My wife and I have just returned from our third trip to Grand Cayman within the past two years; we absolutely love it there. We stay at the Cobalt Coast Resort in West Bay as the owner is the most pleasant and courteous in Cayman; even though he is relocated from Europe. I have explored the Cayman Special Economic Zone to relocate my business to the island; and this trip we were looking at real estate for possible relocation (in addition to snorkeling/Stingray City/beaches and dining, of course).
So you can imagine how shocked and disappointed I was to hear, “Just tell it to the judge,” last week. Enclosed with this letter are copies of parking tickets issued to my rental car–issued within 30 minutes of each other by two different Cayman police officers. Maybe I could see why the first one was issued – but we were parked between the yellow parking lines on the pavement, there were several other non-ticketed cars in the same parking area – and the sign telling me that this was a “no parking” taxi zone was at the complete other end of the block and not even visible from where we (and others) were parked. I took the ticket off the driver’s side door and that is when things took a turn for the stupid-side.
It started to rain as my wife and I loaded all our shopping bags into the car. (We have probably spent close to US$15,000 during these three trips – not including business.) And at that moment the second police officer called me over to her vehicle – while writing up a second ticket. I said I was confused why she was writing me two tickets for the same offense and she said (And I quote): “There is nothing I can do – your court date is listed on the ticket – tell it to the judge.” When I said “Even in Chicago where cops are not as happy as they are here – they have the common sense not to write multiple tickets for the same offense; why did you do that?” The police officer replied: “I didn’t – you already had a ticket – this is a new one from me.” I then asked if it was standard procedure for police officers to ticket the same car every 20-30 minutes until the driver shows up. Again – I was told, “Tell it to the judge.”
Well – in a clear case of violation of parliamentary procedure and basic rights before the courts in any Western republic – both tickets were charged to my credit card at the car rental office the next day. In other words: “We know you won’t be back for your court date – so we will just charge you whatever we want regardless. We don’t have to be reasonable and show some common sense – and if we make a mistake – so what?”
I have since discovered that the island has not approved any requests for permanent residency in years.
Meaning: It appears the Cayman really does not want others to come there any more than for a short visit, no matter what the guys at the SEZ tell me. No wonder it costs so much to relocate there. Do I really want to spend $50,000 to bring my business to the island – maybe try to create jobs – and even buy a home there?
Why do all of that if things are no different in Grand Cayman than anywhere else? Apparently there are people on the island who just do not care.
It really is disappointing to have an experience like this on a vacation. It’s even worse when you have to deal with certain kinds of people within the authorities; police officers are ambassadors in the public eye. Do you know how many people I told this story to who told me: “That never happens – please don’t let that reflect on Cayman.” Well, I am trying to do that. But part of the reason I want to relocate somewhere out of the U.S. now is because this sort of thing is becoming chronic. For example, airlines hire rude people who shouldn’t be in front of customers; we spend hours in line with brain-dead people who can’t write their own name to get a drivers’ license; we can’t order a cheeseburger because some illegal immigrant who doesn’t speak the language is working behind the counter; if I complain about poor service or unfair business practices or point out some bureaucratic BS I am told to “Fill out this form and we’ll get back to you …”
Nothing gets done – taxes go up – the quality of people drops … you would think the human race has decided to stop evolving or something.
Just no respect for people and no sense of honor about treating others well.
Anyway – I do not think I will be returning to the Cayman Islands soon. I have been considering other business programs in any case, and when they are all taken together it really boils down to: “Do I like the people there?” “Do they want [foreigners] in their country?”
Jason Alan Jankovsky