Port board conflict denied

| 06/08/2013

(CNS): The premier’s office has denied any conflict regarding the new Port Authority Board and the appointment of Gerry Kirkconnell, the MDof Kirk Freeport, as the deputy chair, despite his obvious interest in the main issue of the cruise berthing facilities that will occupy the board of directors over the coming months. Officials said they were “lucky to have him” in defence of his appointment. Government officials have also now confirmed that Errol Bush will be the new chair of the important board, with Kirkconnell as deputy and the Chamber of Commerce representative. In addition, Arek Joseph, Woody DaCosta, Robert Foster and Jacqueline Scott will join existing member Ashton Bodden alongside the official members.

Bush, who will lead the board as it begins the process of issuing a formal request for proposals for the development of cruise berthing facilities in George Town, has considerable experience, having been the Port Authority managing director for almost twenty years before he retired from the public sector in 2001. 

He was also a director of the International Association of Ports and Harbours and a board member on the American Association of Port Authorities. In recent years, Bush helped in the Turks and Caicos Islands with the bid there for a proposed port project, which will stand him in good stead as the new board begins to negotiate the proper processes for the much anticipated development.

Gerry Kirkconnell is the managing director of Kirk Freeport, with numerous downtown businesses serving cruise passengers that stand to gain significantly from the development of berthing facilities, especially given the statement by the current tourism minister, Moses Kirkconnell, that the project will be limited to just piers and no retail components to compete with downtown merchants.

Despite his clear interest, a statement from the premier’s office in response to questions from CNS dismissed the question of any conflict. “He is a business person and is not the first businessman or large merchant to be on the Port Authority Board," the premier's press secretary said.

“He understands the importance of the cruise business and while his business does depend on the port development, it is no more so than any number of other businesses in the Cayman Islands. Gerry is a respected businessman and there are other very capable business people on the board, including a very experienced and respected chairman, Mr Errol Bush,” she added in defence of the appointment.

“It is important that we have people on the board who are familiar with the cruise industry and are business savvy. Given of the size of the Cayman Islands and the number of people who do business with the cruise industry on a regular basis, finding someone of Mr Kirkconnell's calibre who is willing to put in the time to serve his country is difficult, at best. We're lucky to have him,” the premier’s new press secretary said.

As a result of the board shake-up, the appointments of the former chairman, John Henry Ebanks, deputy chair Carlon Powery, James Bodden, Curly Evans, Rudolph Garvin and Anthony Akiwumi have been revoked.

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  1. Anny omis says:

    I know we need a representative from the GT cruise retail arena; it goes without sayIng.

    But is Gerry the best choice? I think not. Kirk Freeport has not, during this recession, cultivated sales from locals nor stay over tourists. They do not price competitively, nor discount to non-cruise customers. Their “new” store is stale and out-dated in both design and product. Waterfront store…they put in old lady carpet?? Is this the pulse of a modern Cayman?

    I would not suggest anyone from IC as they are, sadly, some of the least qualified retailers I have ever met. Frankly I don’t understand how the majority of them ever got hired, much less got a work permit. The IC business model seems to be overstaff, hire your friends, throw a 100k at lighting fixtures, and go to lunch.

    There are, however, a number of very competent, successful, small businesses that have survived and thrived the double recession (MacKeeva induced & global). Just wondering why none of the were even approached.

    • Anon says:

      You might want to check a couple of your facts. Maybe price out some of their branded pieces and compare to US retail…Probably one of the only companies that doesn't charge over US retail.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Almost as bad as government hiring persons to run departments, when they couldn't hold a job in the private sector. Classic example is the National Work Agency. Incompetent person leading a struggling department.

  3. Anonymous says:

    IT is definately a Kirkconnell time in power. Tom Guyton who is on the Airports Authority Board is married to Gerry's sister. Interesting times.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thom might be Debbie's husbband but he's also a 40yr experienced pilot, started island air, which was sold, then started CAL Express then made CEO of CAL by the indutry experts.  you're right, maybe he isnt qualified…..Moron

  4. Anonymous says:

    What on God's green earth would Jacqueline Scott know about the operations of the Port Authority Board?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I live in George Town and I know we need this dock built and our downtown built back up.  I'm thankful that high quality people like Mr. Kirkconnell are pitching in to finally get things moving.  

    If he owned a marine construction company that was bidding on the project that would be a conflict, but he doesn't.  He has a vested interest in the future of the Cayman Islands and is willing to volunteer his time and expertise.  That is the perfect combination.  If he and the other members he is serving with are successful then all Caymanian businesses will benefit, and we'll have job opportunities.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Next up the Liqour Board please.

