Road activists defend case

| 24/07/2013

(CNS): The four women who filed a legal action in Grand Court in February against the closure and divestment of a stretch of the West Bay Road by the previous government will be protecting their case in open court on Thursday against efforts by the government’s lawyers to strike out the suit. The West Bay ladies, who are part of a wider campaign to re-open the West Bay Road, and opposition to what is known as the “NRA Agreement”, a part of Dart’s ForCayman Investment Alliance, are seeking the court's intervention to stop the deal.Efforts by Mourant Ozannes to strike out the case in a closed door hearing Tuesday were rejected by Justice Alex Henderson, who ordered that the application must be formally argued in the courtroom.

The judge denied the government’s attempts to shut down the case, pointing out that because the motion was filed in February, Mourant, the firm acting for the government, had had plenty of time to file their application.

Local attorney Irvin Banks will argue against the motion on behalf of Alice Mae Coe, Annie Multon, Ezmie Smith and Betty Ebanks, who filed the writ based on the bill of rights and the constitution. The West Bay women claim the governor, the attorney general, the minister with responsibility for roads and the National Roads Authority all breached laws in connection with this deal. The claim points to the fact that the West Bay Road has been in use for over 100 years.

The case was filed before the first stretch of the road was closed when the interim Cabinet gazetted the road between Trafalgar Square and Raleigh Quay, in front of the site where Dart Realty proposes to build a ten-storey resort hotel and a condo development. Since the closure, the developer has covered a portion of the road with several tonnes of a sand-like substance as part of plans for what was described as an enhanced public beach area.

As a result, the courts may not be able to address that fait accompli, but the women are still hoping to prevent the further closures.

Since the suit was filed, government has changed hands and the new administration is opposed to further closures and has also been discussing with Dart how some form of access road can be opened separate from the Easterly Tibbetts by-pass, which will maintain a through route to the West Bay Road.  It also places the government in the unenviable position of having to defend an agreement which it does not fully support against a suit which members of the PPM had supported.

The case will be heard in open court on Thursday at 10am but a courtroom has not yet been allocated.

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  1. Use some Sense says:


    Specifically in response to the commenters on Wed, 07/24/2013 – 12:04 and on Wed, 07/24/2013 – 07:47 It’s incredibly entertaining yet sad and annoying when these repeat offenders post the same tired messages over and over and over again as to why the Cayman people should roll over and accept greed, incompetence and disrespect for the rule of law.

    They used to say Caymanians are complacent, don’t speak up for themselves, don’t fight for anything and let everyone just walk over them.  Now that the writing is on the wall and they see Caymanians no longer give the benefit of the doubt so easily they say give up fighting.  They think that by supporting some misguided power grab they will get themselves "in" with the bizarre fringe crowd.  Meanwhile McKeeva probably still thinks the people at Dart are his friends.

    They have no idea….they say whatever suits them at the time.  And lack the math and reasoning skills to back up anything they say.

    What these fools do not seem to understand is that they are the ones in the minority.  Just because you have a handful of friends or "associates" of varying ilks that agree with you, and you see a few social media posts that agree with your misguided position, that in no way puts you in any kind of majority.

    When it comes to the people that count, the voting electorate, a great majority who also represent the sentiments of the tourists who visit the island, the numbers are overwhelmingly in favour of maintaining West Bay Road as a right of way.

    We are just over 60 days from the confirmed results of a national election and the votes overwhelming went to those candidates who rejected corruption and either campaigned or were in favour of the West Bay Road re-opening.  

    Anyone can see the results at

    You would have to actually be in tune with what is going on in the local scene to know who was in favour of keeping the West Bay Road open, not just someone on the outside looking in.

