One of my early memories of Hog Sty Bay, was of watching little boys my age jumping off the iron-shore into the crystal blue waters below. My fear of the water kept me safely on the shoreline but I can still see the sunlight glistening on that lazy Sunday after church and hear their joyful, exuberant shouts.
Over the years, a lot has changed (as things do) and as Cayman has continued to grow, I still cling to the memories of mostly idyllic moments like those. The conflict between our desire for the creature comforts of modern Cayman and the deep roots of our love for the Cayman of years gone by, for me, is at the heart of our conflict over plans for the future of George Town Harbour.
The Government of the Cayman Islands, and specifically, the elected government, has introduced a 200-million dollar plan to install cruise berthing piers with no upland development, essentially self-financed by utilizing the fees from increased tourist traffic the new port is expected to bring.
As I understand it, we’re spending money from future visitors that won’t exist unless we have the piers so from a government perspective, we aren’t losing anything. The logic is that those visitors are paying for the project.
Full disclosure here – along with my Cayman Life blog and real estate endeavors, I’m a civil servant too so none of my comments should be taken here as criticism or of “taking a political position.” In truth, that’s easy to honor because I don’t have one. In general, its safe to say I’m torn as always between the desire to protect as much of our incredible history and heritage as possible and an equal desire to support projects that will ensure the economic stability of the islands. #thestruggleisreal.
Government this week announced a series of public meetings along with Verdant Isle Port Partners (the group which won the bid to design, build, finance and maintain the project). I’m hopeful those meetings will help provide more insight as people prepare to vote on the referendum for the project on December 19, 2019.