West Bay ladies claim vindication over lawsuit

| 07/08/2015 | 75 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alice Mae Coe

(CNS): A group of women that took on the government in the courts over the controversial NRA agreement between Dart Realty and government over the closure of a stretch of the West Bay Road have claimed vindication in the wake of a recent report by the auditor general. Alice Mae Coe, Annie Multon and Ezmie Smith said that the findings by Alastair Swarbrick’s team show their efforts to save the West Bay Road and public beach accesses were justified.

The women are now asking the current administration whether it will continue to uphold what has been shown by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) to be an unauthorized deal or take steps to address it.

The women’s civil action failed in both the Grand Court and on appeal as the court found it was out of time, so their arguments were never truly considered, even though their claims were in line with the findings of government’s independent public auditor, who has pointed to the unlawful actions and process surrounding the deal.

NRA-Dart and Shetty deals unlawful, says auditor

The audit report, “National Land Development and Government Real Property”, found that the agreement signed between Dart, the National Roads Authority and government behind closed doors, without parliamentary debate had, among other problems, fallen foul of the Public Management and Finance Law.

Cayman News Service

West Bay Road just before it closed

“We thank and commend the OAG for such a comprehensive report, which clearly sets out various parallels with many of the arguments and merits of our Court Action,” the women said in a release this week as they reiterated the arguments they made and their alignment with the auditor general’s findings. .

The West Bay ladies have also always held that their suit was not out of time as the earliest opportunity for any civil action to be brought over the deal was only after the closure of the section of West Bay Road between Harbour Heights condominiums and Calico Jacks was formally published in the Government Extraordinary Gazette, confirming the process.  However, in the courts the government and Dart successfully argued that the action was out of time because it should have been brought when the outline of the deal was first announced, some two years before the details of the agreement were released to the public.

But with the Grand Court and court of Appeal judges all taking the view that the women should have filed at a much earlier stage, the essence of the arguments have never been considered by a court of law on their merit. However, just as they had claimed in their suit, the OAG found that government failed to carry out its responsibilities on behalf of the people of the Cayman Islands, whose interests it is supposed to represent.

As a result, the women are asking if the current administration now plans to proceed in the same manner and execute the NRA agreement, regardless of Swarbrick’s findings.

“Or will they be bold enough to attempt to rectify this embarrassing situation and advise the people of these islands of their intentions,” the women asked. “We remind the current premier that he stated in a public meeting in West Bay that should he be elected he would see to it that the West Bay Road was not closed.”

Cayman News Service

Protest against the closure of the West Bay Road

After taking office the PPM administration was quick to say that there were legal barriers to the reopening of the West Bay Road. But the premier stated that Dart had agreed to create an emergency access through route on the property once the Kimpton Hotel and related developments were completed.

The government’s focus has been on renegotiating another controversial element of the NRA deal, which the Progressives said had set a dangerous precedent. The UDP administration had agreed to give Dart a 50% rebate on the accommodation tax collected from visitors on all of its tourism related properties. This has been a major stumbling block in talks, and despite a relatively recent announcement that a revised agreement was nearing completion more than two years on, no new deal has yet been released.

Although the merits of their arguments having never been properly considered, despite a long battle, the women offered their thanks to everyone who had supported them. The campaign began in December 2011 with a petition signed by more than 4,000 people against the road’s closure, which was presented to Governor Duncan Taylor but ultimately ignored, and lasted until November 2014, when the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s decision that the action was out of time.

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Category: Courts, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (75)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So basically it is ok to forgo due process and procedures, circumvent regulations and laws when something shiny and glittery is at the end of it?

    That is a very dangerous game to play. Be careful what you wish for and do not complain when the next time around the result is something that has a negative impact on you directly, like for example the government taking a big chunk of your land to build a road or to relocate the dump right next door to you….

  2. Anonymous says:

    The people lambasting these ladies in this thread are the very same that criticize Cayman for the alleged bad government and corruption that is claimed to be endemic within these shores.

    It is clear to see, the only constant here in the CNS comment community is that of an anti-Caymanian stance …even if it results in grotesque hypocrisy.

    Stay classy guys!

    – Who

    • Anonymous says:

      Hah! Who…a classic from the man who would perpetuate policies that will take Cayman down, whilst blaming mother for all Caymans faults. You and Ezzard should form an alliance of unholy.