    NS             326

    GT          2,085

    GT          1,940

    GT          2,145

    GT          2,470

    CB & LC    628

    BT           1,615

    BT          1,781

    BT           1,571

    BT           1,393

    EE             317


    TOTAL ELECTORS IN ALL DISTRICTS                                     18,488


    Using the same methodology as the elections office, that is 88.01% of voters that voted in favour of candidates keeping the West Bay Road open.  That is an overwhelming majority for anyone with any intelligence and understanding. The electorate fully expects those they put in office to follow through with their campaign promises regardless of the ruling of the writs put forward by those fine Caymanians. In addition the fact is 4,000 people signed a petition that clearly more would have signed had there not been a need to hastily submit the petition in what turned out to be the misguided hopes that the prior government would actually consider the wishes of the majority of the people and spare the expense of legal action.

    Anyone thinking they are not in the minority by being pro road closure, only fool themselves and 100 or so others but in no way are coming anywhere near to fooling the majority.  No matter which way they try to rationalize or reason it.

    • Confused&Bemused says:

      That's a very long-winded, illogical and misleading statement. The very foudation of your argument does not make any sense, unless there are very short-sighted reasons behind 88.01% of Cayman's voting public.

      You can't honestly believe that the only reason that 88.01% of the voting population voted for candidates, is based on the fact that they had voiced opposition to the WBR closure alone. That is iddiotic!

      The fact is that of that 88.01% of voters, there is more likelihood that they liked all or most of the candidates campaign promises and goals, not one. If that is not the case then the voting system in Cayman is fundimentally flawed from a democratical point of view.

      There is even I high likelihood that of that 88.01% that voted for candidates in opposition to the WBR closure, there were some that disagreed with the opposition to the closure.

      There is no way of knowing peoples reasoning for their voting, you can quote as many statistics and 'facts' as you like, but there is no way to know why people voted for someone, or whether they are in opposition or not without asking them directly.

      Whether the closure is right or wrong, statistics should not be used in a polical way to try and support your arguement by misleading the general population.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your assumptions are completely ridiculous – the election was not a referendum on West Bay Road.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lies, damn lies and statistics…make them work however you wish…if the WBR is so popular, why everyone now using the ETH in ever increasing numbers??? Hell, took me 5 minutes to get to work this morning…

    • Anonymous says:

      Your logic is flawed.  You are assuming that the SOLE reason for voting was the candidates position on West Bay Road. 

    • Anonymous says:

      any reason why only 150 turned up for a public demonstration????

    • Anonymous says:

      To all who responded to this quite thorough and informative post in a negative manner, as John McEnroe would yell quite loudly “The point! You are missing the point!!

  2. Red Flag says:

    You know, the real grist of this situation is really not so much what has been done, but more the way it was done.  A new four lane road is a good improvement on the old 2 lane traffic jam coming out of and going into West Bay, especially at rush hour.  But you know, the deal with Dart has so many shadows surrounding it and the former Premier has so many shadows surrounding his dealings that NO ONE is sure what was promised or possibly paid to who and for what.  I think these ladies are right to try and stop this deal and if it is such a good one, then the new government and Dart can sit down at a table with the press present and hash out a new deal that will give both parties what they want in plain view of ALL the people of the Cayman Islands and not in some shadowy back room.  Done this way, all can see the value in what is traded for what.  All you guys that say move on may have something to loose?  Nothing wrong with taking the time to redo the deal infront of the public and if everyone is happy, move ahead.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Where are all the people that were going to use these so called "new & improved" facilities with the "wider" (that's the best one yet) beach? They are staying away in droves you say?  Oh, that is what I thought.  

    Where are all the businesses that were supposed to prosper from this "brilliant" (obviously not so) master plan?  Never got off the ground or gone and out of business you say because tourists do not want to go there?  

    Well for those who did not see that coming, especially for those that have been hit where it hurts, in the future perhaps you will figure out how to be leaders instead of followers.  No one likes when something is simple and serene and then someone else comes along and makes it complicated and ruins it.  Now you can see the results in your empty wallets.

  4. anonymous says:

    "Sand-like substance"?  Sugar, grits, or what? Perhaps this should be investigated.

    • Anonymous says:

      that is the silliest statement CNS has made since it started….its SAND!!!

