Two civil service bosses seconded to DEH

| 12/07/2018 | 42 Comments
Cayman News Service

Richard Simms and Mark Bothwell meet with DEH staff

(CNS): The director at the Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services (DVES) and the manager of the Recreation Parks and Cemeteries Unit (RPCU) at the Public Works Department have been transferred to the Department of Environmental Health to sort out the ongoing problems at the beleaguered department. In a press release from the health ministry, officials said Richard Simms from DVES will act as director at the DEH and Mark Bothwell from the RPCU will act as the assistant director for solid waste. Both men are experienced civil service leaders that management is hoping can solve the issues impacting waste collection. 

There was no mention in the release about the mysterious status of the actual director of the DEH, Roydell Carter, who has remained on the public sector payroll while on some type of enforced but unspecified leave. The ministry has denied that Carter has been suspended but have refused to comment on the situation relating to the dump boss.

Concerns about the management of staff, the payment of excessive overtime and the constant failure of equipment at the dump, leading to problems with garbage collection, have been plaguing the ministry for almost a year, and despite constant reassurances that the issues are being addressed, residents continue to experience delays in the collection of their rubbish.

As a result, all eyes are now on Simms and Bothwell, who took up their temporary posts last week, to see what they can do in what officials said was expected to be a three to six month transfer. The top priority for the men is to sort out the collection problems and they have therefore been meeting with the 140 employee at the department.

“We have spent a busy week meeting all teams to get their take of the situation on the ground and emphasise their responsibilities as individuals who deliver a key public service,” Simms said in the release. Bothwell, who is now based at the Solid Waste Dispatch Office, said he will be focused on time management, and has made it clear that all workers are required to personally clock in and out of their shifts

“Garbage collection is extremely important to the health, beauty and reputation of the Cayman Islands. Our goal is to ensure that the work that we do to keep the Cayman Islands clean also provides the people of the country with value for money,” he said.

Coming from DVES, Simms is very familiar with the garbage fleet of equipment and he has reintroduced the requirement for twice daily inspections of the vehicles. He said DEH will seek to make the most of manufacturers’ warranty and service agreements to optimise the life-span of collection vehicles. Another initiative under immediate consideration is the implementation of recommendations to optimise the effectiveness and efficiency of collection routes.

In tandem with increased accountability, both managers said it was important that landfill workers be able to operate in an environment that follows health, safety and sanitation standards, and that they feel their contributions are appreciated by the community.

Following discussions with employees, the new bosses said they aim to increase public awareness of the DEH services, like the 24-hour drop-off at the landfill, how to make pick-up arrangements for derelict vehicles and other bulk items, and other services at the site. Another key issue for staff is the aim to fill critical posts as soon as possible. Ten positions are currently held by temporary workers, but Simms will be looking to fill the roles permanently.

Acting Governor Franz Manderson, who handpicked both men for their leadership capabilities, said he was confident they would provide strong direction and support until the posts are once again permanently occupied.

Thanking them for their government service and their willingness to take on these temporary posts he said he was confident that they would “effectively lead the department and build on the many improvements made over the past six months”. He added, “Our goal is simple, to make the DEH a world-class department, our elected leaders and the public deserve nothing else.”

Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn said that with the management team back to full strength, the department would be able to dedicate more time to improving overall garbage collection processes.

“These gentlemen, and the entire team at DEH, will have our full support as they continue in their efforts to continuously improve their service delivery in order to make the lives of those we serve better,” she said.

Both Manderson and Ahearn thanked DEH Assistant Director Paulino Rodrigues, for his hard work as acting director.

Meanwhile, the minister responsible for the DEH, Dwayne Seymour, who has been presiding over a catalog of problems at his ministry since taking office over one year ago, was hopeful the management skills of Simms and Bothwell will have a strong impact on the staff and the work environment at the Department.

“I am definitely encouraged that we will see continued improvements,” Seymour said.

With the transfer of these two senior civil servants, the DVES has named the deputy director Stephen Quinland as acting director, while Crosby Solomon has taken up the post of acting manager of the Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries Unit.

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Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (42)

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  1. Say it like it is says:

    In all this we have one undeniable fact – the garbage collector is by far the hardest working civil servant, starting at 4.00am and working long hours at a physically demanding and extremely unpleasant job, yet earning the lowest wage.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is anybody else wondering what happened to Mr. Rodriguez. He was the Deputy Director under Mr. Carter. He was placed as Acting Director during Mr. Carters unexplained departure. Why has he now been replaced by two people who I suspect know very little about the DEH. Is Mr. Rodriguez not suitable for the position? It just seems very strange to me.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    To Smh, yes they get paid for doing the job, but they shouldn’t be treated like garbage themselves!

    That is the way that sadly, a lot of businesses treat their employees.

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    • Smh says:

      How is paying them to turn up and do a days work treating them like garbage.? Whereas not turning up and still expecting to get paid treats the tax payer exactly like that. The original poster said that it was somehow the employers fault for failing to motivate their staff to turn up – in what parallel universe s it the employers fault when an employee decides to stay at home and still collect a wage.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Guess Mr. Carter’s is never returning now by these new appointments. The gross incompetence of the CS leadership never seeks to amaze by how they consistently mishandle situations. They have now effectively ruined the man’s career in the CS and should now pay up.Pity we don’t have laws like the USA where they would have to pay personally for their poor decisions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I recall that Franz promised to fix this DEH mess – we seem upset now that he has produced another solution.

