Aiming to unite the Sister Islands

| 13/03/2009

(CNS): Declaring her candidacy for the district of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman for the fourth time, Maxine McCoy-Moore believes that this time she will be successful. Standing for “United for positive change”, she thinks the two representatives for the district should work together as a team. “We have not had that for many years,” she said. The two Sister Islands should also be “united” because they face many of the same problems, and she wants to emphasise their connection to Grand Cayman.

Having been raised on both the Brac and Little Cayman and with business interests on each islands, she calls both “home”. The first three times she ran McCoy-Moore was living on Little Cayman. Now, she says, she will be living on Cayman Brac for at least the next eight years but she will not forget Little Cayman and remains very much aware of the issues on both islands.

“The cost of living is way too high,” she said. “The government needs to control what’s going on here. The prices on these two islands, especially groceries and electricity, have skyrocketed since Hurricane Paloma. The Sister Islands were hit by three hurricanes last year – Gustav in August, Ike in September and Paloma in November – and the economies of both islands are suffering.”

She said, “Everyone is aware of the mess the whole world is in but I feel something must be done for us here.” In order to mitigate the effects of the global economic downturn, McCoy-Moore believes that the Cayman Islands should be looking for alternative places from which to import cheaper food, such as Jamaica and Honduras.“Government talked about that years ago but nothing was done.”

Reaching out to young people, especially creating jobs for them on the Brac, is a particular focus of her campaign. Every year, students graduating from high school, if they don’t get a scholarship to go to college, have to leave to find work. “One of the biggest problems is government retiring people and then hiring them back instead of training a young person for the post. They are not giving the young people a chance to prove they can do the job.” At the same time, she recognizes that many people cannot afford to stop working at age 60 and that government should reconsider the retirement age.

One young person told her recently that things are so hard that he would rather go back to jail because he couldn’t pay his bills. “The young people have lost all hope that anything will improve. It’s very sad.”

She continued, “We want to see sustainable development that would create jobs.” One way is to use the safety of the Bluff, which because of its elevation is safe from flooding, to attract businesses to set up on the Brac, especially the financial sector. Young people could be trained to work in offshore banks, which could be easily set up here, she said. “What I don’t wish to see is ex-pats being hired from overseas for the jobs and the young people not getting them again. It all comes down to good education and training.”

The majority of people on the Sister Islands are civil servants, and this means that there is no freedom of speech, she said. “This is crippling the progress and development of the islands because they can’t stand up and speak out on what they wish to see done in the Sister Islands.” She believes that civil servants were not fully involved in the drafting of the Constitution and they need the absolute right and freedom to speak out on such matters.

Tourism is another major issue for the Sister Islands, and McCoy-Moore said there should be more focus on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman when the Department of Tourism markets the three islands. “Most people abroad still think the Cayman Islands is just Grand Cayman,” she said.

Cayman Brac needs a safe harbor for yachts and small boats, and the only feasible place is Salt Water Pond in front of Coral Isle Club on the South Side, she said. She also wants to promote agriculture on the Brac to make use of the good farm land on the Bluff, and to scrap plans for the new landfill on the Bluff which, she says, will destroy the water table for future generations. A matter of concern is the Cayman Airways schedule, especially between Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, and she wants to see the reintroduction of direct flights from Jamaica and Miami to reduce the cost of flying to the Sister Islands.

Turning to insurance, she said CINICO should be open to everyone, since the private sector of the insurance industry charges “an arm and a leg” but does not offer sufficient coverage. McCoy-Moore also believes that, in these tough economic times and with the market so unstable, pension payments should not be mandatory for small businesses as it is hurting both employers and employees. The money paid into pension schemes is just disappearing on the stock markets, she said. "When we retire we’re not going to have any funds left."

McCoy-Moore operates a tour bus business, MAM’s Island Tours, as well as MAM’s Janitorial Service, on both Sister Islands. She is also the office manager for the family business, McCoy’s Fishing and Diving Lodge, in Little Cayman and sells land for ERA. In addition, she drives one of the high school busses every morning and evening,which gives her a great opportunity to talk to young people.

Having worked and lived on all three islands in both private and public sectors and with all levels of society, she feels she understands the issues well. “I’m not going to buy anyone’s vote with a fridge or a microwave or a water container, but I want to work for my people and that’s why I’m offering my services again. This time I feel that people are ready for change and I am the person to implement that change,” she said.

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Category: Election 2009

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  1. leta scott says:

    Maxine, you go girl if thats your dream go for it i dont live on the  islands any more however i do have my family over there which you know my mom and dad lives on little cayman valda and  johnny scott so i here alot about the needs on that island and i also read the local news paper for those islands so whoever is talking bull shit about stop trying they dont have a life we need down to earth people in the house not the ones that is walking around with there nose up in the air.


    you have my vote and a lot more

  2. Anonymous says:

    Keep trying…

    You will probably fail this time also…. But a certain BT candidate triedand tried until the day came that Jim and Haig couldnt perform any more and he got his chance…. Soon Big Mac too old and someone else get a chance in WB… Soon the people proclaimed goddess of Brac …. Keep trying… Until people forced to choose you you’ll fail….

    • Anonymous says:

      How negative!  We need all the positive things that we can get in the Sister Islands.  Good luck Maxine.  She can’t do no worse than the two we have now.

      I would like to seesomething done about the old people’s home and the hospital.  Our health system needs help.  The nurses act like they aren’t being paid to work.  If an emergency comes in they take their time coming to check you.  You can be bleeding to death in the hallway, you have to wait your turn.  And they won’t even come out and check. 

      The old people’s home need upgrading and a new system as well.  Something like an assisted living.  There isn’t enough rooms and there are a lot of elderly people.  It definitely needs to be moved if they can’t get enough space.  People aren’t getting younger. 

      Also, the  wealthy elderly people that retire here need a proper health system.  People may not have noticied this but several families that got sick had to leave and go back to thier countries because we don’t have the facilities here to treat them.  These people contributed a lot to Cayman Brac.  It is best for them to stay here.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I thought people that run in elections should be those that are active and do things for the community during the year.  Is this the case..  Please let us know so that we may learn more about you and decide who to vote for.

  4. Danielle Conolly.... says:

    To the person who wrote it Anonymously….. I say this with every intent of insult I hope it carry’s across…

    You firstly must be one of those Brackers who believe that they will forgive have social services to give them everything they need and do not want someone who may in fact stop that gravy boat and force you to go and actually look a job at the end of the day.

    Secondly you have no respect for your elders or what they have done to carve your island…. If you are so adamantly against her not running, why did you not state your name and be proud of it.

    The fact is Cayman in general is changing, the brac no longer has anything much to offer or give and someone needs to atempt to fix that so that we are no longer lost in Grand Cayman’s shadow….. If Ms. Maxine feels that she could be the one, then by all means she should try…. I once read in a book the following "If you quit after one try you are ultimately the product of your demise., if you continue to try you are the product of your success"…..think about that and what you want for your life and your future.

    I unfortunately do not live in Cayman Brac anymore, as the type of job I do is not offered there, I do hope that one day it will change and we can get a piece of the pie Grand Cayman has and that I would be able to come home to my family..

    In closing I say this to you…. Shut up and let people try to fulfill there dreams…… since its obvious you don’t have one.

    Best Regards,



  5. Anonymous says:

    Some people don’t know when to give up. Come on, you can count your votes on 2 hands. Why bother?