  5. 4 Cayman says:

    I read the below comments with absolute disgust! How can people feel that the way the road was taken from the people is acceptable at any levels? These strong couragous ladies are going up against a multi billionaire who really don't give two cents about the people of these islands as long as we remain a tax haven. Look at how many businesses he has forced to close or forced to sell? Have any of you drive through the capital of George Town on a Saturday? Town is dead and camana bay is the cause of this! If mr dart continues the way he is going he will own the island and I beg to ask all of you who are in support of mr. Mackeeva and the way he conducts business, what then? 

    When you have any one person or organization that controls, the duty free stores, liquor stores, strip malls, supermarkets and so on, what will happen when he decides the price on eggs and milk?

    On a separate note, why is it the government defending dart? PPM where are you guys? Your silence is deafening!

  6. Anonymous says:

    These people in Cayman do not get outraged with child abuse, murder of young people, rape of women, no, what really upsets them is the West Bay road work. Please explain this to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you truly believe any of that perhaps you also have your head buried in the disgusting red mole like "sand" imported from Columbia.  Or maybe you just have no clue about anything that is going on here since you refer to residents as "These people".

  7. Rrp says:

    If this rd is opened again what will be the future cost on our island due to minimized foreign investment?  If we reopen the road, we are effectively telling investors that the deals they strike with one administration may be cancelled by the next or the courts. Not because of wrongdoing on behalf of developers but rather as a result of wrongdoing by our government.  Also, what will be the cost of the law suit DArt may launch as he has not done absolutely nothing wrong aside from being a businessman?

    People we need to let this go. The cost of reopening the rd may cost us a fortune in the end.  Let's meet with dart and see how he can accommodate a second access.

  8. Anonymous says:

    As the new Government has the same position as these ladies on the road why don't they (the AG) drop their fight against their case??




  9. anonymous says:

    Sometimes you have to know when to move on.  This is that time.  The deed is done.  It will not be the end of the world or life as you see it.  But keep watch diligently; there is more to come…

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you saying because Dirty Deeds are Done Dirt Cheap they should go unpunished?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is it true that all that infrastructural enhancement on the West bay road is really supporting Dart's new tourism enterprise and he is fooling no one into believing that this beneficial to all??? I am in full support of those advocates who are demanding transparency and accountability from those government officials conducting public-interest-transactions behind closed doors. 

  11. B. N. Onneste says:

    I've lways felt that Dart’s ForCayman Investment Alliance should be recognised for what it is, and that is the "ForDart Investment Alliance".

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed. There's a sucker born every minute and Dart are gleefully aware of how easy a push-over Cayman has been so far. Time to wake up and take a stand, Caymanians. Or are you all going to continue to pretend you're not being taken to the cleaners?

    • Anonymous says:

      its the 'buycayman investment alliance'

  12. Anonymous says:

    He who has the money wins…No matter how good a case this may be DART will get his way..

    Every Government including this one has had to go to their Master. He will not be let down.


    • Anonymous says:

      Of course, Dart isn't even a party to this legal action, but why let such facts interfere with your pithy remarks?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hitler loved folks like you!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Get over it peeples… Learn to accept change.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed.  Why anyone would want a road going through the new public beach park when there is a new 4-lane highway right beside it is beyond me (other than people being stubborn and spiteful). 

      And if you want a new resort like the one planned, there cant be a road going through the property.  The footprint is too small (and, there is a new 4-lane road beside it).  

      Its ridiculous that this quarter mile stretch of road is causing such a stir with a small minority of people that are complaining just to complain.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you just pretending to be ignorant?

