Premier promises funding for 19 district councils

| 12/04/2017 | 70 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alden McLaughlin at the PPM conference

(CNS): The creation of district councils in the new single-member constituencies will be given a financial boost if the Progressives are re-elected, the premier revealed at the PPM national conference Saturday. During his speech, Alden McLaughlin announced that if returned to government, his party would be amending the district councils law and allocating a budget to all 19 seats so that specific local issues neglected by central government could be addressed in the communities by these new councils.

The issue of district councils has been largely ignored since the creation of the legislation by former premier McKeeva Bush. The provision to create them was introduced in the 2009 Constitution but the legislation steered through the Legislative Assembly in 2010 by the UDP government caused controversy because it required a significant proportion of the councils to be appointed by Cabinet. At the time McLaughlin said this went against the spirit of the constitutional provision.

Since then, the only MLA who has ever had a functioning district council is Ezzard Miller in North Side, which was created through town hall style nominations and an open ballot. While Bush attempted to appoint a council in West Bay, it was boycotted by the opposition candidates that he selected and it never met.

During this PPM administration, the issue was not considered a priority as the government was focused on making the change to the wider electoral system to introduce ‘one man, one vote’ in single-member constituencies, as promised in the 2013 manifesto. But it is clearly seen as a second term issue by McLaughlin.

The premier said that politicians were all well aware of how important it is to stay connected to their constituents, and the time was now right to improve that connection.

“The advent of single-member electoral districts provides us with the opportunity to look with fresh eyes at our  system of representation,” McLaughlin told the party conference audience. “Every one of the candidates of this party recognises the need to stay in touch with our people. We also recognise that our system, as presently structured, does not easily facilitate the regular flow of information from the people to their elected representatives. We are going to remedy this by making the necessary amendments to the district councils law to ensure that a district council is established in each electoral district,” the premier added.

He said that each council would receive an annual budget for which they will present audit financials to, “fix the small, little things in their communities that matter most to them and which maybe overlooked by central government or simply take too long to be corrected.”

Members will be required to at least attend the quarterly meetings of the council to address voters’ concerns, get feedback about the local communities and to advise them of government plans and policies.

McLaughlin said that as well as promoting better communication between electors and the MLAs, this would strengthen the system of democracy. He did not say how the councils will be elected, though he implied that this would be through a democratic process.

The idea of district councils has been welcomed by supporters in the past for a number of reasons: They not only provide an opportunity for MLAs to be held more accountable and for constituents to raise specific concerns about their district but they are also seen as training grounds for future politicians.

Each election, as novice candidates take to the hustings, it is evident that many of them have very little knowledge of government and politics or what is really expected of them if they were to be elected. Serving on a district council can help provide the grounding that many people with political ambition but little experience need and encourage those who may have the skills but who not have seen politics as a career to give it a try.

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Category: 2017 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (70)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Clearly Alden is feeling desperate.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would vote for him if:
    – he would acknowledge that his economic policy of maximization of permit revenue was shallow and misguided
    -that his focus should have been more on his countrymen than on the self interested wishes of foreign parties

    Sadly he is stubbornly sticking by his ways that are giving away Cayman and destroying the future of Caymanians. We need him out before he does more damage!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Who is suddenly putting windows in Mac’ Nation Building Fund Church in Bodden Town?

  4. Facto Dematta says:

    The whole District Council farce is populist at best. Alden knows it will win him a handful of votes from the Mac type voters so its probably worth bringing up. The reality of course is that when all you need is a couple hundred votes to be elected, you are the district council.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not a fan of Alden, but you sir are not a Caymanian for sure.
      What is wrong with people being proud of their heritage?
      Who are we to denigrate them with our fancy “populist” monikers?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Between this idea, apparently to make democracy better, and Mckeeva’s recent proposal to increase the government handout to seamen, veterans, needy elderly etc from $500 to $1000 a month, which one do we all think will gain more support from the electorate?? All together now…………….

  6. Sharkey says:

    He just want to make the Government more bigger , the bigger Government , bigger the bureaucracy. So if you re-elect that’s what you are going to get . The call is yours . But don’t complain after after you vote him back in .

  7. SSM345 says:

    Mr. Premier,

    I would expect with this grandiose re-run of an idea that’s been floating around for 8yrs+ that since you would be delegating your responsibilities to your mates you will all also be paying them out of your salaries correct?

    Do us all a favor and sit down like your buddy Kurt has done, many of you should be doing this, you haven’t brought about any change for the betterment of the country in the last 15yrs+. That’s more than enough time. And more than enough evidence that you all are failures in your roles.

    We want positive change and you and 3/4s of the others in these elections will not bring that.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s safe to say, that 2009 constitution as set the foundation for the road to independence. .. The reality is this, when the district’s councils were first introduce, the politicians knew it would be long shot, if they were to act up on it right away.

    What this present government is doing now, is using “sneaky tactics” in order to achive their goals…. (oppoos I should not have said that).

    Ha.. Mr govt… while we may not be able to stop you from introducing this second stage of government, no will sit back and allow any sneaky tactics… set the road map clear, and the people the truth.

