Another project, another protest.
Many people complain about the lack of economic activity in
the Cayman Islands, yet any time a developer states an intent to start a
project that could generate the desired economic activity, people complain
about the project and start protesting.
We have no problem with people expressing their opinions
about anything; we live in a free society that allows us to do so. However, we
feel it’s important to remind people that oftentimes opinions are motivated by
self interest, which isn’t necessarily the best interests of the Cayman
Take the Port Authority Marina project in SafeHaven, for
example. Few people who have actually been on that little spit of land could
argue that it isn’t in dire need of upgrading. This is the place from which
hundreds of thousands of tourists embark for Stingray City boat trips each
year, and for many of those people, one of the few places on land they get to
see. It is, in a word, ugly.
Now there’s a plan to develop the site into a modern marina
with a variety of facilities that will make the area more convenient,
attractive and safer for all.
Yet, some of Cayman’s boat captains are protesting – with
support from some politicians – because they’ll have to move their boats while
the construction work takes place. Their argument has focused on Dragon Bay
developer Mike Ryan and some with the technicalities of the agreement, but none
of them deal with the fact that there’s a blatantly obvious need for
improvement to the site.
What has stayed on the periphery of the argument is that
once the new marina is completed, if the boat captains want to return to the
site, they will have to pay a dock fee, something they are not doing presently.
Certainly, there could have been more communication about
this situation from the Port Authority, which has barely said a word about this
major change to the status quo. But it is important to remember that the
captains have an interest in this situation that ultimately affects their
bottom line and their argument needs to be considered in that context.