Cayman Brac?  Let the Church run them!

  16. Anonymous says:

    To B.B.L Brown,

    XXX Your suggestions are completely couter productive to the growth of our economy.

    Lower fees are an incentive.  Think about it… big businesses are looking to save money too and as such lower fees are a way to do so.  It would make sense.

    Direct flights… bring potential investors, business clients, cargo, family; it all adds up to more revenue for the entire island and its residence.

    We have high tech firms that hire Caymanians and we have Caymanians that could work in high tech firms… get with the ages.

    Inside the reef… are you for real? how many people do you see doing anything in the reef other than swimming by the old time shares,,, and that is a sport too.

    Let's look at a  marina for a minute; there are already suitable locations for a marina with either minimal dredging or excavation and a marina brings tons of money (construction/business/utilities/vehicles, etc.). But that is long term visionarythinking as opposed to this hurricane hilton idea that ju ju came up with (now that is stupid).

    While things are always better in memories we must progress or we will disappear.


  17. B.B.L. Brown says:

    While the Honorable Mr. Tibbetts has accomplished a lot of good things in his life, I feel I must disagree with him on some of his proposals.

    Upgrading the airport to accomodate international (larger) planes would be a huge waste of money.  If people want to come to the Brac, they can get here with available transportation.  There aren't enough passengers to fill intercontinental jets, not now and not in the foreseeable future.  We don't need a larger airport.

    Low licence fees and other fee incentives are unnecessary.  If a business wants to come here and can't come up with the required fees, it doesn't have the finances necessary to open a business.  What new businesses do we REALLY need? 

    I'm not sure just what providing "back-office support to various government departments" means, but I still feel a hurricane shelter/high school makes a lot of sense for the shelter being built on the bluff.

    As for building a marina…..  Now you're talking about more big bucks!  There isn't any good place for a marina without massive excavation.  Do we really need it!  Not really.

    High tech firms????  Forget it.  If they did come, they would have to bring their own personnel.

    Water sports inside the reef?  What kind of water sports?  Are we talking power boat racing?  I hope not.  We have a nice place inside the reef to swim, snorkel, maybe catch a fish or two.  Let's leave it be.

    I know there are a lot of people who think "progress" is a wonderful thing.  It isn't.  Look at all the places in the Caribbean where the people have "progressed" to traffic jams, night clubs, crime, slums, etc, etc.  I don't want that kind of progress.  I like the Brac like it is.  In fact, I would like it better if it were like it once was, without all the politics and pressure to "have it all".

    • Anonymous says:

      And this is why you are not Mr. Tibbetts.
      Stay under your rock.  The rest of us want jobs!!!

      • Anon says:

        If you want a job, go to Grand,  They have all kinds of jobs coming soon.  I'm sure Dart or the Chinese or Canadians will hire you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think maybe you misunderstood Mr. Tibbett's reference to upgrading the airport.  I would think he was referring to adding the necessary security equipment to scan luggage so the jet flights could go directly into the US without having to detour south to GCM first.  He wasn't proposing lengthening the runway.

      Regarding your desire to not improve the economic situation in the Brac, I can only say that if things continue on the path that the current Minister of District Admin has us on, be sure to turn off the lights when you leave because there won't be anyone left.

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Such views are contributory to the dire plight the island is in.

      Upgrading the airport is a very urgent need. The last time I went through the Brac airport, the baggage claim area resembled a Calcutta street market more than a modern international airport facility. A full jet load of weary people were bumping into each other trying to fetch their luggage and get out. I can't count the times I was hit on the ankles by baggage carts or nearly knocked down by luggage being passed through the crowd to those yelling "That's mine!" to people near the conveyor belt. The departure area was little better. I had to pick my way through people while stumbling through willy-nilly piles of luggage. In my opinion this may not the greatest first impression for a visitor to the island.

      The incentive of decreased licence fees has little to do with a company's financial ability to establish a business. It has much to do with savings on recurring expenses and the impact on long term profitability. For professional or tech firms, annual license and work permit fees can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      You ask, "What new businesses does the Brac really need?" I do not think Mr. Linton was speaking of businesses catering merely to the local population as much as businesses with outside focuses "outsourcing" to Cayman Brac. They are low impact and full of opportunity for locals.

      As for the marina, two successful Brac businessmen have already made proposals, the money would come from private sources. The locations and methods have been established. The Scott's Dock site would require little excavation, just a semi-circular breakwater. The pond behind the Alexander Hotel would need excavation but Mr. Dilbert's plan projects private capitalisation. A little non-financial encouragement from government would go a long way.

