Gomez named Port Authority board chairman

Sets sights on port safety, efficiency

Career civil servant Kearney Gomez has been appointed chairman of the board at the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands.

He took over from Errol Bush who last year stepped down from the Port Authority board, citing personal reasons. The new chairman commenced his four-year tenure on 2 Jan., according to a District Administration, Tourism and Transport Ministry statement.

Gomez welcomed his new role and said he has set his sights on port operations.

“Having dedicated much of my life and career to the growth and development of the Cayman Islands, I look forward to working with the board, staff and Port partners to deliver safe, efficient and customer-focussed operations while contributing to the economic development of our Islands,” Gomez said in the statement.

His appointment comes at a critical time for the port as government’s plans for a cruise berthing and cargo project faces much scrutiny, ahead of a people-initiated referendum on the future of the project.

The project is in a state of abeyance as a court prepares this week to hear a judicial review brought by Cruise Port Referendum Cayman member Shirley Roulstone.

Roulstone challenged the government’s handling of the referendum, initially planned for 19 Dec. 2019. The vote was put on hold until the case is completed. The judicial review is set to begin 22 Jan.

However, Gomez, whom the ministry said during his tenure as a civil servant has played a significant role in the introduction of a considerable number of infrastructural projects, including the new Government Administration Building and port container terminal, appeared open to his new challenge.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to continue progressing the important work of the Port Authority. Optimising the efficiency of our country’s trade, freight and supply chain is particularly important, especially as we are seeing rapid growth in freight and population,” he said in his statement.

Gomez is a retired civil servant whose career began in the early 1970s during the advent of the Regional Cadastral Survey and Registration Project and the establishment of the Lands and Survey Department.

He is also a former Supervisor of Elections. In 1980, Gomez moved into the Portfolio of Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources where he served as an assistant principal secretary and shortly thereafter was appointed to the post of principal secretary. He retired from the civil service in 2013.

Tourism and Transport Minister Moses Kirkconnell welcomed Gomez’s appointment.
“Having served for over four decades in government service, his experience and knowledge will bring invaluable insight and leadership to our Port operations and its future strategic direction. Mr. Gomez has chaired many Board meetings of both the Port Authority and the Water Authority in the past and is ideally suited to serve as Chairman on an ongoing basis,” Kirkconnell said in the statement.

About Kearney Gomez

Kearney Gomez is a retired civil servant whose career began in the early 1970s during the advent of the Regional Cadastral Survey and Registration Project and the establishment of the Lands and Survey Department.

In 1980, he moved into the Portfolio of Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources where he served as an assistant principal secretary and shortly thereafter was appointed to the post of principal secretary. He was also appointed as Supervisor of Elections at that time.

He retired from the civil service in 2013.

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