Acting port boss steps down amidst board conflict

| 16/09/2021 | 60 Comments
Cayman News Service
Joseph Woods

(CNS): Joseph Woods is returning to his previous job at the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands as manager of operations and security, after internal conflicts with two old board members have been exacerbated and undermine his role as PACI’s chief executive officer. Woods told CNS that he hasn’t tendered his resignation at this point from his substantive position, which he is resuming next week, but said it was no longer possible for him to act as director/CEO given the current situation with board members, who he said are aware of his concerns.

Woods has therefore resigned from that acting post. He said the change in the board membership was not the cause of his concerns but rather a long running issue with existing directors.

Woods has been acting as the director for almost three years after he agreed to temporarily take the reins after Clement Reid was fired over mismanagement of public funds, which came to light following a report by the auditor general. Since then, at least one recruitment process has been carried out but the preferred candidate ultimately declined the offer of a job. Woods, who did not apply for the job, was asked to stay on as the acting director and he reluctantly agreed.

But it appears that the issues relating to staffing matters that seem to be at the heart of Woods’ problem and disagreements with some board directors remain. There have been a number of human resource problems among PACI’s management team as well as with night shift workers, where Woods has previously outlined some serious issues relating to inefficiencies.

The deputy director and chief financial officer, James Parsons, formally retired at the end of 2019 after he was on extended sick leave for around 18 months. Woods himself fired a number of people when he took the top job, but recruitment and internal staff issues continue to be a problem at the authority.

Cline Glidden, the new PACI board chairman, is now responsible for triggering a new recruitment process. He told CNS that a press release will be issued soon, given that the port has been without a permanent director for the past three years, a situation which the new board “is seeking to remedy as quickly as possible”, he said.

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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (60)

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  1. JB says:

    I write this response purely from the outside looking in and I have no idea of the real reasons surrounding the actions forced upon Joey Woods. Nonetheless, I suspect it is all very political and not based on fact or good business practice.

    I had the pleasure of working closely with Joey during my tenure of almost 7 years within the RCIP. I immediately learned that he was sincere, genuine, and although young in his career, a very competent police officer. He valued everyone that he interacted with and he treated everyone with the upmost respect. His intelligence and growing competence were greatly admired by all with whom he interacted. During my tenure he became a person who was sought after many times for advice on any and all matters. If he saw things that were wrong, he would always be a part of the solution and not the problem. He became most knowledgeable at fraud investigations and also the mechanics of the management of teams involved in major and complex crime matters. He was a breath of fresh air to deal with. Whenever he was required to perform duties outside the normal scope of such matters he always willingly put himself forward to help, thinking he was also expanding his own knowledge and capabilities. In fact, when the RCIP trained other Caribbean forces in the management of such matters, he was the Deputy Officer in Charge of that training, which was a great credit to him and the RCIP. I am so very saddened when I see what has happened to him, following three years in a post that I am sure he dealt with in an honest and forthright manner, always having the best interests of the Port Authority, it’s workers and staff and the CIG at heart. Joey would always stand behind his decisions and I know if proved wrong, he would not only accept and acknowledge the same, but learn from the experience. He is a 100% ideal worker, friend and associate. So very, very sad what appears to be happening to such an individual.

  2. Jtb says:

    If you don’t have at least 3 irreconcilable conflicts of interest you’re not a proper caymanian board member

  3. Anonymous says:

    As far as Recreational Marine Operations and Security goes: even in 2021, the Cayman Islands still hasn’t done anything to update the empty data fields within the most popular web-enabled marine navigational software. There is no entry protocol or procedure published or linked, or phone numbers listed, no helpful overnight marina options, nor any price lists. No data on where to enter exit, get fuel etc. It’s a free-for-all as if they aren’t expecting any sailors. The best guide seems to be a free weblink from 10 years ago with obsolete marine park and spearfish rules, convenient illegal anchorage, and trespassing spots. It’s no wonder we have sailors anchoring in marine parks, taking life illegally, or just sailing straight into the sound and anchoring with who knows what, wherever they want.

  4. Knights Templer says:

    I have nothing to do with PACI but My dealings with Mr. Woods have been totally professional.
    He has clearly tried to deal with a number of discipline matters at the port and had no support.
    Best wishes PACT should be identify leaders and supporting them

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Woods is just an all-round good guy–sensible, diligent, caring.

      As the saying goes, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

      If the board isn’t backing him, disgruntled employees (you always have those) will take advantage of that.

      The role of the board should be to identify the management needs and to work with whomever is the director to address these needs.

