Tara urged to say ‘yes’

| 28/05/2013

tara rivers.jpg(CNS): There were close to 400 people crammed into a local school hall in West Bay Monday evening, all of them pleading with newly elected MLA Tara Rivers to say ‘yes’ to PPM Leader Alden McLaughlin’s offer of a no-strings attached Cabinet seat. Despite the overwhelming show of support for Rivers to take the offer of a ministry, she still seemed reluctant to give the crowd a definitive ‘yes'. Although she said her constituents' support had “made the decision easier for her” and she would be willing to accept the offer, she said she still wanted to talk to the PPM leader about what she called the “fine print” and her desire for some form of support from other independents in the new government.

She did not state if that meant she would still be holding out for another independent cabinet seat or whether she was now willing to accept McLaughlin’s offer, which was made on Friday. The PPM leader has stated that he was offering the Cabinet seat to her, and her alone.  

However, the offer came with no other strings and he had also stated that he hoped that both Winston Connolly and Roy McTaggart would be willing to sit on the government back-benches as there were many support posts available as counsellors and committee members. The premier in waiting has stated that Rivers does not need to join the PPM and she can choose from a wide range of portfolios.

McLaughlin has given Rivers until 8am to make up her mind as he will be announcing his full Cabinet on Tuesday at a 10am press briefing.

For well over an hour on Monday evening there were congratulations, positive comments, accolades, praise and unequivocal support for her, as well as a standing ovation when one member of the audience asked everyone to stand if they supported her accepting. The entire audience got to its feet and cheered for Rivers to accept. As comments continued, not one single person stood to say she should not accept.

As the meeting at John A Cumber Primary School drew to a close, Rivers appeared to imply she would be accepting the new premier’s offer but did not give a categorical unambiguous 'yes'. However, given the significant support for her to take the job and to stop holding out for her C4C colleagues, including from Gary Rutty, one of the Coalition for Cayman’s founding executive members, it will prove difficult for Rivers to now decline the offer.

All of Rivers' C4C running mates were present at the meeting, as well as the former premier and soon to be speaker of the LA, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly. The audience was made up of a wide cross-section of West Bayers and all had nothing but support and praise for Rivers as they urged and even begged her to take the job, even though she would be the lone independent, as they all said they had faith in her ability to do the job, which is why they had all voted for her.

Check back to CNS tomorrow for details of the new government.

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  1. Oscar Observitus says:

    Who's Putting Country First, and Who Is Being Arrogant Now?


    After a hard-fought battle, the Presumptive Premier has risked hard feelings among his own PPM camp by carving out a spot for a C4C candidate, Tara, who ran with people who said they would NOT work with Alden as Premier. Does that sound like an ego-maniac?

    C4C said party politics was divisive. We needed to focus on the ISSUES, not political personalities and petty squabbles.

    Okay. So, Tara, are your 'conditions' for accepting the Cabinet seat based on ISSUES or personalities?

    Time will tell just who is putting 'Country First'… we're watching.

  2. Peanuts says:


    With stories and spin in ever increasing volume, each view point seeking to score points, for what gain and who’s gain. I am mystified at the basic childish behavior of our elected members of Parliament. While they continue destroying what ever goodwill existed between them, and to a lesser degree the supporters, the country suffers.

    I suggest that the eighteen elected meet and like adults sit and discuss the way forward.

    We the general public have spoken and we expect that the elected members to work out the formation of government together. 

    I voted for those in the house, I did not vote for those who worked for any party to sit and design my Government, the government is the eighteen elected, not various campaign managers, and king makers.

    I would like to see real solid Win-Win discussion, not the Win-Loose attitude that is reflected on Rooster, CNS, Compass or CITN.
    By the way, please show me Christianity, stop telling me about it, each time I hear the good book being used to grease one’s way in to a seat of power, I gag.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tara, you said the meeting was necessary to make up your mind on the wonderful and unheard of PPM offer never thought Alden could be so gratious.

    The meeting gave you a difinitive YES answer to respond to PPM.

    If you and the other 2 C4C had other tricks up your sleves then you were.obligated to inform the meeting last night. Today we feel that you deceived us last night when not all of the thuth was told.

    Respond immediately with a yes to PPM before we all lose faith and trust in you 3 C4C.

    You have stolen hope from us.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I don't understand some of you… Because someone is independent, does that automatically leave them to make fast decisions in complete isolation? As far as I'm concerned if someone is unsure of something, I don't see any problem with getting advice or speaking with others to hear their opinion and then make up your own mind.

    I'm sure before watching a movie or purchasing a product, most of you will look at reviews and ask others for their opinion before making your own decision.

    Majority or CNS commenters seem like a bunch of squawking parrots, quick to poop on others.