      Perhaps you were too busy fishing or admiring nature to notice that building just east of  the freeport shop: Mr. Moses Kirkconnell and his sister, Nancy Ewing, have already established a world-classhigh-tech firm on the Brac. I understand that the company, Brac Infomatics, has offered internships for locals. More such firms would be welcome and if such conditions were written into their licensing or work permit pre-requisites, training opportunities for qualified school leavers could be established.

      According to the many Cayman Brac senior citizens I have spoken  with over the years, when "progress" began to come to the Brac, there were those like yourself who resisted advancement. Paved roads, the first automobiles, Cayman Brac Power and Light, the airport and tourist flights, hotels, the diving industry, the Water Authority, all had their detractors who predicted the islands ruin because of progress.

      Here is what I suggest, if you love the good old days so much, then live like people lived as the unspoilt island "once was". First, have Power and Light take out your meter; build a caboose behind your house to cook your meals over a wood fire; forget automoblies, walk everywhere you need to go; when you fish use sail power and a cotton hand line; salt the fish you catch; bucket your water up from a rock hole well or small cistern, when you run out of rain water you'll have to use well water; your toilet does not flush so you have to build and use an "outhouse" and you will use a "chimpot" if you do not want to trudge outside to "go"; use a washboard and a washtub to launder you clothes and hang 'em out on the line to dry; do not bother walking to Marketplace when the weekly barge comes in, grow your own yams, cassava, pumpkins, and other "provisions" on a small patch of land on the Bluff – oh, and do not forget your coconut husks to fuel a smoke pot to fend off mosquitos, and remember to bring your thatch basket to "back out" your provisions by foot over treacherous footpaths through Hell-like eroded Bluff limestone rock; wait for the monthly ship for other stuff like flour to make Johnnycakes or to bake your own bread; raise chickens for eggs, and cows, goats and pigs for meat; forget computers or telephones, your most modern communications method will be via hand-written correspondence despatching/arrving on the monthly vessel; and take good care of your teeth because if you need a tooth extracted get someone to cut it out for you with a jack knife without benefit of modern anesthetics, as did "The Dispenser" (ominous name, eh?) in the good old days; if you have a life-threatening medical emergency forget going to the hospital or going to Miami on an air ambulance, take a sailing vessel to Jamaica – or die. Live like this for a while and if you survive then come tell us about your longing for Cayman Brac to be "like it once was" – you know, before progress spoiled it.


  18. CaymanQT says:

    I agree with much of what Mr. Linton says.   However, to simplify planning laws (when they are already almost non-existent and not enforced) is to continue in the destruction of the environment.

    Cayman Brac will never be able to compete with Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, Cozumel and other tourists ports nor should it aspire to.  Our draw to tourism is our ecology.  If we destroy the ecology by furthering weakening planning laws, we have no future.   Mr. Linton's business here depends on tourism so it surprises me that he advocates further destruction of our ecosystem, particularly the underwater environment which will be adversely affected by some of the marina plans I have seen.

    Right now Planning is letting foreign corporations buy up and subdivide large tracts of the island that are needed for wildlife habitat, plant diversification and future needs.   This subdivisions will bring little or no economic help to the island.  The only ones to make money off this are those who sold the land (probably too cheaply) and the UK companies that sell the tiny lots very expensively.   Since there is no infrastructure and nothing can be built in these subdivisions and they bring no value but only destruction to our island, why are we allowing Planning to fritter away our heritage?

    Yes to economic diversification and particularly high tech which does not bring devastation to our land.  No to lack of planning and blindly signing off on whatever destruction a developer (or quasi-developer) may want to wreak.



    • Just Commentin' says:

      Woah! Before you blame this on the local planning board, you would do well to check your facts. I have found that this is one of the problems relative to Cayman Brac, people going off half cocked  fact-wise and relying on rumour and half-truth and outright untruth.

      While we are essentially on the same side on this, you would have a far more effective argument if you get the facts straight.

      I fear that Cayman Brac will end up worse off than Grand Cayman because of the apathy of Brackers when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect the island that they pay lip service to loving so much. If you love something, you protect it. The situation you describe is pretty dire if you ask me. I think we can both agree that Brackers are asleep on their watch.

      Do not blame the Planning office and board for something that is within the ambit of the politicians and the people of the island to control. Among these "foreign corporations" profiting from the exploitation of Cayman Brac is one or more a locally registered companies in possession of a "company control" license. Essentially if a company is lacking necessary Caymanian participation to register as a local ordinary company  it applies to government for grant of a license to operate without majority Caymanian ownership. It is a political process. The application was advertised but no Caymanians came forth nor was there any clamour against the company being licensed.

