Bush raises questions over vehicle licensing center

Bush raises questions over vehicle licensing center

Cayman Islands Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush expressed concern regarding a new vehicle licensing facility set to open soon in Breakers via a letter sent to Governor Helen Kilpatrick last week. 

The letter, sent on Jan. 7, noted: “I am concerned about the process, or lack thereof, in regards to the new vehicle facility in Breakers.” 

It is planned that the government Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing will offer the same services at the new Breakers building as at its other two locations – vehicle inspection, registration and licensing – when it opens later this month. The licensing facility is expected to cater particularly to heavy equipment operators. 

The $1.4 million facility was built by Tony Powell, who owns the South Coast Bar and Grill restaurant across the street from the licensing building. Mr. Powell said he is renting the inspection and licensing facility to the government. 

In an interview with the Cayman Compass in December, Mr. Powell said he was approached by an official from the licensing department in 2014 who suggested he build the vehicle and registration complex at the site. 

In his letter, Mr. Bush asked the governor to advise “what is/was the terms and feasibility of building the new facility?” 

Specifically, the opposition leader raised four questions regarding the project: 

Who owns the land? 

Who did the construction? 

Does government own the facility? 

What tendering process was used by government in agreeing to a licensing facility on the property? 

“I write to you with these questions as you are responsible for the oversight of good governance in this jurisdiction,” Mr. Bush stated. 

Mr. Bush said that if he had not received a response from the governor’s office by the time the Legislative Assembly next meets, he would file formal parliamentary questions about the project. 

Premier Alden McLaughlin was contacted for comment about Mr. Bush’s letter to the governor, but said he would not “dignify it with a response.” 

The project falls under the government Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure. Officials there said in December that they had envisaged the facility to be centrally located in the Bodden Town area and that it would cater to heavy equipment operators, dump trucks, 18-wheelers and the like. The ministry also noted its view that the facility would present “minimal cost to the government.” 

In December, Mr. Powell said he believed the new licensing facility represented a great public-private sector partnership, which helps government and allows him to build a complimentary commercial vehicle repair operation on site. 

The new government registration and inspection office in Breakers is expected to be located in this building, shown here duing construction in late October, which will also be the home to a privately

The new government registration and inspection office in Breakers is expected to be located in this building, shown here duing construction in late October, which will also be the home to a privately owned auto repair and parts business.
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7 COMMENTS

  1. Congrats to Mr.Powell for thinking out of the box. One of our own has done what foreigners have done for our own people. More should take his lead and do the same.

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  2. The promise of a facility similar,was in the making for many years, so was a proper flood drainage for Belford and Cumber. Irrespective of building it, there should not have been any silent concerns by the district people.
    The people of Bodden Town was not informed that the building of this facility had been fine toned and processed.
    So why should we not think it was the making of a "Political Rum Cake" baked at the South Coast Bar?
    What really raises eyebrows is "Paragraph 5" which states: In an interview with the Cayman Compass. Mr Powell said; "He was approached by an official from the licensing department 2014, who suggested he build the vehicle and registration complex at the site".
    Is this a call for protocol investigation?
    I have to further totally agree with the concerns and question of Mr. Bush. Sincerely I believe people of Bodden Town deserve the courtesy of some answers; and to Mr McLaughlin, do you not think the people of Bodden Town do deserve a "dignified answer"? After all it is our district; and for all we know a Bomb facility could be constructed next and we are still in the dark.

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  3. I think these are very valid questions and should only require simple answers to clear it up it=f nothing shady was going on. I am sure if the tables were turned Alden would question it as well, that”s what they do..

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  4. When Bush was Premier, Alden questioned every step he made, accused him of everything under the sun, on the floor of the LA as well as in the media. Now that Alden is premier is just seems to me like he can dish it but he can’t take it or he just feels he is above reproach, untouchable and on a higher plain then everyone else to say a question from a representative of the people does not deserve the dignity of an answer.

    Whether or not people like Bush or whoever sits on the opposition bench. It’s their job to bring valid questions to the table and they have to find a balance between opposing things just for the sake of opposing them and the duty to bring valid questions to the table.

    So many people have a pent of hatred of Bush that they’d give Alden a free ride just to spite Bush. Career politicians are masters at how to use these situations to benefit their own agendas, which is why so much effort is put into building or destroying one another’s public reputations.

    As an example just look at how the PPM has silently benefited from Bush’s whole legal mess. The man was charged and acquitted of a crime and it’s been proven that there was no crime even committed, but the damage was already done and the all the pieces were put in place for the long term agenda to succeed.

    So now the PPM is in charge and everyone hates the opposition so no one will even consider what they say even if they are valid question that deserve answers.

    How fortunate for the PPM.

    Well Played

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  5. Well done Mr Bush, those are very fair questions. Out of interest, did you ever get asked similar questions, and did you for example, ever bypass or ignore the tendering process?

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