Cayman must have a referendum on the cruise port

| 22/08/2018 | 182 Comments

Cayman Islands cruise port, Cayman News ServiceJohann Moxam writes: The proposed project and the potential consequences have the ability to negatively impact the future of the Cayman Islands. It will be the largest and most expensive capital works project in Cayman’s history. As a result the environmental, financial and socio-economic concerns must be addressed as a matter of national importance. Transparency, objectivity and a logic approach by our leaders and the pro-port lobbyists and the large numbers of concerned citizens and residents is necessary because we all want a successful country.

The lack of transparency by the government fuels more speculation by the day and leads to questions like:

1. Why are they unwilling to engage the public?

2. What are the estimated total costs of the project?

3. Is the CIG providing a guaranty for the project?

4. Where is the updated EIA and business case as a result of the new design, size, costs associated by moving into deeper waters?

Unfortunately, due to a lack of relevant and substantive communication/consultation with the public, which is best described as a lack of transparency by CIG, there are legitimate concerns that the public will be left picking up the final tab if this project goes the distance. Please note, I agree that we need to improve the experience for passengers that come to Cayman but must proceed with caution in order not to burden current and future generations to essentially aid a select few.

A project of this magnitude, which will likely be closer to CI$300-400m in final costs, must not be driven or decided upon by the pro-port lobbyist and the politicians they control. This type of decision requires a referendum.

I encourage the voting public and residents to stand up, speak out and continue to publicly ask questions and hold all MLAs accountable. Ultimately, all Caymanians, residents and businesses, including corporate Cayman, must unite against this type of political tyranny in order to guard against the potential fiscal and environmental mismanagement.

In the spirit of candid dialogue, we should be able to call this charade of transparency what it really is and understand that this entire process and project is nothing more than an example of “Government Sponsored Corporate Welfare” to benefit a few select business interests for certain families, political financiers, friends and acolytes who expect the public purse to finance and prop up their commercial interests.

Those businesses or groups on Harbour Drive that are desperate for the project to proceed and who are the main drivers of the project should “put skin in the game” and invest their own funds or assist with financing the bond/loan that could potentially push the government over the financial cliff and potentially plunge our country into significant long-term financial hardship. Poor and expensive decisions like this one will accelerate the implementation of a direct form of taxation in the Cayman Islands.

History clearly shows us that the perceived success of most of those businesses and groups desperately pushing for the cruise berthing project, no matter the costs to the public, is largely because of the cronyism, nepotism and attitudes of entitlement which drives the duty free retail sector and how decisions have been historically made over several decades.

If they have failed to adapt or appreciate the facts that cruise ships are now selling the same products onboard their floating hotels, the public should not have to subsidize those businesses or commercial interests.

Given the size and scale and magnitude of the project, our leaders must demonstrate the highest levels of transparency and good governance. The public deserves all relevant information in order to make an informed decision. It appears, given their blind support and their close connections and working relationship with government, that the pro-port lobbyists know more than the general public about the project, such as full project details and the financing formula, terms and projections.

Therefore, those business owners should lead by example and demonstrate their confidence in the project by sharing all the relevant information with the public and demanding the government do the same, instead of expecting a type of government bail out from the public purse.

This issue is too important for the future of our country to play the usual ‘politricks’. A referendum will clearly demonstrate the will of the people at a time when Cayman has record numbers in both cruise passenger arrivals and air arrivals.

Unfortunately, the attitude and behavior being displayed by the Unity government, particularly the Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell, the Unity Cabinet members, caucus and Ministry of Tourism officials, regarding the promised public consultation and information sharing phase. Details that have emerged suggests that there may exist significant issues that may potentially embarrass this government.

If so, the question to be asked is: why are they committed to moving forward at any costs? In fact, their collective actions are reminiscent of the conduct of the previous UDP administration during its negotiations with CHEC in 2011-12, which the PPM opposition members fought against, alleging a lack of transparency, possible corruption and failing to meet the appropriate standards of good governance.

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Category: development, Local News, Viewpoint

Comments (182)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Have any of you ever heard anything positive come out of this guys mouth? There is a reason and lots of under wraps strategy to his political game. Would you really expect to hear different from a competing political party?
    Just wait and see what the next elections flyers look like. This is no different that what several others tried to do leading up to the last election, they jump on whatever radio talk shows they can, complain about all the other politicians, talk about how corrupt everyone else is. It’s just a case of pot calling the kettle black.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nobody in power ever wants to answer questions or be held accountable that is caymankind. Johan has demonstrates he is intelligent has courage by doing what many locals are scared to do he’s been doing for years now. He’ll take on McKeeva Moses any politician the kirkbots or anybody anywhere and will talk straight. It offends some on the receiving end but he calls it as he sees it and that drives them crazy. Fact is government have all the information on the port but refuse to share it with the people yet get offended when people call them out. Johan has been dancing to the beat of his own drum for years and calling BS when he see’s it. Everyone thought he’d run in the last election and the one before that. If you ask him a question you can expect a straight answer whether you like the response is a complete different thing.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Look at now President Trump and Senator Hilary Clinton . A man that was never a politician, defeated the life long political Senator.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hillary wasn’t a “lifelong political senator”
        She only served 1 full term and 2 years of her second (for anyone who knows what they are talking about, which clearly you do not) a Senate term is 6 years she was elected for 2 terms but only served 8 years total, she joined the Obama Admin a Sec. of State in the first portion of her second term

        You wanna talk about lifelong senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has been in the Senate for 41 years

        There are lifelong senators, Hillary Clinton was not one of them

  2. Anonymous says:

    Moxam has seen that Austin Harris was successful in Bashing anything the former government tried to do and winning a seat in government so is starting to copy the template. People should not be fooled by his politricks, he is no better than all the rest. He thinks he can fool us but Big Mac called him out on it on Rooster in plain site.

    • Anonymous says:

      Moxam is way smarter than Austin and Big Mac. His VP asks real questions that you and government want to ignore. Focus on the message and content. You don’t need to like him but we cannot ignore the facts.
      He put his name to his views are you brave enough to do the same?

