WA lease may have strings

| 27/08/2010

(CNS): Acting Premier Juliana O’Connor Connolly has said there is “a distinct possibility” that when government leases the Water Authority, the winning bid will include the development of a water plant on Little Cayman plus a new plant on Cayman Brac’s Bluff, and possibly the extension of piped water on the Brac. Explaining why leasing the authority was necessary, she referred to civil service pay day the day before. “You do not know what it took to get those funds in the bank yesterday,” she said, before taking a dig at the media and headlines suggesting that the Cayman Islands were broke, claiming certain journalists were “going to destroy the country if they keep going in the direction that they are”.

Speaking at the public meeting Thursday morning (26 August), O’Connor Connolly, despite the apparent difficulty paying government workers, described the new $9 million hurricane shelter on Cayman Brac as “an exciting, innovative and necessary project”.

The acting premier, who is also minister with responsibility for District Administration, described the meeting as the first “ministerial clinic”, which she hopes to hold monthly. Answering the first question from a member of the public, which was about the shelter, she said she was “excited to share the truth”. The shelter will be built on 18 acres of land already owned by the government plus an additional three acres purchased from Garston Grant, she said.

Claiming the cost of the completed project will be between $7.5 and $9 million, O’Connor Connolly said the shelter, which will be next to the playing field on the Bluff, will be built in phases as funds are available. The four pods, or wings, which are for the private bedrooms with semi-private bathrooms, allow for a phased construction, the acting premier explained. If funds are available next financial year they will build one pod and if there are more funds, they will build more pods, she said.

The facility will include a medical wing, a laundry, a generator, as well as a proper command centre. There will also be a number of tables in a “cafeteria-style environment” she said, and noted how after Hurricane Ivan people had to stay in the shelters for a protracted time because their homes had been destroyed. “Any community is only as good as it takes care of the most vulnerable,” she added, referring to the elderly, the disabled and children.

The first phase – the main hall – will also be used for indoor sports, she said, suggesting that this was a better investment for young people than paying $60,000 for them to be in prison. The private bedrooms “will provide for the potentiality for use as a hotel training school” and a “residential abode for sports tourism”. The “innovative piece of architecture” will also function as a convention centre, O’Connor Connolly said and claimed, “I have already toughened my skin to receive opposition from within and without.”

Local businessman Elvis McKeever pointed out that Cayman Brac already has 1,800 hurricane shelter spaces as well as houses on the Bluff and there were other things that Cayman Brac needed more, including piped water and dealing with the dump. He also questioned why government was selling off the Water Authority, a money-making entity.

Noting that the authority was not being sold, O’Connor Connolly said it was being used as collateral and would be divested for a period of 25 years. However, government would still have the power to ensure that that the water quality was safe and she said the package would include the current staff, 90% of which was Caymanian.

The Brac water plant was an outstanding matter, but “finally, I get responsibility for water!” she said.

The acting premier explained that the previous minister with responsibility for the Water Authority, Arden McLean, had been persuaded that a water plant in an elevated area of Cayman Brac was necessary, since the current plant is in a depressed area with the risk of the infiltration of saline water to the potable water if it floods in a severe storm. Crown land had been identified and provided on a peppercorn lease for the Water Authority to build a proper bulk water facility on the Bluff (though the project stalled under the previous administration).

After the meeting, CNS asked the minister whether government plans to provide potable water on Little Cayman – an issue that had emerged in public meetings on that island – and a new plant on the Brac, as well as the issue of piped water on the Brac, would be included in the conditions of the lease for the Water Authority. This was “a distinct possibility”, O’Connor Connolly said but “nothing was certain”.

If there was a tie-break in proposals for the lease, she said, they would have to look at the business plans that included these provisions. She said it would depend on what bids came in.

During the meeting O’Connor Connolly bemoaned a 10 cents/ gallon increase in gas on the island, even though no new fuel had arrived, and said she would get the fuel inspector to investigate what was happening.

Amendments to the planning law came under attack by local resident Raymond Scott, who said his business was severely impacted by an “outrageous” increase in the cost of planning permission to remove fill from site to site, which had gone from $100 to $5,000. No one would pay this amount so government would not benefit, he said. Pointing out that this was half the cost of Grand Cayman fees, O’Connor Connolly said this was a matter she had already written to the premier about.