  7. Anonymously says:

    Good job PPM make it good to be Caymanian again, oh how I miss those days.  Thank you PPM and God bless our leaders to make the right choices and decisions because we are still the best and we should never forget that there is no place better than Cayman to true Caymanians.


  8. Anonymous says:

    As I said right when PPM got elected, you're gonna have to keep your head down and just keep doin the right thing for Cayman. 

    You can please some of the people all the time, all the people someof the time but not al l the people all the time.

    We just can't be happy, we either hate Dart because he's has too much and is a foreigner or we hate our own people because they have more than us. 

    "If every tiny flower wanted to be a Rose, spring would lose its loveliness" 

    Be happy for what you have and not jealous of what you perceive of others.  Mr. Gerry is an honest man, never even accused of illegal accusations through the last time he was on the board.  His family has helped many Caymanians to make a living and support their families.  They are here for good, in the good times and the bad.  Always for Cayman, actually they should be the ones called "FORCAYMAN INVESTMENT ALLIANCE" the real Caymanians.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I suppose with such a small pool of expertise charges of conflict of interest are inevitable. The issue is when a member does not exclude himself/herself, as is required, what is done about it? If nothing is done, then yes, there is a problem.

    • BORN FREE says:

      Oh for God's sake, the nay-sayers will always have some negative crap to say. I suppose they want people on there like the UDP did that can be pushed around by the minister in charge. I say to the Progressive government, the Port Authority Board & Mr. Kirkconnell to just get on with it, & get the job done, do not be put off by the always negative few. The people voted the Progressives into government & there are still a few disgruntled & jealous few, but I suggest to just ignore their petty & envious ways & get on with cleaning up the mess & corruption left by the UDP government. By the way, I have to say this is a very good Port Authority Board, with honest, respectable persons for a change.

      • Speech Therapist says:

        You born free have lost the plot and i really wish you would stop using the Lords name in vain!  and your opinion is like your nose holes everybody has one?

  10. Anon says:

    A complete joke and typical ppm. Alden better be careful because Moses and Jerry Kirkonnell are now in control.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The entire political system in Cayman is flawed. Unfortunately, after a government changes, the mentality is not what can be done to fix the system, but rather, it's my turn now. So the unnecessary boards get filled with cronies, and it's business as usual trying to get their companies hired by government for vital (but lucrative) contracts. Chaps, this is just not cricket. This is the rule of the sodja crab in da bucket scrambling to get out over the backs of the middle class. I hope Helen Kilpatrick comes in with a big broom (lol) and sweeps these inadequate men into the appropriate corner. If ever we needed a governor with a pair, thiis is the time.

  12. Sucker Free Cayman says:

    Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell appoints Jerry Kirkconnell there is absolutely nothing wrong with that cause Hank Williams Jr says its a family tradition!

    • Anonymous says:

      So what? all native Caymanians are family at some level. If the problem is that you think that Gerry Kirkconnell is not up to the task then thats different.

    • Anonymous says:

      They may be related but is the Port Authority board under Mr Moses Kirkconnell's portfolio? He is Minister  of District Administration, Tourism and Transport and would have an interest in having a cruise dock completed as a part of enhancing tourist  arrivals.. However, the Port Authority is more than just a toursim related issue and I note that Mr Wayme Panton is Minister of Financial Affairs, Commerce and Environment and Mr Kurt Tibbets is Minister of Planning, Lands, Housing, Agriculture and Infrastructure? The Port Authority could well  be under the portfolio of Commerce or under that of Infrastructure not necessarily under Tourism and Transport. Furthermore, I do not think that the two Kirkconnells jointly own any business venture together and in fact though both have the same surname they are not as clsoely related as is Mr Moses Kirkconnell and Mr John Foster, whom  I think is the Deputy Chairman of the UDP. I was also under the impression, but I stand to be corrected, that Gerald Kirkconnell was a C4C supporter not that of PPM. Stating all that of the above though, I must admit that I do not see where the appointment of Miss Jacqueline Scott fits into the scheme of things other than a political reward. Mr Errol Bush and Mr Ashton Bodden may be fathers of Governmemt Chiel Officers buit they are well experienced in port operations, and ,in the case of Mr Bodden, he is a former sea captain or ship's chief officer as well. Mr Bodden was also a Port Authority member under the UDP/PNA administration as well. Mr James Bodden,. a former menber of the Port Authoity, served under PPM as well as UDP/PNA administrations.