      CNS: Apologies. I removed your name because I cannot be sure it’s genuine (sometimes commenters use other people’s names just to stir things). Can you leave an email address and a phone number so I can verify next time? Thanks.

    • ppm Distress Signal says:

      Big Mac embarrassed himself again and is now in a government with ppm politicians doing the same things he tried while they accused him of corrupt actions even campaigning against him that he would embarrass the country. That tells us they are no better. They are all the same dog puppy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Austin is now a ppm drone. Sold out the prospect voters for the money and to become Alden’s new toy

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a feeling that johan will end up just like Kent. Makes plenty noise, spouts off at everyone, then elections happen and all of a sudden he only has twelve votes going against a real politician.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well thankfully they aren’t kirkbots or living off charity or their parents like some in favor of the port

      • Anonymous says:

        9.06am Elitist. Thanks for showing your true colours.So you think it’s is wrong for someone living off charity to want a little piece of the pie.Wow

  4. Anonymous says:

    What I don’t understand is why the Auditor General is not all over this if the Deputy Premier has a conflict? Perhaps even the Anti Corruption Commission.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      I believe that every politician who are involved , or knows anything about this cruise ship pier , better come clean with the public, or their political careers are over .

      I see enough evidence on here to make that conclusion .

    • Anonymous says:

      5:29 kind of hard to investigate when no major decisions other than following the correct procedures have been made.

      Build the Piers I can’t wait to see the world largest cruise ship in our Port.

    • Anonymous says:

      My fellow negative posters …always remember rule 1. Never form an opinion without the facts.

      Also remember we were against

      The Ritz
      Kimpton
      Moving west bay road
      Tunnels
      The GAB
      Clifton Hunter school
      Camana bay

      Now we all love them. The tunnel on the west bay road is absolutely beautiful.

      Build the Piers and we will flock to the opening saying ” i always supported this project”.

      Our children will thank us for these piers We are in the cruise business folks. Wake up

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have 4 words that should make anyone with the ability to use the internet and make a logic deduction with any sense, stop, fear and question this dock project.

    China… Harbour… Engineering… Company…

    Some of their qualities include:

    -Willful bribing of public officials
    -Anti-competitive pricing
    -Misrepresentation of the facts
    -Backed by the Chinese government to spread Chinese influence
    -Bad safety records
    -Almost 100% Chinese workers, no local jobs
    -Predatory lending as they are backed by the China CITIC Int’l Bank and they get governments to pay for services via a loan
    -Blacklisted by the world Bank
    -Banned in some countries for the above practices

    This is who the Cayman Islands Government is looking to as the contractor. Let that sink in. Most countries that they have done jobs in have had issues with them.

    • Anonymous says:

      I challenge those that thumbed down to give me the reason other than being a kirkbot, sheeple or just plain stupid why you thumbed it down.These are verifiable facts but I doubt actual facts mean anything to you. If you did you would not thumb this down.

      • Anonymous says:

        7.47am Stop being so disrespectful to the Kirkconnell family by using the term kirkbots in such a negative way. Obvìously you are a Johnny come lately who does not know them but hate on them because you believe that they would benefit most from the piers. Why don’t you mention who benefits if the piers are not built in George Town or if they are not built at all. Do you or someone backing you stand to benefit if the piers or net thing facilities are built elsewhere on island. I think so.

        • Anonymous says:

          Written like a true kirkbot feeling sorry for yourself. You can’t understand the facts presented so throwing a fit like a spoilt brat! Poor ting.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh I know the family alright, Iknow what my family did for them and how they repaid us. So on the note of not saying anything without knowing the Kirks? ╭∩╮(Ο_Ο)╭∩╮

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re wrong. Full stop

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 3 : 00pm , I completely agree with you, that the predatory lenders are bad ones to get yourself involved with, and I think the Cayman Islands are involved with far too many today . Does anyone really know at what rate/percentage that the government has to pay that money back at ? I believe that if you knew the answer to that question it would scared you to death with debt that is already owed to these lenders. And what is the government creating with this debt ? Junk bonds , another big nightmare, look at the situation of Puerto Rico that have tried creating the junk bonds .

      As I see it , this government is doing far too much borrowing from these predators , and they already got the next generation bogged down with debt .
      I think the government should explain the fiance situation of the government before anymore big spending starts .

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly Ron thank you, the pier may cost $300 million but how much interest will be tacked on and what other concessions have been made that we probably wouldn’t want to know about.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I heard that the Brac will be getting a new port as well, out of this “deal”. Will the port in the Brac be under control of the developers as well, for a period of years???
    Or, will it only be the port on Grand Cayman?

  7. Anonymous says:

    If you go back and look at the respons s to the EIA more than 2/3 of the opposition was from overseas divers who have never lived in cayman.

    • START THE REFERENDUM - LET US VOTE says:

      First of all this isn’t true
      Second of all, if people outside of Cayman are concerned with this, is it something we should really be doing (especially since those are the types of persons we should be trying to attract)

      And I can easily rebut your point by saying that 99.9% of the support for the port was from employees of Kirk Freeport and families involved such as the Kirkconnells

      How about this, lets agree to throw out the previous period of public comments….

      and instead get a DEFINITIVE response from CAYMANIANS

      If only there was some legally recognized process for getting this information?

      Oh wait

      #REFERENDUM

      • Caymanian says:

        I support it. I guess I am the 0.01%. Are there more people who fall in the 0.01%?

        And yeah, I am Caymanian.

        The problem with Caymanians is that we are reactionary. I support it and many initiatives aimed at enhancing Cayman tourism product. If you look at the news right now you will see as for stayover we are one of thee most if not thee most expensive around the Caribbean in hotel cost per night.

        I have been a proponent of Casinos also as I feel this will help Cayman in low season and generate money throughout the economy.

        But I support the docks because I feel we need grow our product but we also need distribute our tourism and grow our eastern districts.

