Choppy cuts in on West Bay election field

| 25/02/2009

(CNS): Although the West Bay political arena has been dominated in recent years by the United Democratic Party candidates, it is not stopping local businessman and community leader Reginald ‘Choppy’ Delapenha from entering the fray to stand for election in the districts on a number of issues. Not least of these is the idea that government needs to be run more like a business, managed by responsible individuals who provide owners and shareholders with the best possible return on their investment, if Cayman’s economy is to continue growing.

“The Caymanian people have continued to make the ultimate investment by placing their trust and confidence, their hopes and dreams, their livelihood, and even the country’s future, into the hands of their elected officials,” he said. “Therefore, anything less than responsible leadership and prudent management of the investment made by our people is a gross dereliction of duty on the part of those elected to this high office.”

Recognising that all governments need to raise revenue and manage spending, Delapenha says one of the first things he would want to do if elected to government would be to evaluate the main existing revenue streams to ensure they are being maximized without imposing  new, undue stress to an already troubled economy.

‘However, there are two areas where there could be considerable improvement in our base revenues,” he said, pointing to tourism and a re-zoning and development plan as ways of adding to the government’s coffers. Delapenha explained that a total re-marketing of our tourism product was required as the 1.6% we got from the more than 19 million tourists to the Caribbean last year is  certainly not a fair share for a destination like Cayman — merely one hour from the US which is considered our main market.

He explained that, given the current economic situation, any government would need to cut spending to the bear necessities and that realistically any capital wish-list projects for government departments and statutory authorities needed to be frozen. He said a re-examination of departmental budgets was also necessary as he believes there is usually a lot of fat in most governmental operations. He also raised the point that there could be the potential for damages where breeches in government contracts have occurred.

Appreciating that managing the budget is a key element of government, Delapenha also stated that there are other issues driving him to stand as a candidate, not least because of how much he cares about the cultural future of Cayman.

“Over the past 40 years, Cayman has become a ‘machine’ of constant development and consumption of our resources, but without a clear, planned development model. There seems to be little thought given to the preservation of our culture, the maintenance of our limited resources and the fast pace at which our Caymanian way of life is diminishing,” he said. “My main principle has to do with change.  Effective, beneficial change.  Not empty promises and vain rhetoric, but change which has substance and definite plans for the future. To this end, I hope to bring out the beauty of our history, cultural heritage and way of life. To enhance and revitalize that special something we once enjoyed – the collective soul of the Cayman Islands.”

After leaving the Cayman Islands High School in 1977, Delapenha began his working life with Barclays Bank.  He remained in the banking sector until 1986 before striving out with his own business interests, which over the years have included a successful fuel retail franchise, a construction and property development company, as well as, a consulting and management company. He credits his early banking career as an important element in shaping his character and believes 30 years of working and successfully managing businesses in Cayman, together with other life experiences, have helped to shape him into a very strong, steady and deep-thinking individual

“I am married and have three wonderful daughters. I hold family values in high regard, realizing that these contribute greatly to the necessary fabric of any community. To this end, I continue to serve in the support of civic organization, the church and youth groups. I am passionate about helping young people realize their full potential,” he added.

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Category: Election 2009

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Choppy would be a breath of fresh air from all those who represent West Bay at this time!

    Choppy, you are right about targeting Tourism, as that is the main source of financial income in the island along with Banking, but Banking is being hit hard now and even more so as Obama wants all Tax Havens shut down.  Tourism is the life line of Cayman, even if we downsize the population, Tourism is still the life line. You are absolutely correct the main focus has to be on Tourism!

    Family values and helping the youth also are excellent attributes and characteristics, and excellent and detrimental things to focus on!  For it is families that make up a Nation.  And it is today’s youth that will be tomorrow’s parents and leaders.  The Bible says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov 22:6).  Children read right through hypocrisy and know when someone is being hypocritical.  If they are taught righteousness by example, then they will learn to be righteous.  But if they are being taught it by hypocrisy (do as i say but not as i do), then there is no guarantee they will learn to be righteous.  Hypocrisy is a very evil thing and brings about alot of evil in a Nation.  We have got to get away from hypocrisy in our leadership!  The Bible says, "Therefore each of you must put off all falsehood and speak truth to one another."  Eph 4:25.  So, yes and amen to helping and guiding the youth, but just make sure it’s not hypocritical "do as i say but not what i do" teachings.

