“No Dump in Bodden Town”!
Pardon our indelicate phraseology, but that is one hell of a slogan to be coming from the lips of our George Town representatives.
The district of Bodden Town is home to about 11,000 people, including 8,000 Caymanians and 4,550 registered voters. Representing Bodden Town in the Legislative Assembly are Anthony Eden, Osbourne Bodden, Wayne Panton and Alva Suckoo.
The district of George Town is home to about 30,000 people, including 13,000 Caymanians and 7,441 registered voters. Representing George Town are Kurt Tibbetts, Roy McTaggart, Alden McLaughlin, Marco Archer, Winston Connolly and Joey Hew.
On the issue of solid waste management, the “Bodden Town Four” have been calling the shots for all of Grand Cayman.
The results, thus far:
A PPM party pledge to keep a new landfill out of the Bodden Town district
The naming of Mr. Bodden as minister responsible for solid waste
The termination of $60 million discussions with the Dart Group to close and remediate the George Town landfill and create a new facility in far east Bodden Town
A delay of seven months before the government made a move to launch a new procurement process for solid waste management
Neglect of daily operations and maintenance at the existing George Town landfill, with vital machinery languishing in a broken-down state
A major fire Dec. 20 that burned a pile of tires and sent columns of black smoke over George Town and Seven Mile Beach
A major fire Feb. 12 that burned a pile of residential trash and sent clouds of gray and white smoke over George Town and Seven Mile Beach
The eventual appointment of a 16-member steering committee, including Bodden Town MLA Suckoo, working on a two-year timeline to address solid waste issues across the Cayman Islands
Continued restatements by Minister Bodden that the landfill will remain where it is and that a new one will not be built in Bodden Town
The Bodden Town MLAs promised voters there would be no dump in their district, and that is what they have delivered. Consequently, Mt. Trashmore continues to loom over George Town like Vesuvius over Pompeii.
Question: Where are the George Town MLAs?
As vocal, aggressive and effective as the Bodden Town MLAs have been in defending their territory, the George Town MLAs have been silent, passive and wholly ineffective in protecting their district – and its residents – from the hazards the existing dump currently poses to human health and environmental health.
The only peep that George Town has heard out of her MLAs on the dump was from Premier McLaughlin, who on Thursday blamed the U.K.’s Fiscal Framework for Responsibility and Cayman’s Public Management and Finance Law for the government’s lethargy on waste management – echoing the stance recently struck by Minister Bodden.
The Compass editorial board can’t find anything in the FFR or PMFL about months of inactivity, disregard of basic operations and maintenance, 16-member steering committees or blatant political favoritism for a lone electoral district.
Over and over, we’ve been hearing the same refrain from the PPM-led government: “No Dump in Bodden Town.”
We’ve heard nothing to the contrary from the George Town MLAs, including Mr. McTaggart and Mr. Connolly, two Coalition for Cayman candidates who did not run under the PPM banner.
George Town voters have every right to begin asking why their elected representatives aren’t representing them. It is fair to ask whether, in order to form a government with Alden McLaughlin as Premier, the George Town contingent sold out their own voters.