Hurlston returns to the helm of troubled port

| 07/07/2022 | 35 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): Paul Hurlston, who was fired from the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands (PACI) more than seven years ago, has been re-appointed as director on a three-year contract. The rumoured return was confirmed at a press briefing on Thursday, but Hurlston did not comment when asked about why he left the authority in 2015. Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan said there was no point in “rehashing the past”, and that Hurlston’s previous tenure had been during some of the port’s most successful times and he had the skills to do the job.

As he announced Hurlston’s return, Bryan said he had been appointed after a “competitive recruitment process” and that he had a “wealth of knowledge in port operations”. The minister said he was coming back “at an appropriate time to provide the organisation with stability and strategic direction”.

Hurlston served well over 20 years at the port, 14 of them as director, before the board decided not to renew his contract in 2015 following an internal review conducted by local consultants Deloitte into the financial losses at the port. For the last four years of Hurlston’s time at PACI, it was running at a substantial loss.

Despite a troubled past at the port, Hurlston said he was happy to be back and was reaching out to staff members, many of whom he had worked with before. He said his return would provide some stability to the port authority, and later denied that he was part of the historic systemic problems with working conditions at the port.

PACI Board Chair Cline Glidden did not shy away from discussing long-standing staffing issues and deficiencies at the port that need to be addressed. He said that although there are around 170 people employed at the port, there is no human resource director. He noted a list of senior management jobs that remain vacant, which, together with the three-year wait for a permanent director, had “caused some instability” and was responsible for much of the discontent among employees.

Glidden said that the port required very specialist staff and there was a limited pool from which to recruit, which made it difficult to find experienced staff. He did not rule out the return of other people who worked at the authority in the past.

He said one of Hurlston’s priorities will be to fill the vacant senior management roles, especially an HR director, and to take a close look at safety and security. He confirmed that the board has cleared the way for the port to recruit more staff on the ground at the operational level.

Glidden also said the board has created three sub-committees to support Hurlston: an internal risk and audit committee, an importers committee to look at problems faced by the largest importers, and a committee to look at enhancements for both cargo and cruise facilities as well as customer service.

It was made clear that while the port will not be working on any cruise berthing facilities, there would be some enhancements in relation to shade. No separate budget has yet been allocated for that but Minister Bryan said he wanted to see the tourist experience improve. He said he had asked the board to assess what is needed and then tell the government if they can do it within the current budget allocation and how, or if they will need more money.

Glidden explained that changes to the current facilities had previously been stalled because of the expectation of a cruise dock, but the port can now look at doing the work because the policy position on the piers has changed. He said the private sector had shown an interest in funding shade at the port and helping to improve the guest experience.

Glidden, who supported building berthing facilities when he was in government, stressed that he no longer made policy but as chair of the board he was charged with following it.

See the briefing on CIGTV below:

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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (35)

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  1. 345 Mafia says:

    Where else in the world can you rehire a man who has run the port into the Ground and a sitting minister talk about rehashing the past??? Only Cayman speaking of rehashing Ken ken i see you got dat visa stamp!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it – and this time at double pay!

  3. Red disie says:

    You ever wonder how government thrives on failure !

  4. Roger Davies says:

    The Port Authority badly needs someone with undoubted experience in running the Port and Mr Hurlston is obviously that person.I for one am glad to see him back in control.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Watch and see if clement and Paul won’t be back as well. Nothing good for the country but for one’s personal agendas. Kenny it’s time, you need to resign. You don’t have a clue. Your actions reminds me of Boris Johnson’s

  6. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Chairman Glidden and Minister Bryant. The decision to reinstate Paul Hurslston as Port Director is fully justifiable for a number of reasons 1) he is highly qualified for the position 2) he is a man of integrity and 3) he was unfairly removed by directors who had a different agenda.
    Welcome back Mr. Hurlston.

    • Anonymous says:

      The best Man for the job.

