$1m more for clean-up

| 08/12/2009

Cayman Islands News(CNS): Following what he said was the success of the recent clean-up operation, Premier McKeeva Bush has said government will find more money to continue the clean up for a few more weeks into the New Year. Aside from keeping the island spruced up during the busy tourist season, Bush said the initiative had put a little bit of money into the hands of those that needed it most. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly last week he said government faced many challenges, including the highest unemployment the island had seen. He said his administration was taking the bull by the horns and was getting people working through the clean-up initiative.

Bush said that around 500 to 600 people had been helped by the programme so far but it was unfortunate that so many people needed help and government had an obligation to assist them. He said that while government was limited in its influence over policing and the problem of rising crime, it could create jobs for the people who were not working and help them avoid getting involved in criminal activity.

Announcing that he intended to find another $1 million for the programme to give at least another four weeks of work in December and January, he said the programme had been well received. “There has been tremendous support in the community for this and it is concrete evidence that when provided with a decent wage our people are willing to work,” he added.

The district clean ups were scheduled to end on 11 December and more than 900 people came out to try and get work on the clean up crews in the various districts. Although the Department of Employment Relations says it has around 900 people registered as unemployed on its books currently , it is believed that there are considerably more people actually out of work.

The DER says its figures merely represent those people who have registered that they are seeking work, some may already have jobs but are looking to change and many other people chose not to register with the department.

During the recent strategic policy statement which gave an overview of government plans for this administrative term unemployment was said to have reached 6.3%, but government predicted a decline to 4.6% for the next fiscal year.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does the clean up campaign include the painting of aTEAM LEADER / SUPERVISOR house? This is what the West Bay  group was doing this morning! Imagine, with all the unemployed still out there, we have an "EMPLOYED" person being paid to superviseunemployed, a lot of whom are pensioners, apartment owners etc and to rub salt in the wound; his house is being painted by them. All this while everyone is collecting govt money!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ten dollars an hour to pick up paper at side of road,  pick people fruits and rest. Why couldn’t the extension have ‘rolled’ out the first group and given a chance to another? ELIO & Mr. PREMIER DON’T YOU THINK OTHER PEOPLE NEED TO EAT? There are many other unemployed you know. 

    "Neoptism" people is why Cayman is in the s**** mess it is in now. 

  2. Don't worry I wont stay says:

    This is not a stimulus package. It is a short term, one time event.

    How about targeting small businesses with a high rate of entry level positions that are held by work permit holders and provide dollars to assist with the training of new hires to replace the permit holders.

    Currently we are paying a million dollars at $10 an hour for the clean up.

    What if that million dollars was in a long term plan that could result in permanent jobs.

    If a company hired a new employee who has had difficulty finding work (under 21, single mother, return to work force, unemployed for an extended period) and there was a financial stimulation vs. a moral obligation to make the hire, long term employment (depending on employee commitment and performance) could result.

    A six month subsidy to a new hire of up 1/3 of the salary (minimum $2.00 to a maximum of $3.33 an hour) a six month pension holiday for the new hire, and no need to purchase a work permit could be enough to help the small business owner try harder to hire local people. 

    You would need a commitment from the employer to continue paying the full wage at the end of the (successful) probation period but with six months training and no work permit fee, why wouldn’t he.

    At less than $4000 per hire for the first six months (plus operating, administration) there is a pretty good chance that with one million dollar annual dedication we could get 100 people PERMANENTLY back to work a year.  


  3. Anonymous says:
    Now how would it look to have prisoners “shackled” up on the side of the streets? How would that look to visitors?
    I think that we have established that prisoners should not be let out of Northward- let us take the East End farm for example. They were out working then too and now there is a big court case ongoing possibly linked to that. I do not see why so many are against the clean up. When since has being paid to pick up trash giving away money?? Maybe if you think that it is so easy and less demanding maybe you all should try it sometime!
    Another thing is, why is DoEH short staffed when there are over 900 people unemployed and willing to pick up garbage and help clean up this country?
    All I have to say is that I stand behind the Government for taking this initiative and it is actually one of the few times that I can say that. This and moving forward to get Cayman onto the White listJ
    This is not the problem. The problem lies between DER and the Immigration Department. This work crew will only be employed for a short time. We need to focus on full, long term employment for Caymanians… but at least its some extra money in your pocket for Christmas until those two organizations CLEAN UP their own acts.
  4. Allah never took a taxi says:

    Instead of paying potential UDP voters to clean up garbage on the roads, why doesn’t government hire Caymanians to pick up the garbage that is piling up in front of our homes? Why do we have unemployed people who need "Christmas money" so they are paid to pick up garbage on one hand, and a staff shortage for garbage collection on the other????

