Cabinet officials return to island

Cayman Islands Governor Stuart Jack and three elected Cabinet ministers were all off island Friday with news that Hurricane Dean was bearing down on the Caribbean and a direct hit by the storm was possible by Monday morning.

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said he understood Governor Jack would be returning on Saturday.

Tourism Minister Charles Clifford was expected to return tonight and Health Minister Anthony Eden was due to come back on Saturday. Both men were off island on official business this week.

Education Minister Alden McLaughlin was away on his annual leave and was uncertain about when he might be able to return, according to Mr. Tibbetts who spoke with him by phone on Thursday.

‘I instructed staff to tell him to get his butt back here now,’ Mr. Tibbetts said.

The Governor in particular plays a key role in Cayman’s storm response plans. Mr. Jack is the sole decision maker, according to the national hurricane plan in designating of certain areas as unsafe. He also can make an emergency declaration which allows the police commissioner to set up road blocks and establish a curfew.

Chief Secretary George McCarthy is serving as Acting Governor until Mr. Jack returns.

Mr. Tibbetts said Cabinet ministers would sit in on all meetings of the National Hurricane Committee and would also spend the weekend providing assistance and coordinating storm preparation efforts in their respective districts

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