Activists step up campaign against FCIA

| 19/11/2012

IMG-20121117-00324_0.jpg(CNS): The Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free cancelled a planned meeting with Dart on Friday to discuss its plan to move the George Town landfill to Bodden Town as the group now believes the entire ForCayman Investment Alliance (FCIA)  is not legal and falls foul of the Public Management and Finance Law (PMFL). The coalition joined other local activist groups at a rally on Saturday, where campaigners called on government to stop the talks with Dart until all of the proper processes were followed and the people of Cayman could see whether or not the elements of the deal are fair and represent value for money for the public purse.

Around 200 people turned up for the peaceful protest, which was held on the strip of West Bay Road that Dart proposes to close in order to develop a new five-star resort. Speakers included representatives from all of the various campaign groups making up the activist group, Truly4Cayman, as well as the two independent MLAs and potential future candidates at the next election.

Kenneth Bryan, who is expected to run in George town on the PPM ticket this election, said he understood the dilemma faced by the community over the possible jobs that could be created, but he said development had to be done in the wider interest of all Caymanians. The lack of transparency on the deal was the fault of the premier, he said.

“We can’t blame Dart; he is a developer he is doing what he does. It is our government that we should be able to trust to negotiate on our behalf and it is the premier that is letting down the people,” Bryan said.

Moving the dump and the closing the road remain the primary concerns for the activists, but the passage of the Framework for Fiscal responsibility into the PMFL has now put a different light on the situation, explained former minister Charles Clifford, who is now a practicing lawyer. He said that the deal has not followed the requirements of the new legislation and that was why the group cancelled its meeting with Dart and has gone directly to the UK.

Clifford said the coalition had cancelled a Friday meeting with Dart executives, CO Jackie Doak and CEO Mark VanDevelde, until government commissions an independent and unbridled study by the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) of the best waste management solution for Grand Cayman, along with the broad public consultation recommended by the EAB; and that proper Request for Proposals (RFPs) be issued by the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) following the EAB’s deliberations, including ithe issue of divestiture of significant public assets.

“Until this is done and the proper processes followed, the coalition refuses to legitimize the proposed BT dump by meeting with its proponents,” said Clifford. He said government and Dart have been riding roughshod over due process, transparency, good governance, respect for our fragile environment and, now, the rule of law. “We refuse to be accessories to what we consider an illegal operation.”

Government hasstill not said when it will sign its main agreement with the Dart Group, which covers both the West Bay Road development plans, the future expansion of Camana Bay, as well as the capping and remediation of the George Town dump, in exchange for a new landfill site in Bodden Town.

There has been very little transparency about the details of the ForCayman Investment Alliance in terms of the value of the crown land being swapped with the developer. So far, the review undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers also remains under wraps as talks between government and Dart continue.

Although Dart has revealed the broad outlines of the concessions it wants and what it plans to do in return, the emergence of the finer details about the plans in the public domain has been as a result of the preliminary agreement between the NRA, Dart and government being leaked to North Side MLA Ezzard Miller, and then published on CNS.

That leak has now become the subject of a police investigation after the NRA filed a complaint with the RCIPS. It is not clear exactly what law has been broken as the deal involved public assets. Nevertheless, the police have confirmed that are trying to establish if a crime has been committed and if so by whom.

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  1. Patricia X says:

    What a bunch of troublemakers.  The sooner this wonderful project is completed the better.  I am sure that it will offer some of the best dining and entertainment on offer in Cayman.  A scrubby little road is not that important.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Again I agree with the activists but they should be protesting in front of the Govt. building as it is Govt that sold the land on 7 mile to Dart.  It is Govt that sold the land for the dump to Dart.  The question is if you had billions to spend and you could take advantage of a corrupt Govt. by buying land for DIRT prices wouldn't you do the same?  Again protest against Govt spending because it was not their land to sell in the first place!

  3. Anonymous says:

    There is a pocket of the population that tries to be very vocal, inflate their numbers, get as much free radio time and announce their importance to the country. Their desire to march the country backwards and/or maintain the status quo while demanding more jobs and services from a financially strapped government shows the lack of thought in their actions.