    • Cashew says:

      The majority of products and certainly movies, don’t cost hundreds of millions of dollars. So your hypothetical fails.

      If Tara was truly independent, and I suspect she is 50/50 of C4C, us commentors would be more forgiving.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like she’s still holding out for more from the PPM. Do you honestly believe that if the roles were reversed that the C$C would beas inclusive if at all? They have already given her a no strings attached deal. But she has her own. As a woman I am disgusted with her handling of the situation. Like a woman who can’t make up her mind… I already can’t believe that she needed 400 people to tell her what she should do with such a simple decision. Imagine when the decisions get more complicated.

    • Anonymous says:

      It amazes me how narrow-minded people are in this country. You really think she needed anyone to tell her what to do!? She is an intelligent woman. Educated, sensible and second elected in WB, thank you very much! 

      None of that came through rash decisions and hasty announcements. 

      Tara played a very smart card – involve her people. They have hungered for it and now got to feel a part of her journey. She KNEW what the people would say last night. She needed the PPM to see her support base and understand she is in control. Alden foolishly launched a very public attack on West Bay's sweetheart! Bad move Alden. Makes you look like a male chauvinist and a bully. 

      Tara is the woman of the moment here – not PPM. Sorry to burst that bubble! SHE and she alone won a seat in WB – give her credit for achieving that amazing feat and let her do what she thinks is right for her district and country. 

      Some people take longer than this to pick out a nail polish – for God's sake people. Let's get this right!

      Measure twice. Cut once!


    • Anonymous says:

      Wow as a woman, I am shocked that you would write something so ignorant.  Ms. Rivers didn't need 400 people to tell her what to do, as she explained quite thoroughly on the radio yesterday morning, she wanted to hold a public meeting in order to go over what the proposal was, to dispel any rumors and also to hear feedback from the people she has been elected to represent.  

      I found this incredibly respectful and professional.  It speaks volumes as I'm not sure the last time Mceewa and his croonies has held a meeting in that caliber as he is normally spends his time blaming everyone else for what has gone wrong in this country.

      You are doing a great job Tara and hopefully you won't have many completely unsupportive women behind you such as the above poster.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bravo Tara!!  you have done us proud

  6. Kadafe says:

    I think this is a good thing to have a independent mind in the government
    In fact we should have a few in there. To help keep control
    When things are getting out of hand. This should be the way
    Forward from now on maybe?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Leader of The Opposition would be the best role for Tara to take up as she is the only person who can bring some unity to the backbench.  A backbech led by The Hon. Mckeeva Bush will be fragmented and unfocussed as is evident by the sentiments of  the independents and Taras C4C colleagues. As a West Bayer  and member of C4C she is the only candidate who could possibly unite all parties on the backbench. The Westminister style of government practiced here in Cayman requires both a united backbech as well as a united government to be a healthy parliament and as the politicians campaigned …. it should always be about country first!  It is and should be The Progressives opportunity to lead the  government won fair and square by the majority vote…. so let them have their chance.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dear father, please bless our government with the understanding that we have appointed 18 of what we consider to be our best suited individuals to serve in equal measure, according to their individual abilities and to move our country forward and out of a dark and dismal abyss that was created by a previous one man government who mistakenly thought he was God almighty himself, and therefore infinitely and supremely wiser and better than his colleagues and the donkey faced devil worshippers he was supposed to be serving. One eighteen person government to collectively move our country forward is what we need, Cayman. Please finish with I am the boss and it is my way or the highway and I can't wuk wit this one and I will not listen to that one and I will do as I damned well please no matter who says it is wrong or how much it hurts my country and the people that pay my salary and my double pensions and my perks and my leisure travel expenses and my lawsuits and my out of court settlements and I will damned well give my country away as I please because I am the boss dammit. Very unfortunately for all of us we have elected to keep that sick mentality in our government to an extent. The best we can do is pray for the rest of our leaders that it is not allowed to spread like the cancer that we have been stricken with for the past four years. Guide and bless our new Government and bless our country andour people and remove the darkness from our midst forever we pray to you Almighty Father.     

    • Anonymous says:

      And i will dam well use the peoples money to buy wotes for myself and call it nation building or whatever else i dam well please. And i will dam well fire anybody tha refuses to agree with me whenever i dam well please. And i will fax Stan Thomas and blame on Richard and i will use my gowerment xredit card as i see fit. And i will earn my own phd as i see fit. And the donkey face idiots will still wote me back in. Can’t touch dis.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think many of you need to read Nicky's Viewpoint, "The importance of a strong opposition" . If Tara gives in to a ministerial post under the PPM umbrella, will she siding with them, maintain a strong opposition or break away from them when integrity calls for it?  It may be in Cayman's best interest if C4C becomes PPM's critic.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sure hope she doesn’t take this long to make other decisions!

