MLA creates district council in Newlands

| 29/01/2018 | 44 Comments
Cayman NewsService

Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo and District Council Chairman Olson Anderson

(CNS): MLA Alva Suckoo has established a district council in his constituency of Newlands after, he said, a number of individuals reached out to him to volunteer, including his former competitor in the 2017 General Election, Raul Gonzales. Suckoo, the deputy opposition leader, said he is not prepared to wait on government to decide how it is going to  address the issue — or even if it still is — and has therefore made the decision to press ahead using the currently legislation as a guide on its operation. He is only the second MLA to create a council to advise him on constituency matters.

Ezzard Miller has been the only representative who has consistently formed a district council in each of the terms he has served as the MLA for North Side.

The concept of district councils forms part of the 2009 Cayman Islands Constitution. A law was passed by the UDP administration in 2010 but it failed to achieve the support of opposition MLAs or the wider community because the legislation called for the appointment of members by Cabinet with some nominations from the opposition.

During the general election campaign last year Premier Alden McLaughlin promised cash from the public purse for all 19 MLAs to form councils and said that the current legislation would be amended to make the process democratic.

At a public meeting in his constituency of Red Bay last year following the election, the premier said the government was still committed to the creation of councils but the details of how the system should work had not been agreed.

Suckoo’s council  is chaired by Olson Anderson, with Gonzales as deputy chair; Richard Christian is the treasurer and Mia Powell the secretary; the other members are Jalon Linton and Alfredo Whittaker. The MLA said the council has adopted its own by-laws and will now operate in accordance with the Advisory District Council Law.

“While we wait for the government to decide which direction they want to go regarding district councils, we can operate independently and raise funds to begin work on different initiatives across Newlands,” said Anderson. “It would be nice to have the support of the government, but we are not going to wait. There are a number of pressing concerns in the constituency Newlands and we plan to begin tackling them immediately.”

Suckoo said district councils promote participatory democracy and allow the electorate to get involved and have a say in what happens in the community. He said he was confident in his executive board.

“These individuals are volunteers from Newlands, every one of them reached out to me at some point and offered their service to the community, and I am delighted to be able to work with them,” Suckoo stated.

“Mr Anderson is a very capable and driven individual and he has my full confidence as chairman. I am also pleased that Mr Gonzales and I will be working together. We made that commitment prior to election day; we agreed that whoever won the seat would have the support and assistance of the other. This is not a political body and Mr Gonzales presence is proof of that; we are working together for the good of the constituency,” he added.

The MLA said the council will now begin working on proposals for district improvements and moving ahead with developments for Newlands. Under the law, the council can engage in fundraising to help fund its operation, and the membership will be making this a priority.

Members of the constituency who wish to join the Newlands district council, can contact the Savannah/Newlands MLA Office at savne[email protected] or call (345)945-8087. The office is located at #18 Pedro Castle Road.

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Category: Politics

Comments (44)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Now if we can get Raul to get rid of his yardful of damned screeching annoying caged birds in his yard. I mean really..who wants to listen to that all day?




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  2. NSE Resident says:

    Top of the list for me would be stop the commercial fishermen from Honduras working out of the area.




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    • Anonymous says:

      That would probably be because you are a narrow minded bigot who blames others for your own failings




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  3. The Constitutional Critic says:

    When people stop giving free passes to their representatives, when they stop suspending all reason and rationale and give them the benefit of the doubt, no matter what the past has shown to be correct or likely they might just get some change
    When persons are not attacked and criticized for showing reasonable skepticism and valid questions we might just be able to have a discussion as a community
    Cayman one day maybe just maybe will have a functioning democracy until then it’s every man for themselves and God for us all




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    • Anonymous says:

      In hindsight the word “himself” would have been more appropriate, no one is more disappointed than I am




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Fund raising to do things that the genuine kind people in Newlands need done. Instead of asking government for everything they will go out and try to raise it themselves. Who knows perhaps you at 4:04 will be a willing recipient.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Mr Suckoo… the few times I talked to you at least you listened – you didn’t come up with excuses to run. I always felt we could count on you – and I will.

    Thanks for your efforts – at least you are trying.
    I am asking for us Caymanians to please support you.




