Ex election boss to chair port board

| 17/01/2020 | 60 Comments
Cayman News Service
Kearney Gomez

(CNS): Kearney Gomez, a former chief office and elections supervisor, has been appointed as the chairman of the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands (PACI) for the next four years, officials have now confirmed. Gomez was appointed from 2 January, according to a release from government, though it was not issued, formally announcing the appointment, until Friday 17 January, after a week or more of rumours that he was taking over the board during a particularly controversial time for the authority.

The chairman’s seat has been vacant since the retirement of the former chair, Errol Bush, who stepped down in June last year.

Meanwhile, there are still a number of key posts unoccupied at the authority, including chief financial officer and director. Joseph Woods, the current acting director of PACI, has said he is unable to comment on mounting speculation that the current planning director, Haroon Pandohie, has been appointed to that job. Government has failed to confirm whether or not that post has been filled, although unofficial sources claim that Pandohie was offered the position last year.

In his long career as a civil servant Gomez oversaw several major public projects, including the Port Container Terminal, and played a part in the creation of Cayman’s marine parks. Both are particularly notable as Gomez will be at the helm of the board as government attempts to steer through the controversial cruise berthing proposal, which includes an enhancement to the cargo dock that will destroy significant parts of the George Town marine park and threaten many acres of coral reef that the marine parks were created to protect.

In a government release about his appointment, Gomez made no mention of the controversial project.

“Optimizing the efficiency of our country’s trade, freight and supply chain is particularly important, especially as we are seeing rapid growth in freight and population,” he said. “Having dedicated much of my life and career to the growth and development of the Cayman Islands, I look forward to working with the board, staff and port partners to deliver safe, efficient and customer focused operations while contributing to the economic development of our Islands.”

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell also failed to mention the contentious proposal as he welcomed Gomez’ appointment. “Having served for over four decades in government service, his experience and knowledge will bring invaluable insight and leadership to our Port operations and its future strategic direction,” Kirkconnell said. “Mr Gomez has chaired many board meetings of both the Port Authority and the Water Authority in the past and is ideally suited to serve as chairman on an ongoing basis.”

Gomez retired six years ago after more than 40 years in the civil service, having started in what became the Lands and Survey Department. In 1980 he moved to what was then Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources. Working is way through the ranks, he became principal secretary and was also appointed as supervisor of elections.


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Category: Government Administration, Jobs, Local News, Politics

Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How truly sad for these little islands?We can do better than this Cayman! Not surprised though any decent person would have told them No! I was not going to vote but have now changed my mind and voting NO!

  2. Anonymous says:

    He’s been retired for 6 years. How old is he? Why is the Unity gov’t re-hiring pensioners that have transitioned to a completely different way of life? They should expect this criticism because it it a very very strange choice indeed. No surprise really with this government.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a GIFT to CPR supporters!! With Gomez at the helm, nothing will get done.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians are really family to each other its hard not to pick anyone who is not family. Unless you are from West Bay.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Civil Service to rescue once again. The Port needs some civil service discipline and structure.

      First thing is to bring pay under control. The Port Director should not be the highest paid public servant.

    • Anonymous says:

      2.44 pm or from foreign. The general idea seems to be “Caymanians are all related so put foreigners in their place”

  5. Anonymous says:

    We need strong Caymanian leadership with experience in being independent of politics. Just the right guy.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have strong Caymanian leadership at present and that really bugs you I know. But expats are not allowed to run or hold office.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is very clear that the PPM/CDP/Unity or whatever they call themselves cannot or will not dig themselves out of the past. Instead of grooming someone or appointing someone who could effect change or for that matter has at least some knowledge in the field he has been appointed they continue to do the same thing we as voters do at the polls and that is keep recycling useless politicians just because they are family to so and so or if they brought me a turkey or bought me a fridge..

    We say we are a first world country but our government is no different from some of the third world countries. The only difference is that our people don’t speak out or come together when they need to oust the politicians when corruption sets in.

  7. Legends in their own minds says:

    Kearney Gomez don’t make me laugh! When is this nepotism and lodge hegemony going to stop Cayman. These pariahs have retired on huge$$$$$ packages after stifling the productivity and very life out of government for years with their Neolithic ideologies and mind numbing ignorance.Here we are because our government wants to maintain their status quo system. Instead of training new leadership to look forward to a positive future we return to constipated minds holding on for their dear lives to the past glory myths.

  8. Kurt Christian says:

    Vote No

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just what we need a fresh young face to lead the port into the future. Instead we get someone who has been sitting on the sidelines for 6 years and seems he does have a current connection with a certain family member who is an MLA – nepotism, much?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, he sure knows how to use them!

  11. Anonymous says:

    The only recycling that CIG is actually good at.

  12. Anonymous says:

    PPM recycling again..What the hell does Kearney know about running the port?

    We need fresh blood and qualified people and not used up retired ex civil servants with political familial ties..

  13. Anonymous says:

    So Barbara who came out in great support of destroying the harbor to build a cruise pier despite the majority of her constituents being against it , gets her brother the job of Port Chairman, and at the same time announces she will be destroying Smith Cove…

    Oh and isn’t it their family home that is the new PPM headquarters?? Well at least the are keeping it all in the family.

    PPM has dug the hole for this one…she only needs to find the shovel and give it to another of her family members to cover the hole..

    2021..what’s taking you so long?

    • Anonymous says:

      8.42 Some of you anti port people have absolutely no class. Obviously you judge others by your own low standards.

  14. Anonymous says:

    retirement in my mind is retirement! love control and power….sad….

  15. Anonymous says:

    If you read the report, his credit card purchase was disclosed and personally paid off the same month.

  16. Anonymous says:

    What does he know about running a port??

  17. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Kearney!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Barbara Connolly’s brother. Right?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Finally, a good appointment.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Great choice

  21. Anonymous says:

    The same pool of “old boys” or “brotherhood” cronies are always selected for these Statutory Authority boards – perpetuating the problems! Fresh blood needed!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Yes Man – all that needs to be said.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Kearney!! Hope you will be a voice for the envorinment considering you assisted with the formation of the Marine Parks which was much needed. Don’t disappoint and join the lodge boys….

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh ha,ha and more ha. Kearney speaking up for the environment – oh please. In the Government’s infinite wisdom do you really think that they would select a person who was a champion for the environment – considering they want to destroy acres of our reef in town!!!!!
      Oh and publicly ask the gentleman (hand on Bible) has, if any, connection to any Lodge or so-called secret societies.

  24. Anonymous says:

    No doubt he will be able to use his enormous experience in finding the truth, and telling it as it is. We cannot hope that he will look out for Caymanians for a change.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Has Mr Gomez finished the George Town beautification project that he was assigned to carry out with Carson Ebanks and Kenneth Ebanks several years ago?

  26. Anonymous says:

    People refer to it as a revolving door for a reason

    People who can play along nicely and stick to the script last decades in their various roles
    and the people who think for themselves and have morals quickly find the fastest route out

  27. Anonymous says:

    At least this one has been recycled😂

  28. Anonymous says:

    Oh God. Now we going have to name the new piers after him.

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