No elections for new councils

| 08/11/2010

(CNS): The district councils which have been outlined in the Cayman Islands Constitution will not be elected bodies but the members will be selected by Cabinet. According to the law, which will come before legislatures during this current sitting, the new local political bodies designed to advise the relevant elected members of the Legislative Assembly for the districts will all be appointed by government. Of the maximum of ten councillors only two have to be recommended by the opposition in each district, unless there is no government member in the constituency when Cabinet will only be able to appoint three members. (Photo by Lisa Butcher)

The members will have to live in the district and, according to the proposed legislation, will have “special qualifications, training, experience or knowledge of the district” suitable to the role.

There is no provision in the law for the new district councillors to be elected by the people of the district. So far, the only district in which such an advisory body already exists is North Side, where the independent member, Ezzard Miller, held public ballots at district meetings to elect the council. So far that body has undertaken a number of projects, including raising the money to install a network of close circuit television cameras to help fight crime in the community.

Miller meets regularly with his council to discuss the motions and questions he intends to bring to parliament, as well as what position he should take on government legislation and policies on behalf of the people of the district.

Under the proposed law, which will introduce councils in all six electoral districts, the members will be appointed for one year but can be reappointed after that, and the terms and conditions of service will be determined by the government.

The main role of the members will be to advise their MLAs on the major issues with regards to the district’s needs and to help their elected representatives discharge their duties towards their constituents more efficiently and effectively. The MLAs will then take the advice of their councils to the relevant ministers when necessary.

The district councils will receive some funding through the budgetbut they will also be able to raise their own cash for specific projects. The councils will be expected to meet a minimum of four times per year in public, though the chair will have the power to call for in camera sessions.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Never mind the district council, how do I get one of those juicy "advisor" contracts like Perlina has?

  2. Florence goring-Nozza says:


    Governor Taylor are you going to turn a blind eye to the people’s constitutional right being violated and eroded by the premier and his cabinet?



    We all are against the UDP dictating laws contrary to the constitution and the will of the people.


    • De problem wid u says:

      The problem with you sonny boy is youse a PPM, tha wa wrong wid u. Eye-is frum ole bush and eye-is sure u memba sittin on ur porch an tellin me all about them PPMs and the dutty lil secrets them gots on us.

      Unna is gunna lern soon doh, Mark my wuds (no nah you Mark, I wazzin callin u, I was tellin dem fools yah who dey mama is, go back sleep bobo – hush hush ma boy, u look jes like uncle mackie onleh lil darkah)

    • schtupidpeoplesayWHA!? says:

      What can the Governor do??? If the people of this country are not doing one gosh-darn thing to help themselves, please tell me exactly what Taylor is meant to do for them?

      THIS is the problem with Cayman. Everyone expects SOMEONE ELSE to do something to fix the problem. NO ONE wants to be seen at the front of the line causing the ruckus. OK, maybe a few lions out there roar when they feel the need, but for the most part, EVERYONE sits around and gripes, moans and groans like their hands and feet have been cut off and they can’t help themselves…

      Please madam, rally your friends, neighbours and family and take a stand. Do you not realize that YOU HAVE THE POWER…! Like Dumbo and magical feather – the power was there all the while. YOU can control what is happening here.

      Speak up, rise up, act up.

      Stop with this passive nonsense. If you are disgruntled and know of more people that are likewise disgruntled, call to action!

      Stop the MADNESS. End the terror. Bring on the change.

      Who will take the stand and call for a coup. Who will rise up and force the removal of these politicians? Who will put an end to the dictatorship and governmental anarchy? You? Will you go down in history as a hero? A martyr? A saviour? Or a quiet churchmouse who did nothing…

      Make up your mind Cayman. What will it be then?



      • Anonymous says:

        "What can the Governor do??? If the people of this country are not doing one gosh-darn thing to help themselves, please tell me exactly what Taylor is meant to do for them?".

        While it may not help in this particular case, the Governor has the constitutional authority and responsibility to ensure good governance. He has a variety of powers to intervene. The ability of the people to do anything is clearly limited by the election cycle since this Government pays no attention to public protest.  

    • Anonymous says:

      OMG, more cronie committees, especially whenever there is a dictator running the country.What will be the point of these committees if appointed by a dictator, sorry I mean by cabinet, if only to follow orders? Same old UDP cr-p!

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      Did you even bother to read the article?

  3. aNONYMOUS says:

    The constitution sets out how and when elections are to be held and for what purpose.

    The premier and his cabinet are directly in violation of the constitution that already dictates the law.They have decided to dictate their own law striking down the law regarding advisory council in the constitution already enacted!

    I feel very uncomfortable that this cabinet which the majority of constituents has NO CONFIDENCE IN will proceed with selecting an advisory council on their own depriving the constituents oftheir right  at the ballot box to choose who they wish to put into that position.

    I’m curious to see if this very INACTIVE GOVERNOR  that we are stuck with  will continue to run scared of the bullying Premier or will he step up to the plate as a responsible governor and consult the people of how they would like to handle this since the constitution of the Cayman Islands has already made provision for the people to vote on this issue and make their own decision as it pleases them.

    • Anonymous says:

      While I am also concerned about how the government will go about appointing members to these Councils, it is not correct that the Constitution requires that the district councils be elected. Section 119 states:

      "Subject to this Constitution, a law enacted by the Legislature shall provide for the establishment, functions and jurisdiction of Councils for each electoral district to operate as advisory bodies to the elected members of the Legislative Assembly".

      However, elections for the councils would have been a good thing and could have been made open to all residents.

      Unfortunately, this promises to be another opportunity for the appointment of cronies.

      • Anonymous says:

        So if the Constitutional requirement is for councils in accordance with "a law enacted by the Legislature…" then it seems that any political party holding the majority and controlling Cabinet can pass whatever law they see fit to govern the process of selecting the councils.

        It does seem that the matter would need to be presented to the entire Legislature and not be an act of Cabinet, but given the reality of the situation that seems almost a formality. The controlling party writes a law to authorize Cabinet to appoint councils, presents it before the Legislature, and votes to pass the law. The minority party has little say in the matter.


        • Anonymous says:

          I agree with the rest of your post but I am afraid I do not see how you reach the following conclusion:

          "It does seem that the matter would need to be presented to the entire Legislature and not be an act of Cabinet".

          There is nothing in section 119 that suggests that the L.A. would have to approve appointments to the Councils. All that is required of the L.A. is to pass the law to provide for the establishment, functions etc. of the Councils. The process would operate in the same way as appointments to the Boards of Statutory Authorities.

  4. Anonymus says:

    This is a bad plan. Create a council of party apartchiks to create the appearance of greater public consultation when in reality its the same people you appointed because they agree with you in the first place. An unhelpful, unrepresentative, unneccessarry idea.

  5. Culture Saver says:

    Regardless of the new law all districts should follow Mr. Miller’s model and have elections (non-official if necessary) for these positions. Local small elections are the front lines of democracy and provide for direct representation by the people. It also provides a check and balance on the district representative to ensure he/she is doing what the people want. Appointing councils that have the same political position of the representative does not cultivate mutual problem solving between people, regardless of political affiliation.