    I saw one area in Bodden Town that had been cleaned nicely by these politically based cleanup crews and is now trashed again by dogs and chickens who tore into garbage bags.

    This is crazy!

  5. Anonymous says:

    It great that some of the unemployed are getting a chance to earn money but I’d like to know the answer to 3 questions:

    1.  What has been done to determine exactly how many Caymanians are unemployed.

    2.  Is Immigration liaising with the employment office when it receives a work permit application, renewal or temporary application to find out whether there is an unemployed Caymanian available and willing to do the job.

    3.  If not, why not? 

    Apparently rhere are vacancies at DOE for garbage collectors.  Could someone not ask the unemployed currently working on the roads whether they would take a full time job?  Garbage collection may not be the most glamourous job in the world but its honest and puts food on the table.

    Also, in the past, Caymanians did not want the llower paying jobs such as Wendy’s gas stations, supermarket check outs, etc.  because they could get higher paying jobs and lets face it, you need a high paying job to live in Cayman.  Now that so many are out of work, I’m pretty sure most of them would take a job doing anything rather than be unemployed. 

    Isn’t it time the unemployed situation ws really looked at.  Why renew permits or issue new ones, when there are so many out of work?

     A million dollars is a lot of money to just spend on a few weeks work without getting a true picture of how bad the unemployment situation really is and trying to ensure your own people have first chance at employment opportunities.



    • Choice says:

      The vast majority of unemployed Caymanians choose to be unemployed.  Of course they could work at Wendy’s, gas stations, supermarket check outs, etc. but they don’t want to.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is something wrong with this picture. We have over Twenty thousand work permits but still so many Caymanians umemployed? go figure !!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    LITTERING LAW IS NOT BEING ENFORCED!  It’s a shame that some people really don’t care about our environment and it’s even more shameful that some people litter on purpose.  I have seen it with my own eyes and even chased a school bus once to get the kid’s name that was dumping trash out of the window.  I also believe that people who are anti-Cayman and are here to work only do a lot of littering too on purpose.  What happened with the $500 charge for littering?  Please enforce it or we will be as dumpy as other Caribbean countries soon.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is great that the Island is being cleaned up, but what is supposed to be happening once all the garbage has been collected? The dump is getting higher and stinker by the minute. Instead of using 1 million to clean up the roadside, perhaps the money would be better used to come up with a long term solution. Quite frankly, if the "harmless prisoners" could roam free on a ranch, why not make them walk in shackles to clean up the road side???

    Come on, McKeeva. Instead of using funds to but on bandaids, use the funds to come up with long term solutions please.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great minds!  I was thinking along the same lines – except I’d like to see the Prisoners out there at 3 am. (properly supervised and/or restrained I hasten to add), clearing up the rubble and debris from all the neglected beaches on the island… with the exception of SMB which is never neglected.  Make them make all the beaches as nice for the locals as the tourists get with SMB, and once they finish cleaning the beaches make them keep them clean, and make them build Pergolas on the beaches for the people to sit under, and wooden climbing frames and the like for the children to play on.  Make them replant the trees that Ivan blew away, make them do some hard labour and contribute to the community.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just Askin, quite astute. Staff shortage is not the problem and definitely not the unavailability of trucks. Quite simply, in the budget cuts which all Government Departments had to implement in the belt-tightening measures, some staff were made redundant and a certain portion of overtime pay has been ceased. For that reason the remaining collection staff are actually on a ‘go slow’.  Quite a delicate matter and perhaps Mr. Carter is not sure of the benefits of coming clean, or maybe he’s under instruction.


  10. Dred says:

    I have always in all my write ups tried to be as fair as I could no matter if I liked someone or if he scares the dickens out of me, of which Mr Bush does the latter.

    This move was an extremely good one and for many reasons namely:

    1) Keeping Cayman clean should always be a top priority for a tourist destination

    2) It’s hard times now and instead of hand outs (which we have done far too much of) he has decided to make people EARN a few extra dollars. So you get PAID for doing something other than sitting on your touche. Good strategy.

    3) Some of these people (not all or not many or maybe none at all) COULD consider criminal activity should they not have money for an extended period of time so this could serve to also divert POTENTIAL criminal activity. (Please note use of words!!)

    4) Potential investors visiting the Islands would be encouraged by this sort of thing seeing the Island kept clean and could assist in making decisions for some types of investment.

    So to the aforementioned points I applaud Mr Bush for this move but I stay reserved on HIM because I know also what this man is capable of. While I do give him his due I don’t suffer from short term memory issues. I still do not for get:

    1) The First Cayman Bank fiasco – Many of us lost our savings. This affected many people through many generations.