    • Anonymous says:

      You claim that “the people .. are the very same..”

      How do you know that? They are posting anonymously, as are you.

      In my opinion, the article reads like strong evidence of “bad government and corruption”.

      “The audit report, “National Land Development and Government Real Property”, found that the agreement signed between Dart, the National Roads Authority and government behind closed doors, without parliamentary debate had, among other problems, fallen foul of the Public Management and Finance Law”.

      “It is clear to see, the only constant here in the CNS comment community is that of an anti-Caymanian stance …even if it results in grotesque hypocrisy”.

      In your own paranoid mind, perhaps.


      • Anonymous says:

        …and another one.
        Didn’t call any names my friend – but thanks for revealing yourself.

        – Who

        • Anonymous says:

          I had hoped that by challenging your unsupported premise, that these are “the very same people”, (and they could not reasonably be considered hypocrites otherwise), we could elevate this debate above your “last lick” approach. Apparently not.


          • Anonymous says:

            Dear Truthseeker,

            You know better than anyone on here how much bullshit you are spewing under my original post.

            We are all intelligent adults and we know the usual themes and perspectives here on CNS. The discrepancy and hypocrisy of the posts under this news story when compared to the daily norm is clear for all to see.

            However, because of your simple and petty little ego, you have decided to further enforce this absurdity by undertaking this little mission of yours to attack Whodatis.

            What a dull and lovely existence is your so called life.



            • Anonymous says:

              “Last Lick” ?

              • Anonymous says:


                Or maybe just a demonstration to prove how predictable and pathetic are you and your like-minded buddies that you all will scroll back 3 pages in CNS history to see the latest post by yours truly.

                Now, move along – I’m done. However, be sure to not thumb vote or reply, as that would only provide documented proof that I am right. Right?

                (Your move … all of you.)


                – Who

                *Putting the bullcrap aside at last, allow me to redirect everyone to the original point of my contribution to this news story.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you. These ladies have been doing the right thing and being an expat myself, I have noted with shame the condemnation that this has brought them from the expat community. I feel shame that whilst most as you say make very justified complaints as to bad government and corruption (the major issues facing Cayman today as I see it, alongside corrupt religious entities), it is somewhat hypocritical on the one hand to be calling the politicians and system corrupt, and then to applaud a decision that was then and still is an abuse of the process and ultra vires. It seems some of us (expats) know no shame, and others clearly are so abusive of all things Cayman that they simply should have no right being here mouthing off in the first place.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The new hotel is going to be fantastic.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Remind me again the “cultural significance” of a bog-standard piece of road. I fancy a good laugh to kick off the weekend.

    • Anonymous says:

      Only in a cultural wasteland . . .

    • Anonymous says:

      What does the term “bog-standard” mean? We do not understand that in the Cayman Islands, it is not part of our dialect. If you cannot speak to us properly, then how can you understand the “cultural significance” of any of our historical values, roads and other areas that are important to we the people.

      • Anonymous says:

        But we thought you spoke English, 7:52, not a dialect. Maybe that’s why the kids cannot succeed in school.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ok as an expat I am finding yours and other comments in here particularly offensive and embarrassing to the point of being sickening. Please stop ridiculing the country where you are lucky enough to live and the people who live in it. A poor education in Cayman as you already know too well, is as much down to bad government failing to meet its duties to its own people more than anything else. Don’t ridicule the people because their system sucks when compared to your own. All this means is you were more fortunate and it does not justify these disgusting comments.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is probably why the OP was asking for an explanation, since to those brought up in other parts, the concept of the road having any “cultural” significance is a mystery. It was, after all, a pretty poor stretch of road.

      • Anonymous says:

        I speak English. Explain to me the cultural significance of the road in English. Make it simple because so far I have never been able to tell what the protestors were talking about.

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess that means we should bulldoze and redevelop Boggy Sands Road right away.

  5. Lova says:

    All of this over a road that is creating less traffic for us, hurricane season no driving thru salt water and damaging your vehicles, come on now, really? Dart is the only person doing so much for Cayman and EVEN providing jobs for US!! Why hate on him? Let him be please and have a seat.