  11. Young_Caymanian87 says:

    I believe that Tara should take the position and I feel she will do very well at whatever Ministry she chooses, I would however like her to consider Education, Youth and Gender Affairs.                                                               Can someone please explain one thing to me, if Tara is an Independent why does she need to ensure that she has a 'caucus'? I was under the opinion as an Independent you wouldnt need such things…..

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good job. Don't listen to many of these UDP West Bayers. Remember they put in Mac for over 30 years. Their judgement and reasoning is skewed.

  13. Tim says:

    Way to Go Tara!  Dont rush into anything!  Remember your stance against the ills of the two parties that got Cayman in huge mess.

  14. Michel says:

    Tara you have to take a stand. Country first or secretive C4C. It’s a yes or no answer now. Your supporters suggested you take the post if not you will desapoint many. I was not a Wb voter but I am proud of you. Now time to help ALL Of Us if you want. But do it with a clean heart as we’ve had enough of the crap we’ve been fed this last term. Do not associate ypurself with those whjom have vengeance or better ulterior motives in their Heary. God Bless, Michel Lemay.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tara PPM will destroy you …..you wil see

  16. Anonymous says:

    So many posts, so little understanding of the political systems and conventions.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Now would be a good time for the Goverment start to consider an education system that includes how the parliment works. It seem to ve very clear that there is a misundestanding about how the Goverment is set up. WB has concluded that the only way they will have representation is to have someone from their district in cabinet. Over the years we the people know that regular MLAs seem to get nothing done unless they have a good backing from cabinet. Without understanding of the process I can see further confusion. I hope Mr. Manderson start the training with the elected MLAs, then on to the electors. It is a shame that the schools do not teach or educate the children about the Goverment. Because of the demand for invividual needs, this has caused the country to go in the direction that it has in the last 8 to 12 years. if Tara take the position in cabinet, the simple minded person will come with a hand out and try to tell her that they are the reason she is there and she should share it out. As MLA she can have a better access to helping the WB people. But in cabinet it would be very difficult for her to attend every one person needs and wants, as she would have to look to keeping a balance with the whole islands, which could be seen as anti-WB to some depending on the projects.

    • Rorschach says:

      My friend, you don't understand…the government doesn't WANT you or anyone else for that matter to understand how they work..they RELY on your ignorance..that's the only way to gurantee you believe whatever they tell you…an educated voter is a DANGEROUS voter, because an educated voter will call them out on their BS….get it???

    • Anonymous says:

      This isn't such a bad idea.  When I was at school 30 years ago Government & Economics was a standard subject for allin their last 2 years of school.  It was invaluable in helping me to understand government issues, responsibilities, finances, the balance of trades, duties and responsibilities when using the public purse, etc. and I still pull in on that education when considering the politicians of today and their proposals.  At least then our future politicians would have a basic understanding of their role and responsibilities.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Tara! Not only on your win but also on your approach to making this most important decision on the offer from the PPM government to hold a seat in Cabinet.  You have proven, without doubt, that you are worthy of the votes received and also of your brilliance and abilities. May God bless you abundantly and protect you throught the next four years and gude you through the many challenges.

  19. Anonymous says:

    i'm not a fan of ppm but they should just say take it or leave it at this stage…… tara will look bad for turning down a ministerial position…..

  20. Anonymous says:

    If she doesn’t accept the seat now, she’s just scared she can’t do the job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Scared?  You must really forget who you are referring to! lol

    • Stiff-Necked Fool says:

      Well that about sums it up, 400 people! That is twice what she ever got at any of her public meetings! So with the people at this meeting telling her to accept the Ministers post, its not her supporters telling her to do so but in my opinion, the supporters of PNA & UDP!

      • Anonymous says:

        It's time to put aside the divisions of who the voters were. Once elected she represents ALL of the voters in West Bay, not just C4C. PPM, PNA, and PPM voters have every right to address her as their representative.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Was Mac there? Haha. I didn’t think so.

    “Listen sweetheart, you don’t need that old ministry. Give it to me. I needs my trips.”

  22. Anonymous says:

    I like this Lady's style…no hurry, trying to do the right thing and looking to the people who elected here for support…

  23. very concerned Caymanian says:

    Tara, you have to do what the West Bayers want you to do, not listen to C4C. West Bayers put you in, remember. If you don't accept the post it will look like you don't have any backbone, and we know that is not the case. So go for it girl, you can do the job. God Bless.

    • VOTER.. says:

      Note they put her in – BUT on the C4C ticket !

    • Way away says:

      Don’t be so sure of that, looks like the c4c and her got in bed with PPM. So much for then helping to curtail spending, Roy and Winston are just rubber stamps now as the majority on the Government bench will rule everyone.