    2) Status Grant Fiasco – This will be felt FOREVER!!! This might be his legacy.

    3) BT Elections – Breaking of the Constitution allowed by Mr Bush who is now the person who is suppose to be the leader in charge of PROTECTING the constitution.

    4) The GT/WB Elections issues where his party seemingly carried out illegal activities which now seems to be swept under the rug by the Police Department some 7 months post election. The idea is for it to never be answered and waiting for people to simply forget. Here’s a case for Cealt!!

    5) The Pirates Week name change proposition which I think is short sighted and ultimately STUPID to do. No one in their right mind comes from hundreds if not thousands of miles away spending several thousand dollars to get here then stay inour hotels to spend another few thousand dollars to watch us make thatch rope. As much as I love my heritage and what our forefathers have done for us I am also not stupid and I know value for dollar. No one is going to come here after the name change. Businesses will close because of the extended time between seasons. Pirates Week was a stroke of genious for the Cayman Islands no matter what you believe. Changing the name will kill Cayman tourism.

    6)  Who knows what he has next up his sleeve but from the past we can say it will not be small in size. He really wants to CEMENT his legacy so expect something quite grandios.

    But again Ido like to finish by giving him two very important kudos. The cleanup is a very good move and you deserve a KUDOS for that. The Post Ivan moves and how fast we got back on our feet was also deserving of another KUDOS. I would be EXTREMELY SCARED to have Kurt being lead in a clean up aftermath situation.

    To Kurt: You lost the election because of crap like the BT Election debacle. You reside the last time I checked in BT, three members of the BT team also reside inside BT, your support has also a top lawyer from that district and yet you fail to stand up for our constitution in a timely manner. Take a close look at what Honduras just did. That’s guts!! You never had to face any of that and YOU FAILED YOUR SUPPORTERS!!! NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU!!! YOU DID WHAT WE ARE ACCUSTOMED TO SEEING FROM YOU NOW. YOU FAIL TO ACT!!! Do you think for one second Mr Bush would have worried how this would have looked? For even one second!! The election count would not have been in before the ink would have dried on the paper for them to deal with this. Kurt what you did was nothing short of stupid by having OTHERS do the dirty work. In the end you are the one ending up with egg on your face not the persons who broke the law. Not that John John or Mark would ever get my vote now.

    Mark/John John – No matter how good you will be for this country you simply do not get it what you did. You set a terrible precidence. You told the world that in the Cayman Islands WHO you are is more important that WHAT you stand for. WHO you are with is more important that the LAWS that govern us all. That YOU and YOUR MORALS are tradeable commodities so long as the price is right be it physical currency or a supporting vote in the assembly.

    As you can see I bash equally. They are both weak teams. One does stuff recklessly and the other does not want to act. Needless to say there is plenty of middle ground in this.

    This Island needs a new team. Can’t say that enough. Visionaries. People who will take on the establishment, break new ground redesign our future the way Jim Bodden and the rest did so many years ago when they made us a Tourism Meca.

    Individuals will never make our assemblies sadly enough. We are all TEAM minded and it’s why we must have a NEW TEAM for Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      I may be a little naive here, but didn’t this new premier announce to the world & his cousin that the Cayman Islands are BANKRUPT? If I remember correctly, immediately after winning the elections in May, Mckeeva Bush went on a campaign proclaiming that our government was bankrupt, we couldn’t pay civil servants, we couldn’t hold our annual beauty pageant that cost only $100,000 (are you serious?), & we couldn’t even borrow more money for him to throw away! It is now amazing that in such a short time, Bush can find all the money he wants to travel all over the world (& showing no positive results from these trips, just talk), & he can find $2 million dollars to pay people to support him, oh sorry, I mean $2 million to clean up the roads, which another government department is paying workers to do the same thing! And people say this makes sense? It would appear to me that he can find the money when it suits him, and he can find money to do things he wants done. I think it is extremely selfish of him to deprive some of our beautiful young ladies the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Cayman, that is SELFISH & extremely poor of him.

      It is my opinion that Bush made every attempt to try & make the PPM look bad by exaggerating the situation with the economy, & by exaggerating Bush could gain political points, and be able to proclaim to be "OUR SAVIOUR" when the economy improved!

      I am all for helping Caymanians when we are in a position to do so, but according to Bush we are bankrupt & not in a position to hand out money simply for the sake of doing so, unless of course he was not telling us the truth all along. We all know which it is (afterall, Bush is finding money from somewhere to travel & the world, & to pay for the massive clean up).

