Brac LA sitting too costly

| 09/04/2014

(CNS): Given the austere times that government and the wider community are facing, one MLA believes the decision to hold this week’s legislative sitting in Cayman Brac is too costly. Ezzard Miller said that he will be paying for his own flights to and from the Brac during the three day sitting but will be returning to his district each evening. While the decision by the North Side MLA may reduce the government’s bill for the session by a small amount, he said the overall cost of the trip is likely to be tens of thousands of dollars because of all the ministry civil servants and LA staff, as well as the politicians, that will need to be flown to the Sister Island and accommodated.

Some government members and civil servants began the four day government visit yesterday with a Cabinet meeting there. The Legislative Assembly will open at 10am this morning at the Aston Rutty Centre, where MLAs will deal with a number of bills relating to the financial services sector as well as government motions dealing with indemnity for Cayman Airways board directors and land rezoning, among other issues. Although the session will be recorded and broadcast on Radio Cayman beginning on Wednesday evening, it is understood that the government TV channel will not broadcast the full live proceedings but hope to deliver sound.

With constituents out of work, schools in desperate need of supplies and cash needed for indigents, Miller said that he did not feel comfortable adding, he felt unnecessarily, to the government’s tab for the meeting.

He said the public purse does not pick up the tab for his travelling to George Town from North Side, so if the parliament has temporarily relocated to the Sister Islands then he would cover the costs of that travel too. Miller told CNS that he will be using the Cayman Airways Express service each day to fly to the Brac in the mornings and return to Grand Cayman each evening in order to be in his constituency. Miller felt there was nothing to be gained by the exercise and noted that the country had a very expensive legislative building in George Town that was already under-utilized.

The Cayman Brac sitting is likely to be the last session of this legislative meeting before the parliament reopens next month for the budget meeting. Although the current premier had indicated he was keen to set a legislative timetable for meetings and sittings and made one attempt to publish a schedule, the legislatorskept only one date. Since then no further timetables have been set.

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Category: Politics

Comments (54)

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  1. Benharper says:

    Mr. Miller…I hope you found that your meager $300 investment on airfare on a dumpy Cayman Airways Twin Otter achieved your goal of further marginalizing the Sister Islands and drumming up some more hate mongering for Cayman Brac. Please try and stay in your district with your Brethern and leave the real job of running this country to the people capable of formulating a productive relationship with all of their constituents.

  2. Knot S Smart says:

    Is that story about the 'Rolling Calf'  in Cayman Brac really true?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The suggestion that parliamentarians need this jaunt to get to know the Brac and vice versa is laughable.

    Might as well hold parliament in North Side and East End. And fly the entourage out on the chopper.

  4. Next Question says:

    Shouldn’t this read, “Brac too costly”? Is the Brac one of those sacred cows to which slick Mc”Laugh”lin was referring?

  5. 4Cayman says:

    Can someone tell me how this trip benefits Cayman Brac?  Such a waste at a time the country collectively is suffering from financial  problems.

  6. Just Commentin' says:

    Ezzard is so clueless on this issue and has so missed what is one of the most important points in this exercise and that is to personally acquaint our lawmakers to Cayman Brac and its people. Cayman Brac is a very unique place, as different from Grand Cayman as chalk and cheese. In my experience you have to put feet on the ground there to really begin to understand the island and its people, and to put flesh on the issues they face. Most of the lawmakers and officials accompanying the LA sitting here would probably never set foot on Cayman Brac unless compelled to do so on official business. Considering the important issues faced by Cayman Brac and considering how important it is for our legislators and Cabinet to have a better understanding of the island, I think the money spent to send the entire LA and their entourage on Cayman Brac was money very well spent. I am most distressed to know that Ezzard is going on one of this famous rabble-rousing rants about this.

    An exercise like this is especially important in light of the fact that over the years, Government horrifically squanders a lot of money on funding capital projects on Cayman Brac (free parking lot paving, and Hurricane Hilton, etc, etc) to keep the economy barely going when the money and resources could be much better spent on enhancing the island's business and investment potential and its tourism marketing.  The old saying "Give a man a fish and he is fed for one meal, but teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime" is supremely applicable as to how government spends, no, wastes, money on Cayman Brac.  It is shameful. The legislators as a body can see in person that Cayman Brac does not need any significant amount of further capital improvement on infrastructure and government buildings; perhaps they will wake the hell up and come to realise that what the island needs is some meaningful action as to how government can use its resources to assist the island to maximise Cayman Brac's tourism and business potential and to assist Brackers to enhance their businesses and to capitalise on entrepreneurial opportunities when those opportunities arise.

