ERA and Water Authority get new chairs

Cabinet has appointed new chairs and members to the Electricity Regulatory Authority and Water Authority boards.

Attorney and co-chair of the United Democratic Party Sherri Bodden-Cowan was appointed chair of the Electricity Regulatory Authority and Jonathon Piercy is the new chair of the Water Authority.

The appointments to the boards were announced in the Government Gazette on Friday.

The immediate past chairman of the Electricity Regulatory Authority board, Kendal Ryan, remains on the board as a director. Directors Charles Farrington, Kenneth Hay and Samuel Jackson remain on the board and will be joined by Darrel Rankine, Michael Herland, Samuel Young, and Derrick Tibbetts.

Philip Thomas remains as managing director and secretary.

The shake-up of the board followed sudden amendments to legislation governing the boards of the ERA and the Information and Communications Technology Authority last month.

The amendments to the laws expanded the membership of both boards from between four to six members, to between eight and 10 members and gave Cabinet the power to remove members at any time, for any reason, regardless of how long their term of appointment is scheduled to last.

It also removed a requirement for board members to have substantial knowledge in specialised areas.

The debate in the Legislative Assembly over the government’s plan to amend the legislation led to members of the People’s Progressive Movement accusing the UDP of politicising the boards of statutory authorities.

Defending the decision, Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush argued that there was no point in having people on boards who did not support the government’s policies.

The appointees will hold the positions until August 2012.

One of the first decisions the new board will make is determining who will win the bid to provide an additional 32 megawatts of electricity in Cayman. The ERA is considering two bids, one from the Caribbean Utilities Company and the second from the Jamaican power company Jamaican Energy Partners.

The winning bid is expected to be chosen by the end of this month.

Water Authority board

Mr. Piercy, a senior risk analyst at Butterfield Bank who ran unsuccessfully as a UDP candidate in George Town in the May election, takes over from James Gill as chairman of the board of the Water Authority.

Cabinet confirmed the appointments to the Water Authority Board on 18 August.

Mr. Piercy said one of his tasks in his new role would be to implement cost-cutting measures in the Water Authority.

He said the board would examine the use of vehicles and cell phones to ensure they were being used for company business, and look at where Authority could be more streamlined. ‘I don’t foresee us having to lay off anybody,’ he added.

He admitted that he had no background in working with the Water Authority, but said his experience in finance and banking would be useful ‘in terms of how we can achieve efficiencies and cost-saving measures’.

‘I look forward to working closely with the management and staff of the Water Authority,’ he said.

Another UDP candidate, Pearlina McGaw-Lumsden has been appointed as a member of the board, along with Ingrid Simms, Glenroy Bodden, Corlan McLaughlin, and Windell Scott. Otto Watler and Alva ‘Billy’ Bodden, who sat on the previous board, remain as members.

Director of the Water Authority Gelia Frederick-van Genderen retains her position as secretary of the board, and Jerry Ebanks is an ex-officio member. Representatives of the Ministry of District Administration, Works and Gender Affairs, the financial secretary and the attorney general are also members of the new board.

Land Surveyors Board

Cabinet also made appointments to the Land Surveyors Board, with Rupert Vasquez taking the position of chairman.

Courtney Young was appointed secretary, and Kenross Conolly and Patrick Broderick have been appointed members.

The appointments are for two years, until July 2011.

Labour Tribunal

The latest Government Gazette also gave details of appointments to the Labour Tribunals.

These include Lorna Dilbert-Hampson, Melanie McLaughlin, Alric Lindsay and Denise Tomlinson as tribunal chairs, with Nathania Rankine-Pierson, Olson Bush, Janet Farrington-Martinez, Wendy Evans-Williams and Tresea Brown as deputy chairs.

Other members of the tribunals are Dana Smith, Halcy Lofters, Jerry Woods, Lois Kellyman, Edward Solomon, Katherine Hargest-Holmes, Krista Pell, Tammy Welds and Lorna Bush.