Kurt rounds out new Cabinet

| 29/05/2013

_DSC7918-web.jpg(CNS): Political veteran and former leader of government business Kurt Tibbetts will not be sitting on the back-benches during the new PPM administration but will be taking a leading role in the new Cabinet as the health, works, agriculture and community affairs minister. Alden McLaughlin revealed Tuesday evening, when the new premier was finally able to announce his front bench after days of negotiations, that Tibbetts, his long time mentor, will take a ministry. He confirmed that, along with C4C Cabinet member Tara Rivers, Winston Connolly will also be sitting on the government back-bench and, following the rearrangement of the various portfolios, he will be appointed councillor to work with Rivers.

Meanwhile, C4C member Roy McTaggart has not yet made up his mind about which side of the chamber he will sit. The former auditor, however, has accepted the chair of the Public Accounts Committee. Although that job has traditionally been held by an opposition member in Cayman, it is not always the case across the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, McLaughlin stated Tuesday that McTaggart had been invited to join the government benches but he was still considering that offer.

Keen not leave out his own back benchers, especially the younger members, McLaughlin said that Joey Hew and Al Suckoo would also be appointed as councillors to assist the various ministers when all of the departments were assigned.

With Connolly on board and Juliana O’Connor-Connolly now a card carrying member of the PPM, set to take the speaker’s chair, McLaughlin has a comfortable majority in a government which, he said, was not a coalition but an inclusive PPM administration.

“It has been a tense time for Cayman,” McLaughlin said at the press briefing, broadcast live on TV and radio Tuesday evening, as he spoke about the time it had taken to put together a viable government before confirming the various portfolios.

Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell said he had met with Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller earlier that day and, in an effort to also include them in government, offers of support roles had been made. Miller had declined the deputy speaker’s job but Kirkconnell said that McLean, a former PPM member, is said to be still considering the possible roles offered to him, which were not stated.

Despite the rift which has now emerged between the PPM and the two independent members from the eastern districts, Kirkconnell said he had a “very engaging and good conversation” with the two members, who accepted that the election was over and that the PPM has a mandate to move forward. “I am confident that they are both excellent representatives and will do well for their constituencies,” the deputy premier added.

With an enormous amount of work now ahead of the team, McLaughlin confirmed that in addition to his role as premier he would take on the new public affairs ministry and also play an oversight role of the entire Cabinet. His deputy will dealwith tourism and district administration, while Marco Archer will take on development and planning with the finance ministry. Osbourne Bodden has been given education and sports, while Tara Rivers has confirmed her acceptance of labour, youth and gender affairs. Wayne Panton, who will be dealing with financial services, will also be taking on the environment.

McLaughlin said there were a significant number of subjects or departments not yet assigned to ministers and it would take some time to go through the long list, as he had been forced to delay his Cabinet decisions because of the negotiations.

Despite having a struggle on his hands to find the comfortable majority he was seeking, McLaughlin said that, given how hard his team had fought for victory at the polls, he was never prepared to increase his offer to the C4C, as far as the number of Cabinet seats was concerned, more than what was made immediately and unconditionally to Rivers in the wake of the result last week.

Vote in the CNS poll: How do you rate Alden McLaughlin job performance after his first task – choosing his Cabinet team?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is going to be hard to believe anything Kurt says about promoting good health unless he gets himself in shape and stops the smoking. Wouldn't it be nice if he took the initiative to set a good example and get himelf in shape and lose the weight that he has carried arounfd for so many years…That would be a great  inspiration to many!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nice to have a job like that. MLA income, additional pension, magazines to read, no responsability, free travel and free food, LOTS of it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good Luck to each and everyone of you and am so proud of all of you.

    May Father God Bless and keep you all in his care today and always.

    Remember to put God first and we will all be ok..

  4. Unbelievable says:

    I think the new leader has done a very good job, I personally didn’t vote for him but I have to show respect were it is due.
    I would like to know what he has in tail for Joey and Al, I hope he has them in the back ground working. As for Winston and Roy I think it would be good for him tho bring them in.

    Forget the UDP make them sit quietly, ah maybe not, give them something to do, make them work for their money, like oversee the collection of garbage or our famous rants in the parks… Make them earn the coin….

