Prominent community advocate and small business owner Mervin Smith has declared his candidacy for one of the four seats in West Bay.
The third child of John and Charity Smith, Mervin Smith grew up in Birch Tree Hill and has been active in his community for the past 16 years.
Speaking about the current situation in West Bay, Mr. Smith said, “Over the years, I have watched our community deteriorate to a level that is no longer acceptable to me. We have gone from a prosperous, relatively crime free country to a country on the precipice of serious social and economic decay.”
Co-founder of the West Bay Sports Foundation, an organisation that provides young Caymanians with opportunities through sport and offers them financial assistance when they compete overseas in tournaments and camps, Mr. Smith is also a founding member of the Truly For Cayman initiative, an organisation for the preservation of the West Bay Road.
Regarding infrastructure expansion, Mr. Smith believes that the country needs to engage in development that promotes long-term social and economic benefits for the future generations of the Cayman Islands.
“We must diversify our economy and promote sustainable development that creates reliable results over the long term,” he said.
On the issue of long-term economic planning he adds, “We can no longer afford to promote development that only provides short-sighted gains for the country. This economic model is outdated and has left our country requiring continual quick fix solutions for our employment needs.”Regarding the high unemployment rate, Mr. Smith plans to work to create more employment opportunities for Caymanians if elected.
“All of our people deserve to earn a liveable wage. Unemployment is a serious problem in West Bay. I want to work with other like-minded representatives to create a more equitable employment system where all citizens have an equal opportunity to the jobs available in our country.”
Government’s procurement process is another concern for Mr. Smith.
“The current system does not allow for collective bargaining and, as a result, government pays too much for goods and services. I want to promote a system of governance that is in keeping with the best practice standards as suggested by the Auditor General’s Office and achieve true accountability within the public sector.”
Mr. Smith warns, “If the procurement process is not carefully managed it will continue to increase government spending, which creates the knock-on effect of higher taxes and a higher cost of living. I want to work to reduce the cost of living across the board and restore our country so that we can secure a future that is full of promise and prosperity for our people.” Mr. Smith lives in West Bay with his family and is the owner of MJS Plumbing Ltd.
The Caymanian Compass will publish candidate’s announcements and letters to the editor from them and their supporters, at the editor’s discretion and with proper editing for style and libel, until 1 March, 2013.