      Once properly registered and licensed a foreign-owned company can conduct its duly licensed business 100% legally and compete with native resident businesses. If such a company tenders a planning application, as long as the project conforms to the planning laws and regulations, and provided the application does not have valid written objections from the local community, the planning board has little choice but to approve the application. The planning regulations are also made by politicians. Planning does not make the laws, it only carries out the law.

      From what I can gather from reliable sources there were no valid written objections to the planning application relative to the largest of these mega-subdivisions. Now we hear whining only after the "foreign developers" have registered to do business locally, bought up hundreds of acres of local land, and contracted for the sale of many hundreds of lots. How like Caymanians is this, eh?

      FYI: Planning did not facilitate the sale of Brac land to these developers. Go by the Land office and check into it. The lion's share of the land and the largest tracts of land were sold to the developers by…(Taaa Daaa!)…BRACKERS!  So go point your finger where it needs to be pointed: at Cayman Brackers!!!

      (Psssttt! Hey, Brackers! Open yah eyes and wake the heck up! Stuff is happening that could forever change your island. It is happening NOW!! You have been left out of the process and it seems that you will not realise what is going on until it is too late. Have you learned nothing from what happened to Grand Cayman? Seems not.)

      One of the large "foreign" developers operates as its own sales representative, so local realtors gain nothing. The company is providing designs for the homes so local architects and designers gain nothing. The company has a license to operate as a builder for the houses it sells with the property investment package, so local contractors will be left out in the cold too. So much for development bringing in business opportunity and other than menial labour and blue-collar jobs for Brackers.

      Are Brackers even remotely aware of what's going on in their own island! Seems not. Rather than spending your time complaining here, maybe your time would be better spent researching the facts and letting your fellow Brackers know what is happening. Wake 'em up and get 'em mobilised!

      I think you might be very surprised how big this is and how far this has gone. You may even discover that all is not what it seems to be and the possibility that there are some "unsavoury" undertones. (Did I just hear someone say "fire bomb"?)

      You may even find evidence of misleading advertising. (Hint, hint: Last Who knows of any interior lots on the Bluff situated several hundred feet from the edge had an "ocean view".)  That comes from one of my surveyor friends.

      Some developer advertising suggests that the investments (in already grossly overpriced properties) have great potential to increase in value and make the buyer of one of these lots a good return. (Say what??) There are "open ended" contracts with no way out but loose for a hapless disgruntled buyer of a deluxe "ocean view" lot thay can't evenget to because there are no roads to it – only bush. No time limit on when land registration in buyer's  name will take place. No protection for the buyer at all.  I have it on absolutely reliable sources that certain inspectors of the RCIPS have been called to do some official snooping into the matter, too. The list of "questionables" goes on and on.

      CIREBA should be making noise about the situation, but maybe Donna and CIREBA are asleep on their watch too.

      (You getting this CNS? This could be a wayyyyy BIGGER story than the rather superficial news coverage on the matter provided by "You Know Who".)  "Land banking" may not be the half of it!

      If the current state of things is any indication as to how development of the Brac is to proceed, Cayman Brac is in BIG trouble already. It can only go downhill from here unless Brackers decide to take charge of things on their island. Apparently Brackers do not care.

      It is not as if this has been going on under a cloak. Hell, a broker buddy and I discussed this over nachos and Coronas at the old Lone Star, to tell how long its been. The developer's site signs have been up for a long while now. There are dozens of sites on the Internet advertising Brac lots at over twice current land prices! Suckers must be born every minute because one of my realtor friends tells me that a PLENTY of lots have sold at incredibly inflated prices to unwary investors in Europe. Reliable sources have advised me that some unhappy investors have sought legal counsel. (Gee, maybe my Happy-Hour-at-the-Wharf- buddies and I should write a story on this, huh?)

      I'll bet your precious "JuJu" has never mentioned the selling out of the Brac as part of the UDP's long term self-aggrandising plan for the Brac. Has she? I bet some of you here can guess why, and it ain't pretty.

      Listen up my  friend, the Brac's Planning Department is not to blame for the frittering away of Cayman Brac's heritage, Brackers are. The politicians make the rules; you put them in office. Time to wake up and hold your representatives' feet to the fire and get hold of things before it's too late.