  13. Catcha Fire says:

    Crabs and Mckeevites name calling now how truly low? Just because those who claim to be sooo righteous cannot live up to the hype and good standards they professed or mislead the public to believe. Yes ya two bit hypocrites. We have two kinds of morality side by side one which we preach but do not pactice and another which we practice but seldom preach.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Conflict of interest is choosing a contractor based on who's offering the biggest kickback. There is no conflict if someone's interests are directly aligned with the Country's interests. In this case, getting a dock actually built. Keep the crooks off the Boards and we will be OK.

    • Anonymous says:

      The example you give is bribery, not conflict of interest. A very different thing.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Perception is reality. The explanation is just dumb and insulting to everybody's intelligence

  16. Anonymous says:

    Come now Mr. Premier do you really believe there is no perceived conflict of interest with some these appointments or are you showing us that do not understand what a conflict is? This is no different from what the UDP and McKeeva Bush would do when in power

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Alden — PPM can now rename Grand Cayman — Grand Caybrac — what a mess — PPM/UDP has put this country in–

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid, small minded comment. You must really feel inferior to Cayman Brackers why you always picking on them! What can we say, the wise men came from the east!!!!! Deal with it!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Oh no! PPM is putting honest people they can trust to actually get things done on the Boards. Say it ain't so! Now we will actually have to build something. 

  19. anonymous says:

    These are the right people for this Board! would you people stop critizing everything the new Government are trying to do. Progressives get on with the job, accordingly.  There will always be negatives abound.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why would you not want Mr. Kirkconnell on the Port Authority Board? He is a local businessman with many years experience with everything to lose if George Town continues to decline. Whatever money he and his family have made is invested in Cayman. So the problem is that he may want to see the dock finally completed after all of the years of talk and wild schemes?

    As for Capt. Ashton Bodden. He served on the Port Authority Board long before his son was in the position he is now in. He was on the board under UDP, PNA and now PPM. He is a master mariner, former customs officer of many years and retired as Port supervisor.


  21. Anonymous says:

    What's wrong with Gerry Kirkconnell being a member of the board? So what if he is going to plug for his business? I'm not a share holder in his business . But he does have a larger piece of property and tourist related businesses here in Cayman.

    If he was a crook and he wasn't on the board don't you think he would be able to manipulate the board from outside? Wouldn't you as a board member still have to meet with the largest businesses in George town to make sure his interests were being tended too?

    Come on now Akiwumi is a lawyer, not a owner of a duty free store. The rest don't even drive a taxi cab . How could they understand what is needed? We should also have someone from Dart's company represented. To be fair.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart had all the representation for the last four years, i think that's enough.

  22. Anonymous says:

    boy i thought cronyism only existed with the UDP, same clowns, different day. 

  23. Centrist says:

    Stran Bodden is a civil servant and does not make board appointments.  Ashton Bodden was on the board previously appointed by the previous government and is a former Head of the Cayman Brac Port Authority. Probably the only appointment by the previous Government that made any sense. 

  24. Anonymous says:

     Is Alden asleep?

  25. sickntired says:

    What a joke seems like a real family affair.  Stran Bodden wanted to run airport and Cal boards and now daddy at port authority.  Between two of them they got cayman travel locked down.  PPM sorry to say, no changes from you all just more of the same!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Reading this post makes me furious. How can we go on day in and day out and have so many dark minded people. Have some respect and understand that Mr. Gerry has a lot of Caymanians and expats hired. He is one of the very few business that can keep a shop open just for the sake of keeping someone with a job. Unlike the other guy that is going around buying up all type of buisness and closing them down for what ever reason.  You scums that dont have respect, get a job. In fact get a life.  Its the ignorants with all the stupid negative comments that try to run this country. They are afraid of anyone with an ounce of decensncy. Do you think Kirk freeport is the only one to benifit from any cruise peirs being built? A lot of people will benifit if we can get the cruise to come and dock for a while. PPM is moving forward and who dont like it can stay at the bottom of the bucket. Too much ignorance in this little Islands. At least with such caliber persons around you dont have to feel that hand snaking into your pocket with every deal being done. Remember that feeling when you ask about getting a deal? before the deal was done the hand was already dug in. Cut the crap ignorant people. give the buisness a chance and stop calling con men and jhonny come latleys buisness men. It is the buisenes big and small that keep this Island afloat, not the single mothers with dead beat fathers and dark minded people. No disrespect to the hard working strugling persons, but cayman has a lot of "dont want to work" "goverment owes me" "dark minded" people. We all know what dark minded people are all about. They dont want nothing and they dont want to see anyone else with anything. Now put my cockaroach back on my sholder. And dont bother to comment about my spelling if you have nothing else better to say.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Moses Kirkconnel is for Moses Kirkconnel – always has been always will. We Brackers know that. And while you are checking out Boards and the cronies on them go ahead and check out the Brac Planning Board.XXXX He must have been able to find other people better suited to put on this Board. POLITRICKS mi chile.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes I know that but alot of these fools up ya dont know that, I know one thing I did'nt wote fa him…

