Progressives focus on jobs for Cayman Brac

| 06/05/2013

Moses may 2013 James Tibbetts.jpg(CNS): Laying out ideas for economic growth and job creation on Cayman Brac that could be put into effect very quickly, PPM Deputy Leader Moses Kirkconnell said that people traveling from the US to Cuba on humanitarian trips frequently go through Grand Cayman but there was no reason why, once the upgrade to the Cayman Brac airport was complete, they could not go through the Brac instead. At a party rally outside Kirkconnell’s Market Friday night, the Progressive incumbent also proposed developing back office work on the island, turning the new hurricane shelter on the Bluff into a hospitality trainingschool and developing sports tourism, as well as creating short term jobs cleaning up the beaches and roads. (Photos by James Tibbetts)

Addressing a crowd of around 300 people, Kirkconnell focused heavily on job creation utilizing the infrastructure that was already in place on the island. Creating a Miami to Cayman Brac to Havana airline route, with three or four flights per week, would accomplish two things: it would help to penetrate the US market for Brac tourism and it would create jobs at the Brac airport, he said.

“Every day of my life people come to me and say they want jobs,” Kirkconnell told the crowd, noting that they did not want handouts but employment. He said that it would take 60 to 90 days once the PPM took office to implement short term job creation, such as beach cleaning and the roadside clean-up programme, while they worked on introducing some of the other ideas he had. These included making sure that the hotel rooms already in existence on Cayman Brac were filled and creating incentives to bring back office work to the island. There was no reason why statistics and accounting jobs could not be moved to the Brac, he noted.

PPM meeting may 2013 James Tibbetts-1.jpgThe deputy party leader, who is expected to retain his seat in the upcoming elections by a healthy margin, also pointed to the Progressives’ manifesto promise to roll back fees and lower the cost for small businesses. “Every business on Cayman Brac is a small business,” he noted. The PPM also intend to offer low interest loans to businesses with advice from experts on how to manage their money, and he said this would also be of help to businesses on the Sister Island.

Promising to continue the government intern programme for young people on Cayman Brac, he also said the party would cut the red tape for veterans and seamen to receive their benefits. Without naming a figure, he said they would “see how much we can increase” those benefits.

In a clear criticism of the recent appointment of a sports director from abroad over the popular and very effective local Brac sports instructor, Mitchum Sanford (which many people on the island believe was a decision pushed by Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who has responsibility for sports in the Sister Islands),  Kirkconnell emphasised Sanford’s achievements.

During the early days of the 2005-2009 PPM administration, Sanford had explained in detail to Alden McLaughlin (now party leader), who was the minister responsible for sports at the time, exactly what funds were needed for the sports programme, which had resulted in a 400% increase in the sports budget for the Brac. Sanford had used those funds to get many sports programmes going on the island and had mentored a number of young people towards sports scholarships at universities in the US, several of whom had now completed their degrees, Kirkconnell noted.

“I know of no better person to be sports director for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman,” he said, adding that he “wanted to have that discussion on 23rd of May”.

The first PPM administration had put a playing field on the Bluff, Kirkconnell said. Now what is needed is to add lights, changing rooms and a running track, as well as basketball and volleyball facilities. “So, when visiting teams get off the plane, they’ll know they are coming to ‘our house’ to play,” he said, explaining that the development of sports tourism would also boost the economy and create jobs.

The Progressives will look at green initiatives for the island, including recycling and waste-to-energy garbage disposal to deal with the dump on the south side, Kirkconnell said. They will also return to studies on solar and wind power undertaken during the last PPM administration, which were cut off by Hurricane Paloma in November 2008.

The first elected member for the district also addressed the crime spree on the island. Following an article on CNS in which he called on the police to deal with spate of burglaries, particularly of commercial properties, the police commissioner had sent a team of detectives and forensic experts to the Brac, Kirkconnell said. He noted that because the island had been crime free for so long, those jobs had not been necessary in the past.

However, he said, “Now is not the time to be divided from the police. We need to be united to get rid of crime,” and invited people to sign up for the local Neighbourhood Watch Programme or join the Special Constabulary.

Giving credit to the UDP for continuing the Paloma Fund for the Sister Islands, which had been started by the PPM after the hurricane, Kirkconnell listed the tangible achievements of the previous PPM administration, including the Cayman Brac Day Care Centre, the upgrades to the Aston Rutty Civic Centre and the addition of the medical wing, the launch of the Department of Commerce and Investment office on the Brac, the upgrade to Faith Hospital and the Ann Tatum Ramp.

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  1. MEM says:

    Well, seeing as the waters and reefs in the Brac make it extremely difficult for cruise docking, why don't the Brac MLA's push for a small cruise docking facility in the Brac? This would open  up hundreds of jobs and business opportunities…. duh!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mr Kirkconnell should have another good candidate running with him so that the Sister Islands can have proper representatives.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The PNA meeting Monday night had less than 100. Could it be that most Cayman Bracers are begining to wise up?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh please Moses all these things were promised by you and the previous PPM government and they did nothing with regards to back office work. Hot air that’s all. Also the intern idea is great but they are paid too much and are doing nothing. Very few of them learn anything on the job and are useless to employers when they are done. They need proper mentors on the job and they also need to put their blackberry s away.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Did he speak about Ms Julie paving her own road?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Has he created any in the past four years?

