George Town independent candidate Eduardo ‘Eddie’ Thompson came out all guns blazing at a recent public meeting in George Town.
Lorna Bush opened the evening by lauding Mr. Thompson for his proactive approach during Cayman Brac’s recovery efforts immediately following Hurricane Paloma. According to Ms Bush this is what inspired her to nominate Mr. Thompson as a candidate for George Town.
Mr. Thompson was joined on stage by fellow independent candidates for George Town Derrington ‘Bo’ Miller and Walling Whittaker. The three took a strong stand against the party system, saying that it was not working for Cayman and the country needed independent thinkers to take it forward.
‘The people are tired of this party system. They will vote to make a change. We do not have bad people in government, it is just the wrong combination,’ said Mr. Thompson.
He placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of Cayman’s children and setting an example to them and was adamant that mudslinging does not belong in politics.
‘We tell our children to be respectful. Then we start slinging mud and wonder why our children won’t listen to us,’ he said.
The future of George Town Primary School as well as the current high schools under construction featured strongly.
‘The people of George Town have been promised the primary school for decades. But due to poor fiscal management they had to put that on hold,’ said Mr. Thompson.
According to Mr. Thompson, the primary school project should have been given priority over high schools, as primary school is where a solid foundation is laid.
Low cost housing was also an important issue for Mr. Thompson, as he saw this as another area where the people in Cayman were being ignored.
‘Where are the low cost houses? I developed a subdivision in Newlands, and it took me less than a year,’ Mr. Thompson said, adding that he could not believe it needed to take four years to draw up legal papers.
Turning his attention to day care facilities, Mr. Thompson expressed his belief that a shortage of day care facilities, especially around the centre of George Town, was holding back many single parents.
‘What I am proposing is that we carve out a corner in one of the many lots the government has secured for low income housing and place a building there, he said.
He went on to state that he did not support the idea that government should run the facility, but that this would allow a private entity to come in and run it, thereby creating jobs.
He also espoused the idea of creating a housing facility for elders in the same area.
‘There are many elders who would just love some company, who would love to be able to help out in a day-care facility. They would feel empowered, they would feel wanted, they could actually generate a few dollars extra income, because as we all know our pensions are almost non-existent,’ said Mr. Thompson.
The dump was also an important issue for Mr. Thompson.
‘I can still smell the dump at times when driving down Esterley Tibbetts highway. This is not progress, this is standing still,’ he said.
He went on to suggest that had a public-private partnership been put in place, the country would be well on the way to reducing the landfill and saving Cayman’s environment.
Mr. Thompson suggested that those who could afford to pay for their own doctor’s visits should start doing so.
‘This will free up the HSA and their facilities for those who really need it,’ according to Mr. Thompson.
He went on to suggest paying insurance only for major medical expenses would help households save money and that it would take everyone working together to affect a turnaround in the economy.
‘We as a community have been asking the government to do too much for us. The government needs to be in a position where it can take care of those who can’t take care of themselves, not go into competition for those who can,’ he said.
The possibility of a national lottery also featured. Mr. Thompson said he would never bring the idea to the table unless the people of the Cayman Islands asked for it, but went on to compare the lotto to any other fundraising raffle.
‘How can we go around saying that we have to uphold our Christian heritage and not do a lotto, and the very next weekend host an event that raffles off a prize? I have no problems with that because it is going to the greater good of our community,’ he added.
His greatest emphasis was on restoring the morale of the people in the Cayman Islands.
‘The Cayman Islands as it once was we will never see again, but that does not mean to say that it cannot be a good Cayman Islands.’