  24. Sad Caymanian in exile says:

    I thought the C4C people said they were about building a new politics in Cayman that involves working in the national interest? Well, this puzzling stand by Miss Tara goes against what they were saying on the platform during the campaign. The taste of power seems to have caused a change of heart where self-interest, or rather the self-interest of the C4C, now takes precedence over the national interest. Those who were hoping for a fresh wind of change in terms of attitude and approach are sadly witnessing a continuation of more of the same. Take the Cabinet post, Miss Tara, and allow the people of West Bay who broke with recent tradition that favoured Mac and embraced you, to have representation within the government.

  25. King Dingaling says:

    Want cheese with that? No!

    Go Tara, be your own person. Best to you going forward.

  26. Anonymous says:


    You came on board onto the political field as an INDEPENDENT, act like one…actually be who you say you are…

    Secure your future and fullfil the commitments you made to those who voted you in.

    But, don't forget that those commitments apply to all of Cayman.

    Trying to make 'deals' for others only weakens your stance.

    Stand alone and stand strong…leave the serious politicking for your second term!

    Banana Republic

  27. Anonymous says:

    she'll be Premier in 4 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      00:21: perhaps you are correct and this may help us better understand why her “colleagues” in C4C did not appear supportive of Ms Tara accepting the offer of a Cabinet seat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not if it takes this long to ponder everything

  28. Cold Hard Truth says:

    Whilst there are a lot of people that support Tara accepting the offer, there are probably an equal number of people, though remaining silent, that are worried about what she would be like as a Minister: the decision, whatever it is, took far too long. Tara, one thing you will learn as a politician is that the perfect solution or perfect answer will allude you but, you have to make a decision much faster than you did. If you take the offer, you will forever be wondering if it was the right thing to do: so don't take it because you will give yourself stress and you won't do justice to the Ministerial spot. 

  29. Anonymous says:

    Tara should make up her mind but should consider the fact that she owes the country her skills not some back room political action committee called C4C. It is surprising how too many people believe Roy McTaggart has a high level of skill sets even though he was simply a partner in a local audit firm which is an independent firm separate from the international KPMG. Calling him a Global partner in an international audit firm is a bit of a stretch. Auditors are perhaps the worst people who have any close understanding of business and government. Their skill levels tend to be very myopic in perspective.  

  30. Anonymous says:

    I am happy she made up her Mind for the best of these islands! I am happy to see educated people in the cig for a change! Please let’s work together as a team & get this country back on track!

    Gt voter

  31. Anonymous says:

    Go Tara !!! I'm expecting that Tara will have her running mate Mervin Smith along with her in the LA as there will likely be a by-election in West Bay within the next twelve months or so. Need I say why and for what reason !!!

  32. Anonymous says:

    There is hope! Hope that she will accept and be the positive contributor to the country as so many citizens are convinced that she can be. I am not from West Bay but have the interest of this country foremost in my thoughts and recognized early that Tara was one candidate who had the capabality to make a positive and large contribution. She had and has. Accept the offer for us Tara!


  33. Anonymous says:

    Wow. An MLA from West Bay actually asking the people what they want.  Now THAT must be a first in many, many decades!

  34. Anonymous says:

    I'm glad that looks like it will come to a satifactory conclusion.

    Now on to Roy and Winston. I voted for Roy and Winston along with the 4 PPM candidates in George Town, and I know many other people who did the same. If they were anywhere near where the ballots were being counted they could not help but see that it was the wish of many GT voters for them to work together.

    Many voters like myself who do not align themselves with any party approached Alden before the elections and told him that we would not vote for the full PPM slate in GT because of apprehensions we had and asked him to find two other more suitable candidates. He stood by his party's choices which perhaps is a good indicator that he is loyal and not inclined to be a dictator. I like Lucille personally, but her time has passed and Kenneth's has not yet come.

    I believe the PPM has learned the lesson that although the people generally find them honest and trustworthy, we will not blindly vote for whomever they want to put forward just because they are PPM.

    It is my fervent wish that Roy and Winston find a way to patch things up with Alden, and we can put their pre-election faux pas down to youthful exuberance as they move forward for the betterment of the Cayman Islands.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Tara wants to talk with PPM about support from other independents in Government! Alden please for the love of God if she doesn’t give you an unequivocal yes to a ministerial seat and actually stand on her own two feet like an independent, please shut that door and let us move on and get on with business. Republic of WB will have to figure that one out! C4C, not sure how you will recover from this!

  36. Anonymous says:

    This must be some form of political theater. Does she need someone to hit her over the head with the “yes”?

    Just accept the offer and stop this madness.

  37. Anonymous says:

    It is time to move forward. Why are people begging Tara to do what she promised by putting Cayman first