      Too much personality conflicts getting in the way of getting the work done — it is happening everywhere in the civil service. This is what causes good bosses to leave or equally good bosses to turn a blind eye and survive.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nice guy or not…what would you say he and other pay check collectors DO at PACI? Are they doing the jobs that need doing, or drinking fine scotch in their designer leather-clad club lounge we paid for? Shouldn’t someone ask these questions of the most opaque, and least forthcoming department in CIG?

        • Anonymous says:

          You obviously don’t know how the port is run and what is entailed in keeping the lifeline going.
          Suggest you inform yourself before making such childish commentary.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Boy I’m sure glad we voted for PACT ….NOT!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Genuinely nice, competent and professional guy. Such a shame.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s probably why it didn’t work out. If your a good person here or worse off an honest person you’ll be screwed over.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Boards are being appointed with people who have no training on governance and no prior experience. They have no idea what their roles are and spend their time frustrating management, trying to get involved in management activities and adding additional burden instead of providing leadership and direction.

    Some of the recent appointees to SAGCs are in their early 20s and have no idea how a multimillion dollar organization is supposed to be run 🤦‍♂️

    We are in for a long four years.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is what happens when you have a government that is oblivious to what to do and no clue who best to appoint to these boards. The community will fail while they fumble pretending that they are up to the challenge. Most of us know they are not and the rest are in denial.

  8. Right ya so says:

    I’ve known Joey since we were in school, a straighter arrow you will not find, fair, willing to listen, a hard worker and has the patience of a saint. He will have given his all and tried to straighten out the mess with patience and fairness. As usual in Cayman nowadays, corruption wins. Joey, I hope returning to your previous position allows you some peace.

  9. Anonymous says:

    port authority(like most of civil service) is a rats nest of incompetence

    • Angus says:

      1:29 when will you learn that the word Authority means that that the entity is not part of world class civil service. Come on this not complicated.

      Another private sector board strikes again.

      • Anonymous says:

        World-class… lLMAO… top heavy CIG needs to recognize that just saying it and repeating it doesn’t make it so when you can’t execute, operate and make decisions to match the world-class PR stunt

        • Anonymous says:

          7:10 you are so ungrateful and jealous. Who has been keeping you safe for 18 mths? Our world class civil service.

          Why is that I have to call Bermuda to pay my private sector insurance but can pay my trade and business and other Government fees on line.

          I have to admit it the civil service is now the leader in customer service in the Cayman Islands. Get use to it.

          I bet you think Offreg is a part of the Civil Service too. Zzzzzz

      • Anonymous says:

        All authorities are part of the Government. How you think the Policiations controls the dock and was in charge of building that big dock . When the authorities needs money they get it from the Government.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks to Joey Woods the Port Authority never had to seek funding from Govr.
          With Joey out of the way, watch what happens .

    • Anonymous says:

      1:29 the Port is not part of the Civil Service. The fact that the Port has a private sector board is a dead give away.

  10. Anonymous says:

    11:05 The cargo port does need expansion. Anyone that has anything to do with the dock knows this. We may not need a cruise pier but we definitely need a bigger cargo dock.
    The capacity restrictions are causing higher prices all around.
    Delays and expensive overtime bills are driving it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nobody would want the post unless they have the authority to make the changes that need to be made without political interference or interference by members of the board that have their own agendas. The first act of the chairman should be to remove all of the other board members and replace them with competent individuals.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG Boards are appointed by its Cabinet, not by a chairperson.

      Got it?

    • Anonymous says:

      The purpose of a Board is to oversee an Organization, not to manage its daily affairs. It doesn’t matter if its a private sector board or a SAGC. However, a lot of Board Chairpersons would like your style. If that had been in place Linnie would be CEO of OfReg today.

  12. Hopeful says:

    That Port is a terrible mess especially if you trying to get stuff! The drivers and public are at the mercy of security guards and port workers moods! They close early without notice and yet charge storage fees the next day!

    I had high hopes for Mr Woods but I’m afraid the mess is beyond his control! They need all new managers and deputies in there!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I worked with Joey Woods when he was RCIPS and also when he was PACI Operations & Security Manager. A professional!

    I experienced similar Board interference, nepotism and conflicts of interest at another SAGC. I had no reason to remain and accept it – happily retired from the swamp now!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Board interference from the old guard is generally about lining their picket land those that are subordinate have to be complicit in that which they might get some crumbs for or they end up in “conflict’ and are replaced.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not directly lining their pockets, but by doing their political master’s bidding, they are making sure their man stays in power so they can continue to enjoy their favors.