    How realistic is it for any government to rollback 200 million in taxes!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Just read about the shameful hiring of the sports director. The premier is self serving and has no interests in following the spirit of the immigration law. Who is this director, what is the relationship between this person and the premier, or this person and people the premier owes favor to. As a small business person I have to justify every permit I purchase. I would never be granted one for a position that was held by a Caymanian with the qualifications Mr. Sanford has.

    But!!! Just thought!!!! No permit required for a government position. Where is the moratorium on new hires? Is this position a d the associated benefits in the budget???

    Shameful. Theyall have to go.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was the position even advertised to give Mr. Sanford the opportunity to apply? This is why the private sector can treat Caymanians the way they do, because this is how our own government treats! Shame on you Juliana. Your behaviour is disgraceful. I hope the good people of Cayman Brac wise up to you before its too late.

    • Anonymous says:

      Im beginning to think that there was more to that Qatar trip than collecting a bronze medal for express mail.  Sniff, Sniff.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If we wait for these politicians to lead the way, we will wait forever. People, just go it alone. Plant your own food, buy your own solar and let these very important politicians play their games among themselves.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Kirkconnell is a great example of what real representation is.  I live in GT, but from the meeting described in this article it is clear that he understands the needs of his district and is very focused on making things better!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Kirkconnell is looking out for his own business interests. All ihs proposed solutions are centered around businesses that he owns and he is  always starting new businesses to compete with his constituents. Greedy.

    • Anonymous says:

      300 people in attendance?  Even including the Grand Cayman possee and children thats a generous estimation.

      • Anonymous says:

        15 or so people from Grand Cayman ain't much and you obviously wasn't there to see how many Brackers were.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nice try XXXX but there were many many people on the bluff side of the road and in their cars. I heard that the final number of voting age people NOT including the "Grand Cayman Posse" or Mr Kirkconnell's employees was 330.

        • Anonymous says:

          Out of over 1000 voters?

          • Anonymous says:

            Wow! 1/3 of the entire voting population in that district came to the meeting?! That is excellent! I doubt that that has been achieved by anyone else, anywhere else in the Islands, ever.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Long live the likes of Capt Mose, as Shelby calls him BIG MAN. You are very organized and professional, have three very competent ladys who work with you,Ms Liz, Ms Walton, and in Cayman the hard working Sharon. Three Spot Bay professionals.Your platform was beautiful and your meeting very organized.We are proud to have you for our representative. Youre not only nice to people at Election time but all through the years, and that is without wasting the Publics money. We want you for our next Premier!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    How about creating new positions as Beach Drug Collectors? Seems they will need a lot…

    • Anonymous says:

      She can bring some from Tonga to collect the loads of drugs that are washing up on the Beach. Mitchum Sanford must surely feel humiliated with his job. Then what about the Hurlstons son in law? What a mess, anyhow a stroke of the pencil can make a difference. One of the worst since the paving of yards is this new road through ju ju and Marks property. What a sale to Dart that she is now seems to be so friendly with. We all figured that she was just jealous of his friendship with Mack. The worst thing is we all feel so sad to know that Lyndon could not run as he was surely going to make a difference in the election. As many educated Bracers that we have no one would compete with her. We are so disappointed that we are not going to have a change, for we Bracers the election is already over. SAD SAD SAD.

    • Anonymous says:

      11.59-from the thumbs down and trolls you clearly hit some Brac'ers nerves…some people take themselves far too seriously and cannot see the funny side.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Who is going to fund all this crap? Ah yes, the hard working residents of Grand Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is our patriotism? We are all Caymanians…how can you make such a statement that would seek divide your own people? So what should Brackers do? Form their own government? Just imagine if all the successful BRACKERS up and left Grand Cayman? People like the Fosters, Kirkconnells, Tibbetts, Scott’s, Martins etc. I wonder what Grand Cayman would be like if people like these didn’t support its community, help create business, industry, infrastructure, legislation?
      Stop Hating! And start bridging the gap…so young people in the Brac AND Grand Cayman can have a future. United We Stand remember? Shame on you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you about patriotism but the idea that Brackers who left and developed Grand Cayman somehow gives people living in the Brac today a reason not to do more for themselves is getting very old. So what that some Brackers built up Grand Cayman. A lot didn't. It's time for those people to make a way for themselves. There is a lot of welfare and it comes in many forms. While Brackers are going more for themselves, Caymanians in Grand Cayman can do the same. And, I personally like Moses a lot. He's very personable and he has the ability to do a fine job. But don't think for a second that his primary motivation is you and me. He is primarily interested in Moses Kirkconnell. How many people are now dependent on him for their livelihoods? The reason he has been quiet on the paving program is because government built the million dollar road into the Power & Light Plant on the Bluff, a company that he owns.

        • Anonymous says:

          Mr. Mose probably does more as an afterthought than you do on purpose.   He was a leader and helper of the people long before he was an MLA.  

          • Anonymouse says:

            This! I love how this slowly digressed into a judge of his character and/or motivation. This guy gave me a job right out of highschool when i wasn't doing too well monetarily. It was enough for me to move overseas and make a life elsewhere; which is futhest from being selfish i can thin of off the top of my head. So whats the hidden agenda? theres always a hidden agenda in politics eh ~nudge nudge~



        • Anonymous says:

          Mr Kirkconnell is one of almost 300 share holders in Cayman Brac Power & Light.

        • Anonymous says:

          And all the while, Power and Light is a utilitycompany that is owned by the people on the island while the road to Julianas land is owned by who?