Several people mentioned the bad smell from Salt Water Pond next to the Alexander Hotel. A proposal to develop the pond into a marina had been given Cabinet approval last year, subject to conditions by the departments of Environment and Agriculture, the acting premier said, but the project had not progressed and Cabinet was considering putting time restrictions on the approval.

Scott also said he appreciated the smooth roads, a result of the repaving currently taking place, but wondered if the roads could be widened to 30 feet, rather than 24 feet to accommodate large vehicles. O’Connor Connolly said the shoulders were going to be left in the hope that the Water Authority could pipe water through the island, and also to enhance the shoulders for pedestrians and bicycles.

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  1. No Greener Pastures Here! says:

    Poor Julie I have to wonder if her and Mac have got the same ill-gotten memory disease.

    Spend some more time helping your people in this country and stop accusing others of making mole hills for you, in which you turn around and make into mountains.

    Get off your high horses, do away with all your stupid perks and stop telling your constituents that it has to do with the ‘protocol of the constitution’.  XXXX


  2. foots says:

    For the record

    Miss Julie did not say the country was broke ,my Wife and I were there, third row of seats at the front ,how this got out misprinted, I do not know,but we were there and yes Miss Julie made a comment on how reporters make statements- She also said that if put wrong, it gives the world a bad and wrong oppinion of these Islands.I have been here for 25 years.Go back to Cayman Net News , Murder in the streets and it shows a female Police Officer with a assault riftle and a flak jacket on front page, think about it, people outside who wants to take their family and children to some place like that. If you have cancer would you want your Doctor to try to give yousome encouragement words, so you would have Hope!!!! or would you want a Doctor to just say you have cancer and you are going to die.Please think about it.

    CNS: Foots, you need to read the first paragraph again carefully. You are misreading.


  3. Anonymous says:

    JuJu: Many years of high pay but low performance. Come on Cayman Brac you can do better than making the same mistake every four years.

  4. Caymanian Heart & Soul says:

    mckeeva sang the freedom song, freedom to do as he has done, but God Almighty is with the People of Cayman and We will overcome ,  to my People I say remember that the old saying goes “ You can do what you want but not for as long as you want” and please take the time to use the information I previously posted and let US do the right thing for our children and our elderly, we can overcome what we are going thru, so pick up your pen or type your letter but please stop being afraid this won’t solve this problem .

    • Anonymous says:

      Can someone , perhaps Mr Ezzard or The one and only powerful Mr Arden who is not afraid of no one , tell us if it is true that you now have  a CONSULTANT who lost in the last Election from George Town working within the Social Service Department, and earning a bigfat salary. There is no wonder that they dont have money to pay Civil Servants. Check it out you two.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes it is true and for doing nothing she earns $10,000.00 per month – this is now beyond a joke peoples but as usual we will sit and do nothing!

        • Anonymous says:

          I think you will find that she earns more like $13,000 a month.  

    • Anonymous says:

      JuJu is blaming the Media for bankrupting Cayman, well I wonder ifthe hotel bill, the security bill and the Govt. vehicle bill and now the cost of building on a "wing" to her house where her security can stay whenever she is home, has anything to do with helping to bankrupt Cayman.

      You know that JuJu will never admit that!

      What a stinking shame these Govt. people are!

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

         I am being serious here for a change. Could someone educate me on why the lady representative from the Brac requires SECURITY. Does Moses have security? 

        • Anonymous says:

          She needs security to carry her bags to the plane and through airports. And I’m being serious too; I’ve seen it.

          After all, she’s the Deputy Premier.

          • Anonymous says:

            Hey lets be fair. Her security also has to drive, be a go for, photographer, confidant. Sounds almost like being a spouse.

          • Anonymous says:

            Of a 2 x 4 !

        • Anonymous says:

          Everyone living in Grand Cayman needs security.  But only those "working" in Government can afford to spend money they don’t have to get it.  Get it? Seriously!

          • Anonymous says:

             Julianna has her security in Cayman Brac.  I don’t think anyone in Cayman Brac needs a security officer.  I don’t see how he can protect her carrying her luggage.  I’ve seen the luggage, flowers, bags, etc

            BTW, no Moses doesn’t have security.  I’m sure he would feel as ridiculous as Julianna looks with her bell boy.