      It all sounds a little fishy to me, in fact it smells fishy!

    • Pale Rider says:

      Wow Dred!!!

        What a well thougth out and well written commentary…Perhaps YOU should think about getting involved in politics…Oh, wait…sorry,..you seem to be too smart for that…

    • Anonymous says:

        Wow!  Dred what are you smoking? Lol

  11. Anonymous says:

    $1m sounds like more than a $250,000 contract to me. Did this go before the CTC?

  12. Bonnie Scott Edwards says:

    What about Mosquito Control?  Apparently no funds have been budgeted for that –  mosquitos are terrible here on the Brac.  This is a health concern –  are tourists going to come here when mosquito-borne disease is prevalent?  Clean-up is good but should come after mosquito control.  Of course,the Premier could divert a  little of his travel slush fund and maybe we could have both.

    Bonnie Edwards
    Cayman Brac

    • Anonwho says:

      Clean up is good but should come after Mosquito control? Get rid of the mosquitos, they’re just going to come back along with flies and live amongst the garbage!  His travel slush fund is there so that we don’t lose anymore business’ in Grand Cayman..

      • Bonnie Scott Edwards says:

        Maybe mosquito control doesn’t work on Grand Cayman but it works here on the Brac and has every year up until now.    Now there are no funds for the spraying and the mosquitoes are terrible.      The health of our people should come before anymore business for Grand Cayman.   It is wonderful to see the clean up going on.  Now, if we could just afford some spraying, we could get outside to enjoy our beautiful Cayman Brac.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I hope they concentrate on getting rid of the old, mangled, rusty chain link fences which are all over the place and look awful.  Does anyone know if this is included in the clean-ip?

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree about the fences but an even worse problem in Grand Cayman is the number of derelict cars all over the place. They need to be tagged and later removed. And if the owner takes off the tag (which seems to be common even though they don’t want the vehicle) they should be prosecuted.

  14. Just Askin says:

    So, Roydell Carter says the garbage is not being collected because they havevacant positions within the Department, yet how many 100’s of people seem willing enough to pick up the garbage from the roadside in broad daylight? The postions have been advertised says Mr. Carter. Something is not quite adding up here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Makes no sense to me either…the only logical answer is that the political manipulation of these folks offers $10.00 per hour to wander around on the road side and do a little work mainly unsupervised, apposed to working for 6, 7, 8 dollars per hour and being supervised…I know which one I would choose! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Just Askin:

      The garbage collectors Roydell hires will not be paid $10 an hour I bet. I might be wrong-does anyone know?

  15. Caymanian says:

    I think it’s a great idea! Congrats to the Premier and his advisors that helped put this program together. It might not be full time, but at least it will put food on the table for alot of Caymanian families this Christmas, and if they are any criminals that are out there doing it, maybe they will see and respect how rewarding a "Hard earned" dollar can be, for some, who knows, maybe this will change the way they think, and possibly change their lives.. And for all the dumbass critics out there that say Caymanians are too proud to work in fast food Joints/gas stations/etc.. They are out there "Picking up garbage" for the whole island to see, because none of my hard working full of common sense Caymanians are not going to work for 3.50 an hour! They are all worth more than that foolishness!!  Proud of you all, and the island is looking GREAT! Keep up the good work guys!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Say what you want to say about Premier Bush but if the man can help you he surely will, which is so evident here.Does anyone really realize how many less "criminal acts" and "hungry mouths" in the Cayman Islands his actions will now prevent  ???

    God Bless the Honourable McKeeva Bush and the whole of the UDP !!!! 




    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly quite a few of the clean up crews in my district are criminals (who are known to the community, police & MLAs). I wish that their positions had been givin to deserving citizens as I am most sure that they will invest their wages back into their usualy criminal activities…

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea right! He can find $2million of Governments money to give away to people to clean up but can’t find money to pay the men that work on the trucks that pick up garbage and the garbage that is piling up along the road will eventually be spread out along the roads for these same people to pick up – this makes alot of sense but its the "bushism" way of doing things and keep the economy rolling – YEA RIGHT!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if the "blind" people realize that any leader can take the Governments money and do what they want with it especially to keep some people happy but in the end what do we get for all the money spent – 2 weeks of Cayman being clean, BUT when the PPM found money to build schools and roads which will be PERMANENTLY here for Cayman, there was all kind of "hollabaloo" from the UDP and their cronies, which are the same ones bigging up the UDP and Mac now! Life is Strange!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are clueless! Not much to it to help out people with government money, our money! Perhaps the money would be better used to focus on some long term resolutions rather than getting someone by for another 4 weeks. Then what?


