Former tourism minister to chair port board

| 07/09/2021 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cline Glidden

(CNS): Local attorney Cline Glidden, who briefly served as the tourism minister from the end of 2012 until he lost his West Bay seat in the 2013 elections, has been appointed as the new chair of the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands. Glidden was a committed supporter of cruise berthing facilities during his time as a back-bencher in the 2009-2012 UDP administration and while in Cabinet in the interim government led by Juliana O’Connor-Connolly after McKeeva Bush lost a no confidence vote and was ousted from the premiership.

Glidden will service on the PACI board with another past supporter of the development of a cruise port, Bush’s former political assistant, Richard Parchment, who was a director on the previous board and is now deputy chair.

Rumours that two once prominent cruise berthing supporters were being appointed by the new PACT Government to the board were circulating for several weeks before the appointments were formally gazetted on Friday, stirring up concern and surprise in the community.

The current administration has said there is no cruise berthing project on its agenda and Premier Wayne Panton is a firm opponent of a cruise facility in George Town. But these political appointments to this critical board are fuelling some speculation that the concept of a cruise berthing facility may not be dead in the water after all.

CNS contacted members of the Cruise Port Referendum (CPR) campaign, who secured enough signatures for a people’s referendum on the project proposed by the last PPM administration. They said that, regardless of these appointments, they do not believe that those now in government who supported the campaign and understood the flaws and misrepresentations made by previous administration would support a new cruise berthing project.

“It was a poorly conceived project under the PPM led Unity government that galvanized the public and lead to the unprecedented judicial review decision that stopped the project,” said a spokesperson for the campaign. “The position publicly stated by the premier and the PACT Government is clear. We do not have any reason to believe that the port project is a priority for this government.

“No member of the current administration campaigned on moving forward with the proposed project. None of the government bench campaigned for it during the elections. It did not form part of their manifestos, so it would be surprise to the public who still feel strongly about the environmental, financial and socioeconomic impact of such a project.”

CPR’s success derailed and eventually halted the last administration’s particular proposal and the campaign put the final nail in its coffin. But the campaigners were never given the referendum, even though they met the criteria under the Constitution.

There is nothing to suggest from the Strategic Policy Statement outlining this government’s plans delivered in July that a cruise project is on the agenda, but the appointment of Glidden to the port helm for the next two years raises the question of whether he may once again attempt to steer the authority in that direction, though he will be obligated to follow government policy.

When he was minister, Glidden had sought to tender the project after Bush, as premier, had been circumventing the process and had made a controversial preliminary deal with China Harbour. But Glidden had also been in talks with the cruise lines to create a similar type of project to the one that was eventually pursued by Moses Kirkconnell when he became tourism minister.

Since the CPR’s successful campaign began, the community opposition to a cruise berthing project has increased. The received wisdom that Cayman needs cruise tourism to survive has been undermined, so much so that even the continued accommodation of large scale cruise tourism under tender has seen increased opposition.

With the COVID pandemic and resulting lockdown, that has only increased and public opinion has swung away from supporting the return of cruise tourism in any significant way at all.

If cruise tourism is to return to Cayman next year in the face of the global pandemic, as the current tourism minister, Kenneth Bryan, has indicated, it is expected to be on a limited basis, though how limited has not been outlined. The PACI board will be closely involved in managing any return of cruise ships and ensuring that it happens as safely as possible.

In a press release following the gazetting of the board positions, Minister Bryan said he was “delighted” that the new PACI chairperson “brings a vast array of experience not only from a business perspective, but also from a political standpoint as a former government minister”.

Bryan pointed to the other critical role of the port authority, which is managing the arrival of cargo and overseeing the responsibilities associated with the importation of goods.

“Recognising our increasing population, rapid growth in the importation of goods and the limitations of the port’s current location, this board has several key areas to consider while overseeing the port’s operations and I am confident they are more than up to the challenge,” the minister said.

See the full line-up of the new PACI board in the CNS Library.

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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Experience does count for being on these boards. Cline has been out of politics for a number of years and in my view has demonstrated independent thinking and has been advising each successive government based on his experience in politics. He is an established legal professional within the private sector and I’m sure his private sector /public sector experience will serve these islands and the port authority well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Disgusting, isn’t it?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Are we so short of Caymanian professionals that we keep regurgitating the same people to head these boards? WTH. At this rate, we will see Mackeeva as Chairman of the International Trade Board when he loses his seat in four year’s time. KMT

    • Hancock says:

      Why not use a few paper Caymanians? They are generally ignored.

    • Anonymous says:

      Er, yes we are “so short of Caymanian professionals”.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ 2:29 pm: No, we are not short; many of them just choose not to get involved with government. That is another discussion.

    • Anon says:

      No, there is no shortage of Caymanian professionals. Just a shortage of ones that are old croonies.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually shortage of those willing to serve for little reward , even tho it may be helping their community.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Look at who is buying land in the eastern districts. Follow the $$$$

  5. EYES WIDE SHUT says:

    The proposed relocation of the cargo port to Breakers is the reason Cline has has been appointed chairman.