        • Rorschach says:

          Apparently, Loch, all you have to do to get security these days is claim that you have received, "Death threats"….no proof, no reasonable assessment of the threat level…just a claim…oh, and be an MLA…you or I can’t get it…we  have to actually rely on the Really Constipated Incompetent Pisspoor Service….

          • Lachlan MacTavish says:

            Yes, page one of the lets rape the country manual says once you get elected have a friend call you and threaten your life. Then you can start building the perk wagon. Miss Annie, Mr. Craddock, Capt Benson, Capt Charles must be horrified to see the spending and waste. 

            Oh, my mistake…..Miss Annie had security, Miss Sunbeam would drive her around. 

        • Pauly Cicero says:

          That’s Deputy Premier of the Cayman Islands to you buddy! Just kidding with you Lach. Don’t you watch TV and see the convoy of SUV’s and armed, ear-pieced security details running alongside whenever important politicians travel? They have to get the goodies before they go out of style.

          • Lachlan MacTavish says:

             I am unable to use the official titles. I don’t mean to be rude but neither The Premier or The Deputy have proven that they deserve the title. You don’t get a title because the constitution says you can, you get it by earning teh respect of the people. IMHO the SUV’s, security, walls, additions, hotels, first class flights and trips, buckets of cell phones and staff with a horde of hanger oners has gone beyond humorous. Numerous politico’s have lived so high of the countries hog someone should write a sequel to "Don’t Stop The Carnival" by Herman Wouk. The people would be shocked if they saw what is spent on an annual basis on creating the politico’s life styles, yes personal lifestyle. It is certainly not the life of a public servant.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Johnathan Piercy

    political aspirant and current Chairman of the Water Authority hasn’t said a word about this – what a joker!

    • Annoymous says:

      I agree, I suppose he has the same response I got when I emailed him earlier this year, not a word. 

      They pretend as if their computer broke and they can’t hit reply on the email after reading.  we get the read and delivery receipts, but that’s it.  XXXX they don’t even realize that you can actually see that now.  Some you don’t even get a response from so you must assume that they no longer have an email account with the govt. even though they are an active member/employee etc.

      I hope they all do us a favour before 2013 and resign and apologise to us about the error of their ways.



    • Worstelodium says:

      Heard on the marl road that he has resigned!

  6. born yah says:

    The only thing ican compare the idea of selling the Water Authority to is- a person working anight shift job selling or leasing thier car to pay thier monthly bills for 1 or 2 months.HOW DO THEY GET TO WORK TONIGHT, CALL UDP?Also it is the Water Authority that grants the permits to blast and dig into the water table, selling would make it eaiser to get permision for new port site excavation in East End dont you think? 

  7. Anonymous says:

    What short memory these XXXX have.  It was Mr. Bush jumping up and down like Chicken Little saying that the country was broke after the elections.  Now they realize the effect that those words have on the Cayman Islands coming from the "leader" so they are trying toblame the media who only reported what they said.

    funny thing is, they are not idiots, we are, because we keep electing them except for the two Bodden Town infiltrators

    • Anonymous For Cause says:

      I completely agree with anon Fri, 08/27/2010 – 16:57. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Justifying $9M whilst saying she can’t make payroll…Rocket scientist!!! go figure!!  How can you say this to your people when you are living high on the Hog at their expense..you don’t pay for gas, your car, your house, your electricity bill….nothing!! How many of us can afford a luxury car, driver and body guards?? Walk a mile in our shoes Julie and you will know that doing something with $9M to stimulate the our (Brac) economy would go along way to help those of us suffering in this recession.

    Building an unnecessary monument to yourself on the bluff will not do any of us any good..We have more than enough shelter for our people, why do we need this luxury one. How many people stay or want to stay in a shelter after a hurricane? Very few! We don’t need a hotel just somewhere for us with homes that could be affected by the storm to shelter for a night or two. I sure as hell don’t want to live in a shelter, no matter how nice it is. Cayman Brackers are a proud people. We want to be back in our homes or move in with family as soon as the storm passes.


    Glad to see some Brackers trying to talk sense into her, not that she will listen though..

    Still haven’t heard from Moses..Has he joined Chuckie and jumped off the HMS PPM as well??

  9. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     + one here….Journalists cannot destroy a country. Thank goodness we finally have journalists that will pass on the news and educate the general public without fear of political pressure or retribution.

  10. Kerry Horek says:

    Good one Mrs. Julie, the journalist is now the reason we are having all these woes. 