    • Anonymous says:

      He got more than seat. The Big Mac from the west gave him everything, status, land and and open ended agreement to do whatever he wants to do. He doesn’t even needplanning per,is soon to build what or how he wants, but the native is constantly harassed by Planning whenever they are trying to get a project off the ground. At the moment someone is going to get at them in a nice way. Stop being bias and do the job you are aid to do.
      Cleanse that department and the board.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re being sarcastic. right?

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know if you are an expat, but I am. I really am mind boggled at your shallow, idiotic defense of the breaking of the law. If you love dart and his works so be it, but for gods sake acknowledge that there are lawful and unlawful ways to conduct business. You blind following and smug attitude sicken and embarrass me. Please look at the situation with open eyes or just shut up.

      • Anonymous says:

        And another expat would like to thank you for your comment and join with you.l It’s so sickening to find myself so often shamed by my own people. SMH. Since coming to Cayman I really have witnessed racism and arrogance in its purest and most ugly form – and the fact that there is so much of it about is heartbreaking.

  6. Open4biz says:

    What will people say when a canal is extended under the bypass to the Kimpton, just like the Ritz. Big hotels need watersports and access to North Sound. Watch and see.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Soon enough this will all be water under the bridge.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ladies. The Auditor General’s so called “finding” is nothing more than his opinion. And everyone has an opinion. He is no judge, not even an attorney, so his opinion doesn’t mean much outside of when it comes to government numbers and procurement.
    He is outside his scope of work when he tries to tell government how to set policy and what should be considered, and who should do the considering.

    And no, I’m not an expat. I’m a Caymanian who can put emotion a side and consider the facts of a situation.
    Everyone complains the economy is bad, unemployment high, families losing homes, but when Government makes a deal do get the economy going, some want to complain about that also.

    The only constant in life is change. Adapt or perish.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re a Caymanian? (Sure, sportsfan, I’m “a Caymanian” as well, cos I’m married to a real one.) Sounds like you’re benefiting from a predator developer. But at least I’m not a traitor. Try standing on your own two feet for a change.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Are you familiar with the word “Law” – perhaps you should have a look in a dictionary. Laws tell you what you can, or cannot, do. If a Law is broken, there is no distinction between whether it is an individual, or a Government. Understand the principles involved before you attempt to justify the actions taken by the previous government. The AG is professionally qualified for his position – what academic achievements do you bring to the table.

    • Anonymous says:

      As a supposed Caymanian one would think you would realize that the option of constant “change” is contrary to the very essence that made Cayman what it is today.

      People like you need saving from yourself, and thankfully there are a few right minded Caymanians willing to do the job.

      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        On the contrary, change and adaptation is in fact the very essence of Cayman. From cotton to shipbuilding to remittance seaman to a financial services industry – all radical changes in our economy, all responsive to external pressures.

    • Anonymous says:

      But fortunately he has more brain cells to rub together than you apparently do.

  9. Wstbyer says:

    Im CAYMANIAN and from West Bay, at first i thought dart was doing crap with the road but when you look at it he did a good thing, the beach road has less traffic now when i bring my son to the beach and i can sleep later and get to work quicker, so pls keep quiet about this road crap and find something else to argue about. 🙂 Peace.

    • Ron says:

      Wait until the Hotels open before bragging taking your son to the beach. You are going to be in for a colorful surprise!

      • Mrwstbayer says:

        Go stand on the roundabout with a sign ron, im fine with what there doing maybe my son will be a manager at that same hotel.

  10. Anonymous says:

    MONEY TALKS Ladies. Get used to it. Thank you for your continuing efforts nonetheless.

  11. Anonymous says:

    They might have suspended the road closure had they filed for Judicial Review earlier, and Justice Quin said as much in his comments. Lord Gifford QC, retained earlier by T4C, had advised them not to delay, but they did, and Justice Quin stated this as well. All public record.

  12. Anonymous says:

    yeah right 8:30am – I love this comment. So very true. But all the zombies can’t see past the $$ and fancy shops. Blindly running on and on about how pretty he makes everything.
    Those zombies and puppets need to do their research instead of following the Pied Piper

  13. MM says:

    I commend these ladies for their long fight; and I wish I had known they’d be out there because I would have loved to join them! Wutless government!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Vindication of what? That the old WB road was a “heritage” road as such altering that road should not have been done? The rest of the objections were purely obstructionist.

    Seems to me the finding of impropriety of the government dealings has nothing to do whether the new road should have been built or not.