    It’s plain as daylight ..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, what a coincidence this promise is made just before elections eh? Sounds like the minister is insulting the intelligence of the voter to me.

  10. anonymous says:

    This man is pathetic, he did nothing for 4 years, cannot represent George Town, or Prospect where he lives, but trying to hood wink the people of Red Bay. Try yu bes bobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      2 :32pm Did nothing you say? Where have you been living? Even if you’ve been awsy all this term, news must have reached you about the tremendous progress Cayman has enjoyed under Alden’s leadership and he’s even managed to do so without being arrested. But I guess haters will be haters.

      • Anonymous says:

        5.31pm, how do you not vomit all over your own keyboard after writing such garbage!?!

        Is that you again Aladdin?

      • Anonymous says:

        Haters will be haters…..says the ignorant mule.

        Who exactly is jealous of Alden? Please do tell….

        We don’t need to like the people who represent us, we need to respect them; they make that impossible to do because of their own actions!

        Why don’t you stop kissing the wrong a$$!?! Might help you see the light of day again.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Once I got to the word “promises”, I switched off.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is an excellent idea and will alliw more participation by residents of the new electoral districts in decisions that affect them. The smaller districts now make this concept more viable.

      • wow says:

        Ask him why he did not do it over the past 4 years! Stupid is as stupid does. He does not want the councils and has verbally stated he doesnt want them! Are we so stupid to believe this “promise” ? He made the same promise 4 years ago!!!!!! Come on Cayman we can do better than this

        • Anonymous says:

          3.50pm I guess if you are going to tell a lie you may as well make it a big one.Alden was one of the people who put this provision in the 2009 Constitution. So no , he is not against District Advisory councils but he was against doing it the way that McKeeva put in the law. As proposed by Mac the majority of council members would be appointed by Cabinet; in other words just an extension cord for the Government. Imagine the problems that would arise in a district with a Mla who is not a supporter of the ruling party, and a district council controlled by the Government of the day..

  12. Anonymous says:

    Please stop publishing pictures of this person: it is so hard on the eyes. Every time I see pictures of these types of people, Obama, McLaughlin, Bush, Trump, May, Merkel, Jong-Un, etc, I want to vomit.
    If people grant you power, you should help them.
    If you do not help them, then you are a self-serving dictator.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said 11:39am.

      So true….

    • Anonymous says:

      ya have to have taters to dictate too. Taters elect dictators

    • Anonymous says:

      11.39am I guess Obama was the greatest dictator of them all . Man you are way out there. Did you bother to read over before pressing send? Thought not.

    • Anonymous says:

      People should stop “granting power to people who hep (sic) them” but rather elect those with a clear manifesto do right for the country as a whole.

  13. Anonymous says:

    A brilliant idea. We have to continually change and push to get better. I support this 100%

    We have to understand that even the PPM cannot achieve everything in 4 years. Our economy is booming now. Can’t wait to see what another 4 years under the PPM will bring.

    • wow says:

      what was hard about it? Its written in the constitution, all he needed to do was appoint the members sus-christ man are we that dumb????

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow did you read the law that McKeeva passed that would have implemented this provision that is in the Constitution? It gave the premier (whoever is holding that office) the power to fill those councils with his own supporters.That means that had Alden just appointed the members as you suggest then we would probably have had District Councils in West Bay, East End and North Side dominated by PPM supporters despite the fact that there were no PPM Party MLAs in those districts. Imagine if Alden had put that in force what you would be saying today, and if Mac is returned to power that is exactly what we will get.So go ahead and criticize Alden , then put Big Mac back in charge so that he can give you what you want and dictate exactly what the councils will do.

    • Anonymous says:

      How low can you set the bar?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Red Bay don’t want him.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:14 I think they do. He’s done a good job and besides you really think his competition is better?

      • Anonymous says:

        Just because competition is lacking doesn’t make him a worthy candidate.

        People for the most part have a short-term memory for political matters.

        However, there are a minority of people that do not forget anything.

        Kurt Tibbetts had the dignity, unlike so many others, to retire before the worst of the shit hits the fan. He is smart.

        • Anonymous says:

          Kurt Tibbetts had loads of dignity to stay in power after his office equipment company died a death. I am sure that he is out of the woods by now.
          Do not confuse Mr. Tibbetts with anyone who has a national conscience.

          • Anonymous says:

            ‘Office equipment’??? You mean a print shop right?! HUGE difference. So many big people (in size & egos) with grandiose ideas of what they do!

      • anonymous says:

        12:36pm, I am sorry,but anybody will do a better job than him. He has even been seen around the area, only when he is ready to, “buy out the bar” at Country and Western.

    • anonymous says:

      Hear, hear to that, I hope some law firm will hire him.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I despise everything about his empty promises.

  16. Anonymous says:

    We do not have a system of government for the people by the people in Cayman, rather a firm expectation that a vote will be given only in return for a personal favour. To hell with the national interest, just scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

  17. Rodney Barnett IV says:

    This ill-timed and ill-conceived idea leaves me speechless. But I do have to ask, does he really think the population is that stupid?