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    • Anonymous says:

      2 good fellas, Al and Olson – keep at it. Success is always seeetest when you have the minority haters but all will benefit in the end from your commitment.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    We need to stop treating MLAs like royalty and start putting pressure on them to get things done
    Not just putting on a show

    They are meant to work for US
    We are allowed to criticize and we are allowed to ask questions and make suggestions




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Good move on his part.
    Always putting in work on the ground.

    Nevertheless, haters gon’ hate.

    Keep on keepin’ on Suckoo.

    – Who




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    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Suckoo do not be perturbed by the negative comments.continue to do what you have to for your constituents and this country.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Let the PPM sheeple now begins the verbal assault




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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t even think it is PPmers complaining, more like the excommunicated PPmr and his peeps.




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    • Anonymous says:

      12:32pm, hear you! LOL! There are so many jokes on here. It’s nice to see people not taking things so seriously 😑

      Unfortunately there is much venom on here too but hey, it’s good to get it out of your systems…. life is good when you’re in the world….




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Mr. Suckoo and the entire committee.




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  10. The Constitutional Critic says:

    Will these meetings be recorded (whether that be video, audio or a transcript) and released to the public

    or will we just have to assume that this council will be working hard behind closed doors?

    Will the people of the constituency see where the council offers their advice and Mr. Suckoo acts accordingly or will he just continue to listen to the whispers of his Office buddy?

    Lots of room in the way these councils are legislated to form one, and then just have it there for visuals, let’s see the results of this council before we start handing out praises

    A declaration or public formation is a far cry from a efficient and resolute system of interactive representation for the people of the constituency




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    • Anonymous says:

      #hatercomment




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    • Anonymous says:

      Christ!! why are we such crabs? Is it envy ? You sound like someone with a chip on his shoulder more than a concerned citizen. Support the man for being bold and taking action and getting things done. Stop being such a naysayer. Mr Suckoo has not disappointed us so far – try and support him and stop being a nuisance.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I believe it was a fair and free election. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Its a step. If you don’t trust it just grumble ‘time will tell’ and move on. But no need to pre-judge it.




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      • The Constitutional Critic says:

        This is a response to all the comments under the original so far:

        Asking valid and pertinent questions does not equate pre-judgement
        it represents my concern for these islands, optics are what matters to these MLAs, they often will put on the big show but behind the scenes, when the curtains are closed there is no one home

        People are so quick to defend MLAs who have done nothing in 8 months in office, while politically active citizens with actual concerns and proposals are “nuisances”, “crabs” “naysayers” and so on

        In four years when nothing has changed you’ll be wishing that more people asked questions like myself
        Unlike others I am not forgetting this is not Mr Suckoo’s first rodeo
        he has been around the block and he knows how to play the game
        You keep giving them 4 more years to solve the problems
        and that 4 years turns into 8 then 12 and then never
        When concerned citizens are criticized for airing their opinions and asking questions of our REPRESENTATIVES that is when you know that the thoughtless and the clueless are supporting the status quo

        These same people defending every action of every MLA are the same ones come election time that will be raising holy hell about this and that

        I refuse to give MLAs a free pass for the 3 years in between elections they work for us for the full 4 years not just the six months leading up to the election when they try to pass all the bills they should have been doing that whole time

        (in 2017 in the last sitting of the LA they attempted to pass around 40 bills if you don’t believe me look it up yourself)




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        • Anonymous says:

          You do not understand the basic concept of democracy. Mr Suckoo was elected on his manifesto and policies by the people of Newlands. They gave him a mandate to go out and complete the items in his manifesto. When he sets about doing that it is not necessary for people like yourself to immediately begin trying to undermine his accomplishments by casting doubt and implying that he is not doing his job properly. At the very least wait until the council is up and running properly before you start tearing it down. This is what democracy is all about. He created something his constituents asked for and now its up to them to make the best of it.
          Why would you immediately start to criticize it – unless you have some hidden agenda or something against the man ? By the way it was the PPM who rushed through the legislation last minute not the opposition.

          If the people of Newlands voted him in, why would they not support and praise him when he gets something done and delivers on a promise ?