  14. Sad says:

    We should not be losing Mr Woods he has done well. We should be losing these old cronies on the Board who are the root of the problem.

  15. Concerned PACI staff says:

    He smelled the rat. The Port Authority will be a better authority with him not acting as Director.

    Cline, Irma, Matthew and new board – make sure you look into the shyt happening in that organization. Staff are not happy, morales are low, staff are over worked, there have been DANGEROUS and uncouth practices on how to operate the cranes and machinery at the port put in place by the acting Director and his crews.

    Trust me, it is alot we port staff have been through, and we would appreciate a meeting with the new board of directors.

    • Anonymous says:

      All Dart supporters and hangers on. Cayman’s boards are stacked again. This place is done like dinner.

    • Anonymous says:

      Board interference from the new appointees is generally about rooting out those that line their pockets and those that are complicit in that which they might get some crumbs for or they end up in “conflict’ and are replaced.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.03, By shyt happenings you mean Joey expected you to work a full shift, not call in sick every 10 days..?
      Beware of those kissing your backsides for short term popularity. There’s always a price to pay , and to the detriment of the port.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope the Board is smart enough to fact check the night shift gripes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not if they are related to the workers. They’ll shout down any attempt to discipline the night shift cowboys.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah, like how one of the staff members from the same night shift is related to one of them.

    • Tell the truth says:

      It’s the night shift in particular that isn’t happy and that is because Mr. Woods isn’t no push over. They don’t like it because he requires productivity. When they supposed to take a 15 minute break it’s like half an hour long. When they take lunch, it’s like an hour and a half long. When some working, some sleeping, because some of them driving truck too all day. I hear Mr. Woods had some of them spoken to recently about it and they were all bent out of shape about it. So they running off to Board Members and Politicians because he had them spoken to. The rest of the Port works fine. It’s that night crew that giving the trouble. And this na just now this been going on. Mr. Woods inherited it. I hear he got a lot of shit from Board Members when he fired one of the night crew for causing a work stoppage some time back. Mr. Woods only want them to be productive, but they want to tell him what they going do and he na that kind of man. Ask them shipping companies about them night guys, they can tell ya.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean you’d appreciate MORE SECRET meetings with those same “old” board members?

  16. Anonymous says:

    2 bosses – 3 years.


    • Anonymous says:

      The first did not have his contract renewed after too many years in the post.
      The second forgot he was an employee and made decisions not entirely benefitting the port.
      The current one turned out to be third time lucky, but made the mistake of not going along with business as usual, and tried to control expenditure and waste. This resulted in those affected , running wee wee wee to their politically connected new friends.

      • Anonymous says:

        In these islands, whenever a new executive tries to implement what should have been done in the first place irrespective of whether it is in the public or private sector, the established old guard and special interests will not be supportive. This is always seen as a threat to their cosy deals and their snout in the trough. The old guard will run to their supporters and kin and do anything to get the new man out. This is the reality.

  17. Cayman Biting Ants says:

    This is going to be one Huge Cluster F$#@ shortly more conflicts of interests than Quakers have Oats. Recycling these same old corrupt henchmen and friends of Compromised govt officials and political Crooks is a recipe for disaster. Already in the Breakers and Pease Bay area the land conflicts between family members has began, because of Project speculation and Greed. Unfortunately our precious Wetlands are going to bare the brunt and devastation of this unfortunate situation. Cant blame Mr Joseph Woods get out this mess before it starts!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Is there a reason why anyone would benefit from inefficiencies?

    • Anonymous says:

      11:05 Indirectly… they could claim that the port wasn’t big enough to facilitate the demand. Thye could say there are hold-ups that they would claim would be due to lack of space but in reality, it would be due to incompetence and inefficiency. But they would push their agenda and the port expansion project might rear its ugly head again. Those pushing for the port would benefit. The rest of us..not so much :/

    • Anonymous says:

      1.29 along comes someone like Joey who tries to put that right, and he is vilified.
      He tried to run the Port as a business , which it is, but his best efforts to clean up the lazy and entitled double dippers, were undermined by those with personal agendas.
      A great loss to the Port.

      • Anonymous says:

        This says a lot about the Minister who is also encouraging those same night shift workers and their slackness by promising to remove and replace those in key positions all because he’s desperate to keep the voters within his constituency.
        Let’s not forget these guys are paid at 1.5 times their hourly rate at likely 40-45 hours per week. These suckers are just greedy and want to dictate how the Port should run.

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