    As for the churches, i cannot agree with you on that.  There needs to be an overhaul of church leadership in this island, and they need to obeythe Bible as to have Apostles and Prophets Head over the Church, and to include all the people of the church to use and partake in and with their spiritual gifts that God has given them the day they became Born-Again in the Lord Jesus Christ.  (See, they don’t like to follow that because it equalizes them too much with the simple congregation members, it takes away alot of their Dictatorship and power control over the people, and that is the main reason why they disobey God’s Word.  The church leaders are in sin with not following God’s Word.)

    Now Choppy, you are a Christian Man of God.  But you must know that Truth is Truth.  For if you ignore the Truth of God’s orders on how to run a church in the order of which God says in the Bible on how to run it as i mentioned above, then that means you do not reverence God.  So, if you are in agreement with the way the church leadership is running the churches here, so blatantly disobedient to God’s Biblical instructions and you claim you are a Bible Believer, then you cannot use your Christian status as one of your strong features on your political application to get elected.  Because then you would be using God as ticket to win a vote, rather than being true about respecting, following and obeying God.

    Enough of this blatant disrespect and disobedience of God’s Holy instructions to those who are church leaders.  We need Truth in our Churches!  So Choppy, will you step up to the plate and show the church leadership that they are out of order and need to get in order, or won’t you speak up for God’s Truth as a Man of God?

    Which will it be?  And Why?

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with the other post…Plain and simple, Intelligent, Honest, Hard Working-Self Made Businessman, Civic Minded and an individual of Unquestionable Character. 

    Another thing, Choppy is not looking for a job, not looking for money, but is looking to give back to the community that has made him literally a self made millionaire through hard work and good decision making in life. 

    A millionaire yes, but he must remember that the expats, especially the Jamaicans (that we all tend to look down on at some time or another) must be treated fairly and not left without money and have to work over the Christmas holidays when he goes off on his elobrate travels and the workers can’t afford to go home to their families at this special time of the year… as they are the ones that has helped him make those millions!!

    What district has he been living all these years? Why don’t he run in that district?

     

     

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    CHOPPY FOR PRESIDENT

  4. Anonymous says:

    I will be voting for ¨Choppy¨ and I will tell you why.

    Plain and simple, Intelligent, Honest, Hard Working-Self Made Businessman, Civic Minded and an individual of Unquestionable Character. 

    As the old people said in days gone by, ¨Never heard a bad word about him¨

    Another thing, Choppy is not looking for a job, not looking for money, but is looking to give back to the community that has made him literally a self made millionaire through hard work and good decision making in life. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    "Delapenha explained that a total re-marketing of our tourism product was required as the 1.6% we got from the more than 19 million tourists to the Caribbean last year is  certainly not a fair share for a destination like Cayman — merely one hour from the US which is considered our main market".

    That is simplistic thinking. Clearly Cayman is relatively small in terms of population and land mass, i.e  our capacity to accommodate tourists, compared to the rest of the Caribbean, and certainly a lot less than 1.6% of the total. Compare the number of tourists on a per capita of the population basis and you will see that we have more than our ‘fair share’. For example, in  2008  Jamaica had 1,757,000 visitors while its population is estimated at 2.8 million so that tourist arrivals were about 63% of the population. By comparison, Cayman’s air arrivals (i.e not including cruise arrivals) for 2008 was 302,000 while its population is estimated at 55,000 so that tourist arrivals were about 549% of the population. Jamaica claims to have the best performance in tourism in the Caribbean but this only on a raw numbers basis.       

  6. Anonymous says:

    A very Possible good  "Representative" for the West Bay district, and with more integrity than any of the selected present representation.

     Sure would beat what we have presently, with the better half of what we have to be the Scientist Captain Eugene Ebanks.   

    Ok  just  checking….

    We do need to replace all that is there to represent us at this moment as all we presently have is "Misrepresentation"