    • Anonymous says:

      I do believe that Capt Mose took more care in selecting Boards than what the previous Premier did. You jealous or what?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Why not have a Dart representative too then?  If Gerry doesn't decline this appointment, at the very least, all meetings should be televised so we can be sure there are no conflicted decisions being made…and all can watch the proceedings.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Talk about crabs in a bucket. You people are sick!

    • And another ting says:

      "As a result of thenBoards hake up" . Since this has been written, a few calls around revealedthatvresignations also took place..members. Maybe CNS needs to inquire more. As to the conflict, how can it not be a conflict? If all things to be discussed  are known by the members then who stops who from influencing who when the vote is cast. There must be a better way people there has to be. This self protectionism by the forking merchant class must not beallowed

       And another Ting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe a dumb question, but who is the best person for the job? Problem here is that everyone is related to someone and you are going to get negative comments about anyone who gets it…

  30. Anonymou says:

    No more a conflict than having A.L Thompson the chair of the CPA

    • Anonymous says:

      Two wrongs?

      Shouldnt you be saying "just as much of a conflict"? Surely the past doings of the CPA show what happens when there is such conflict, so dont exacerbate the situation by allowing another 

      It may seem pedantic to focus on the words, but it illustrates a state of mind, "we always did it that way so whats wrong?", it was always wrong so dont do it! 

    • Anonymous says:


      Well said 20.50…….Small Island conflicts of interest are bound to take place on the many boards, but we can be sure that any conflicted member will declare and remove themselves..

      Integrity and honest government are the foundations of THIS administration and it's board chairmen and appointees will be expected to behave accordingly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not even close. At least Mr. Kirkconnell is motivated to see this project completed. XXXX

  31. Anonymous says:

    Why not keep Anthony Akiwumi on instead of Kirkconnell, who is in fact very conflicted?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Brackers in charge now!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Lord help us Jesus! So, pray do tell, how does Jacqueline Scott fit on this Board, other than being a PPM die hard that is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Welcome to the Native / Ancestral Caymanian Revolution we are taking are Country back Long Live the Revolution !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Bracers was always in charge. Remember when we had a good thing going? Well Bracers was in charge then, so we hope that they might put a stop on some things as I know that it is impossible for them to bring the Country back. God bless the Bracers in Cayman real hard working people.

  33. The Pastafarian says:

    Errol Bush?  Is he any kin to McKeever Bush?

  34. Don Felix says:

    I wonder if Strand Bodden is going to give Mr Richard Arch his job back on the CIAA Board since he reappointed he Papa on the Port board come now mann you got to be fair!

    • Get Real says:

      I wonder if you McKeevites know that Gerry Kirkconnell has previously been on the Port Authority Board and that Strand Bodden's father is an exsisting member!

      One thing I can guarantee is that if there is a conflict of interest, Gerry Kirkconnell will step aside as he did when previously on the Port Authority Board and on this board we have honest people who will not be bullied and ordered what to do, as was the case of the previous board of the last 4 years. Ah me say so!

      • Anonymous says:

        Why don'tyou just come out and say who Strand Boddens father is.  Most of us don't know!

        • Anonymous says:

          Ashton Bodden..read the article…Cayman Brac rules!!! bout time!!!

      • J Salasi I. -111? says:

        Prejudice is avarice ya should never judge.

      • Caymanian Voter says:

        Retailers and architects? Mr. Bush is the only one qualified to maintain our ports and not benefit from building

      • Anonymous says:

        Considering you do not allow long time resident on to boards I am afraid you have to use the same people over and over so you are always going to upset someone – especialy on this forum. Personally I think this is a good selection for the board. I also do however think you should start using the available expertise on the island – regardless of whether they 'born here'

        • Anonymous says:

          Mr Arek Joseph is a long time resident of Cayman Islands (probably here about 38 years or more)  who I am sure  is a Cayman status holder. He is  an architect ( or maybe a retired one) so they are utilizing expertise of long term residents

    • Anonymous says:

      First I don't think that it's Stran job to appoint board members but I can say withhis father on there we have a very experience retired sea Captian on the board!  He was also in charge of Port Athority in Cayman Brac for a number of years so I think it's a good thing to have a father and son working togather for the same goal and that is to get the docks built.