    Another good potential outcome is that the Cabinet and LA members will all personally see that the pond and associated sea-bottom area adjacent to the Alexander Hotel is pretty much a dead zone. While on Cayman Brac, these leaders of government will see and hear that the overwhelming majority of true Cayman Brackahs support the marina – a project, by the way, that Dilbert is proposing to 100% pay for out of his own pocket (including the redirection of the road).

    Ezzard needs to nix the tripe he's spewing on this issue because this is the hands down best way government has spent money in regard to Cayman Brac in a very long time. Ezzard holds himself as such a champion for the down-trodden and sons of the soil, yet, to his utter shame, his face is only seen on Cayman Brac when he has to be there. There needs to be at least one LA sitting per calendar year on Cayman Brac. So, Ezzard, better buy ya ticket for next year!  You can buy mine too while you are at it.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don't need to read all this, it basically says that the Brac is special and different and then asks for even more handouts from Grand Cayman.

    • B. Hurlstone says:

      My Dear Just Commentin':

      You are full of it! 

      Respectfully, B. H.

       

       

      • Just Commentin' says:

        Well, if you want to resort to infantile one-line rants and hurling stones rather than writing a meaningful rebuttal, all I can say is: So are you!  Nyaa, nyaa, nyaaa!

        *grin and merry laughter*

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about the do something real to lift the conomy of all the islands while they are there…Reduce the fuel tax and import duty so that the economy will have a jump start and people can survive.

    Oh yeah, I forgot they figure that one week of them spending money staying in Cleaveland's hotel and hitting the local bars every night is just what the Brac economy needs…

    Where do we find these yo-yo's?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Is it true that Moses is looking to lease a SAAB airplane for the Brac? There has not been one of those aircraft built since 1998, that was 16 years ago. Wouldn't it be better to use that $3M to upgrade to B737-800 aircraft and get rid of those antique B737-300's that are all now over 20 years old?

     

  9. Foreign Devil says:

    A waste of time and money, fix the dump!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Put your ego away for a moment. Take the time and money you are spending on your flights and have dinner and a few beers with your pals from the LA. They might figure you out to be more than just a windbag and support you on a private members bill one of these days. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Absolute waste of public funds. You all have no idea the entourage that has been brought over to the Brac and all for what. Now they are having a free 2 hour cocktail party for the entire Island this evening. Please CNS do an FOI request at the end of this trip to get all the details of the cost of this trip and the numbers and who travelled to the Brac for this. Please also FOI how many Brac civil servants were pulled off regular duty to drive these people around the Brac and any other duties they were required to perform. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    The traveling show!  Brought to by the same people who promised you OMOV during the election.

    We believed we were voting for positive change but now, too late, we know different!

  13. Knot S Smart says:

    Does Ms Julie still have a chauffer drive her while she is on the Brac?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ok Ezzard, what SHOULD the cost be to hold Parliament in the Sister Islands?

  15. Anonymous says:

    I guess Government can find the money when they want to. The IMnistry and Department of Tourism just had their global meeting in Cayman Brac too. So all of these meetings are one way to increase the "numbers" to the Brac and Ezzard your daily back and forth trips will help too. LOL. Moses will soon relocate 50% of the government services to the Brac too. Watch……….thats why he needs bigger planes…….Bla Bla…….Bla……Bla……..Bla. Lord help us

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Mr Miller, I hope the others wll follow you.

     

  17. Anonymous says:

    AT A TIME WHEN PEOPLE ARE STARVING

    THese bunch of people is going to go to the Bracket, have parliament and then Moses gets to have a all Island cocktail party which will cost for the total stay somewhere in the region of 50k all I can say is WHY.

    PPM Is a disappointment

  18. Anonymous says:

    Seem to me they still live in 18th century as they never heard of video conference which only cost couple hundreds. Importantly there are no carbon footprint from flying!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Moron, he could use his own money, stay in a hotel in Cayman Brac and still save money. 

  20. Anonymous says:

    I'd agree that this circus doesn't need to go on tour.  It's hard enough getting the paid ministers to show up to the usual venue, or to vote on issues that should be important to them.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Charter the Aggressor. Transport, accomadation, food problems solved. 🙂

  22. Anonymous says:

    I call bullsh*t. Maybe $4,000 on airline tickets for 25 people.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmm. What else can we do to help the owners of the Alexander???