    Don’t these ladies have a dock to obstruct these days?

  15. Buck-toe says:

    Ivan’s damage was nothing compared to what McKeeva has done to our islands. Very policy that came from the UDP has been unlawful and detrimental to Cayman. But what is done in the dark, come to light eventually.

    – Mass status grants that have negativley impacted our population
    – Slush funds for loyal voters
    – Unlawful closed door deals (Dart and Shetty developments)
    – intimidation of civil servants
    – Pension holidays
    – credit card abuse for gambling
    – Chinese-owned port complete with casino for gambling
    – badly behaving ministers (3am dog food runs resulting in drunken car crashes with mystery women that aren’t wives)
    – paving private parking lots
    – More round-the-world luxury trips than time doing actual work in office
    – internationally embarrassing and uncouth behavior in office
    – vote buying (fridges)
    – fixing the outcome the OMOV referendum (no-show counts as a vote for no)
    – Expat only tax
    – A legacy of building a handout society

    I’m getting depressed listing all the things that Cayman has seem to forgotten (and the list is much longer). We go through these things with our eyes wide shut. The nonsense that went on in that administration was just accepted or was met with unwillingness to fight against them due to fear of retribution from ignorant followers or directly from the top.

    This is why people think our island is blatantly corrupt. When all of this garbage was going on, very few of us stood up to the government of the time to challenge that administration. When we did challenge, McKeeva called us “rabble-rousers” and told us to go home. A lot of this stuff that went on was unlawful and anywhere else the politicians involved would have been kicked out of office and even jailed.

    One district gets their unqualified and unsuitable man in and the rest of the country has to suffer the consequences.

    We need to be able to hold an national election for the leader of the country and be able to impeach that person when they have been found to do unlawful or immoral acts of their self gain.

    The current system is stupid. I’ll vote for a district rep, sure – but more importantly I want to vote for who will lead the country. I don’t want to be handed another slippery leader.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I thought about joining the protests against the road and the new development, but I just could not dress badly enough to fit in.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was going to organise a sit in, blobking the West Bay road in protest, but then someone pointed out it was already blocked

      • JCL says:

        I thought you were going to say the traffic just took the nice new free flowing modern bypass that is there already.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pheeww – who’d have thought The Donald had time to troll CNS

  17. Anonymous says:

    yeah right 8:30am – I love this comment. So very true. But all the zombies can’t see past the $$ and fancy shops. Blindly running on and on about how pretty he makes everything.
    Those zombies need to do thier research.

  18. Anonymous says:


  19. Anonymous says:

    What gets me is these ladies were technically correct all along, as indeed the Auditor General now appears to confirm. How good is our justice system if it boots out legitimate concerns rather than address them – especially when it comes to the likes of Dart, government officials and police.

    • MM says:

      It’s so easy to count the expats using CNS just by the troll numbers on this post. We are already outnumbered and our voices muzzled in the crowd of people who came here for our “Caymanian hospitality”… our Caymanian stupidity… our God-fearing belief is apparently to give away our anus and excrete through our ribs… and old term used by our old people to express our desire to give, give, give and welcome, welcome, welcome until there is nothing to give and then pray the welcome is extended to us. Wait for it…

    • Anonymous says:

      Who says that the ladies were correct. The Auditor General gave his opinion, but the Cabinet acted on the advice of the Chief Legal Advisor to the cabinet the Attorney General who is a lawyer and whose job it is to ensure that the actions of cabinet are legal. Could it really be that the cabinet of the Cayman Islands which includes the Governor, the Deputy Governor (whose a lawyer as well) and the Attorney General along with elected ministers actually acted illegal lyand didn’t get good legal advice form the Attorney General? I doubt it, whose opinion should we believe the AG or the AG?

    • Isaac Parker says:

      ” How good is our justice system?” I can answer that…………
      NOT VERY!

  20. yeah right says:

    The collusion between Dart and the previous UDP administration has to be fully investigated and prosecuted if there is to be any hope in the long term health of the Cayman Islands. If Dart themselves are not held accountable then it is proof positive that the chronic and institutionalized corruption of Cayman at the highest of levels will never be addressed. The Cayman Islands are not a better place because of the presence of Dart and the future will bear this to be true, regardless of their propaganda to the contrary.

  21. Just Askin' says:

    Slow news day?

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