        I support the dock but also enhancements to the Spotts Dock to make it more a all around dock where smaller ships can offload. I also support a dock in the Eastern Districts to grow this side of the Island opening up for more locals to open businesses. I feel this will help with traffic also as people can live and work in their district. This should help them financially by paying less in gas monthly to drive around the Island to work.

        I have heard about the Car system and I am willing to side with it if the impact to the environment is too significant but outside of that I support the dock project because Cayman needs to think about such things as our finance sector collapsing. What happens if we loose 20% or more of our finance sector come end of 2020?

        We need be progressive thinking nor reacting to chaos after it happens.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately for you, you sound like someone who has never employed anyone. I’d bet Kirk Freeport and the Kirkconnell’s have provided salaries for thousands more Caymanian families than your sorry butt ever has or will. You sound like a jealous small man, just from your comment.

        • Anonymous says:

          They might provide salaries but they don’t do it out of the kindness of their hearts, they are running a business for profit just like everyone else

          Paying a couple salaries doesn’t give them the right to force the people of the Cayman Islands to pay to essentially subsidize their failing business model

          and do you actually think paying salaries offsets the $300+ million dollars this project will cost

          Not the people of the Cayman Islands fault that tourists don’t want to buy expensive jewelry anymore

        • Anonymous says:

          You mean they took on more slaves than anyone else. I have a friend whose husband worked for them he is a very good worker ,, haventb had a pay raise in 5 years while they rake in the millions every year. When I moved into my new house a few years ago I bought all my linens, cookware etc. from them. I spent hundred of dollars with them,ask for a discount and was told that they don’t do that. I said that you can start the new policy with me, the clerk looked at as if I had lost my mind! For the sake of all that is good don’t try to return anything defected to them. To them it is like you have committed the unforgivable sin.

        • Anonymous says:

          Umm have you visited any of their stores lately ? Cheap foreign labour – when will we wake up ?

    • Anonymous says:

      @1:56 Oh you mean the people who dive for a living and just might know a thing or two about the marine environment and what the dock can do to it? Or in other terms.. people who are more in the know on that subject that you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh wait. Outside divers? You mean paying stayover tourists? The kind of people who have been visiting for years, genuinely love and care for the island and it’s marine environment, and probably pump more money into the economy each year than any cruise ship passengers. Many of these divers have invested in holiday homes and condos which they visit each year. I can’t believe you can so easily discount them.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey, while unna are going to have a great big project over there in Grand Cayman – don’t forget about us on the Brac. Can we please get Government to fully fund the three marinas that have been proposed – can’t we subsidize the lady from New York and two locals stakeholders for these projects?.

    Also years ago I heard about a wind farm, vocational school, golf course, medical school, uptown development on the bluff. While the powers-to-be are spending hundreds of million on one port, we just want some of the crumbs to do some projects over here.

    Well, hope unna had a good laugh over my sarcasm – port project in Grand will never happen as long as the Motherland is watching over the Cayman Islands – the UK stopped us a few years ago and will again.

    Signed,

    God Save the Queen and please enlighten the so-called Unity Government to shelve this completely moronic idea of a cruise port (hello isn’t it now 2018, big bond payment due soon)

    • Anonymous says:

      Turk took care of bond for status

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh here we go again. Cry me a river in the BRAC!

      Guess what, you all weren’t left out….you will be included in the huge bill of DEBT coming this Country’s way when they sink us all with this asinine project!

      Sit tight, your children and their children will be paying for this one for eons to come.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wind farm? BWAHAHAHAHA not if CUC has anything to say about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        CUC isn’t in the Brac…

        • Anonymous says:

          A solar farm was proposed years ago for the Brac but was struck down by CUC. They did it before they will do it again regardless of where they are.

          CNS: CUC does not and never has provided power for Cayman Brac or Little Cayman. The sole power provider on both islands is now and always has been Cayman Brac Power and Light Co. I don’t remember any proposal for a solar farm on Cayman Brac.

          • Braca says:

            Moses Kirkconnell is the majority shareholder of Brac light and power. It receives duty free concessions for gas and diesel fuel but utilities are still super high in Little and the Brac.

          • Anonymous says:

            @CNS if I remember correctly this was back in the 80’s and yes I know CUC doesn’t do power in the Brac but because of the monopoly they hold on Cayman they were able to block it from happening because they thought if it worked there someone may want to set up competition here.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s not the head tax that will pay for the cruise and cargo pier, it is converting the tender fee into a berthing fee that will pay for it. The tender company gets around $6 per person, so at least $12 Million a year. and is the main reason the tender company is funding Save Cayman

    That’s without even considering if they raise the berthing fee since we would be enhancing the experience. Simple math really.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, this is simple math. No wonder the tender boat owners are spending big bucks to fund the anti-port efforts to stop the government from eliminating the need for their tenders

    • Anonymous says:

      $6 per person, 1.7 million tourists = $12 million… You do the budget for Government don’t you with those amazing math skills. Now if it was $7 a person I’d agree with you.

    • Anonymous says:

      OK so $12million a year? How outrageous. Not. Clearly not as outrageous as the $300m dock build which is likely to escalate substantially. The big difference is that the tender operators have to own, maintain and operate their vessels and equipment at no cost to the public whereas the $300m public spending is going to cost us all far too much on an unproven business case with serious potential environmental effects. You kirkbots are so obvious- trying to indicate that the tender operators are coining it in so you can saddle us all with huge debts for your own few pieces of silver. Judas’s, all of you.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gerry Kirkconnell stepped down from the port board 2 years ago, and if you go to the minutes of the port board you can clearly see that Mr. Kirkconnell recused himself of any meeting that involved talk of the cruise dock. You can ask even woody DaCosta that was on the board and now hates ppm, he will tell you the truth about Gerry Kirkconnell not being involved with the cruise discussions.

  11. Anonymous says:

    only two questions needed on the port:
    What is the environmental impact or where is the independent EIS?
    Where is the outline business case for the project?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Anybody the expensive mess called Clifton Hunter high school in Frank Sound? This port deal will make it look like a great deal when it is completed. Alden, Moses, McKeeva are the same personality and know this is their last chance to mess up this country.

