Simms confirmed as DEH boss

| 04/06/2019 | 21 Comments
Cayman News Serice

Richard Simms

(CNS): After almost a year acting in the job, Richard Simms has been appointed as director of the Department of Environmental Health, officials said Tuesday. Simms moved to the beleaguered department last summer from his post as director at Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services. He took over after the former boss, Roydell Carter, was placed on some form of unofficial extended leave, until he was paid off by government for a still undisclosed sum. When Simms took over there were many problems with garbage collection and equipment, which have not yet been resolved.

Nevertheless, the minister responsible for the dump and associated areas, Dwayne Seymour, said he was pleased that this key leadership position would be permanently filled by someone known to the team and already conversant with government’s policy direction for the department.

“Our objective is to provide an international standard of waste and sanitation services to the people of the Cayman Islands,” he said. “Mr Simms has already demonstrated an ability to deliver results and we are happy to have him on board.”

Simms said that since taking the job he had made a significant reduction in the department’s overtime spending by some 80% over 2017 levels, when the overrun on the spending had reached millions of dollars. He also signed a memorandum of understanding with the prison service that allowed prisoners to work on garbage collection.

But Simms also claimed that he had been able to keep garbage collection on schedule, despite the frequent apologies coming from the department and ongoing complaints from residents about the delays to collection for both commercial and residential pick-up.

Now he has taken on the job permanently, Simms said his goal was to continue to strengthen services across all areas of DEH, and that would involve increasing staff and improving equipment.

In addition to managing the landfills and rubbish collection, the DEH is responsible for assessing compliance with the Public Health Law of some 400 premises, maintaining and landscaping beaches and cemeteries, as well as providing analytical and microbiology laboratory services to test water, air and industrial discharge and food hygiene surveillance.

Health Ministry Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn said the DEH provides one of the most high profile essential services in the Cayman Islands public sector.

“The past eleven months have seen a strongly positive trend in how the department delivers its services and the morale of its employees. Mr Simms has very much the kind of positive leadership style that will be essential to the success of department and projects going forward,” she said.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson also offered congratulations to Simms, saying he was delighted to see another capable Caymanian being promoted in the civil service.

Simms was previously confirmed as director of the DVES on 1 January 2015. A former long-serving police officer, he was originally seconded to that role from the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing, where he spent several years as deputy director.

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Category: Local News

Comments (21)

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  1. Patricia Bryan says:

    Well done, Richard. You’ve climbed the ladder and did good in all positions as far as I knew and had contacts with you. Continue to raise the bar as a Caymanian who has done what traditionally Caymanisns did–climbed the ladder to success!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Do us all a favour. Remove DEH from the commercial garbage sector. Leave it to private enterprise. Let them buy and maintain the front loading & grabber trucks, etc. Our government no longer needs to be involved in this business. Focus on household waste & recycling.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Another excellent appointment in our civil service. Congrats Mr Simms. I have no doubt that you will continue to make us proud.

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  3. Anon says:

    Jobs for the boys. The DVES cannot service it’s own equipment, and the DVDL cannot service the public, now the former director/deputy director of both is a director of the DEH. His predecessor at the DEH received a substantial bonus for his incompetence after lengthy paid leave. Only in Cayman!. BUT, Mr Simms has the perfect qualification, he is a Caymanian.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Little Cayman Ambulance has been waiting for DVS for four weeks? Anybody listening? ?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Anon Stop been jealous of Caymanians. Mr Simms did an amazing job in turning around DVES and now EH.

      His is a proven leader deserving of this promotion.

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  4. TNB says:

    Congratulations Simms! You have an uphill battle with the inherited issues but I know you are the person for the job. Congrats!!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    You know we’re going to have a real problem in 10-20 years because my generation is not going to do the public service musical chairs thing. There simply won’t be anyone to serve in these posts. Everyone in my generation with real ability and promise in the private sector will not even consider public sector employment. We’ve grown up disgusted with our government and don’t want any part in it. Glad to read of the latest whosit that will do the latest whatsit that was done badly before, hopefully not quite as badly now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Private sector is not much better Bobo, that’s a real urban myth that the newly graduated and transferees from public sector millennials are now beginning to experience. Just think about it, whose policies and agendas the politicians you’ve noted to be frustrated with and wider government are aiming to facilitate ?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please post what is Richard Simms academic qualifications for this post. not to mention his lake of experience

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    • Anonymous says:

      As deep and dark as Loch Ness.

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    • Anonymous says:

      First of all the word is “lack”. And if you were so concerned you could’ve reached out to goverment about Mr. Simms work history or ask the man himself, rather than come on here promoting negativity. Doubt you’ll find much answers the cns comment section. The caymanian bashing is so like 2001…

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    • Anonymous says:

      I bet the person who wrote this works right under Mr. Simms nose in DEH.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Boy oh boy, the Lodge is alive and kicking in this country. Think I need to try get in myself.

    Nothing against Mr. Simms as I don’t know him, but may I ask what qualifications he brings to the DEH other than being a police officer and a few other post in CIG. Does he hold any professional certificates on dump remediation, dump safety or dump management.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Does anyone in the Government have any experience, training, or special skill set in any of their assigned jobs? Other than being Caymanian? Of course not. They would not get along with the rest.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There are thousands of Caymanians with those skill sets who will never tarnish their CVs with government employment.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Simms will continue to improve the performance of DEH. I wish him well. Kudos to Jennifer.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    A major improvement over Carter. So many capable Caymanians are being promoted in our civil service. Hopefully the private sector will get on board soon.

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    • Anon says:

      9.35pm Anyone on this planet would be a major improvement over Carter, who in accordance with Civil Service protocol, was rewarded with a year of paid leave and a substantial bonus for his dismal performance and his “voluntary resignation”.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Serious??

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