Editorial for March 04: Public relations sorely needed

Cayman’s Marl Road has been as active this week as people talk about what might transpire in the North Sound.  Previously announced plans to dredge a deep water channel to allow mega yachts to dock in canals connected to the North Sound have given way to rumours of all sorts of schemes, including the construction of an island in the North Sound that would facilitate a cruise ship berthing pier and a cargo dock. With the Marl Road the way it is, there’s now even talk in the public about supposed plans to put an oil refinery on a man-made island in the North Sound, an unbelievably ridiculous notion.

These rumours have been spurred partially because of conceptual project renditions that have been released to the public showing the island port scheme.  Whether these renditions have anything to do with revised plans for the North Sound, we don’t know, but the scheme depicted doesn’t even give deep water access to the very areas suggested when Premier McKeeva Bush announced in January that a memorandum of understanding to dredge a deep-water channel in the North Sound was imminent.

Since January, little tangible official information has come out about project, which could have major environmental ramifications for a vital aspect of Cayman’s tourism product.  In the absence of that information, people – including at least one politician – have started filling the information vacuum with theories of their own. For all anyone knows because of the lack of information, maybe the government is planning to put an oil refinery on a man-made island in the North Sound.

It was good to hear the Premier on a radio talk show yesterday afternoon, explaining about the North Sound plans and we appreciate the statement from him on this page. But it is now a reactionary statement rather than a proactive one and many people have probably already drawn opinions about the proposed dredging project based on their emotive reaction to Marl Road rumours.

When will the government – and many private sector entities as well – learn that it’s always better to keep the public accurately informed about big stories, rather than allowing the fanciful collective imagination to fill in the blanks.

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1 COMMENT

  1. You mention the marl road rumors about an oil refinery on the island; something so ridiculous your paper didnt even bother to print it.

    And yet in Mr. Bushs statement in todays paper he lists the advantages of such a refinery – plain for all to see.

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