  13. SMH says:

    If this was a good idea and value the government would be proud to share the details with the people. Is the Auditor General auditing this project now before it’s too late?

    The lack of transparency confirms that Cayman is going to get fleeced in negotiations by Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines, Dart or CHEC in any financing and construction contract when this deal is signed by short sighted politicians who are incapable of thinking long term they worry about monuments, political legacy and getting re-elected. They will have healthy pensions to retire with. SMH

  14. Anonymous says:

    This pier has been a white elephant since UDP McKeeva Bush then PPM Charles Clifford as Ministers of Tourism announced it more than a fifteen years ago.

    The premise for the pier was that without it we would loose the cruise ship business. That premise has been proven incorrect.
    The country cannot afford this project and the government is out of touch with the people on this issue.

    Resolve the issue with a referendum.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Tourism Minister should have stepped down from this project as a conflict of interest when he appointed Gerry Kirkconnell as Deputy Chairman of the Port Authority it smacked of arrogance.

      Based upon past large dollar projects and the problems associated with them how can we have confidence in this government and their secretive way of pushing this forward?

      A referendum needs to be held on the Cruise Ship Berthing Facility as the premises by which the dock was deemed mandatory no longer apply.

      This government operates in secret and that ought to concern all residents of the Cayman Islands. I am not sure if this government even has a dollar cost or realistic budget to this project. No to blank check government projects and politicians for sale.

      • Anonymous says:

        Child, you didn’t know “conflict of interest” only applies to some, not all?

        Welcome to my very backward Country, where we don’t progress, we regress.

        But the beaches are so nice, we just go with the flow….

        #ParadiseLost

  15. Anonymous says:

    Bring it on the referendum because the port is all about money and greed again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I see now why they got rid of Mr. Archer; he would have made it hard for them to do this foolishness.

      The LA misses both Mr. Archer and Mr. Panton. Come back again next time guys….please consider it.

  16. Anonymous says:

    some are not happy until every square inch of this island is converted to concrete. Now that will be attracting lots of tourists I am sure!

    • Anonymous says:

      It will attract tourists, just not the right ones if you ask me.

      We sold out to be a shitty concrete jungle, guess we’ll have to take a boat out to the North Sound in the near future just to breathe properly. ….oh sorry forgot, that’s polluted with the run-off from Mt. Trashmore.

      We are screwed.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You know the old saying don’t fix it if it ain’t broke!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh we never fix a thing, we continue breaking and remaking at an even more expensive price than before.

      You know when England going to hang us out to dry?

      When we are so far in debt we can’t even fathom a solution…..soon come!

      • Anonymous says:

        Alden and Moses are willfully playing into their hands. The debt will cripple Cayman then the UK will offer us independence.

        #3rdworldstatus

  18. Anonymous says:

    Great points, Sir.

    I would also add that given governments track record on these sorts of projects, the $200-300 million construction costs are likely to be massively underestimated. Realistically this project will end up costing just shy of a billion dollars, and our grand kids grand kids will suffer the consequences of a few greedy merchants/politicans.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Record numbers of overnight tourists. Time and time again it has been proven that overnight tourist spend way more than the average cruise ship passenger. Why are we still debating the dock? Have cruise ships stopped coming so far?

  20. Anonymous says:

    We want to stop the culture of opaque backroom dealing and that still permeates at least the Cabinet office by seeing a firm date set for enactment of the Standards in Public Life Law. We want to see the business case, engineering feasibility (in particular the bathymetric surveys, temperature and accoustic changes expected, and associated bleaching impact, as well as bedrock testing for piling locations), and EIA for the revised plan, along with undisclosed estimated annual running costs (insurance, dredging, ongoing depth survey costs, tug boats, harbour master fees, and maintenance for associated equipment).

    Then we want to know estimated project cost and who is going to pay for it, and on what basis. Then, after a period of public digestion and education, we can put the data out there to the public for a Referendum on the topic, and finally, if all was good, an International RFP process following best industry practice.

    This is how it should have happened, because we are supposed to be smart people that follow rules. Since it isn’t happening this way, the entire Cabinet and public officers should be under intensive ACC and FCO review, and the public should think about why we would continue to let these people run anything. Stop the madness.

  21. Anonymous says:

    why do kirkbots only vote thumbs down…can’t they make a reasonable comment/argument???

    • 12:30 says:

      In answer to your question, 5:48. No, they must do as they are told.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 5.48 am A better question for you to ask yourself ‘Why do I call everyone a kirkbot who has a different viewpoint on the piers than I do. Is it because I am trying to convince myself and others that this is so”.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This has to be one of the most doom and gloom missives ever written. How do people get through life with this poor attitude is beyond me . Johann needs to first adopt a more professional attitude and realize that there is a future and if the dock is built this will not benefit just those who have business down town, but even the guys who live in Birch Tree Hill and Walters Road that now make a few dollars for their families. If he wants a referendum let him spend his money collecting the 25% of the registered votes on a Peoples Initiated Referendum.

    • Anonymous says:

      Big on words and promises, very short on any evidence to support that view. That the merchants want it is not evidence and has to be counterbalanced by the weight of a referendum to show Caymanians want it. If this is so good for Cayman, present the evidence and let people vote. Caymanians are not stupid, if they are shown how it can benefit and it makes sense, they will vote for it. Hiding behind bland statements just gives more credibility to the opposition.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Speaking as an outsider, who has been to the Cayman Islands…what makes your Islands so beautifully different from other Islands is that you do not have a big commercial port. The beauty that I see on your Island is a result of the land being more like it has been since the beginning of time. I want to see nature when I travel. I do not like the feel of big commercial ports. They are a dime a dozen… In your case, sounds like will cost much more. Not just your money, but reputation. It will only bring your image down, in my opinion. Please preserve your natural harbor and tourists will always come to see and be part of your classy home place!

  24. Ron Ebanks says:

    Mr. Moxam , I think that you should know by now that the majority of Cayman Islands registered voters are against the cruise ship pier .
    I believe that a man like you would really benefit from this , to just put it into prospective and present it to the public in a petition form .
    I know that it would be a tough job , but if you accomplish it in stopping the pier , you have won all the seats in the next election. Someone has to do it .