  18. Anonymous says:

    “He did not say how the councils will be elected”; food for thought!!!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like 19 more people getting a good paycheck who will get nothing accomplished like the politicians. All these people in government can’t get the job done so we just make some positions in the districts and let them handle it. Great , the leaders have even less they are responsible for and still make the big dollars.
    Maybe they should take a portion of each Politicians pay and use that to fund these 19 other people. Sounds fiscally responsible, doesn’t cost the government any money then.
    OR……..just get the job done that you are in there for instead of hiring others to do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      7.43am Seems like you are not well versed on this topic. Where in the world did you get the idea of one man councils? The whole idea was a voluntary group much like a PTA that would act as a connector between the voters and the MLA in the same way that a PTA is the connector between parents and teachers.These council members would probably be community leaders in their own right who would advise the MLA of needs in various areas of the community.I therefore do not like the idea of introducing money into the equation. Bad things usually happen when money is introduced.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Conditional on them getting back in? They were supposed to create and fund these during their regime. District Councils loaded with their cronies towing their party line don’t need any additional resources. No thanks.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what next… Mayors !…

    Can anyone tell me if the constitution, provide any kind of power to the district councils?

    If the answer is yes, then we should not have a cabinet appointed district council, instead a local electrical process. If the 2009 constitution is act upon properly, the Cayman islands will now have two spheres of government, which will now have ” delegated powers” and with that come a range of things not mention into the constitution.

    If the now Premier is successful for second term and able follow through with his promise, then we as people should see that it’s done through an election process and not a cabinet appointment.


  22. Observer says:

    Sorry Alden to late now you and most of your cronies are gone. Bye bye tat tat

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually 6 55am, sorry for you. Alden and the Progressives are going to obliterate the competition

  23. Anonymous says:

    Promises, promises, promises. That is all I hear from these politicians.

    “We are going to remedy this by making the necessary amendments to the district councils law to ensure that a district council is established in each electoral district,” the premier added.

    I’m betting PPM will probably have to hire KPMG for this too.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Pathetic this man stinks of desperation. Don’t let his begging let you forget that he and his cronies would throw every one of us under the bus for their big powerful corporate friends!

  25. Anonymous says:

    @$$ about face this is. Surely local government is a prerequisite to OMOV, but that is too complicated for the proponents of OMOV to island this size has no need for such an bastard system of 19 constituencies.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Alas, too little too late by this man. Where was he when my business was drowning in overwhelming fees and even more overwhelming bureaucracy? I will tell you where Alden was. He and his distant band of ivory tower dwellers were behind the whole bloody thing.
    His government just sent me and many small businesses like mine a massive questionnaire under the guise of the quango ESO asking for information he should already have.
    If your people kept proper records, you would not have to nose into my business.
    My business is mine, not yours, so respectfully, keep your damned nose out, get on with your job and start being part of the solution, not the problem. No to the PPM, the Poisonous Presumptuous Miscreants.

    • Anonymous says:

      Big brother is watching you! These ESO reports are a bunch of garbage and waste of our tax dollars. Can they release the final cost for all of this please?

    • Facto Dematta says:

      Your business failed because you are a shit businessman, not because of any political party.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no mention of failing. Can you read? Did you get the forms? Perhaps you are shit?

  27. Anonymous says:

    19 MLA’s and 6,000 CS are not enough to run the affairs of a territory of 50,000 people? More money to swindle?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Oh, now you want district council………. You think the people don’t see you are just trying to get re-elected. Why did it have to take 4 years. You really make me laugh. Wow.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because he will say or do anything to get his sweetheart position back.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:13 Everything can’t be done in 4 years. And cos single member constituencies are being introduced for the first time for these elections.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re right, everything can’t be done in 4 years; but good god, something could have been done.

        This last administration did more twiddling of thumbs then any other previously.

        Ozzie referred to the “dark days” of the UDP administration last night on local TV, I don’t know what dark days he’s talking about…….these last 4 years have been the darkest yet in Cayman, not for a few but for all of us! You know what’s beyond comprehension, it is only going to get worse!

        But hey, don’t worry about crime, unemployment or mental health issues because Aladdin is here to save the day! Can I have a magic carpet too Aladdin? I will need one when there is nothing left of my home, my Country.

        • Anonymous says:

          The dark days of the PPM occurred in his office when he let fly at his chief officer with obscene, racist remarks to cover up the fact he didn’t want to account for personal phone calls on his government phone. And nothing happened to him. Shame on him and Alden.

  29. Anonymous says:

    More waffle and empty promises from Alden and his poor people mistake

  30. Anonymous says:

    And so that’s where your money goes.

    • Anonymous says:

      He did nothing for the poor old Seamen, Seamen vote him out and vote Mac in, he will do something for the seamen.

      • Politricks says:

        Yes from bad to worst. Chineese building the dock. 20 to 30 story buildings and oh yea, a credit card. Going backwards again. Let’s not forget the lodge’s friends. Both of them have to go. We need new leaders with fresh ideas and with the Caymanians at heart.

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