    Whom are you all going to blame next?  I can hardly wait.

    If it was that difficult to put 9million into the bank to make the civil service payrol this monthl, have you considered taking a considerable pay cut and doing away with some of those Deputy Premier perks?  In addition to some of the other wastage that goes on?

    We along with all the Journalist live in the Real World Mrs. Julie, until you get to where we are at, then him who feels it knows it.

    Thankfully we don’t have to live like this forever, change is coming for the better and that’s my optimistic outlook for this country.


  11. Beachboi says:

    Although I have always heard that Juliana is supposed to be intelligent I have yet to see evidence of this being the case.  Now that she has publicly stated that it is the journalists that are ruining the country I can unequivocally say that there is no evidence of intelligence there.  XXXX  It is not the journalists who write the stories and the people who comment on them that are ruining the country it is the likes of Juliana herself and McKewad that HAVE (not "are" as in present tense) ruined this country.  Julie you may have "cents" but you certainly have no "sense".

  12. Anonymous says:

    Here is one suggestion for making some money out of the water business.

    The licence that Government granted to Cayman Water Company in 1990 for the exclusive right to provide potable water on the Seven Mile Beach for a period of 20 years has expired.

    Why doesn’t McKeeva and JuJu open that up to outside bids through the CTC to see who else might be interested rather than negotiating a renewal in secret?


    • Anonymous says:

      Think contractual right of first refusal.  

      • Anonymous says:

        That is precisely what I am thinking. If there are no third parties invited to the table then there is no "right of first refusal" for Cayman Water Company to worry about. It just becomes a straight negotiation with Government about what formula will be used for rate of return.

        This Government is not interested in an open and transparent process that might benefit the people, so I would expect the negotiation process to take place along the lines of what was done for a new cruiseship pier. So Cayman Water Company will probably get the rate of return they want and the Water Authority as well, if the right persons benefit from it in some way.

        The only thing in our favour is that CWCO is a Nasdaq listed company, and thus subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are missing the point. If CWC has a right of first refusal in the old licence the Govt. is not at liberty to simply invite third parties to the table unless and until its offer is refused by CWC.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am not a lawyer, so what seems like straightforward english to me might have an entirely different meaning, but here is what CWC filed with the SEC.


            During the three-month extension of the license, the Company intends to continue negotiating a new license agreement with the Cayman Islands government.  As long as the Company is not in default of any terms of the existing license, even if a new license agreement is not concluded during the three-month extension, the Company would have a right of first refusal to renew the license on terms that are no less favorable than those that the government might offer in the future to a third party.
            If the Company does not enter into a new license agreement at the conclusion of the three-month period or any agreed extension, and no other party is awarded a license, the Company expects to be permitted to continue to supply water to its service area.  However,  the terms of such continued supply may not be as favorable to the Company as the terms in the existing license.  It is possible that the government could offer a third party a license to service some or all of the Company’s present service area.  In such event, the Company may assume the license offered to the third party by exercising the Company’s right of first refusal.  The terms of the new license agreement may not be as favorable to the Company as the terms under which the Company is presently operating.

            How could Government possibly know what they might offer a third party without holding talks with third parties? Perhaps there is a third party out there willing to give Government $20 million up front and accept that rate of return model that CWC does not appear to like.

            Maybe CWC’s real problem is how they are going to explain those huge bonuses management have been giving themselves while their profits and stock price have been falling faster than McKeeva’s popularity.

            Note that these bonuses actually caught the eye of the SEC examiners.


            • Anonymous says:

              You are not understanding it correctly. In other words, if govt. and CWC fail to agree, govt. would not be entitled to then grant a licence to a third party on better terms than offered to CWC without first offering the same terms to CWC. It guards against bad faith negotiations.       

              • Anonymous says:

                I understand what you are saying, but the question remains "How does government value the franchise without first putting out some feelers"?

                I agree that this might be in bad faith, but when has this government ever done anything in good faith?

  13. A. Colin Panton says:

     If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: "President Can’t Swim."

         Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1908 – 1973 

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am not UDP

    But I am all for taking care of those who lose their homes during a hurricane. I just can’t see why well-off Caymanians are against this project. What is 9 million when another Paloma or Ivan could cost us more? I recall after Paloma, how so many people had no shelter…

    Sorry PPM supporters and well-off Caymanians that are so numbed and indifferent to people’s experiences – I SUPPORT THIS 100%

    MONEY (such as 9 million) IS NOT EVERYTHING!

    lol… and you can kill your keyboard with your thumbs-down all you want!