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          • The Constitutional Critic says:

            Free speech including the right to criticize and question is a key part of a democracy
            At what point do I imply that he is doing his job incorrectly what I implied is that he takes too much advice from Anthony Eden, my questions are in regard to the council, (will the meetings be recorded and provided to the public, etc)
            I am immediately criticizing because I immediately see a problem that needs to be resolved ( what good does a district council do if
            1) the people are not aware of their actions and
            2) the people are not shown the results of said actions)

            I am not a member of the PPM I have never voted PPM and I will likely never vote PPM they are a bunch of lackeys all waiting for their turn to play Premier switching around ministries like a game of musical chairs

            This is not some sort of partisan attack I am not a fellow candidate who failed to secure my constituencies nomination I am a politically aware member of Cayman who is skeptical of most all MLAs because over the years they talk the talk a good game and then wait until the 11th hour to actually get going

            You are saying to not criticize the council because they haven’t done anything yet, but at the same time you are praising him and them (logical) even though they haven’t done anything and it is fully possible that nothing ever comes from the council

            In conclusion maybe stop being so tribal, maybe actually recognize the validity of comments even when they are contrary to your personally held beliefs and cheer leading tendencies

            We’ll see who was right in 3 years, I guarantee it will not be you




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            • Anonymous says:

              Democracy is non-existent, period.

              There is no such thing in this world we live in, just smoke and mirrors.

              I do applaud Alva for trying and wish him all the best in this illusive game of poli-tricks.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Your questions are not valid or pertinent and seem self serving and misguided at best. You talk like a failed political candidate rather than a concerned citizen.




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          • The Constitutional Critic says:

            Thanks for the feedback, pointless as it is

            Intelligence scares the clueless, I get it

            Go back to sticking your head in the sand




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  11. Anonymous says:

    pseudo events.. quelm the mass




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  12. Anonymous says:

    This is very interesting I am a Newlands resident and did not even hear of a meeting let alone that a council was formed.Where and when did this take place? I find this whole process very questionable where was the invite for the residents to attend and be apart of this nomination process or was there even one? I await some answers.




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    • Anonymous says:

      He has had three public meetings and discussed the council and the process at all three, not his fault you can’t pay attention! Or are you just stirring up trouble and being a hater for malicious reasons ?




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    • SSM345 says:

      Same here; not a word till after the fact meanwhile I had no choice but to have music / speeches and everything else blasted through my windows from some church event for 3hrs+ yesterday.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I think you should go take that up with the Church. If it was me and I did not want to hear the music and speeches I would have closed my windows, call the police. How exactly is that Mr. Suckoo’s fault.




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        • SSM345 says:

          Police didn’t do a thing…….




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          • Anonymous says:

            Oh well. Next time the church disturbs you then go and sing with them. As the saying goes ” if you can’t beat them, then join them” some of you people wake up in the morning with one purpose -.to complain. Stop expecting the entire world to fall at your feet. Ain’t gonna happen.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Whose yard was the noise coming from?




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    • Anonymous says:

      It was announced during two or three meetings that Mr suckoo held last year, was all




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      • Anonymous says:

        It was announced during two or three meetings that Mr. Suckoo held last year, was all over radio, TV, social media. Don’t really know where you were that you did not know, but I am sure if you reach out to the Chairman or Secretary of the committe you will get the precise information. Also if you would like to volunteer with the committee I am sure they would appreciate your generosity. I have assured the committee that whenever my schedule allows I will be happy to take part in future events of the committee. There is always something that each of us can do to assist our community. It is the responsibility of all constituents and not just the elected. Because most committees worldwide are comprised of a few members the wider community’s patronage is always appreciated. I also think that It is commendable that Mr. Suckoo reached out to Mr. Gonzalez who was his political competitor in 2017 election, in such a bi-partisan manner, and he is now part of the committee. To me that speaks volume.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    The gravy train rolls on…Silver spoons dipping in the trough




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    • Anonymous says:

      #hatercomment




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    • Anonymous says:

      Which gravy train? I heard Mr. Suckoo on the radio last week saying that tthe committee would be doing fund raising.!




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      • Anonymous says:

        Bully for them? Fund raising for who? Themselves? Accountability? You guys fall for it everytime…he said the word “fund raising” and you just don’t bother seeing if the checks and balances are in place…




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        • Anonymous says:

          So how would you suggest they get funds to operate ? You have any brilliant ideas ? Because thus far all you have said amounts to a pile of sheit




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