Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor is, without doubt, a skilled diplomat.
Managing a Cabinet group led by Cayman’s Premier McKeeva Bush through a time of crisis for the country’s economy and public safety services without affronting any elected members – at least overtly – takes both patience and smarts.
Taylor inherited his post at a time when relations between the outgoing UK-appointed governor and the elected members of the Legislative Assembly were at an all-time low. He had to essentially be the middleman while the United Kingdom and Cayman’s elected government continued negotiations over borrowing money and the country remained in violation of several principles of responsible financial management.
There were also five killings on Grand Cayman in the first three months of the governor’s term.
Surely, the governor can be blamed for none of these things. However, as the old saying goes – it may not be his fault, but it is his problem. Governor Taylor, in our view, has done a bang-up job of first repairing relations between the UK and Cayman and secondly, getting some results on both the crime and government budget fronts, along with assistance from elected Cabinet members.
Premier Bush has even said in assembly meetings that it does appear “this guy is trying to work with us”.
So, by all accounts, it seems Duncan Taylor gets good grades during his first year in office.
However, we’re wondering something about our new governor, and forgive us for being cynical – but we are curious to find out what his reaction will be when a non-diplomatic solution is called for.
Simply put, does he have the guts to take on elected members of the LA, should the situation warrant?
As he has admitted, Cayman’s government is in no way “out of the woods” in terms of its current budget situation. More spending cuts and probably further job reductions will be on the way. This will not be pretty; people will be looking to place blame.
Also, Cayman’s crime situation continues to be a major challenge which the governor has admitted will likely persist through to the end of his term. If drastic measures are called for, will the governor be able to take the bit between his teeth and implement them – even if those measures are found to be unpopular with the local government, or the United Kingdom?
Time will tell. We hope the governor will be as skilled at decisive action as he is in diplomacy.