    • Anonymous says:


      You didnt vote for him, but you show him respect, that is very considerate of you, very human.

      but you threw all that out the door when you insinuate for the UDP to collect fees for the  garbage.

      like Alden said, the election is all over, lets move on and continue to build our country. God's blessing to you!

  5. Anonymous says:

    nice little head line and picture ! "rounds out "   lol  lol

  6. A DONKEY FACE! says:

    The greatest thing about todays inaugural was hearing "EUGENE" speak.

    WOW! Like many others I  thought he was a mute! 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Kurt please get BoBo to help you, as he had some excellent Ideas on health providers and health matters. Same for you too Mr. Kirkconnell, work with BoBo on Tourism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Bo Miller also had some great ideas with regards to utilising the newly built schools during the evening hours as for vocational studies. Pay the teachers overtime and cut back on building addtional schools for vocational/ trade programs.

  8. West Bayer says:

    Where is Culture in all of this?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I hope he gets straight to work on this outrageous/ludicris health system we have here and also puts in place regulations so that we are not being completely ripped off by health insurers and providers!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    We need Mckeeva’s back to finish what he started. Now everything good the UDP had in progress will be halted and/or scrapped for PPM one sided agenda !

    • Anonymous says:

      Your straight jacket is waiting for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      What good did he do for the country? Seriously?! 


      • Anonymous says:

        all i can tell you is: we are still tax free beacuse of mac   thank you mac for that !

        • Anonymous says:

          Ummmm…Mac increased our taxes and made the cost of living higher. He tried to introduce direct tax with the expat payroll tax. What planet are you living on because it surely isn't earth. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Like we need a hole in the head. He started our complete destruction.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha ha ha ….. Troll

    • Anonymous says:

      What a lunatic. Maybe you should try woting for him again. You might just get a new fridge for your efforts.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Kurt rounds out…I see what you did there.

    • Anonymous says:

      A mighty fine looking Minister of health I may add

      • SSM345 says:

        1st on the Agenda, decrease the price for a pack of Benson's.

        Thanks Kurt!

      • Anonymous says:

        Serioulsy Cayman lets put fun and joke aside; is this minister the picture of health we want the Cayman Islands to have for the next four years?

        The man is a heath hazard; he smokes and drink heavyly and is obsese.  Recently the Cayman Islands passed the smoking ban in public places which was spearheaded by the Ministry of Health and the Public Health Dept – now we install a minister that smokes – what kind of message are we sending.  I wonder how he is going to comment on healthy lifesytles issue and on no smoking issues.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Alden, I must admit that I am so surprised but extremely pleased with the way you have handled this transition. Moses K., I have never doubted your leadership ability, diplomacy, etc. I am so very encouraged and finally feel hopeful that we will emerge from the darkness and into a bright new day.


    In this wonderful spirit of inclusion, I would like to ask you to consider taking Bo Miller on in perhaps a consultancy role; he offered up some of the best and most practical solutions for moving forward.  He is there and willing to work with any/all of you for the best interest of the Cayman Islands.


  13. I say says:

    You can’t please all the people all the time and nowhere is that truer than in politics however, it is my humble opinion that the Premier is making intelligent decisions.   Yes, the allocation of some of the Ministries is odd but we now know that there are candidates who did not get elected but are nevertheless willing to work with the government in order to steer our islands into the 21st Century as they deserve.   So as much as possible, let us stop back-seat driving and offer to assist in whichever way our personal training, experience or skills set allows.   Let us REALLY be part of the solution instead of a perpetuation of the problem.  We already have one such bad apple inside the LA – our islands do not need any more.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wow! when will the Canonization of our new premier begin? some of you are so use to UDP's politics that you need to get a grip of reality 4 years is a life time for those who will inevitably suffer victimization, No doubt about it because that's just how this political game is played. We have already see signs of standards being lowered by the appointment of madam speaker. Need i say more.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kurt literally "ROUNDS OUT" cabinet!!…just couldnt resist…oh CNS, your headlines..your headlines!