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      I would like to ask all of you ppm ,dartbots and kirkbots supporters , are you thinking about the future of your great grand children and future of the Islands ? Or are just interested in that little job they are giving you now ?

    • Anonymous says:

      So, Johann, let me guess…you and Arden and Ezzard want the piers in East End?

      You aren’t fooling anyone as to your hidden agenda.

      • Johann Moxam says:

        Morning

        I have not had any discussions about piers anywhere and I am not familiar with any project for the eastern side of the island. I suggest you direct those questions to the respective Opposition members.

        My primary concerns are based on the environmental, financial and socio-economic issues that have not been publicly addressed nor any potential mitigating solutions provided at this time. The lack of transparency should concern all Caymanians and residents.

        I have shared my views and will continue to ask pertinent questions as a citizen of the Cayman Islands. Please note that I believe we all want a safe, clean, vibrant and successful Cayman. I believe in holding all representatives/MLA’s and those persons responsible for implementing government policies accountable. I have tried to do so over many years and have been consistent in raising concerns and offering solutions where appropriate over the past decade.

        Therefore, I cannot agree with your insinuation that there’s a hidden agenda on my part. However, this is how democracy and mature debate on issues of national importance works is supposed to work. So we’ll respectfully agree to disagree.

        All the best

        Johann

        Email: JMoxam@hotmail.com

        • New Caymanian says:

          If you have not considered running for office you should consider doing so. The country needs more bright minds and principled individuals involved in running affairs of state.

          • Anonymous says:

            Mr Moxam would make a wonderful candidate in an ideal Cayman (ideal is the key word)
            In an ideal world politicians (legislators) are picked by the voters based on their policy positions and proposals

            But sadly as we have seen in Cayman and around the world
            Funding, connections, incumbency and party alignment personal favors all come long before policies, and proposals in the minds of voters

            People in areas generally stick to a party or group rather than looking at all the candidates fairly and then selecting the best choice based on policy

            There is little point running in WB if you aren’t CDP or willing to work with the CDP

            There is little point running in GT if you aren’t with the PPM, formerly PPM or willing to work with the PPM (same can be said for the sister Islands although they have notably switched from being CDP/UDP after the collapse of Mckeeva’s last Administration)

            There is little room in modern politics for the principled politician who focuses on policy substance
            Its all about who can be the most outrageous or put on the best show

            Mr Moxam would inevitably have to loose a part of what makes him great if he were to run and be elected

            And we need persons like him on the outside looking in

            • Anonymous says:

              Politicians chose to sell out or become tools for corruption. Strong minded persons involved for the right reasons like Yohan would be an asset to Cayman. Great View Point thanks for sharing.

          • Ron Ebanks says:

            New Caymanian , sure don’t need anymore corrupted ones .

        • Anonymous says:

          Those that thumbs down your post don’t believe in a democracy Mr. Moxam. They are happy SHEEPLE who enjoy being told what to do and not have to think for themselves.

          Plan a rally Mr. Moxam.. We will be there in force to support you against this beyond ridiculous waste of money.

        • Anonymous says:

          I suspect the person is speaking of the port recently touted for the beautiful area of Breakers which was reported in the press recently.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      To the people who are living on the thumb down button on this cruise ship pier opinion , Do you even have Cayman status ? Or do you just have a work permit, and know that it’s easier for you to stay anonymous and cowardly and just disagree with everything for your short sighted future . Why can’t you people sign your real name and say why you are disagreeing with every comment . Come on cowards , stop being coward and stupid and bias .

      • Anonymous says:

        Thats a new low for you Ron resorting to insulting Caymanians. Do you even live in Cayman anymore!

        • Ron Ebanks says:

          If it’s a low for me , why don’t you sign your real Caymanian name , i did , instead of you hiding behind anonymous. What does it even matters to you if I still live here . I am a Proud Caymanian and I have a right to speak up , and I am , and you can’t and won’t stop me .

          • Anonymous says:

            I as a proud Caymanian from many generations also have the right to stay anonymous as you have the right to speak up! Just stop insulting us who live here on island and interact and have the opportunity to speak directly to whoever the news sites are reporting on rather than relying on what is reported in the news with their usual spin and play on words. Stop believing everything you read! Try visit some time!

        • Ron Ebanks says:

          8:54 am , you that I think that is not a Caymanian , why would you even say I insulted Caymanians ? Did I insult you ? if the cap fits wear it . And learn to look at the topic with an open and intelligent mind , then I wouldn’t need to call a heart a spade .

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Wow , I must have stepped on 86 toes with that comment . I take those thumbs down , as your hurt for my honesty . Cause I know those smart and intelligent thumbs up are intentionally.

  25. Anonymous says:

    johan…don’t let the kirkbots fool you…

  26. Anonymous says:

    First of all the tone of Moxam is totally disgusting and insulting to our people.Insinuating that MLAs are in the control of certain individuals without providing any proof is reckless dangerous and libellous, and just plays into the hands of Cayman Haters. This is particularly dangerous, coming from a wannabe politician. in the interest of transparency, how about Moxam and the organizers of Save Cayman providing proof that they are not involved with someone with motives other than saving Cayman. eg Is there someone behind these individuals who is planning to revive the plan to put the port in East End ? I would really like to know. Where was Moxam and Save Cayman when West Bay Road was traded away, or during the construction of the ugly monstrosities (underpass/overpass) that have taken away even more of the scenic and traditional route? These people were nowhere . Why? Because it was/is being done by the Dart Group .I am willing to bet that if Dart was given the job to develop the port and berthing facilities as they see fit, these objectors would disband right away. Now don’t get me wrong there are some genuine objectors out there but I fear that they are being manipulated by a few individuals with hidden agendas. Ezzard and Arden better be careful , you might just be helping Imparato or maybe Dart gain momentum for that High Rock Port/Berthing facility. Just Saying.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well Moxam definitely mashed the Kirkbots toes! He cannot be accused of not being consistent over the years or staying true to his beliefs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for finally voicing What we all know is going on.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is hilarious

      You are demanding that private citizens and an NGO provide documents and evidence that prove they have no conflicts of interests
      Keeping in mind that even the CIG isn’t held to that standard

      Why aren’t you asking for Tourism Minister Kirkonnell to divest himself from the process with his glaring familial conflicts?

