When asked which issue the government should spend the most time and money resolving, respondents to last week’s CaymanCompass.com online poll were almost evenly split between education, solving the landfill problem and fighting crime.
Of the 428 total respondents, the largest segment – 122 people or 28.5 percent – said education was the issue that should get the most of government’s attention.
“Without education, one cannot fight crime or solve the other problems we face,” said one person.
“Education is the key to resolving all of our current problems, and more importantly the problems still to come,” said another.
“If you have a population that is educated and can gain employment, crime would be reduced, and you would have a larger base to seek suggestions to solve other issues such as infrastructure,” said someone else. “It is the Cayman people, who have a vested interest in their own country, that will lead [to] resolving these problems.”
“Ignorance generates apathy,” commented one person. “Education is the only long-term fix for Cayman’s problems.”
“All of the above choices are important, but I strongly believe the others follow when you have instilled good education from the very young age with the new generation,” said another person.
Following closely behind in the poll was the issue of solving the landfill problem, which was seen as most pressing by 118 people, or 27.6 percent.
“I don’t trust the government to spend money on fighting crime or education because they just throw it away,” said one person. “Roads and the airport are good, but they need private sector partnerships for that. Best to get the stinking dump dealt with.”
“Cayman’s landfill is a disgraceful health hazard to the public and to Grand Cayman’s top assets – tourism, our beautiful ocean, the reefs and marine life,” said someone else.
“The dump can be hazardous to the island on many levels,” said someone else. “It can cause diseases, harm the environment, scare the tourists, and it is surely annoying the locals.”
Another large segment of respondents – 115 people or 26.9 percent – thought fighting crime was the issue on which government should spend the most time and money.
“There is little point in improving the airport or cruise dock if crime is rampant because no one will bother coming here anyway,” said one person.
“Fighting crime should include political cronyism concerning the dump, the cruise dock, John Gray High School, and other public-private boondoggles,” said someone else.
“If crime is not brought under control, there will be no need for any of the other items listed,” said another respondent. “With a safe society, we can build our country and fix the challenges,” noted another person.
Fifty-seven people – 13.3 percent – thought new infrastructure, like roads, the airport redevelopment and the cruise dock, was the most important issue for government.
“These all need to be finalized after more than 10 years of discussions,” said one person. “They are all very important in the economy going forward.”
“If you get people back to work, money will flow in the economy,” said another person. “Hence, crime will decrease and people can take time and educate themselves.”
Sixteen people – 3.7 percent – responded “other” to the poll question, with many saying “all of the above.”
“Dismantling the inefficiency, incompetence and wasteful spending of the government and civil service, followed very closely by tackling corruption and graft in government and the civil service,” said one person.
“Government has already spent plenty time and money on each of these issues to little or no effect,” said another person. “Our government needs to work smarter and stop constantly seeking to reinvent the wheel when there are smarter, lower-budget solutions available. For example, rather than building new roads that will just bottleneck in the same places, perhaps government could invest in a decent public transport system to minimise the amount of cars on the roads we currently have.”
“This is two separate questions,” said someone else. “Spend the most time on landfill and spend the most money on education by giving teachers and classroom aides the pay they deserve.”
Next week’s poll question
Which of the following lifestyle topics do you find most interesting? [Explain why in comments]
Food and wine
To participate in this poll, visit www.caymancompass.com starting April 13.