MLAs refuse PAC roles

| 05/09/2013

(CNS): Captain Eugene Ebanks, the fourth elected member for West Bay and member of the United Democratic Party, was the last man standing on the opposition benches Wednesday when he was nominated by the premier and accepted a seat on the Public Accounts Committee. Premier Alden McLaughlin had attempted to nominate both independent members Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller but they refused. They said they had already been rejected when the LA was sworn in because government wanted to put the opposition leader on PAC instead, creating what they said was a dysfunctional committee because of his previous role as finance minister. Following their refusal, McLaughlin nominated Bernie Bush, who also declined, saying he did not yet have the necessary experience.

As a result, the only non-government member left in the House was Ebanks, who accepted the role after both McLean and Miller had taken aim at the new premier about his insistence that the opposition leader had a seat on PAC.

McLaughlin had said the committee would need to be re-balanced after Roy McTaggart, the PAC chair, crossed the floor from the opposition benches and joined government.  During the opening of the new parliament the committee was appointed with two PPM backbench members, the two George Town C4C members and the opposition leader. Although McTaggart and Winston Connolly are Coalition for Cayman MLAs, their role in government weighted the committee in that direction. But strangely, it was Al Suckoo, a full PPM member, and not Connolly, who was the last man nominated on Swearing in Day, that resigned.

When the House met Wednesday morning, McLaughlin nominated East End member Arden Mclean, his former party colleague and now independent MLA, but he declined. Notonly was it too late, he said, but he had had no discussions with the premier since the government had refused his own offer during the earlier LA meeting in May.

“I accepted the nomination during the swearing in ceremony to assist government and avoid having the leader of the opposition, who is the former minister of finance, being on it," McLean explained. "I asked for this to avoid this quandary that we find ourselves in.” However, he said, “I was resoundingly rejected.”

McLean said it would have been common courtesy for the premier to ask him again if he wanted to serve before nominating him, but he had received no call or written request that he take the post from McLaughlin. He said the chair had called asking if he was mindful to do so but he had told him no.

“I put country before me, and the government of the day decided they didn’t want me on PAC and preferred leader of the opposition,” he said. McLean said he had to defend his position as the premier was trying to put him “on the spot”, but the very least he could have done is pick up phone. “It is wrong, unfair and disrespectful to not discuss this with me first and I decline the nomination,” he said

Miller, the member for North Side, said that he too had been nominated earlier but he did not wish to serve on a committee "that defies all parliamentary conventions”, as he pointed to the premier’s nomination of the former minister of finance to it. He said it was “going to be a dysfunctional committee”, as he suggested that the former premier would have considerable influence.

“We all know the capabilities and experience of the opposition leader in parliament as well as his tenacity," he said, and told the government it should not start its four years in office playing games, before he also declined the nomination.

As the proceedings continued, the back and forth between the government and opposition benches continued to be prickly, escalating after the premier urged Miller and McLean to put aside the bickering and work with government when they began debating the supplementary appropriations bill, described by Finance Minister Marco Archer as a “fiscal tidy up”. 

The sitting of the parliament resumes tomorrow morning at 10am.

Check back to CNS in the morning for more from Wednesday's LA proceedings.

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  1. Arden is right says:

    Arden is right, it would only be good manners for the Premier to pick up the phone and call him first. He discussed every other nomination to other committees with the potential members so why is Arden any different. Believe me when I say it was Aldens pompous and arrogant actions that destroyed the PPM last time. 

  2. The lone haranguer says:

    Eugene has not done anything in the last 12 years.

  3. Anonymous says:

    These two politicians clearly have their share of issues but so does the lofty premier and his followers who will all jump on here and give this comment a bunch of thumbs down. The fact is that communication and better attitudes could have solved this but both sides are suffering from their heafty 'holier than thou' attitudes and ignorance. It is time for them all to stop behaving like a gang of ignorant, spoiled brats, reach other to each other, talk to one another and resolve whatever disagreements they have. Get to on with runing this country in a good way! That is what we are paying you all to do!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is all part of a sinister plot to try and convice us that this Capt. Eugene person really exists!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Refusing to do anything – what "Captain" Eugene does best.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Go there Eugene!!  Congrats.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean whogene is actually going to do somthing to earn his money? Doubt it!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right! The last man left to choose from is a total `no brainer`. Having Capt. Eugene as an member of the LA is a waste of the country`s resourses. They PAC would be better off leaving that position vacant than putting Eugene there. He may be physically present during the meetings, but I can`t imagine him making any sensible contribution to that committee. I guess, it`s just to make up numbers, has nothing to do with competence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, he is going to have to check with Bushy first before he can actually say or do something.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If these two MLAs could only check their egos for a moment and realize that the common courtesy, and sworn oath of their position, is to serve the people of this country.  If they can't see their way clear to do that under normal LA circumstances, then they really aren't fit to serve as MLAs.  Anywhere else and they would be censured by the Speaker and heald in contempt of Parliament.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Anonymous your knowledge of Parliamentary procedure and contempt is beyoud imagination and recognition = the reason the Speaker asked the two MLAs if they accepted the nomination is because they have the right to  refuse a nomination especially one on which they were not consulted. Both Miller and Arden know the rules and are absolutely right to refuse to serve with the former minister of finance on the committee. Here is what we now have Mac two votes Eugens will nerver vote against Mac two sensible votes Winston and Joey tye Roy can only use his casting vote to retain the status quo. Only reports that favour Mac will see the light of day. ALDEN NEEDS TO EXPLAIN WHY HE WILL NOT REMOVE MAC AND WHY HE NOMINATED HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

  9. Anonymous says:

    McLean and Miller have put their egos above country. How disappointing. I guess that's just politics.