  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s not that I dont think Ozzie is capable of handling the Education Ministry, but I think there were other people who were elected that could manage this ministry much better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone is talking constructively about the Education position. I really respect Ozzie and like him alot but I think that he should have a different Portfolio. I am not one of ju jus fan but since she keep bragging about her education above anyone else in the Cayman Islands I suppose it should have been given toher. After all she is PPM now anyhow.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Would someone please tell Juliana that it is not appropriate (in fact that is very inappropriate) for her to be wearing her glasses/shades on top of her head, particularly when she is in an official environment. What is wrong with her? There is a place and time for everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure if a her leopard print ensemble was appropriate either

      • Rolling Calf says:

        What animal can’t change its spots? But nothing about political parties though!

        Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Make sure to tip your waiter.


      • Anonymous says:

        I just couldnt believe that for such an occasion she turned up late. Is her turning up late because she wants attention when she is walking in to a function?

    • SSM345 says:

      11:55, she is gazing up to the heavens and the good Lord when she does that.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think "At least they are not corrupt" is the most positive thing one can say about this lot.  .

  19. Anonymous says:

    The new Government might want to address 'Gasboy' in a transparent way that signals their firm intention to eradicate corruption.  This is one area that really gets under honest people's skin.

  20. ex-UDP says:

    I use to be a UDP supporter, but how I am seeing the way PPM leader are doing things, I have to reconsider my support. I will be watching carefully, but truly I am impressed at Alden's appointments. Just one concern I have – WHEN WILL THE UDP REPLACE THEIR LEADER FOR A NEW ONE?  At a time like this, it is crucial, they become an effective opposition. Every government need an opposition to scrutinize its actions and policies. But seeing the UDP leader with charges and possible conviction, how in the world will the UDP regain its stature like it did before. I say they need to remove the leader and ensure if he ever gets elected, he sits as a backbencher. There are alot of intelligent people in the UDP ranks that can at least be a close match to the PPM leader.

  21. Albert Jackson says:

    The New Premier has taken a giant step forward in advancing our country stopping us from living disconnected and apart from reality. He is either a man of extraordinary vision or a humble genius I say both.  What he has done in so short of time is unpresedentented. The sooner he puts in place One Man One Vote giving all our citizens full basic human rights the quicker we will become first class world citizens. It took us three Premiers to get our little democracy going in the right direction, on the same page and with total cohesiveness. The generational shift has taken place with an unselfish leader at the helm Alden McLaughlin and may God continue his Wisdom of Solomon as he leads the Next Generation of the Cayman Islands.

    Albert Jackson  


    • Anonymous says:

      Albert, you are 100% correct. McLaughlin has made a good start by attmepting to unite the country in this inclusive govt. Refreshing. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Be werry, werry careful how you use the name Solomon. We do not want a particular person of some memory to start flapping his mouth again, mistakenly thinking that you are referring to him as wise! Shhhhh .. we don't want him to think that! Notice how quiet he has been? Pray God he remains in that mode!!!!!!!! Just sayin ….

  22. Anonymous says:

    Alden has come out of this looking fantastic, which is a boon to him personally and to the PPM. Moses was quite popular already, but his diplomacy is also shining through. Honestly, I've got to say I'm a little bit surprised, but maybe that is because the first Premier set such a low bar. I hope this is all in earnest because if so, and if they continue with this approach to governance, I believe people who had their doubts will warm up to this administration.


    The statesmanship we've seen so far certainly goes against the fear that Alden's arrogance will prevent him from being a good leader. And the fact that he still embraced independent members (including one in his Cabinet) even after Juliana joined the PPM and gave him his majority seems to show that he got the message that the country wants a coalition, that he wants to be inclusive, and that hopefully the C4C may be able to reign in the public spending that did them in last time. (Though, to be fair/cynical, the offer to Tara was made before he had a majority and he couldn't really rescind it at that point because she seems to be so popular.)