      • Anonymous says:

        Let me tell you just in case you only got here yesterday, the WB Road was there before the Public Beach and it worked great after the Beach opened.  My grandparents used that whole stretch of WB Road and NO ONE should have been able to close that road.  Nothing wrong with an additional road being built, and please DO NOT call it a highway, it's just a road, because highways don't have roundabouts.  You have the right of way on a highway – you don't give way.  But, I guess Caymanians are supposed to give away to everyone that comes here and thinks that this is their home.  If they loved Cayman so muchthey would try to leave something for its people.  That road was there scores of years before any hotel was put in that location.  Let the developer adapt to what he found here or go find another country to put that hotel. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The public beach "park" that no one wants to use because it is so barren and dismal? Seems the only ones that are being stubborn and spiteful are the ones who want to see justice denied. Now THAT is ridiculous. Talk about complaining just to complain. I guess in your small brain Caymanians are such a small "minority" it is easy for people like you to put them down. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Err, get over it people, learn to accept graft. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Wed 9:46  – Some people have Cayman at heart more than you do for sure!!  All those who have your opinion certainly don't  care for Cayman the way some of us do.  We cannot make people come in and do everything they want and just sit and take it. We have rights in our own island and if we want to fight for those rights then we will fight!!!!!!!!  It has gone much too far now with people taking advantage of every situation and we, being so kind hearted let them get away with everything!! 

  14. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    Well I hope those ladies have the 50 million bucks to pay Dart back for work already done, because we sure do not.

    • Anonymous says:

      The 4 women or Mac?

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny you mention an amount the land swap is worth. When dart builds his mega-storey hotel in this prime beachfront area, he will be able to recoup this in a heartbeat.

    • Anonymous says:

      You talking about the road that was Gazetted for "no monetary compensation" to the Cayman Islands Government or People?  Remedial courses can always help those with poor math skills.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Guys, stop being silly about this road realignment. Most roads in cayman have been realigned since they were built– the most noticeable one is Spotts straight–it used to follow the coastline until a hurricane took it out. Most of the road in south sound was moved in 1970. I could go on. That west bay road was only put there because our grandfathers did not have the equipment to put it further back from the sea. The first several miles of it , from HSBC going north, was actually moved away from the sea years ago creating the potential for development on that beach. Additionally the idea that at 40mph one can have a view of the sea in that stretch is nonsense–one cannot see the sea plus you are driving–eyes on road please. Lets move on and forget this brinkmanship –no one lost here–we exchanged an old 2 lane road which was subject to hurricanes for a 4 lane road plus jobs and a hotel to bring more tourist here. It's a win- win. We win and Dart wins. Go fight for hungry children here, go fight for the drug addicts here, go fight for jobs for us….go fight for something worthwhile …please. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Cheaters always win????

      • Hoping for better days says:

        Study our history, WE caymanians cheat ourselves. always have. end of. I am looking forward to the new beach and all it offers. Yes, im caymanian, not a bayer but still caymanian, have as much say in any of this as the other. MOVE ON, people like you bunch always make us look foolish. A lil piece of road?????

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank You!! Let's move on.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you are speaking of the Dart organisation, might I suggest any place off of the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      This sounds like a repeat message from let me think, oh Rolston.  Didn't you get the message, campaigning is over? By the way didn't you lose that last election?  Time for YOU to move on.

    • Homer Simpson says:

      I've said it before, and I'll say it again, some people have perfected a** kissing to such an extent that it is now their profession! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said 07;47 we have been moving,realigning and trading roads in Cayman, long before some of these same people were born.

      The older ones probably had a hand in some of these road deals. One of the out spoken gentleman were Mr. Ducet's  right hand man, in the creating of a new town in the Governor's Sound  area, back in the 70s.

      If Ducet wasn't stopped by our greedy Caymanians, he would have been where Mr.  Dart is today, and the West Bay gentleman would be living on the seven mile beach with his butlers and chauffeured vehicles.

      Not one person would object to him. 

      He is good at what he does, he was trained as a town planner, i'm surprised he is not on Mr. Dart's team.

    • Anonymous says:

      Talk about being silly, have you ever actually been abroad and seen how countries have organised coastal roads in order for everyone to be able to enjoy the sea views? Clearly not. But it's comforting to know the 4 lane road will be hurricane-proof. Marvellous news. Any other pearls of wisdom we desperately need to be enlightened of?