September 26, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Why don’t people see what is wrong?

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The reason I don’t like reading blogs is because, to me, it shows how very easy it is to fool people.

Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

Judging by some of the blogs the first two parts of Mr. Lincoln’s famous quotation are correct but the third part is still to be tested.

A case in point is the subject of the private parking lot paving that was carried out in Cayman Brac on the instructions of Cayman Islands Deputy Premier (and Cayman Brac MLA), Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, with PUBLIC FUNDS

Now heaven forbids me to even suggest such a thing was done as a “bribe” to win votes, even though the Auditor General, Alastair Swarbrick, in a public interest report he issued on Wednesday (23), says the $521,090 taken from the public purse for this paving work, was illegal.

One of the bloggers, on their favourite blogging media site, could find nothing wrong with it and supported what O’Connor-Connolly did. The reason? “She paved all the roads-FINALLY! and a few parking lots as well.  What’s the big deal?” Another comment was that “something’s fishy”.

Another one made me almost choke: “This is no different than the Department of Tourism and Ministry of Finance spending millions annually to advertise the Cayman Islands globally as a tourist and financial destination. Does Government own the hotels and condominiums or banks, trust companies, law firms and accounting agencies they promote in Grand Cayman? Paving those parking lots allows Cayman Brac to be marketed to tourists as having unparalleled infrastructure for an island of its size! And there is no way the businesses which benefitted from the paving could ever have afforded it with their meager annual revenues, so Government had to do it.”

So it’s OK to use someone else’s money (actually both bloggers have contributed to this money pool) by creaming some of it off for your gain (this time “votes”), without approval or included in budgets that are required by law (to actually prevent persons such as MLA’s using it for unlawful purposes) as long as some of it is used lawfully and for the benefit of the people who contributed to this money.

Are these people actually forgetting that their salaries are also paid for out of the same public purse?

And then we have the Chairman of the NRA Board (the board that, by law, should have been directing the whole of the project anyway) being contracted at a salary to be the project manager!

And then there was no documentation justifying the ministry’s decision to purchase its own asphalt plant rather than contracting an existing supplier.

And what will the Attorney General make of all this? A slap on the wrists? Probably not even that.

Please see Georgina Wilcox’s article in yesterday’s (24) iNews Cayman under the heading “Cayman Islands Auditor General says paving of Cayman Brac private parking lots was illegal” under heading NEWS (dropdown tab “Local”) for the whole story and her conclusion regarding the Ministry’s statement that “the NRA IN PRACTICE does not control road construction in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman” even though by LAW it is the NRA’s responsibility. They did the job anyway with the NRA chairman as project manager.

But didn’t that cost us more?

Robin Hood robbed the rich to give to the poor and that was OK. He’d have gotten a lot of votes. He’s hailed as a hero.

So perhaps it’s me that’s wrong……….

 

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