    My biggest concern right now is these portfolios, which don't really seem to make much sense to me. Perhaps they can/will be refined further? Based on stated policy goals, I would think Sports or even Health could go with Tourism (i.e. focus on Sports Tourism and Medical Tourism). Or maybe Environment with Tourism for an eco-tourism focus, or with Planning for greater consideration of the environment in development? Public Finance also used to be alone under the Financial Secretary for good reason, and I would personally love to see finance recentralised, making the ministry's responsibility even larger. I also wonder how Sonia McLaughlin would feel about having to also be Chief Officer for responsibilities other than Finance based on her many years of experience focusing on this one area? I also feel like Education and Labour have gone together well in the previous administrations and that they are both about human capital development. I believe Tara is capable of that important subject area, and she also campaigned with that as a central theme (along with Youth). Health and Works don't seem like a good match for efficient utilisation of staff (one is social and one is technical) but someone correct me if I'm wrong in assuming ministry staff may work across multiple areas? Chief Officers certainly have to, and if others don't it seems like starting to do that could lead to a lower headcount in the long run, no?


    These are just my personal opinions based on many years of observation though, not based on experience or real expertise. I trust the administration will make the best choices and do right by the country. I think we have a duty to be positive and give them our support until they deserve criticism – which should then always be constructive. I look forward to seeing what is accomplished!

    • Anonymous says:

      Capt Moses had to come out good in the Election as he had some of the best campaigners that one could ask for. It is terrible when you loose in your own District. This is a fair man who not only look out for his friends but treats his enemies equally. WISE MAN, vindictiveness dosent pay it was certainly shown in this Election.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Health, Works, Agriculture and Community Affairs. Now that's a sensible and logical grouping of subjects for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I dont know abourt Health Work or Community affair, but he will have to do something about the Agriculture

  24. Kato says:

    Alden your kindness is going to destroy your administration. You are trying to appease everyone which is never going to happen. Good luck my man, I still in support of you!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Alden, well done. This is a good start to a new day in Cayman.


    Democracy is all about constructive compromise and you seem to have handled it well.


    Corruption and incompetance in government have hurt Cayman badly in the past. Now that corruption is starting to wane (it will be a long time before the cancerous entitlement mentality really goes away), please take care to address the incompetance issue. Your party did a terrible job of managing the school construction projects; I hope you have learned a thing or two since then.

  26. Kosher Nostra says:

    Kurt will make a great Minister!


    • Anonymous says:

      I have to laugh at this comment!!! In the days gone by by we used to call him “the promising young man!! He used to promise to bring seals/stationery and he didn’t keep his promise!!!

  27. St Peter says:

    Finally we have a government in place that is trying to unite the country!

    Hopefully the waste and squandering of public funds of the past 4 years will come to an end and we will all move forward to better days and a brighter future…

    Thank you Al Mclaughlin and all of our leaders – and Ezzard and Arden thank you for exposing corruption in the past, and I am confident that you will nudge the new government whenever it appears to be going astray…

    You all have a role to play and the country needs each of you as much as it needs the other…

    Go ahead guys and the two lady members – make Cayman proud!


  28. MackB2 says:

    Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  29. Anonymous says:

    The dawn of a new day!,
    Thanks and congratulation to all successful candidates and to Alden and the PPM that worked so hard to make this happen. And, don’t forget the many good ideas that were put forward by candidates who ran but were not elected, for instance. Bo Miller for one who had so many good ideas and well thought out solutions. Please don’t say “too many cooks might spoil the broth”. Instead embrace all who have thought long and hard about solutions and use their expertise. Thanks to all PPM and Tara, Winston and Roy for working this out together and thanks too to Ezzard and Arden cause who knows where we would be without your input and your windshields for the past year!
    Wishing you all the best in getting our beloved Islands back on track. We are counting on you!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Rounds out is right. Great choice of words CNS! I wish them all luck in their roles and pray that they work together for the good of these three Cayman Islands.

    • Slowpoke says:

      CNS is going all out on the headlines, not just this one, but also the "Rivers accepts with strings" folllowed by the picture of Treveen in a "string".

  31. Anonymous says:

    So wha happened to the supposed realignment of Ministry subjects? Did not the CS work on dis.

    Is not Health and Community Affairs enough for a Ministry, so why also add Works & Agriculture to such a heavy Ministry?

    When is Cayman gonna get this $h!^+ right once and for all and stop this madness.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Question? Does Manni still have a job?