      RE: “Where was Moxam and Save Cayman when West Bay Road was traded away, or during the construction of the ugly monstrosities (underpass/overpass) that have taken away even more of the scenic and traditional route? These people were nowhere . Why? Because it was/is being done by the Dart Group .I am willing to bet that if Dart was given the job to develop the port and berthing facilities as they see fit, these objectors would disband right away.”

      – Or maybe, just maybe, building a couple hundred million dollar cruise berthing facility is different from building a hundred foot tunnel. Does a hundred foot tunnel, have the possibility to destroy our natural attractions, and our lure for tourists? Destroying reefs, and muddying the water and residual effects to the entire west coast.
      You act as if nuance, perspective and context don’t exist

      The CIG, both the CDP and PPM have a long and storied history of starting capital projects saying that they would cost a certain amount and be done at a certain time, and they time and time again have gone over budget, and been delayed

      You may have conveniently forgot but we don’t MANY of these criticism were borne under the very government that is currently in power while they were the official opposition but now that they are in charge they expect the people to forget them

      The government refuses to acknowledge the realities surrounding the port, they act as if there are only positives and no negative, using an out of date EIA and refusing to share even the most basic information, the onus is not on the public to just roll over and trust the government

      They want our support, then come out of the shadows, come out from behind closed doors and show us why we should back the deal

      You have taken a reasonable objector and his arguments, ignored their validity, twisted his ideas into your predetermined conclusion and are treating it like gospel

    • Anonymous says:

      Yet if you look at the public commenting report you can see who are virtually the only supporters

      https://cnslibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/Cruise-port-facility-Response-to-Public-Comments-September-2015.pdf

      Go to the bottom of the document and scroll through the list of those for and against
      take a look at the occupations for those who approve and the days which they submitted their comments

      These are without a doubt the same persons who come onto CNS everyday look for articles regarding the port and downvote any negative comments to act as if the project has public support

      This port is pushed by and for the Kirkconnells and other waterfront merchants
      to enrich themselves while the government foots the bill

      • Anonymous says:

        No. Not the government. The people. It is the ridiculous duties and fees we pay that they love to spend so much. That’s why those same duties and fees are always being increased to support their lavish spending habits and whims.

  27. Anonymous says:

    The question that begs to be asked is whether or not the Cayman Islands are a Democracy?

    Nicholas Robson

    Nick.Robson@gmail.com

    • Anonymous says:

      Nick, it can’t be as the UK itself is not.

      How in the hell does the parliament/legislature get to elect your leader and you still call yourself a democracy?

      Parliamentary Democracy is not true democracy!

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Nicholas , yes it is , but I think some people are trying to change the way that Islands are run . I hope that those people who are trying to change the C I take a little time out of their busy lives and go to Cuba and Venezuela to see how those Countries and their Citizens are living and prospering .

    • Anonymous says:

      It is – so you elect you officials and they make the decisions.

      • Ron Ebanks says:

        7:48 am , so after they are elected , any decisions that they make , would that be satisfactory to you ? What if they made a decision that you can only get a half a pound of meat and a half of bread for the week and a dollar pay , would you be happy with that decision ? That’s the kind of decisions that was made by the government in Cuba .

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is an Oligarchy, government by the few, especially despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for corrupt or selfish purposes. … Aristotle used the term oligarchia to designate the rule of the few when it was exercised not by the best but by bad men unjustly.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Smoke and mirrors, most of caymanians want the dock. That’s why we voted ppm

    • Anonymous says:

      Most Caymanians voted for independents in the last election, you forgot what happened there or what? Sure was not PPM.

      • Anonymous says:

        I laugh at the thumbs down on this.. It is a fact and they thumb it down.. Proof you will never be able to convince these fools the dock is a bad idea. That are obliviously or voluntarily ignorant to fact.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a really stupid idea. If there’s money for this project it would be much better spent on education and other social programs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny except the PPM didn’t win the national popular vote, and they net lost 2 seats and 3 sitting ministers in the last election

      So

      Your logic kinda fell apart

      of course it was an illogical point in the first place

    • Real Caymanian.. says:

      Well maybe you and PPM should pay for the dock..

  29. Anonymous says:

    You guys know that when bids are being considered they can’t just place them in public view right? That’s part of the whole CTC process now in place for fair procurement. Getting the best and most fair value for our people.

    • Anonymous says:

      When transparency stops, corruption begins. When the local company and the cruise lines are through the back door talking to Govt in this prequal process they have compromised the ethics of the tendering process which required all parties to only communicate through a web based portal for all communication to be shared by all parties in the running.

      This has not happened, for the local company, the cruise lines and the Chinese have all been in back door communicating and discussing with Govt.. It is interesting that the no. 1 contender is a local company together with the cruise lines, a group that did not even exist in the prequalification phase 1 process and suddenly they appear together in the middle of the game as the game is in process. So much for adhering to accepted International Tendering protocols. Corruption at its best make this Govt is no better or any different than all the others. Very Sad because supporters all thought the Progressives were strictly honest and ethical.

    • Anonymous says:

      As far as CIG bottom line revenue is concerned, the net contribution of air and cruise tourism is a paltry $50mln per year. Hypothetically, a cruise port financier would recoup their costs against landing fees over 25-30 years. That means less gross gov’t revenue, not more. The only increases are: congestion, waste, and capacity erosion, at the expense of overnight guest satisfaction. It’s clearly something else motivating these Ministers – the same ones that refuse to enact the Standards in Public Life Law. They want the lights out for a reason.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 7:32pm , do you see that there’s a lot wrong with that bidding process now , and the people aren’t getting the best and fair value . Look at all previous contracts , and the little boardwalk in South sound 1.5 million dollars , something that should have costed the .5 million dollars. where did the million dollars go ? I think it went into that secret bidding process that is in place now .

