Name: Robert Bodden
District: Bodden Town East
Affiliation: Cayman Democratic Party
Email: [email protected]
Profession: Resident condominium manager
Interview with Robert Bodden
Jewel Levy: Hi, this is Jewel Levy with the Cayman Compass. I’m here with Mr. Robert Bodden, who is running with the Cayman Democratic Party in the district of Bodden Town East in the May 2017 elections. Please introduce yourself and tell us why you are running for the Legislative Assembly.
Robert Bodden: Hi. My name is Robert Anthony Bodden, rooted and raised in the district of Bodden Town East. I am the eldest son of Haldane Bodden, a barber by trade. I currently am a resident manager at a premier oceanfront property on the beautiful Seven Mile Beach. I’ve been in the tourism industry for over 20 years. I am a honest, hard-working, capable individual who will work hard for my people of Bodden Town. Bodden Town East has been neglected by previous and past governments. We need hope for our people. We need a complete plan for the district of Bodden Town East. Bodden Town East has suffered. If Christopher Columbus came back today, the only district he would remember is Bodden Town because nothing has changed there in a long time.
Jewel Levy: What’s the most important issue facing your district?
Robert Bodden: The most important issue facing the people of Bodden Town is sustainable jobs, the cost of living and a livable wage. The people of Bodden Town are hurting. We have developed Cayman, but we have not developed our people. There are people in Bodden Town without healthcare, a lot of people without jobs. We have elderly people retiring with no retirement security. This has to change and it has to change fast.
Jewel Levy: What’s the most important issue facing the Cayman Islands as a whole?
Robert Bodden: The most import issue facing the Cayman Islands on the whole would be education. We need a better education system, a system that delivers an equal playing field. Not all kids will be doctors, lawyers or accountants. There are some kids who are passionate about the arts, about culinary studies. We have an industry of tourism. We need our next plumbers, masons and engineers. The whole of Cayman back in the day was ran by our elders in the hospitality field. They were the ambassadors for Cayman that built our tourism product to what we enjoy today. We have to retrain our people to be a part of this growing industry. It is the future of our islands. We need that our young people become the next ambassadors and take charge of these jobs. We as representatives have to put them at the front of the line so that they can be the face of our product.
Jewel Levy: What’s something that Cayman is doing right, and how would you help to continue that?
Robert Bodden: Cayman has provided a stable financial services industry. We are at the top of our game in this field. However, this is a very competitive industry. We have to make [sure] we are at the cutting edge and we offer diplomacy at all times. The leaders of the financial industry have to make sure that we are marketed properly, we are compliant with whatever is requested by other territories. We have to make sure that we stay competitive, that we do not price ourselves out of the market and chase away the people that bring the business to these islands. We have to work together with the owners and leaders of this industry to make sure that our people are included in the jobs and the equity that these services provide.
Jewel Levy: If elected, what’s your top priority on day one?
Robert Bodden: If elected, my top priority would be to have a meeting with the stakeholders of this country, community leaders, designers, city planners, councilmen and make a 10 – their minimum 10-year plan. A plan that will take us into the future. We need a plan that we can weed through the mess, the wasteful spending that has occurred, we need to stop a lot of the start-and-stop projects. We need to stop wasting the people’s money. We need a plan for this country. On day one, after we collaborate and come up with this plan, we need then to make it – or we need then to legislate that plan so that this will be the blueprint going forward. In order to do this we will save the people money and stop wasting with a lot of the stalled … projects that we are doing.
Jewel Levy: Mr. Bodden, thank you for coming to visit us and for answering our questions. We think this has been a great opportunity for the voters to learn more about you and your candidacy. Once again, this is Jewel Levy with the Cayman Compass. Thanks for watching.