    I believe most are well intentioned and want the best for the country but there are a few that have their own political self serving agenda.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It was a "Very Poor Showing" (about 50 – 60 protestor's) for what was supposed to be a strong "United Front/Movement" against this project. A complete waste of time in my opinion, for these "MLA Wanna- Bee's" for West Bay. 

    Ladies and Gentlemen, you really got to do better than that, if you want to move that "Old Bush Boy" from West Bay.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, your opinion is what it is and nothing more, thank God. Try and broaden your perspective is allI can advise. it's a big world out there.

    • Someone else says:

      The first thing we need to do is to stop being so self-serving and hateful! 

    • George W. Bush says:

      YOU ARE SO RIGHT! He's an OLD BUSH BOY that is soon to be cut down an gotten rid of!

      TOO BAD because I used to support him when he was a YOUNG BUSH but as he grew he surrounded himself with all those "THORNY WEEDS" so now he has to be removed along with them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie this is a Bodden Towner making this statement.  I do hope you suspect who I am.  However I would suggest that if you intend to run for this Town, you have  learned by your last mistakes.  Do not try to fool Bodden Towners into thinking that you are a lone wolf, then when you get in you join the pack like other MLA.   Any person who do this is clearly running for the pay check and not for the interest of the people.

    Personally I like you, and would give you my support however, I do not like  machettes which are sharpened on two sides.  Get what I mean? 

    I have read your comments on this issue.  You are intelligent, but I would state this much.  Stand up for WHAT IS RIGHT not for what others may think is right, because remember the customer is not alway correct.

    Do you see what is happening now "The sieve has a hole in it"  and that hole has a name. It is called Leak.  Not good, not good, for either the LEAK or the LEAKING.


  6. Anonymous says:

    It's about time someone looked into this deal thoroughly.  The W2E deal was handled in the same way as the port proposals – there was an RFP, which was responded to by a number of candidates and apparently the deal was awarded to a candidate that had responded in the best way to the government's detailed requirements.  For this then to be removed from that bidder only about a month later and handed over to Dart (who had scored so low against the listed requirements) showed that either the government hadn't considered what theyreally needed before the RFP was drafted (which I doubt) or that something else had come up in the meantime…  How is this any different to the port deal, which has apparently been halted?

  7. Wah wah wah!!! says:

    Thanks to the activists for trapping my family in the traffic snarl up that ensued as a result of their whining.  The only goal acheived was to remind us how important it is to have a new wider bypass toservice the route to WB.  Congrats to the Dart Group for their forward thinking alliance with Government.  Get the road done!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope you enjoy still only having one road into West Bay, the plan was ALWAYS to have 2 roads, one congested road will still have the same problems as the amount of traffic increases in Cayman.

      Hope you also enjoy the "forward thinking alliance" when you wish to park on West Bay Road to access the beach anywhere between the current public beach and the yacht club. We will LOSE several rights of way to the beach – they are being combined to "create" a so-called new public beach at the former VIctoria house location. Take a look at how many cars are parked on that strip on a Sunday to see how many people use those same rights of way and how crowded public beach is now, it will get much worse. 

      • Anonymous says:

        You are incorrect about the right of ways. All of that beach front CAN be developed into homes and condos. They will have fences and gates. Under the current planning law they will leave 5 or 6 six foot walkways from road to beach and NO parking. The folks you see there today are technically trespassing if they are on lands higher than the high water mark. Given that type of development ALL views to see will be lost from the road and that can happen right now legally WITHOUT the FCIA. Please be careful what you wish for. Remember Dart already designed those 5 large private homes there where Tiki Beach is. He can go back to plan A anytime and we will still not see the sea. Find the facts before you get too emotional on this.

    • NeoSurvivor says:

      So, you would balance your temporary inconvenience against a valid effort to protest an untendered agreement that primarily benefits DART to the exclusion of the country?   



    • Anonymous says:

      What a totally inane post. You poor individual, do you start your day this way or do things improve as you come to your senses?