  19. Anonymous says:

    If our MLA's got the ball rolling on ideas like these, maybe the economy wouldn't be so bad…

    • Anonymous says:

      As a Bracker but living on Grand Cayman for many years and a distant relative of Mr Tibbetts, I think the Brac would be better off if it was run  by he and some of the Kirkconnells as a private corporation than by government as they are astute businessmen who  would see that there would be sustainable economic development and real empoyment for Cayman Brac rather than a welfare state where a higher percentage of its population are hired by the Government than in North Korea or Cuba. ( mainly hired to get votes for the sitting Government)..

      The below is an example of the astuteness of Mr Tibbetts where he is compared to Warren Buffet, the world's greatest investor

      ON TRACK: In line with its strategy to expand its presence in the contractor supply business, The Home Depot has acquired Cox Lumber Co. of St. Petersburg, Fla., which posted sales of $396 million in 2005. Cox has 26 plants and 28 stores across Florida and joins Home Depot’s recently purchased Williams Bros. Lumber Co. of Suwanee, Ga., as a wholly owned subsidiary. The home improvement giant is seeking to make significant in-roads in the $410 billion contractor supply market. Earlier it paid $3.5 billion for Hughes Supply of Orlando, Fla. Home Depot is considering how to integrate its acquisitions and is doing branding studies to determine whether to keep the names of the supply businesses it is acquiring or rename them Home Depot Supply.

      INVESTMENT: Buried in the Home Depot story was this gem, the ultimate “return on investment“ adventure: Linton Tibbetts, who sold Cox Lumber to Home Depot for an undisclosed sum, bought a half interest in the company in 1948 for $1,500 and 12 years later bought out his partner. What he paid his partner is not important, but Coxexperienced phenomenal growth in the ensuing years, hitting an annual volume of $396 million last year. Whatever Home Depot paid him made his return on investment incalculable —befitting a Warren Buffett maneuver. Tibbetts, an 82-year-old entrepreneur, came to St. Petersburg from the Cayman Islands in 1943 with just $16 in his pocket. He borrowed the $1,500 to buy the six-year-old lumber company from T.T. Cox; the first year revenues were $48,000. He said he has plenty to do and was “definitely not retiring.”




  20. Libertarian says:

    Interestingly, PPM has portrayed themselves as the party of "no-to-development," and here is Moses Kirkonnell with Linton Tibbetts, saying "yes" we need development and we need it now!  So Moses, Linton, and the Premier McKeeva Bush, are all for economic development. But it is "how" you develop that causes PPM and UDP to stand apart from each other. Both parties can agree that the cost of living is too high in the Cayman Islands. Fees are too high, work permits are too high, business fees are too high, and import duties… It comes a time when Cayman can only cut expenditures so much, and no more; or you end up hurting more than Cayman's civil servants. I wonder what is Moses's view on the Dart deals?  Will now the PPM and UDP sit at the table and negotiate together on how they will boost the economy of all three islands?  Will McKeeva Bush show some interest in Cayman Brac?  Or, will we have two parties, tearing each other down, the economy on both islands worsen, and we have to wait another two years to hope for the best. This party system of hypocrisy and politicians giving speeches about the way things should be, really sucks at a time we need political unity on national issues and responsible development!

    • Anonymous says:

      Libertarian, you are really a hypocrite. The PPM has not portrayed itself as the party of "no to development". It is supportive of sustainable development. It has not opposed the Shetty Hospital or the Technology Park, for example. On the other hand when it came to the Emerald Sound development you were demanding to know why the PPM were not opposing it. It is ironic that you are accusing the party system of hypocrisy.

      • Libertarian says:

        I am afraid to many people here on this site and reading the news in the CayCompass, PPM is a party that has portrayed itself as a party against development. Whether or not they supported some development, they pretty much opposed most of it, and this made them look like (to many people) a party-of-no. Sorry

        • Anonymous says:

          The opposed ridiculous 'development' like the EE Mega Quarry aka Seaport, The Oil Refinery, Dredging the North Sound for Mega Yachts. Do you support these projects? Why were you trying to stir up people against the PPM for NOT opposing Emerald Sound if you really thought they were against all development?  

          The PPM has not "protrayed itself" as anti-development at all. You and the other UDP propagandists are attempting to portray it as anti-development when it suits your purpose, and then demanding to know why it is NOT opposing a particular development when you feel you can get some political mileage out of that. When are you going to come clean and stop pretending to be an unbiassed commenter?

          • Libertarian says:

            Nothing unbiased or partisan about what I am saying. It is just that they have "portrayed themselves" that way to me and many others.