  24. anonymous says:

    I got an idea….have a sitting of LA in Cuba…and while the sitting is in progress BAN all flights FROM Cuba!  Then we can get to select a real government here.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Of course Moses K wanted it on the Brac so that they all could get a whiff of the pond and decide there and them that the owner of the Alexander should have his way. Alden should remember it was rumoured shortly after the election that MK was himself trying to get enough votes to become Premier!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if this MLA along with all the other nah sayers realise that the Cayman Islands is made of THREE (3) Islands and not just Grand Cayman!  Do they also not realise the economic stress that is always silently endured by the people and businesses over in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman?  Do the people in Grand Cayman have to go shopping and buy groceries that is almost always going stale at a cost that is almost double what you would pay for items in Grand Cayman.

    Please remind Mr. Miller that as a Member of the Legislative Assembly he is responsible to his constituents but also the island as a whole and his statement just goes to show how little he thinks of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.  Yes these are austere however the Government is making sure that the ENTIRE Cayman Islands (and for you Mr. Miller and nah sayers that means all THREE SISTER Islands) are given the opportunity (like local businesses in Grand Cayman) to make money providing services (food, accommodation, transportation) to the Government when they hold their meetings.

    Thankfully the Premier understands that he is the Premier for the CAYMAN ISLANDS and has provided an opportunity for small local businesses in the Brac.  I hope Mr. Miller packs his lunch and gets a nice walk to his meeting from the airport because I certainly wouldnt be offering him a ride since he wants to save so much money and has such obvious detaste for any Government money being spent in Cayman Brac.

    "Miller felt there was nothing to be gained by the exercise" – I am sure that the Caymanians over in Cayman Brac have a very different view over what has been gained by this exercise!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      10:22, I am all for helping out the Sister Islands, but not on handouts.

      Perhaps you might want to consider that if its so bad over there, you get off your ass and come to the mainland, or go abroad?

      Isn't that what your foefathers did? Infact, I think you will find that is what most people worldwide do when things are't working out at home, then you send the money home and it is pumped into the local economy.

      Ring any bells?

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Handouts?! So parliment should only sit in Grand Cayman, how every open minded and inclusive of you, again I state the Cayman Islands is made up of 3 Islands, look at a map, we are small enough to allow inclusion in our legislative process.

        For your close minded information I am from the Brac but unfortunately do not live there, I have gotten off my "ass" as you so crudely put it and worked both on the main land and aboard, and continue to do so.

        However, just because I am not physically there doesn't mean that I am going to shut up and not fight for my country.  Laziness is not a trait that is associated with persons from Cayman Brac.

        You want to talk about the school ratio? Great, but lets also talk about the scores please, which students constantly produce a high ratio of  high scores at the end of every academic year? Hmmm?  Name some of the most successfully Caymanian businesses and run a check to see which island they are from.

        The Caymanians in Cayman Brac have contributed equally to the building up of Grand Cayman.  You all need to acknowledge that fact, show appreciation for it, shut your mouths and help think of ways that the country can assist with boosting the economy, and I am not referring to "handouts" we earned the right to have businesses and services provided from the Brac.  Also please remember the assistance that was provided by Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman following the passage of Hurricane Ivan.

        Cayman Brac doesn't support Grand Cayman businesses?!? How stupid can you be, where exactly do you think the supplies to the islands come from?  And please dont prove my statement by answering that with a comment on individual's personal shopping trips, because then I would seriously have to take an aspirin read any more of your comments. 

        I could go on and on about the benefits Grand Cayman have reaped off the backs and ideas of persons from Cayman Brac but I am reminded of the saying of arguing with idiots so I'll stop now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry 10:22, but I am sick of Grand Caymanians bearing the burden of the sister islands. 80% of your population works for government, you get roads and private parking lots paved for free, Bracers are exempt of almost every marine and environmental law, and let's not forget, your island is DUTY FREE!!! If you have a problem with the high retail prices over there, talk to the shop owners because they are the ones making a killing. I don't see Bracers supporting Grand Cayman businesses and in all honesty, why should they when they import direct from Miami duty free? Yet they demand more and more. We want regular jet service even when the plane is half empty, more employment from government (which the Premier has promised). Didn't I read last week that your public schools have a 6/1 ratio of students to teachers? Where can you find that anywhere else in the world?  

