Architect turns to politics

| 19/02/2009

(CNS): As the election field begins to widen, well known local architect and businessman Burns Conolly has thrown his hat in the ring and declared his intention to run as an Independent candidate for the district of George Town in the upcoming general elections in May 2009. Conolly made his announcement to the press on Wednesday morning saying the time was right for a new kind of politics. “I think there comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to make the decision to either continue to ignore the problems, or become a part of the solution,” he said. 

“I grew up in a family where service to country was a given. My father put his personal life and ambitions on hold to serve as one of the nation builders of his time.”

Conolly said Cayman needs a new leadership approach with proper planning and vision. “I believe that I can use the gifts I have been given of a solid foundation, a good education with life and business experiences, both on a national and a global level, to benefit us at this critical time in our history.”

Confirming that he had no party affiliations. he said he thought that the 2009 election was going to be about independent candidates, and while he wanted to work with like-minded people, he could not see himself aligning with either party just to have access to a political platform and party funding. Even though this is his first foray into the political arena, he said he was not prepared to horse trade to get a ministry or to get elected.

He went on to say that his decision to run as an Independent is supported by the many people who have approached him looking for a non-partisan voice to represent them. “Many people have been ignored by this government and the failures and divisiveness of the present two-party system. This, coupled with the global financial crisis and the unbridled government spending over the last three and half years, has put the Cayman Islands in a most serious situation,” Conolly added.

He said that not having a party affiliation did not mean that he could not achieve anything in the Legislative Assembly. He said this election was not going to be about parties and any independent candidates that get elected should not sit on the back benches and keep quiet.

“I will work hard to make things happen even if I am the only independent, but I hope people will vote because of the talent, experience and education of the candidates and the issues, not because of party loyalties,” he said, adding that Cayman needed to get away from the tribal politics and vote for people with an education and the right experience.

“We need to get away from the personalities or friendships and vote for persons that have the demonstrated ability to lead and deal with the complex issues that now face the Cayman Islands. I pledge to work with like-minded elected members in the best interest of our islands.  We need to ensure that these Islands provide for Caymanians the hope, opportunities and prosperity that they deserve.”

Conolly said the most pressing issue was dealing with the economic problems faced both locally and what he called the "international tsunami" heading our way as a result of the UK, the US, Europe and other Western nations blaming offshore centres for their economic woes.

“This government has handled this issue poorly,” he said, adding that government borrowing was also a major concern as was the fact that government spending remained unaudited because of the failure of the adminstration’s departments to account for their fiscal management.

"We can’t play politics anymore. We have to get it right this time with almost a billion in debt. I hope voters will recognise that we need to change the situation,” he said.


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Category: Election 2009

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  1. Anonymous says:

    oh what, a real planning strategy to block more and more ocean view from the most of the population who doesn’t live on the sea side, so that we can’t even have a few good places left to look out and see the sea???  Whatever is the motive that Burns accepted the Architect position for that South Sound proposal ordeal, that is the motive that i’m afraid of will rear it’s ugly head in the future in some other situation where he would have alot of power over the island as a politician for his own self-interest and self-gain.  Frightening to me!!  It’s hard to think that the motive wasn’t money???  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why not vote him into government and give him the Planning portfolio in cabinet? As the concept of conflict of interest does nor exist here, his knowlege of the development and building industry in Cayman would assist him in his duties. He would fit in perfectly. Cayman needs a real planning strategy to manage growth anyway.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If he has integrity then why didn’t he decline being the Architect for the project? The money was too good perhaps?

    That is like being an accessory to a crime.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So of course we are now starting to political postings that "this project was burns" etc…it must be obvious enough by now that Burns was acting in a professional capacity only.

    By all means criticise the man’s policies when he starts to present them. But don’t attack his integrity by associated him as the decision maker in a project for which he was not..

    Some of us are tired of hearing the old story that just because some Caymanians have been succesful or made a bit of money that somehow by default that means that they don’t care about Cayman…should we not be encouraging Caymanians to be successful?

    We argue that the ‘foreigners are taking everything" but when a Caymanian gets anything we then say that he is "like the foreigners" so a successfull Caymanian cannot win either way.  The only way you get respect is to remain poor…so whats the point?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Don’t be silly!…  That was not Burns’ proposal…The Hislops were doing it.  And it did not actually create a private beach. From what I could see the reason the Hislops wanted to move the road was to create a better access to the existing house lots on the seaside. The reason I objected to the project was that the Hislop’s wanted to dig out a bit of the Sound and I did not think that was a good idea as you never know what issues come up when you do that.

    I know Burns personally and have no problems with his integrity. Going into politics he will probably be taking a pay cut anyway.  Let’s listen to what all of the candidates have to say first and then decide…but let’s stay away from the silly stuff this year…Cayman needs all the help we can get.

    • Anonymous says:

      I pray that George Town people will vote for Burns. He is a man of integrity, he is qualified and most capable.

  6. TomCayman says:

    To the last poster.

    I was one of the property owners who objects (and still does) to Rene Hislops proposal to move the road in SouthSound… but be clear, it was not Burns’ project, he was the architect, not the developer.

    When I contacted the developer to find out more information, Burns was put in touch with me and I attended a meeting with him where he laid out the information on the project. To be clear once again, I do not agree with what was presented and still feel strongly that the road should not be moved, but Burns was polite, professional and represented his client well at all times.

    In short, speak of what you know please !



  7. Anonymous says:

    From what i can remember the South Sounders rebelled against the proposal Burns was pushing for to change the road so that they could make some of the beach private for a huge develpment across the road that Burns was involved with. The South Sounders got their way and thus Burns abandoned the project.

    Now, if someone has no empathy on the people to take their ancient beautiful ocean view road away from them for the sake of the almighty dollar bill, then what is he going to do when he becomes a Politician?

    I would be scared to see what he would do as a Politician. Money in his pocket seems to be more important to him than the happiness of the People!

  8. T says:

    ""Cayman needed to get away from the tribal politics and vote for people with an education and the right experience.

    “We need to get away from the personalities or friendships and vote for persons that have the demonstrated ability to lead and deal with the complex issues that now face the Cayman Islands."

    Thanks, Burns, for these sentiments. Finally, some Caymanians with an education and some exposure step up to represent us. I’m finally getting excited about the May elections. I’m looking forward to hearing about more like-minded candidates.

  9. Caymanluvr says:

    Right on!  🙂  Go independents!!   Winds are changing in Cayman! 

  10. Ezzard Miller says:

    I am pleased to se youg professionals like Burns and Wally stepping up to the plate and offering to represent the voters. The country needs people like these who have unquestion integerity and a passion for Caymanians and Cayman.

    I wish them well and pray we can get elected sure would be a nice band of brothers, Ezzard, Wally and Burns.


  11. Anonymous says:

    I have known Burns for many years, although we have had our differencess, I have always found him to be a proud Caymanian who has a balanced approach to the development and growth of these islands. I think he will bring a weath of experieince to the LA and his down to earth approach will be welcomed. His wife will amke a good partner in his role as a leader.

    I look forward to his success at the poles. I will not beable to vote for him as I am registered in Cayman Brac. I will encourage others to do so,