      We knew that he was going to fail so now he produces -not 1 but 2- new heads for the chopping block.

      Yet he is still there along with his cohort Ahearn.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I personally can’t wait for the day that him and his gang retires or has to leave!
        Take Ahearn, Bush and all the rest with him. They are all incompetent and are not qualified for what they are PAID TO DO!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Franz made a mess of Immigration when he was there hiring persons who shouldn’t have been hired etc. He can’t fix anything that’s why the Civil Service is in the mess it is.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This ministry needs to stop trying to cover the sun with one finger- tell the truth and explain Roydell Carters absence. It is partly our fault as Caymanians because if politicians knew we would protest and get out on the streets more they’d know they have to be accountable.
    I hope these appointments help to solve the issue but we need some answers too!

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  6. smhkmt says:

    Lol yeah because those departments run soooooo much better…

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Hope they give motivation to their staff, so that they will want to come to work. A garbage collector is not a nice job to do, but an IMPORTANT job!

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    • Smh says:

      How about the motivation of getting paid! It’s not exactly a surprise what the job entails when you sign up for it. Since when does doing a job you don’t enjoy entitle you to Suzy at home and not turn up for work until your boss motivates you to do so. Don’t like the job quit and let someone who needs a job and is prepared to do the work get paid for it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Bet that staff want and need their pay check tho. How’s that for motivation?!?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why did it take 7 months to put someone, anyone, in charge? A month would seem like plenty of time to find an acting director among the many available government employees. Why is everything so SLOOOOW? My take is there are too many chiefs passing the buck, what with directors, chief officers, CEOs, ministers, deputy ministers, deputy governors, all with pieces and parts of management responsibility so that no one ever has to take direct responsibility for anything.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same director of Department of Vehicle that stated it’s standard procedure to have his vehicle inspector race a customers high performance vehicle on the public street at speeds high enough to crash into multiple other vehicles and knocking down a utility pole? Then saying to the press this is routine, perfectly normal and expected? Basically nothing to see here, just a mishap and no one should be fired.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Suggestions for management:
    1. Get out of the commercial waste business. That is, the renting and emptying of skips & the provision of grabber truck services. No way does this even break even given maintenance, salaries/overtime, depreciation, insurance, skips, etc. The private sector is providing these services with great effect.
    2. Ensure that all commercial properties and multi-unit residences (apartments) are operating under the same (current) rules. That is using skips and not individual bins.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Since the commercial operators charge the same for skip service as DEH if by your estimation DEH don’t break even on this then the private companies are doing what?

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Be careful of the Supervisors. The last Asst. Dir. left but the problems continued. So, looks like at least part of the problem is with the landfill Supervisors

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  12. Bernie Miller says:

    Why all the secrecy concerning director of the DEH, Roydell Carter? Where is he? Why is he still on the payroll? Only a bunch of idiots would continue to pay someone who doesn’t do their job! Why all the secrecy? Lodge buddy? Family member? I see this as another form of corruption in our government!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or, they ‘removed’ him too quickly and then discovered that he wasn’t the problem. (Things, like garbage collection, got worse after his departure you will recall.) But not being able to say that they can’t bring him back bit they have no grounds to fire him so they’re just negotiating the golden parachute. Is my assumption.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It’s simple. People were willing to do the job if they got a lot of overtime. When overtime got cut off, they were no longer all that thrilled about the job. Answer to problem: pay what it takes to get people who will do the work.

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        • Anonymous says:

          No, they already hired people who agreed to do the work for the offered pay, Work, or get fired. That’s simple.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Except they changed the pay. There’s no law that they have to keep showing up if the overtime is not what it was.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to both gentlemen I am sure that there long service with Government will make this new move successful.

    However, I would like to suggest that they also look into the rudely and manner in which the office staff operates and especially the front counter employees who talk to people on the phone and when you enter into the DEH building of how they yell at people and talk to them as if they where dogs.

    Could anyone advise how come the average house hold never receives a monthly bill for their garbage collection. The DEH should start sending out monthly bills to each house hold and business in order to bring in revenue.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Remember mckeeva increased fees on gasoline to compensate dropping garbage fees because it was too difficult to collect. I don’t mind paying the garbage fee, always did, but the government should go back and adjust the fuel fees. Also I wonder if they couldn’t arrange with CUC to add the garbage fees on to their electricity bill for them. Everyone is more inclined to pay their electricity bill. Kill two birds ( or two iguanas) with one stone.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Can we expect similar shakeup at DVDL? How many hundreds of thousands dollars tied up in unissued licence plates?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, who ever dreamed up this stupid idea; wasting OUR money, should be fired!!! Was it the Director of DVDL who dreamed up this new EVR system??!! Was a business case done???, if so please release it DVDL!!!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Again we can see the failures of the Ministry and even the acting governor Mr. Manderson…. why not speak to the elephant in the room??? Where is the current director Mr. Roydell Carter?????

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Where is Roydell Carter has he been fired?

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