    • A Peace Keeper says:

      Clap clap clap! It could be said better! Mr. Paul Hurlston is deserving of this position simply put. There are no one in the Caribbean or South and Central America that has more experience and exposure to port operations and administration. If look at most ports they are either owned by the government or the operations are ran by the private sector. Cayman is owned by Government and is run by public servants and is run great compared to the afore mentioned countries! Check the statistics!
      The public should understand what happened to Paul Hurlston before any indifferent and punitive conclusions are drawn! As for CNS, you must get your facts straight before you report inaccurate statements making CMR look like a saint. Start by Having a look at the Board minutes from October 2014 to March 2015! Secondly, request a copy of the letter written to Mr Hurlston and signed by the Chairman, Mr. Errol Bush!
      Mr. Hurlston was not fired but the Chairman, having a personal beef with Mr. Hurlston, convinced us on the board that Mr Hurlston was not carrying out his verbal instructions (instructions that no one can figure out because he didn’t put them in writing to cover his arse and Mr Hurlston is not the type to take verbal instructions that’ll effect others)! A majority of the board supported the Chairman and his contract wasn’t renewed!
      More to come!!!! If you want to stir the shit we are going to help you!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Showing up for a few hours a week for business as usual ,does not make you the best man for the job.
      An excellent civil servant. He didn’t rock the boat to give himself a very comfortable life , and let the port run itself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another private sector board strikes again.

      Stop this madness please. Return these run away trains to the civil service.

    • Anonymous says:

      How is that any different now ? You sound like a political mouthpiece.when they cut that channel up breakers flooding the entire Pease Bay with Salt water you will change your tune soon.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Mr.Hurlston.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Imagine a politician going around your neighborhood handing out property leaflets for his wife’s real estate ambitions. hmmmm kenneth Kenneth i had faith in you before but you quickly transformed into something few of us recognize.

  9. Two Cents says:

    Thanks for your first question yesterday about Mr Hulston returning to the port after leaving under unclear circumstances in 2015. You shouldn’t have had to ask it; the Minister and Port Authority Chair should have addressed it in their opening statements.
    The minutes of 28th January 2015 show that the Board took the decisions on that date to 1). engage Deloitte & Touche to conduct an orgainisational review beginning in February 2015 and 2). to commence recruitment of a new Port Director in February 2015 also Mr Hulston was in attendance as the Secretary.
    Clearly the then- Board had taken the decision previously that Mr Hulston would not be retained after his contract expired in May 2015 and that decision wasn’t based on the D&T work which concluded in 2018.
    The fact that he was put on Garden Leave (paid but not required to report to work) clearly indicates that the then- Board did not want him around but had no reason to terminate him. A glance at the Board membership perhaps explains why.
    Furthermore, the Ministry would have had to have condoned this action, particularly as the port was in serious financial straits.
    It’s sad that you didn’t get a straight answer to a legitimate question but thanks for asking it for us.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What an expensive $hit show at the port

    • Anonymous says:

      Expensive,? You ain’t seen nuttin yet.
      Fat pension and benefits added to even fatter salary and benefits…double dipping..?
      Board chairs of subcommittees will be paid extra per meeting.
      Port staff numbers will increase and port workers will be given everything they want in salary and working hours…UDP style re-election tactic.
      Govt will have to prop it up like Turtle farm and CAL.

  11. Anonymous says:

    At all costs we must hire locally. Even if it causes complete failure throughout government and rehiring a fired director. That truly is the mentality

    • Anonymous says:

      When will the island admit that we don’t and can’t have all of the necessary expertise in our local (largely under-educated) population and seek high quality employees with the right skills and experience from overseas? Oh yeah, never. They would rather fail and poor our public funds into a black pit than get a job done properly.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman should be proud of what it has achieved with such a small population. If you went to a small town of 20000 people and found those with the ability, education, and experience to build and run Cayman Inc you wouldn’t see much close to what has been done by the local population. But we have to be realistic and see we might have screwed our own population around education, training, and building experiential experience that can function here. There is plenty of blame to go around by both government and the private sector. For those of you that blame the “Cayman work ethic” you should be ashamed. For those of you that want better from our government and the private sector raise your voices and ideas.

        • Anonymous says:

          I loved in other small towns, brought in people from large cities with vast experience to be managers. Every good company or government would search internationally for the appropriate talent but tis not the case. Indeed I blame the government not the people

  12. Anonymous says:

    Something is brewing…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t he fired from the Port already?!?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Fire me once, shame on you. Fire me twice, shame on me.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The board must go! Kenneth does not have a clue

  16. Anonymous says:

    Can these old guys retire already and pass the baton to younger, fresher faces? They’ve done enough damage to these islands.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Don Rickles was funny on Letterman.


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