    • Anonymous says:

      PERHAPS THE SCHOOL that you went to taught you that 9 million and 9 thousand is the same.  If its difficult to pay the poor Civil Servants how in the devils hell can we afford a 9 million POPPY SHOW 5 star hurricane hotel. So if 9 million can be spent on the Brac how much will the badly needed shelter on Grand Cayman cost my guess is three times as much.

    • Anonymous says:

      how many other idiots in Cayman Brac?

  15. Anonymous says:

    The rubbish coming out of these peoples’ mouths is bigger than all the dumps put together!

    Obviously referring again to CNS’ journalist, keep up the good work CNS and all journalists. 

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS deserves one of the highest awards given . Without CNS everything would be swept under the beds. Keep up the good works and dont let no one intimidate you as you have this entire Country behind you. Dont you all remember that word that was used so much during the last election TRANSPARENCY well this is just what cns is doing now.

  16. Anonymous says:

    No Julie you are SOOooo wrong, journalist don’t have a chance to destroy this country, YOU and MAC have already mastered that.  It’s a sad day, month, year in the Cayman Islands, we’ve lost our beloved Country to greed, corruption and betrayal.

  17. Play Right says:

    "Cayman Politics", a new play by Dr Fink McFold

    Mac & Julie: The country is broke!

    The headlines the next day: The country is broke, says Mac and Julie

    (Later that day in a press conference) Mac & Julie: How dare you journalists say we are broke! You are ruining the country!

    The Cayman people: Help! Who can save us from Mac and Julie?

    The End.

  18. Anonymous says:

    "“You do not know what it took to get those funds in the bank yesterday,” she said, before taking a dig at the media and headlines suggesting that the Cayman Islands were broke, claiming certain journalists were “going to destroy the country if they keep going in the direction that they are”".

    Ms. Julie, don’t you recall that it was your Premier that started this "Cayman is broke" talk early last year when he thought it was raising political capital for him and his party (which includesyou)? Now you are conveniently forgetting that and blaming journalists.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s amazing, these politians are really a bunch of XXXXX!

      Driving in $50,000 govt vehicles, travelling first class around the world. Homes getting renovated every 6 months, 9 million dollar hurricane shelters, private chefs, housekeepers, guards, home security, DOUBLE DIPPING to name a few.  Ofcourse it’s difficult to pay your Civil Service when all of the money has been spent on YOU THE POLITIANS!

      It’s official JuJU is a genius.

  19. Hufflepuff says:

    Interesting that everyone who told me the government was having extreme cash flow problems this month worked for government.



    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and last month they were paid only two days LATE! They can lie all they want but the people know and I hope they don’t forget at the next election! The salary cuts and duty hikes on food, gas and other NEEDS! BUT the people know the feeling to have nothing when they are paid less and working hard to make ends barely meet!

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not a Bracker, but I am a born Caymanian, and I can honestly say that I have never been so disappointed in anyone in my life as I am with Julie O’Connor-Conolly.  I thought she was a genuine Christian serving God and her country in that order.  Now I listen to her and read her comments and I see that she is only serving McCastro and the huge salary that she receives along with all the other perks.  She might as well go get her hair cut and styled, wear a little make-up and shorten her skirts.  At least she will look more attractive while she is assisting the dictator in raping the Cayman Islands.  Caymanians, we have to do something to better our situation.  We need to get a legal petition with all the signatures of fed-up and unhappy Caymanians and take it to the Governor to assist us in dissolving the current government and have a new election quickly.  McDinejad thought nothing of engineering a coup in the early 2000’s, so let us pay him and his cohorts back in kind.  If Caymanians do not stand together now, we might aswell leave en masse to another country, because look at the historical data;  when it is almost time for the next election, everything will speed up to help blind Caymanians and try to get votes again, especially for the couple of people in the Government, who are hanging on to the fringes of the UDP government,  I need not call names, we all know at least two of them.  

        • Anonymous says:

          Right!  Caymanians getting together for a commen cause?  After the miricle happens who or what gets to take their place?  and what happens again?  And who gets screwed again?  The problem is the Caymanian way of doing (not doing) anything.