    • Anonymous says:

      more conflicts?

    • Anonymous says:

      The compass report says Cline Glidden represents the developers.!!!
      Yep, that sounds like UDP and their real estate consultant are back in business.
      The project may make good sense, but , as Ezzard would say, the optics not so good.

  6. Malcolm’s Drive Wbay says:

    No surprise here at all, big friend of the DG and a former protege of BababuskA! Wey Rolston Deh ?he been dying for some post too along wid he campaign manager the Jewel of Barkers swamp!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wayne what the hell is going on? Too early for this shit show!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I guess Mr Gomez did not last long! Did the PA actually have any meetings?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Gomez, for all his faults, quirks etc. did what far too many fail to do, he resigned upon a new government being elected. It’s not his fault that it took PACT five months to appoint new Boards. I guess it takes that long to brief the board members on the list of what to approve and what not to approve, since these decisions can’t be left to merit or common sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Gomez resigned after the elections.
      He jumped knowing he would be pushed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Nooooooo! No more recycling of politicians!

    Don’t tell me we can’t find someone other than previous politicians particularly ones that don’t support the current ideals of the ne government.

    There has to be at least some semblance of understanding to the process of how these boards particularly the Chairman of each is vetted before appointed. Clearly, this one was given little thought, as it was and is clear as day where Mr. Glidden stands particularly on the Cruise Port.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vetted..? There is no “vetting” , just what Mac and UDP cronies want is how it’s done.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Back to slow motion pace

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh nooooooooooooooo

  12. Anonymous says:

    Kenneth what are you doing? Wayne how could you allow this appointment to happen?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why did you think these guys were different? They showed you exactly what they were made of before the election and then in the way they made the deal with Bush to get power. Now everyone is up in arms as if it is a surprise that it’s business as usual?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you live in Cayman? Kenneth is controlled by McKeeva and not the only MP.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It is unfortunate that the PACT Government has appointed these boards who seemingly still want to carry out the agenda of the previous PPM government.

    Drastic changes will be need to be made in short order particularly on the CPA and Port Authority Boards. I believe in having some experienced people on boards but we need more creative, innovative and younger faces on these boards. Many of these people remain on the gravy train and will continue to undermine the Government’s objectives.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Who is the bag man for the port deal this time?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Build our dock CG!

    • Anonymous says:

      Port authority has no say in developing cruise port.
      In this case Mac will decide what he wants his man CG to say if he decides to revisit the project.
      The Chinese must be keeping a close eye on this I bet.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the Port Authority didn’t have any say why was Joey Woods at every one of those god-forsaken cruise port meetings with Moses and Alden?

        • Anonymous says:

          He was not there as a decision maker, but as someone who would need to be informed so that he could update the directors.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back UDP.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Very sad. Same old conflicted dross

  18. Anonymous says:

    Who is prepared to pay the newCGT?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CPR you are all heroes

  20. Anonymous says:

    Oh no, not another Macadvocate board chairman. This is now shaping up to be a real Wayne’s World brought to you by Mac Daddy Productions.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Cudos to the outgoing members. They did an amazing job.

  22. JTB says:

    Like they say, if voting changed anything they wouldn’t let you do it

  23. Anonymous says:

    How do I get my name in the hat they keep pulling these names out of?

  24. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing to suggest from the Strategic Policy Statement outlining this government’s plans delivered in July that a cruise project is on the agenda, but the appointment of Glidden to the port helm for the next two years raises the question of whether he may once again attempt to steer the authority in that direction, though he will be obligated to follow government policy.

    Did the CPA follow government policy in approving the project on Boggy Sand Road? It’s quite obvious that Big Mac is fully in charge, and Wayne’s only option now is to resign. Unfortunately, he is far too proud to do the only good thing that he could do for the country right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree that CG’s appointment gives Mac more control. However, Wayne resigning is not the option.

      Alden’s 8-year reign of terror, as Premier, of the PPM (and Unity Government) Government proves that the PPM (whether led by Roy or anyone else) is unacceptable and dangerous.

      The PACT needs to hold together and keep the PPM out of power. PPM will destroy the Cayman Islands and give away the keys to the kingdom to big money foreign investment.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wayne can call for new elections, then the people can say “now that I have seen your true intentions” I will vote accordingly.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Pro port which the people clearly don’t want. First the stupid cabana seawall in Boggy Sand and now this! So much for our champions of the environment. They may be even more greedy than PPM. It’s almost as if it doesn’t matter who wins these elections…

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac is Primer!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well the CPA chairman was the lead man for the construction firm to build the new port so kind of makes a person wonder whats the future going to hold for us?

  26. Anonymous says:

    It seems that the only thing we are good at here in Cayman is recycling political hacks.

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