  10. Anonymous says:

    These two paragons of virtue and seen-as "Saviors" of the country seem to be putting self before country now. Who cares if you weren't asked to serve before?? You're being asked now. How technical can the job be to scrutinize the accounts of government, THAT IS YOUR JOB AS AN MLA.


    Who the heck cares if you did not get a call before the nomination?? You two really think your s&*t doesn't stink.


    The majority of people in Cayman are really getting sick and tired of hearing how much you two love your country, only to see that you are more interested in looking out for your own interests before country. You all are only shades away of being like MAC

  11. Just Sayin'.... says:

    Really? Ezzard and Arden? It sounds like "you didn't want us at the beginning so we refuse to do it now!" "We're taking our ball and going home" GREAT example of leadership. What a bunch of childish imbeciles. DO THE JOB YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO! SMH………….

  12. Knot S Smart says:

    Come on guys – you can work this out…

    Alden – why dont you first meet with them and request their participation, and admit you made a mistake in May in allowing Bush to be on the committee – then apologize and remove him and then you have one PPM, one of the guys from the party that we cant call a party, the good Captain and Ezzard and Arden…

    Ezzard did a good job when he was chairman a few years back, so he has the experience to be chairman again…


    • Anonymous says:

      I don't blame Ezzard, but you can't call so many non-corum meetings that he felt he had to resign to make his point "a good job".

  13. Anonymous says:

    If anyone believes for a second that Alden isn't playing his usual style of politics is mistaken. While his "inclussive'' act might have fooled some, I know that time will expose the true Alden a lot of us PPM members know to be true. When the LA was first sworn in, and Arden offered himself up for the PAC, I watched the Premier's actions and his lobbying to have his Government members vote against Arden. Now, they realize they in a mess. Arden isn't my favorite out of the whole lot, but got to say I agree with him on this.

    • Anon says:

      Spoken by someone who knows, I dare say. But I would guess that the "lot" of you PPM members wouldn't say a word against him when all the rhetoric was being spewed during the campaign tho. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    These two jokers will use every excuse in the book to avoid doing work. Point fingers, criticize, protest, and contribute absolutely nothing is all they have done, and all they will ever do. What a waste! 

  15. Waydar u Loj says:

    See you at The Barcadere

  16. Anonymous says:

    cig incompetence continues unabated under the ppm…… we need direct rule for 2 years!

  17. Anonymous says:

    whogene??????….. who elected him????

  18. Anonymous says:

    shambolic on all sides of the house…….

  19. Anonymous says:

    mickey mouse wears a CIG wristwatch……

  20. Anonymous says:

    Who is Capt. Eugene Ebanks? Is he new to the LA?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Since Arden couldnt get his way and pick the members of the PAC he is going to pick up his toys and go home. Bla Bla Bla. I guess this is how he puts country first.

  22. Anonymous says:

    You know, they really should be ashamed of themselves. They tried to take the government from under the PPM who won the mandate and made it clear that they wanted no part of a PPM government and now they refuse these nominations after the noise that they have made knowing the numbers of the floor. Deplorable behaviour. Those two are the "politrikians" that people need to look out for instead of eating up the ineffectual garbage that they spew which is gobbled up by so many Crosstalk listeners.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Arden and Ezzard = Accident & Emergency.

    Ever the contrarians.

  24. Bubba Conch says:

    How about this? If these highly paid elected servants won’t participate in the functions of the legislature, why don’t we just dock their pay.

    Sick of these idiots who just want position and privilege at the expense of the taxpayers.

  25. Caymanfriend says:

    Ezzard is a dinosaur.Those of us that remember his time in government ( god forbid) will remember his attempts to split the George Town hospital campus into two totally separate locations.An utter disaster that thank goodness was dismissed by the electorate.Since then Ezzard has become a nay-sayer, populist politician. Bereft of new ideas for his constituency he reverts to populist bullshit with absolutely no new ideas of his own. Quite pathetic but I’m sure the salary received pays the bills.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Show us the friggin' accounts! Tired of the BS about who is on the committee! Time to see the numbers. They can fight it out on the floor (literally) of the assembly later.

  27. J Salasi I. -111? says:

    They said wise men come from the East, my how times have changed. Our Eastern leaders are letting politics come before country, even though they vociferously deny it. My my.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The Premier did not want Miller or McLean before due to typical arrogance but now needed them both and still could not figure out that diplomacy sometimes starts with a simple conversation. 

  29. Sixty Nine says:

    That is ok, let them both sit it out in the SE corner and moan & complain for four years, their constituents will soon see them for what they really are. Arden McLean is making a grave political mistake in following the ever grumpy, complaining Ezzard Miller.