            • Anonymous says:

              I agree that there is "nothing unbiassed" about what you're saying.

              I will continue to expose you.

        • Anonymous says:

          The reason the PPM are potrayed as anti development is because the Compass is rabidly pro-UDP

  21. Anonymous says:

    How about if they put the Shetty Hospital in Cayman Brac?

    • Knot S Smart says:

      Sorry no! The Shetty Hospital is just a lot of hot air and will stay right where it is – in the political smoke and mirrors political game in Cayman!

  22. Anonymous says:

    I feel bad about the situation in the Brac.  However, most of the ideas seem to be spend more government money and take in less government money.  How exactly is that "sustainable"?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Linton Tibbetts has more money than you and I can shake a stick at if we shook hard for a millennia or two.

    So rather than believing this BS, let's just hang on and hope for change, because under the last regime, all we have had is agony, pain and false hope.

    Those with the money make the rules. End of conversation.

    • Anonymous says:

      In all fairness to Mr. Linton he has done a lot. He even gave some money to help people after Paloma even though he himself was hit very hard by the hurricane.  

      I really wish people would stop being so bitter about self-made people.  We should be proud of people like him.  He is a good example to our children and he helps the community.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You talk about agony but I have never seen things worse than they are right now. Cayman Brac has the opportunity to be something but we can’t because of the waste the government uses on foreign trips. We haven’t seen the dep prem. in a long time and we are being told there is no money for anything. Meanwhile people don’t have jobs and can’t pay their bills. Everyone is trying to help each other and the government only puts a little money in the hands of those who could be working but don’t have jobs.

      Things might have been bad in the last regime but they are terrible now… And things are only getting worse. More businesses will be closing soon and all we will have is nice parking lots? Who is going to drive on them when we can’t afford gas to put in our cars?

      Please listen to this man. He has made money because he has made wise decisions. Here he is telling us a map on how to be successful and you are saying it is BS? If so, why aren’t you calling the shots?

  24. Anonymous says:

    We have a home in the Brac and I share your concerns.  I believe your ideas for helping us pull out of the economic slump we are in are excellent.  They remind me of the same ideas that Mr. Kirkconnell was working toward before the UDP took power. 

    The only way we might get back on track is if you would run with Mr. Kirkconnell next time.  I think we can all see clearly now that when we have a business person as our MLA and he/she has their party in power we can make great progress.  Just imagine if we had two great business minds at the helm.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Here's an exclusive idea for the Brac-follow these steps and you will be minted.

    Start growing high grade marijuana/hemp, specific strains and begin extracting the oils for cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets, not personal use/markets.

    Throughout the whole process, start to finish, there is enough labor to have everyone from 16 to 65 employed on the Brac, in sought after positions nonetheless, botanists, horticulturalists, sales/marketing, logistics, chemists to name but a few.

    They already have hydroponic setups in the Brac, its an easy transition, run a 5 year case study and test the waters, whats to lose?

    It's been done in Switzerland with success, why not here? Its not that long ago that hemp was grown commercially here.


  26. Anonymous says:

    Send Ju Ju  home and put Mr Linton in charge

  27. Cayman Brac Investor says:

    I have with great interest been following the happenings, or lack there of, on Cayman Brac for some time now.  We have purchased a home some years back and have been very much interested in purchasing more property and even starting a few small business ventures.

     A young Cayman Bracker had introduced us to the true beauty of his people and country.  We even had the opportunity to meet with a High Country Official.  The meeting seemed very promising and we had hoped to get some things started soon.   In saying this, we have noted carefully that Cayman Brac seems to be recessing even more than most of financial experts expected.  Our investors and friends have grave concerns.  

    After reading a piece written by a gentle of caliber such as Mr. Linton Tibbetts, I trust and hope that your country authorities will pay attention to what is happening and to the desperate plea of the people.  Some significant action is required in the very near future.

    My Grandpa, a 3rd generation Caymanian once said, bo-bo, if the water meets the rail, bailing won't help.  Well, I think Cayman Brac has been under for some time now and the water is beyond the rails.  I don't think me or any other planning on investing in the Cayman abandoning will help, but at this time with funds being as scarce as they are, I beleive even Warren Buffet would probably look to another place for investing.

    Mr. Tibbetts, stay strong.  

    My young Cayman Brac Businessman- hang in there.  We know of others you have helped and trust that your good will be blessed.  In your words, God does not reward bad for good and good for bad.  All those you have helped will reward you also.  Trust me.  We will be in touch soon.

    FKORB Invest.