      Our taxes are supporting your duty free island so I would get off your high horse if I were you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do your research before making stupid comments. Very few things are duty free. Remember we pay extra in shipping so items must cost more here. I suggest you pick another battle because you don't know the struggle.  Those who know it, feel it. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry but "paying extra on shipping" is not the same as import duty, not by a long shot. I suggest YOU do some research. Read section 6 of the Customs Tariff Law 2012 titled "Waiver of Duties: Cayman Brac, Little Cayman" so you can see for yourself that they are in fact Duty Free.   

           

  27. Anonymous says:

    Practically every CNS commentator wrote this a week or two ago when the news came out. Guess Ezzards a slow reader. However, at least he said it!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I agree completely with Ezzard om this which for me is unusual. With the expensive building the LA already has where is the need to have the meeting on the Brac. This is a complete waste of money, are they all staying at the alexander ?

  29. Anonymous says:

    I don't always agree with Mr. Miller, but I must agree with him on this one.  

    Is it really necessary?

    • Funny but disagree says:

      Actually I think a once a year mandatory trip to the Sister Islands would serve us all well.  Mr Miller, you have a duty to your village, but we should all note 3 islands make us The Cayman Islands.  I've not been back to the Brac for a decade and have only lived in GCM for 25 years, but if all of our politicians spend one visit a year thinking of the Sister Islands then good.  However, since they all make a great wage these jaunts should be out of their pocket! Just saying….

  30. Anonymous says:

    Costly yes, but at least it will cause a temporary spike to the Brac's economy.  It is about inclusion. I hope that one day they will consider taking a sitting to Little Cayman also. Wasting money happens on a regular basis; at least this time some of it is being 'wasted' in the Sister Islands.

  31. Anonymous says:

    What Ezzard forgets is that the Brac is a socialist country which is fully funded by the Cayman Islands Government… pumping a further 10k into the Brac coffers for hotels or tickets on Cayman Airways is hardly going to make a difference now is it? I think what Ezzard is really upset about is that his drive from North Side to the Airport is longer than the other MLAs!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller, Let's take the total cost for the LA sitting for this week… divide it by the 10 plus years it has been since the last sitting of the LA in the Brac and you tell me how much sense (or cents) your math makes.  You worry about the people of North Side as you say… Our representative in the Brac is bringing business and Government to the Brac and we all support him and his efforts.  Thank you Mr. Kirkconnell for your hard work.  Not even one year has passed and we can see changes for the positive.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Can you request a list of all of the elected officals and civil servants who have travelled from GCM to CYB for this meeting and the dates that trhey were in CYB?

  34. Anonymous says:

    What a waste . . . and how inefficient.

    Who is gaining ?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Hey ezzard thanks for surpporting the Cayman Brac economy. CNS great job on giving the Brac haters fodder once again.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard is right. This is a silly use of funds. Marco please see that this is stopped and that the money is allocated to something useful like the Minitry of Education scholarships.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Ezzard for saying exactly what many are thinking

  38. Bean Counter says:

    A complete waste of money.

    It is an attempt by the ppm to give financial support to its main supporter Mr. Dilbert owner of the Alexander Hotel who will also receive financial support to fund his EIA from our tax dollars and approvals to excavate the pond next to his hotel all under the guise of stimulating the Brac economy and connecting with Brackers. SMH 

    Another day in Absurdistan

  39. Anonymous says:

    Oh God, I agree with Ezzard. Clearly I needto be Shetty's second patient.

  40. LovetheBrac says:

    Anything for a headline. Every penny spent on this show of solidarity with the awesome Sister Islands will stay in the CI economy.  There are 3 Cayman Islands Mr. Miller and unless I am mistaken, you pledged to support the entire Country.  To complain about injecting a few dollars into the Brac economy shows a complete lack of perspective and/or sincerity on your part.  To the rest of our legislators, Well done! To the CI business community, take a hint….plan your next corporate retreat in the Sister Islands!

     

  41. Anonymous says:

    Ever hear of Skype of FacTime you wasteful jerks? You don't do anything while in "session" anyway, why don't yo just stay home and stop spending all the money we don't have! Wake Up People!

  42. Mesick says:

    We should do like Turks and Caicos (where Grand Turk is the administrative capital) and make the politicians spend at least four days of the week over on the Brac.

    There. Brac economy fixed……