    • Anonymous says:

      @7:32 This is true but can we find out who the other bidders are? No, only one I know of is CHEC. Makes me wonder if this was a bid or a request for service and we’re just negotiating how much lube we want to use.

  30. LOL says:

    Kirkbots and ppm KOOL AID crew out to win the thumb down wars again ROFLOL

  31. Anonymous says:

    In my humble opinion, this tirade seems to stem from the botched “coalition for cash” movement and a way to lash out at udp and ppm after the people C4C backed realized ppm was a better option.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I get it, this is a major project and given that pretty much any large step in progress has some opposition one way or the other it’s the best opportunity that people like Johann and Ezzard have to try to make noise and gain exposure for the next election but come on now, this is just a political stunt.

    Mac said it well yesterday, “I’ve been criticized by people trying to get seats before and they have all been proven wrong in the court of law”

    Accusations will fly, but that doesn’t change the fact that this port development is sorely needed to progress along Cayman’s Tourism Future.

    • Anonymous says:

      a bit like turtle farm????

    • Anonymous says:

      Where there is smoke there is fire. No truer words can be said about this. I’ve been hearing that this is a ‘done deal’ for a while now. And I also heard that it will be Dart at the helm providing all financing.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the cruise lines will be paying for the dock in lieu of paying the per head charge currently paid to Government, whichever way you slice it we pay for the dock, the cruise lines just pony up the cash upfront. So the Cayman Government give up $20mio of income per year, plus any annual increase in that number for the next 20/30 years? Bit like putting it on your credit card.

      Why can’t we just build a dock for $75mio? Something practical maybe extend of the Royal Watler North pier?

      The devil is in the detail, which unfortunately is lacking, if we do give up the income for 25/30 years, and cruise numbers increase to 2.5mio pa the total cost rises to $1.5bn, if we stick at 1.6 mio and it’s over 15 years the cost is $480mio, for which we get a $250mio asset and no control over the future costs. We also have to build and pay for any infrastructure upgrades needed.

      I can see why the cruise lines would want a pier, it’s not a need for them, but it is another way to make money, which btw they are very good at.

    • Anonymous says:

      The most unsettling thing about this debate is the fact that we’re still in a situation where nobody, and that includes all the journalists working here, has obtained any real feedback on this project from any of the cruise lines. The nearest we seem to have got was a comment from the FCCA but very bluntly they don’t count – it’s the people who actually own and operate the vessels we need to hear from.

      My big concern here is that the cruise ships are becoming huge floating, self-contained resorts that don’t need stop-offs. If you check some of the current Caribbean itineraries you’ll find that the passengers are spending over 70% of a one-week cruise at sea – we’re actually creeping towards a situation where cruise lines might take this one step further and stop island-hopping completely. From an operational point of view that makes sense because the vessels operate most economically running at a constant cruising speed and the operators wouldn’t be sharing the proceeds of any activities with anyone else or paying landing fees.

      The cruise lines need to give input to this because without that we’re back to the old, ‘If we build it, they will come,’ concept and based on my experience of the hospitality industry that’s a recipe for bankruptcy.

      In order to justify the dock it seems we need one of two things –

      1. Substantial outside funding so if it does go belly up the entire financial burden doesn’t fall on the people of these islands or;

      2. A cast-iron guarantee that the various cruise lines will continue to use the facility for at least as long as it takes CIG to cover the building and upkeep costs.

      The facts are nobody seems to be rushing in with funding and there is no way on this planet that any of the cruise line will risk committing to a potentially open-ended obligation like that, their shareholders simply won’t let them.

      Do we need a dock? Without input from the cruise lines nobody knows and anybody who claims otherwise is delusional.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I belive we have already had 2 referendums on this topic. Ppm campaigned on a dock through two separate elections and won the control of government showing the Cayman Peoples choice on the matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      The port will be like any other project here. Just a grand monument to Caymanian politician’s ego.

      No business updated case will be made to justify the answers to legitimate questions and other needs.

      “We need a high school in Frank Sound” A business person, would have DEMANDED a more cost effective design and could have built three efficient schools for that amount of money.

      “We need to expand the airport” A business person would have DEMANDED a more cost effective design ( a flat roof!) and could have included jet ways for the money being spent.

      “We need a boardwalk in South Sound” Well i, don’t believe anyone ever asked that, but the construction companies again are the ones that benefit, But for that money, a side walk and a bike lane could have been built all the way to Grand Harbour.

      “We need a cruise port” If the people agree, they should DEMAND value for dollars. There must be a more cost effective solution than creating acres of new land with fill in the center of a beautiful natural harbour.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      They weren’t thinking about cruise pier or anything else, when they voted both times ,

  34. Anonymous says:

    I think listening to Mr bush on the radio handling mr Moxam and calling a spade a spade was perfect. Mr Moxam wants to run for a seat in government and was a leading force in forming C4C and has supported other non party or new party politicians and only wants to oppose for oppositions sake.

    • Anonymous says:

      @6:24pm I think you may have put a wee bit too much cool aid in your coffee if that was how you heard the exchange. It is clear you do not know or understand John by reading your comment.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait till the kirkbots get off of work at 5, get home and start doing their company mandated dislike wave

  36. Anonymous says:

    If we bring extra people ashore, as hoped, we need extra bus drivers & vehicles to get them to somewhere, what are these drivers going to do when the ships aren’t in?

    • Anonymous says:

      Enjoy life, spending all the extra money they’ve earned.

    • Anonymous says:

      seems like economic madness to me….. we were told 10 years ago that cruise ships would stop coming if we had no port….but yet here we are with record numbers of visitors….

  37. Anonymous says:

    If we don’t count the people coming ashore now how do we know if its a success?

