Crews tackle vandalism

Ongoing issue for Parks and Cemetery Unit

The administration team at work

The administration team at work. From left, Rohan Lawrence, Estell Robinson, Shirlene Bodden-Nero, Mark Bothwell and General Manager Jonathan Jackson.

Keeping Cayman clean and beautiful – that’s what inspires a team of government workers to start the job while most of us are still asleep.

So it’s no surprise they feel disappointed when vandals create unnecessary work for them.

‘Some people do make the job more difficult by creating unnecessary work, but we do not complain because it is a part of what comes with the job,’ said Arena McField, supervisor of ground maintenance for North Side. ‘At times I thank God that I do have a job and not let it get to me. I love to see my island clean and beautiful.’

Ms McField is part of a team of 23 responsible for keeping clean all the public beaches, parks, cemeteries, docks, ramps and public restrooms along with a number of special projects across Grand Cayman. They are also responsible for the management and beautification of central George Town.

General Manager Jonathan Jackson says his team is doing a tremendous job in the face of vandalism, which is particularly bad in Bodden Town, East End and West Bay.

The unit works closely with community police to check public areas on a daily basis, but vandalism persists.

‘Security persons or park rangers would be an added plus to the unit to oversee these public places,’ he said.

Ms McField described some of the mess the unit’s on-the-ground employees have to contend with on a daily basis.

‘It can be very annoying when individuals smear bathroom walls with faeces, smash bottles or leave condoms lying around in plain sight with no regard for others who clean or use the premises,’ she said.

‘People can be really nasty when it comes to keeping the facilities clean, but most people do help by picking up garbage that is left by others,’ she said, adding that it slows the employees down when they could be doing other things.

Dave Ebanks, who works in janitorial, said the job is demanding but the hardest part is cleaning up the bathrooms. ‘It’s a shame what people do to these facilities.

‘Sometime we refuse to replace these items, but why let the good suffer for the bad. We want visitors and residents to enjoy using these facilities,’ he said.

Supervisor Floyd Bush said he would like the public to have a conscience when it comes to using the parks and beaches.

‘Children are not causing the problem; it’s adults. Take, for instance, the Coe Wood Beach in Bodden Town. The unit will put up paper dispensers, and they tear them down, break down doors and smash soap bottles. It is the same thing with Dixon Park in East End. Certain individuals go there and tear the doors off cabinets and turn over garbage bins.’

In North Side, Supervisor Millie Miller’s janitorial team is experiencing the same thing.

She said the community needs to work along with them to stop vandalism.

‘Keeping our yards clean was the way of the Cayman people. I remember backing white sand from the beach to spread and rake before Sunday morning. Mind-you, there would be hell to pay if anyone walked on it after it was raked,’ she laughed. ‘That same attitude needs to be taken today.’

Mr. Bush said he keeps morale up to improve production.

‘When the team is working together, we accomplish much more.’

‘To this team of workers who labour each day, we must give our appreciation. They are keeping Cayman clean for residents and visitors alike.’

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