  17. too little too late says:

    The crime you see now is the result of what was not done in the past and can not be fixed by what you do now.  Short of getting rid of 10,000 of the non productive (not non Caymanian).  A group of anything will not be successfull unless every member is responsible for itself and the whole.  Right now in Cayman there is too many that are not giving anything but takeing much away.  The only way to fix this is for a leader to have what they don’t have now. Cayman is falling and will continue to fall until this changes.

  18. Baya 4 life says:

    its funny how Bush can find the money to do this clean up (which is going great and makes the islands looks wonderful), however what about the 4+ months behind payment for contract vendors for each dept that haven’t been paid yet (since Aug).

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s also funny  why he can’t fund $1M more to fight the rising crime in

      the country!!!

      • Anon says:

        By giving people jobs he probably is reducing crime as these people will have money and won’t struggle to feed their families.

  19. Anonymous says:

    This is great but why can’t the government find someone to pick up our normal trash

  20. Anonymous says:

     God bless McKeeva Bush, he’s the only one it seems like that is for the people!  I was a PPM supporter but now I’m changing over to UDP!  Mckeeva has done alot not only for West-bay but for this whole Country!   Thank you Mr. Mckeeva for looking out for your people and helping them in times of need.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course you were PPM and I was Princess Diana – some MIGHT believe both of us!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Keep spending money like you have it and soon all you own will belong to someone else.  Watch and learn what happens to Cayman in the next few years.  Giving crumbs to the people while you eat cake will only last until it is all gone.  Then there will be no cake left for anyone.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I think a careful audit of these funds needs to be done.  

  23. Richard Wadd says:

     That is why the PPM lost the Election, a ‘Lack of initiative’. 

     Say what you want about the UDP and ‘not-so-big Mac’, in the end, it’s about PRO-ACTIVE politics. They ‘Get things done’!

     Since Ivan the islands have looked like Trash, literally, with garbage strewn everywhere. It has become so bad, that no-one thinks twice about chucking trash out the car window, I see it almost everyday.

     However, hand in hand with this initiative, we NEED to start enforcing Litter Laws. And here’s another suggestion, get owners to clean-up the area around their property and sidewalks. Not just trash, but also weeds, grass, and bush that looks unsightly, and encroaches on the sidewalks.

     Also FINE these truck operators that drive uncovered and dirt-covered trucks, dropping dirt, aggregate and trash everywhere. Especially in G.T and on the West Bay Road.

     All it takes is a broom for the operators to sweep-off the over-spill BEFORE they go on the roadway, and COVER the load.

    These are enforceable Laws that work, and make us look like the Modern country that we are, and not some Third-world Banana Republic, like Jamaica. 


    If it can be done elsewhere, there is noreason we can’t do it as well.

    Three cheers for ‘Mac’, getting the country in order, after years of neglect.




    • Anonymous says:

      08:43 you say the PPM lost because of a "lack of initiative"???? Why can’t you udp twits get your arguments in tune with each other? The udp campaigned telling the people that the PPM had "too MUCH initiative" building 2 schools, a new government building, beautiful new roads, & so on & so forth! And here you are saying the PPM lost the election because of a "lack of initiative"!! Do you even know what initiative means? It means "a first act or step in a process: to take the initiative in doing something"!! And you say that the PPM had a "lack of initiative"????????????? I wish that you udp TWITS would get your stories straight! DUMB!!!

    • going going gone says:

      Cayman is a third world country and has always been a third world country.  The only difference is it HAD money.  Now that it has figured out (grown) how to spend all of it and MORE it will be just like all the rest of the third world countries.  What makes it and all the others third world is its people and leaders.  Too much corruption, greed,and incompetence.  Don’t think so?  Prove me wrong by haveing a future.  Or at the very least stop the fall.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh my………McKeeva its a good thing we ain’t bankrupt….LMFAO !!!

    The money is always there when there are votes involved…….crews doing a good job tho !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The ones I’ve seen sleeping behind garden walls while supposed to be working aren’t doing such a good job.

  25. Mercedezes says:

    Thank you Premier Bush for your continued support for the needy. I would like to say a special thank you also to Mr. Ellio Solomon for the job he is doing so far.

    Mr.Solomon has been very active in the community and assisting those who are in need and he has proven to be a man with action and someone who gets things done and for that you will always hav my support.

    Continue the good work you all are doing and may God continue to guide you all in making the right decisions for the people of the Cayman Islands.

    God Bless.

    • Dred says:

      Let us not forget how active he has been inside the studios also!!!

      He’s EXTREMELY active.