Politics of rubbish: Where are the George Town MLAs?

“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.


  1. 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.

    I am making every effort to avoid commenting on major political issues but this ‘mount trashmore’ situation in Cayman transcends politics.

    It is a major environmental and health issue that affects every single citizen and resident of Cayman, regardless of which district in which they live or who they voted for, or who represents them in parliament.

    Why can’t the people of Cayman see this ?

    I can only relate this to the major asbestos crisis that broke out in the USA back in the 80 and 90s, when people began to get very sick and no reasons could be identified…until it was traced to the asbestos that had been used in US construction back in the 1960s or before.

    At that time, no one knew of the toxic propensities of asbestos but generations later, cancer and other diseases was the result.

    Is Cayman’s people going to wait until their children and grandchildren begin to turn up with major diseases from inhaling toxic fumes from the environmental hazard that these dump fires create…or from the contamination of the underground water supplies from which potable well water comes…or have the North Sound marine and human life threatened by contamination from this poisonous mountain of trash ?

    What puzzles me also is the silence of the UK Government on the rights of the Caymanian people to a healthy environment in which to live; a cause that they are most vigilant on in the UK where they are willing to prosecute for even minor littering…and everyone had better make sure all trash is sorted out properly for re-cycling and such.

    So, if the CIG cannot get its act together, is it not the responsibility of the UK Govt. to step in and enforce proper waste management systems and procedures ?

    The laws in the United Kingdom are very strict and stringent in this regard; why should it be any different in Cayman ?

  2. It is time to get the Govenor and the UK involved to stop this political favoritism and resolve this toxic dump. The People of Grand Cayman and tourism demand a healthy resolution.

  3. It should be very clear now that this is obviously a politically motivate mess. The George Town MLA’s are at the mercy of the party leader Alden who is at the mercy of the Bodden Town folks because he obtained their votes based on his willingness to sell out the rest of the country with the No Dump in Bodden Town promise. The whole thing with the committee as well as the FRR being the cause of the delay is a tactic to distract from the fact that they have no answers. Alden was so sure that he would be able to go to the UK and convince them to allow him to borrow more money to do these things, but now that he realizes that he can’t he has no idea what to do. And he is too proud of a man to say he was wrong and the Dart deal was a good offer, not to mention he would alienate the people of Bodden Town. During his years as the opposition he was more interested in bashing Mckeeva then he was at finding solutions for the issues Cayman is facing which is why he is totally lost now, this is why I was never impressed by him because he never had any ideas of his own only complaints about others. The one thing I did like a but Mckeeva is that even in the face of untold opposition if he thought something was a good deal for Cayman he didn’t let loudmouths selfish envious people deter him from making the hard choices. Not saying that he is untarnished but we are seeing a lot of things he set in motion coming to fruition now. Alden cannot take credit for these things though he is trying to. It seems to me that Mckeeva was doing everything he could to make stuff happen here to get inward investment and start projects that would create jobs and stimulate the economy all with the same UK Restrictions Alden is blaming for his delays now. Throughout all this all Alden did was oppose protest and complain about everything Bush which is specifically why as soon as he got into office his first move was to try and quash everything Bush. But now it’s his turn at the reigns and he has no idea what to do, without having access to that Money tree he was used to picking from.

  4. The UK is already involved, the standing order evokes
    Fiscal responsibility and due process. The plan for relocating the dump to BT was out of self interest, now it is being said that the people of Bodden Town should not have an interest in their community.

    So lets see, East End, and North side officials without a perfoleo, Bodden Town rep has a portfolio full with trash and mosquitoes, and the editorial board is asking GT and WB to start some trash up East because they are protective of their district. Why? for having enough common sense to know that another dump will not solve the problem. I expect this editorial board is insisting that we all equally share the dangers and ailments of the dump, over and above eliminating the problem.

    Remedy the problem in place, by what means and what cost I believe the Premiere said is being process for our review and consultation. It may be hurry up and wait, but as they say more haste lest speed.

  5. Mr Davis, I am more concerned in the national interest, and would expect all interests to be equally considered for a project of this magnitude and far reaching impact to citizens and corporate leaders alike.
    Self Interest: Can I leave that to your conscience to define.

  6. I agree with you John, that choices made by the CIG need to be in the Nations Interest which is what I am concerned about with this whole thing about the offer made by Dart. With a cash strapped government and an environmental disaster such as the GT Dump brewing in George Town for someone to offer a 60 Million Dollar solution that wouldn’t cost anything seems to me to be in the National Interest but from what I see rejecting the offer was in the Self Interest of one district not the whole nation. Anyone who can’t see that s blind, even the people in Bodden Town know this was done for their interest. I do however agree with everyone that an onsite solution such as mining or removing the current pile of trash and creating a state of the art Waste Management Facility with Waste to Energy on the current site in George Town would be the best option, but we should all know by now that this is something we as a nation cannot afford at this time nor will we be able to any time soon with the half Billion dollar debt looming over our head. Capping the GT Dump and creating a new site that is properly managed would give us new start on dealing with our garbage and if it is done right with and appropriate recycling program it would be nothing like what happened with Mt Trashmore not to mention it would stop the leaching into the North Sound and eliminate the high risk of dump fires. The same goes for whether the site is BT, East End or West Bay. But BT is where the land happened be offered to us for free. My property is in North Side a lot close to the Midland Acres site than most of Bodden Town is, but I would rather have this near me than to see the nothing happen with then GT dump.

    The choice to reject the Dart offer was in itself out of Self Interest just the same as the choice to ignore the offer for the Ironwood developer to take the tires from the GT dump for free. Which I again will ask what ever happened to the RFP that was put out right after the tire fire looking for someone to buy the tires from the dump and remove them at their our cost. Any luck with that.

  7. It baffles me, the government’s resistance to initiate a mandatory recycling program of paper, glass, plastic and aluminum as this will be part of the overall solution regardless of how the GT dump crisis is resolved.
    The government seems willing to let the private sector apply band aids toward recycling instead of governmental leadership to this obvious course of action.

  8. Jack, I know what you mean, it used to baffle me as well until I realized that the CIG is full of constituent catering bureaucrats who’s main concern is getting elected by any means necessary and who actually have no idea or concern of what’s best for Cayman as long as they keep their high paying positions. A good example of someone who’s desire was to make a difference is the last mayor of New York City Mike Bloomberg who took a salary of 1 a year while he was in office and who’s goal was to make New York a better place. He was also a master at making excellent business decisions, someone like this is what Cayman needs at the wheel.

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