  35. Anonymous says:

    You're gonna see more Kirkconnells in power also!

    • Anonymous says:

      You people cannot satisfy. You dont want Dart, you dont want the Arabs, now you dont want your own Bracers either. You had a better be glad that you have wealthy Cayman Bracers or else all we would have is furniers. Cayman Bracers was always the leaders of Cayman thought by now it would have been accepted.

  36. Masa Bush says:

    The progressives yeah right same old PPM where daddy runs the board i thought those day on the plantation were over obviously not  Jim Crow still incharge.

  37. Pointer says:

    Woody finally got something well you and Strand Bodden's father can now exchange best wishes Only Cayman boy only Cayman!

  38. Anonymous says:

    If that is not a conflict then I am a banana.

    Any businessman has a conflict of interest when he sits on a board.

    But that is how country are being governed. By businesses.

  39. Anonymous says:

    If Mckeeva had appointed his son our his brother or his father to a board you would have never heard the end of it yet the so called all clean politicos see no conflict with appointing political cronies and fathers to boards No conflict there i guess just nepotism no corruption there either just political patronage. Don't you just hate hypocrites???

  40. Dadda Pool Shark says:

    What a disgrace ,where are all of these so call  anti corruption commissions and commissioners running around crying foul about everthing and we now have these jokers appointing  their daddy's mommy's to boards. what a friggin joke this little place is.

  41. Anonymous says:

    This is a big big mistake Alden, simply from the perception point of view.. Of course Gerry is conflicted and if you try to deny it, you make yourself look stupid at best and McKeeva-like at worst. No disrespect to Gerry, he's a major player, but keep him OFF the board and solicit his views on matters that are relevent. Why are our politicians so lacking in political IQ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Same old PPM in denial and lacking political acumen. 

      Moses K and the Brac Mafia running things at every level. In politics you get what you pay for

  42. Stoker ICE says:

    We have simply replace Mckeeva with a couple of mini me's how truly sad for this place. The PPM hegemony is now back in place running the same old game.

  43. Starboard side Cap says:

    Isn't that Strand Bodden father Oh lord no conflict their son! Yes And Mr Errol Bush couldn't miss him in the PPM Parade in his Red Ford Explorer blowing that horn back to my old job eh! If it wasn't so sad this recycling of these old fogeys who simply don't have a clue of what going on around them we could all have a laugh but our children future is simply going down bottom by this type of corruption and ineptness of our leadership.

    • Peanuts says:

      Mr. Eroll Bush is a man of honor, his father built the Dock and Eroll ran the Dock very well. He just did not allow the West Bay Bush to bully him. So Hug it up now Mac, it must bun you ass. The next "Dock" mackeva will see is in the Court House.

  44. Captain Crunch says:

    The irony of this, is the same ministry same chief officer talking about the airport board was conflicted and they have done nothing short of install pure political cronies and daddy's to our boards. They honest must take us the public for idiots. Look at the this little place corruption reigns.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Not conflicted my a$$ why then is Chief officer Strand Bodden father Ashton Bodden on the same board you right no conflict just nepotism i guess, you guys are all the same but can't say i am surprise same old PPM   We all know the truth about this little place and the misdealings and the past of some of these so called chairman yet we remain silent and let them bask in their hypocrisy and incompetence. This place will never get any better until we confront and speak the truth about the misdeeds of leaders and oust then from office and make sure they never return also..

  46. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    Oh come on!! A south dock is the objective here. And at no direct cost to the main beneficiary. Always has been.

  47. Anonymous says:

    just another day in wonderland……

  48. Anonymous says:

    Given that the most important decision the port board will have to make is where those cruise ship peirs will go…you bet its a conflict of interest!

  49. Anonymous says:

    Gerry Kirkconnell???…seriously???…well we know where those cruise piers will go now!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You were supposed to know that from when Moses kirkconnell got deputy premier!


    • Anonymous says:

      Looks like you cant please some people….woukd you prefer the dock in Camana Bay or Stibg Ray City oh oh no The Turtle Farm…we could charge admission to the far! –

      Mac Bush-former Premier and genius

    • Peanuts says:

      Wise people know that the Piers will be in George Town.