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe the OP is using the recently released official statistics:

      https://caymannewsservice.com/2018/04/stayover-guests-spend-½billion/

      I also believe the OP makes a very good point. The official statistics have only confirmed what most of us already suspected. It’s only logical that the pier makes no economical, environmental or common sense.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cruise passengers onshore spend around $90 per head compared to the near $1,200 per head spent by overnight guests. According to the Ministry of Tourism stats in that report the CNS posted. So it takes 13.3 cruise guests to equal the spending of 1 overnight stay guest. Why not concentrate on the $1,200 people and encourage more overnight guests? Won’t have to destroy the reefs to do so.

  38. Anonymous says:

    If they spent 1.5 mil on a boardwalk, think a billion+, not 300-400 mil.
    This needless project would bankrupt the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also calculate the L.P.H improvement at +$7 Mil , when the general cost to do a major roadworks in the U.S. typically costs approximately $1 mil per mile.

  39. Anonymous says:

    And those of you fools that genuinely think that the owner of the tender company is the biggest opponent of this. Do you really think he’s going to miss that likkle bit of income????
    LOL!!!!
    Have you seen his new boat? It’s paid for.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s the main person funding save cayman so well yes he is the biggest person against

    • Anonymous says:

      He might not be the biggest but he is the most financially motivated

    • Anonymous says:

      Paid for by us! And yes, he is a shrewd businessman and will certainly miss the $20 million a year monopoly. He has selfishly managed to keep us from building our own dock for decades, We need to stop paying him to bring people ashore and instead use that money to build our dock.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even if the dock is built , the cruise berthing contingency will still need tenders. It is easy to foresee a bad winter with back to back norwester’s , that would shut down G.T. as we have seen over the years. Spotts has no docking ability save for space to land 3 or 4 tenders at a time. Otherwise the dock at Spotts would have to be upgraded. Also… if you see several large cruise ships in at one time, they all cant park on the new proposed dock. Or is the plan to turn away the other ships to Jam’ or Mexico?

  40. Anonymous says:

    Moxam in ya face!

    Answer the questions CIG, we are waiting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent viewpoint.

      The Government should be forced to do a line by line response before they waste any more money on this nonsense

  41. Anonymous says:

    If we are to believe that a dock is essential to the experience of our visiting customers then should we also not believe that stores being open when they are in port is also a part of that experience? Too many stores choose not to open when we have ships in port on Sundays and holidays. A number do not currently open on Saturdays. If these merchants can afford to turn away paying customers then why should the Government be investing (whether directly or indirectly) in a proposal to apparently enable more sales for them?

    • Anonymous says:

      BOOM!!! Well said!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Business’s around Georgetown having a retail Trade & Business License should be made to be open whilst Cruise Ships are in port. What sort of a message are we sending when visitor’s are strolling around our capital with all the shops shuttered at 7:30 am, 8:30 their time. CI Government have imposed conditions on other industries via the T&B License so do it for the town. — Please don’t comment with changing our clocks!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous at 2.36pm We do have freedom of religion in the Cayman Islands. If a business owner chooses to not open his business on a given day for religious reasons there is nothing stopping someone else from opening their’s (unless it is contrary to the Sunday Trading Law)

  42. Anonymous says:

    Seven Mile Beach already overcrowded and full of theft, where all these extra cruise passengers going to fit? Why bring more in? Where they going to go? What’s the point of the new port system? Logically it doesn’t make any sense, and that’s even without considering the factor of the harm to the surrounding sea life environment that it’s going to affect. It’s like killing the goose that laid the golden egg. It is the beautiful surrounding sea environment that makes the Cayman Islands attractive to tourists. There is no logic to building this new port to bring in more cruise passengers to an already overcrowded situation and destroying the attractive surrounding sea environment.

    Where there is no logic, is where there is instead greed, corruption and lust for power.

    GREED, CORRUPTION AND LUST FOR POWER WIPES OUT LOGIC!!!

  43. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny how they can find $300,000,000 for a new dock we may or may not need but they can’t find that money for new and better equipped school for the children of these islands to grow a better tomorrow.

    Keep the masses stupid and dull, makes them more malleable to conform with whatever you desire.

    • Anonymous says:

      Award-winning comment!

      Well said.

    • Anonymous says:

      A more accurate comparison would be if we were renting a building to use as a school, And the government decided to build and own our school instead.

      We’ve been paying the millions of dollars to rent a taxi to bring the cruise passengers to shore. We all voted for a government that Promised to stop renting.

      It’s that simple!

    • Anonymous says:

      The government just spent hundreds of millions building two news schools. They also have a massive scholarship program which takes kids to college fully paid for. I myself am a student currently doing my bachelors degree. The only thing I pay for is a $10 school ID once a year.

      Let’s just stop blaming the government for failing kids and blame the real culprits… the bad parents for not guiding them properly.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t the outspoken opponents start a voter-led petition to halt this endeavour until there are: “Standards in Public Life”, shared public info, business case, revised EIA, engineering studies, public education period, and lastly, a public referendum? Four columns: Name, voter ID number, email address (for verification), and signature. Change.org

  45. V says:

    I see absolutely no reason to build a Cruise port if the do not allow the casino’s to stay open on the ship. Thereby providing the ability to keep downtown open at night and allow business and life to return to the surrounding area.

    • Anonymous says:

      The UK needs to step in at this point. They stopped Mac They now need to stop this foolishness.

      • V says:

        The mentality of “we need the UK to short this out” is counter productive to the country. People cried when the UK sent down that beneficial owner edict to Cayman. Their rational is if the occupiers of Cayman cannot sort out a construction project how can they cannot be trusted with international finance matters.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t fret. After BREXIT next year, the UK will claim us as their trillion dollar paradise and impose direct rule thus claiming all benefits of tourism AND financial services for itself (themselves). The natives will be restricted to special reserves, like to the Premier’s farm in East End… so move over dear Premier!

  46. Anonymous says:

    Johann for GT North or even Red Bay

  47. Anonymous says:

    Well said Johann don’t ease them up. We stand with you!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Mel would be proud of you

  49. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Moxam you have let the cat out of the bag. I applaud your bravery and wish there were more locals like you that care and are prepared to step forward on issues.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Johan for sharing this and speaking truths that many are afraid to accept.

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