December 2, 2020

The Editor Speaks: How much for a new courthouse?

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At the this week we learnt that the government has spent over $1M on reports exploring the “where, what and when?” on a new courthouse. It has taken ten years to come to no conclusion whatsoever, except we can’t afford $177M.

Now they want to spend $400,000 on another report!

And while we spend more on more and more reports we are not one inch nearer to coming to a conclusion.

Court Administrator Suzanne Bothwell repeated what the Chief Justice, Anthony Smellie, has been saying for years, “We have significant backlogs in cases, we have insufficient courtrooms, we have insufficient facilities to even allow for our judges to sit on a consistent basis, therefore significantly delaying the administration of justice.”

Even worse, she said discussions on the need for a new courthouse have been ongoing for thirty years!

It baffles me how only last year $200,000 was spent on a business case study that revealed we need something we cannot afford.

Surely, we say, we can only afford ‘X dollars”’, design and build us one within this budget. Send that out to bidders and see what they come up with. It doesn’t cost the public purse anything.

Instead, $400,000 is required to ‘explore’ the problem.

Even though it would seem to me we have a and problem that is becoming worse as every month goes by, Bothwell lamented that we were “several” years away from coming close to solving it.

Attorney General Samuel Bulgin, said the $400,000 was needed to come up with a another model that government can afford.

Without disclosing a figure it makes that task very difficult.

Our big law firms that do appraisal work are loving all these needs for reports that contain 50% of the same verbiage telling us all what we already know. Where the are, there are three islands that begin with the name ‘Cayman’, how hot it is, how wet it can get and how much the population has grown. The population is even broken down to all the nationalities. We are even told when the wind blows the hardest and the directions.

There we are. I can now send my bill in for $200,000! I have all that information on my computer.

Quite frankly, there is no need to have spent a dime and we could have had a new courthouse.

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