    • Anonymous says:

      Who Manni is? Also, do Ken Jefferson and Leonard Dilbert still have jobs and are Debbie Drummond and Diane Montoya returning to the civil service now that Mr Bush has gone? We surely can't keep on paying them big sums of money to stay home.

    • Anonymous says:

      Manni not bad, but what about that Parchment guy who sent the infamous fax to Stan Thomas? 

  33. Anonymous says:

    Winston – didn’t he say he wouldn’t work with PPM with Alden as the leader!

    6 days and all the talk about party bad already thrown away.

    • Anonymous says:

      He didnt..neither did Roy. What they said was they would not form a government and sit in cabinet with Alden as Premier. Slight difference. They did not say they will not work with Alden. We elected them all to work together.  Arden and Ezzard said a similar thing regarding Mckeeva. lets get this correct once and for all….too many rumors and too much work for these men and woment to do.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I hope Tara or Moses hires Dwene Ebanks to work with them. That young man has great ideas and skill.

    • Anonymous says:

      OK, Dwene. Send your resume.

    • Anonymous says:

      They should!
      He would be a great asset to their departments.
      And personally I enjoyed hearing him during the campaign.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Ladies and gentlemen. I now pronounce to you, our new government! Now, let’s see their hearld pre election solutions in action! Starting……

  36. Anonymous says:

    UDP PNA one DNA! If it look like Mckeeva Act Like Mckeeva talk and Spend like Mckeeva, it’s Mckeeva’s Sister from da brac! Poor move Alden! I did not vote for this! For you to join forces with the one who encourage Mckeeva thru his four years! You might as well had made Mckeeva speaker!

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously dont understand politics. Giving her the Speaker position, removed her from being a normal voting member in the house thus giving the PPM with 9 members a majority of 17

  37. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see Daddy Kurt getting involved again!

  38. Kent McTaggart says:

    Given the results of the election, Marco, Wayne, Roy, Tara, Alden, Kurt, Ozzy, Winston, Joey, Alva, and the rest of the crew actually working on the countries business has given me some serious hope!  I have always been a fan of Kurts, and am very happy to see him active in this manner.  As I am not a fan of Aldens, I firmly would like to believe he will change my mind and earn my respect by leading this fantastic group of Caymanian's in a humble manner that lifts the Caymanian brand up over party or person.  I have been very vocal with my opinions, and stand by them, but I also want the best for our country and know in order to get the most out of this fantastic team I MUST support this government!  I will not be led blindly and will be vocal if necessary, however today, I Pledge my full support to the new government and it's leader.    God Bless our country and I pray for wisdom, courage and grace for all of our elected members.  I pray for healing of our people, and a unified Cayman that will be the envy of the world in short order.      Sincerely Kent McTaggart 

  39. Anonymous says:

    So let me get this straight, JUJU is now PPM?!!! You have got to be kidding me, she has been a member of three political partires in one year?!!! Is there no end to what this "Honorable" woman will do for a post? And I understand she gets to keep her driver. Wow!! She has to offer a class in how to end up on top in every instance.

    • Anonymous says:

      She doesn’t get to keep her driver.

      • Old Sea Captain says:

        With what she will be earning as Speaker, she can afford to hire two drivers.

        • Anonymous says:

          Does she get a wage as speaker and a wage as 2nd elected for Cayman Brac? How does that work?

        • Anonymous says:

          Earning?  Few of these characters earn what they are paid!

        • Anonymous says:

          I would think that two drivers would get jealous of each other

  40. Anonymous says:

    Great Job PPM, building an inclusive Progressive government shows the strength of the new leadership team. We look forward to seeing the Premier and Deputy Premier take on their next challenges.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Ossie – Minister of Education??

  42. Anonymous says:

    Good job Mr. Mclaughlin! Congrats on forming our new Govt.

  43. Sasha Grey says:

    Now that Kurt Tibbetts is the Minister of Health,Works, etc, who will be cooking all that food at his restuarant for the next four years?

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't worry.  We'll still get our turtle stew. That is easy work for him, even with his Portfolio. But we do need to put him on a diet so that we can have him around for a long time.