7:15 - 9:30 p.m.
Roydell Alston Carter
Mr. Roydell A. Carter worked in the local banking industry for over five years after leaving the Cayman Islands High School. He was also employed by the Cayman Islands Government Department of Environmental Health, where he worked for thirty (30) years with the last sixteen (16) years a Director of the Department and Chief Environmental Health Officer, prior to retirement in 2018. Mr. Carter is now an entrepreneur who operates a small health and wellness business.
Mr. Carter previously served on several Boards and Committees such as the Tourism Accommodation Board, Liquor Licensing Board, and Hazard Management Cayman (as Manager for National Infrastructure and utilities). Mr. Carter served as Director of Community Services and Youth Services for a number of years with the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman. He has directly and indirectly contributed and participated in several charities and community events in Newlands and Island-wide.
Mr. Carter has a Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) in Environmental Health from Illinois State University, USA; a Masters Degree in Occupational Health and Safety Management from Brunel University, London, U.K., and a pending Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from University of Phoenix, USA. Mr. Carter is also a British Chevening Scholar. Over the years, Mr. Carter completed short courses, technical training and professional development.
Mr. Carter is a keen sportsman who previously played local football with East End United and represented the Cayman Islands National Men’s Football Team locally and internationally. His favourite Premier League team is Chelsea, but he is an avid fan of many other diverse sports.
Mr. Roydell Carter is married. He has two daughters. His family have resided in Newlands for approximately 20 years. He is the eldest son of ten children by Mr. Thomas Carter and the (late) Laurel Lorraine Carter of East End.
The main reasons why I have decided to contest this 2021 Election in Newlands are as follows:
(1) The former representatives and current one has not met the needs of the constituents which resulted in many failed promises and the recent flurry to try and get in some local activities and visitations done in the constituency mainly because of the election period.
(2) I have been living in the Newlands constituency for almost 20 years now and many community issues are still outstanding, and some have gotten worse over the years. Essential facilities; programmes and initiatives (for the youths and elderly); and key infrastructure are lacking or insufficient, to mention a few.
(3) I believe that I am suitably qualified, educated and experienced to be the better choice for change in Newlands to implement reasonable, practicable and common-sense policies and actions locally and nationally. I am ready to work for the people and be an accessible representative.
TOP NATIONAL ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED, IF ELECTED:
• Pandemic, Health Insurance and Pensions
• Economic Matters (Jobs, cost of living, minimum wages)
• Education (training, vocational & technical)
• Environment Related (sustainable, housing, waste mgmt)
TOP LOCAL ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED, IF ELECTED:
• Youths, and Seniors Initiatives
• Community development (parks, facilities, programmes)
• Flooding and Drainage
YOUR CONCERNS, SUGGESTIONS AND VOLUNTEERISM MATTERS:
Raul Gonzalez, Jr.
Raul Gonzalez Jnr. is the first of four children produced between the union of Nora and Raul Gonzalez. He was born and raised in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. He belonged to a family that upheld Christian values and love radiated amongst them. In pursuit of a strong education, Raul attended the Triple C School and John Gray High School.
Raul Gonzalez Jnr. has spent his entire adult life as an entrepreneur. He is not afraid of trying new business ventures, he is guided by the quote “If you have never tried, you will never know”.
Raul is a family man who takes pride in ensuring that his wife, children, siblings, other family members, employees and friends are comfortable and happy. He enjoys water sports, cycling, cooking and board games. He loves to share and assist where possible. These quality are aligned with the fact that he is a devout Christian and a member of the Cayman Islands Baptist Church.
Raul Gonzalez Jnr. is not a career politician, rather a humble hardworking husband, father, brother, uncle and friend who is heavily committed to seeing a change in his community. He aspires to become the voice for the voiceless within his community and share his love and compassion for his county and fellow Caymanians.
Top three national issues that Raul intends to address if elected:
• Cost of Living
• Pension/Health insurance
Top three constituency issues are:
• Unity of Community
G. Wayne Panton
Wayne Panton is a son of Newlands through and through. The son of Gurney (deceased) and Cecile Panton of Newlands, he still lives in the community with his wife Jane and son Cody. He is passionate about his people and his country. He is also an avid fisherman who loves the ocean and the environment.
A former Attorney-at-Law, Wayne decided to enter the political arena in 2013 as a member of the Progressives’ party and was successful in his first bid. He was subsequently appointed Minister for Financial Services, Commerce and Environment, and served in that position for one term.
Although he did not retain his seat in the last General Election, Wayne continues to serve the residents in the Savannah/Newlands community. He has kept his Savannah/Newlands community office open, which is managed by Ms. Heather Bodden who is campaigning for a seat to represent the Savannah electoral district. Together, they have been addressing various issues in the area. Some of the initiatives and projects that Wayne and Heather have tackled include:
• Maintaining roadsides and beautifying the community parks
• Improving public transportation
• Securing new parking for Spotts Public Beach
• Repairing roads
• Organising neighbourhood watches
• Maintaining and improving the Savannah/Newlands playfield on Pedro Castle Road
• Addressing the safety and security of homes and businesses
• Assisting people with home ownership
• Helping educate children locally and overseas
• Installing lighted crosswalks and streetlights
• Partnering with Savannah Primary school to meet some of the needs that have been identified at the school including upgrading the play area
Wayne is also the founder of the Alex Panton Foundation, a not-for-profit with the primary objective of raising awareness of mental illnesses affecting children and young adults in the Cayman Islands, with a particular focus on anxiety and depression. The Foundation was established in memory of his and Jane’s son, Alex, who succumbed to the effects of severe depression at the age of 16. They have dedicated their lives to advancing the cause of mental health awareness, advocacy and support as it relates to youth and young adults.
What are your thoughts on our education system?
Government has put so much money into education. Yet we are still failing to achieve satisfactory student attainment levels which is really frustrating. We all know that education is the key to greater opportunity and success for Caymanians in the workforce and life in general. Therefore, we need to view education as a priority for ourselves, our children and the future generation and work together to increase the quality of learning that our public schools are providing.
I also think teachers need more support overall and should be performance-managed, meaning that those who are achieving good results should be appropriately rewarded. This will hopefully motivate other educators to up their game which will in turn improve outcomes across the board.
Ensuring our education system is constantly improving is an obligation we all share and we should all be involved as much as we can. For me, that means I will be taking the time to volunteer to read to classes, to be available to discuss local and relevant issues with teachers, students and parents and to continue my track record of being involved in projects and other initiatives to improve our local Savannah Primary School.
As a former Minister for Environment, what is the current state of our environment in your opinion?
We have a system that still does not regard environmental issues as important to our success as a country and our wellbeing as citizens of this country. Some people still have the idea that the environment is disposable. They do not understand that we do not have a real, sustainable tourism product without a protected environment.
We cannot label Cayman as successful without an environment that supports an enjoyable quality of life. A balanced, holistic approach across all of Government is needed to achieve this instead of the current situation where progress is being made in little pockets but with no consistent and aligned objectives.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in sustainable development. That means sensible growth which takes into consideration and seeks to balance other important factors such as quality of life; the quality of the tourism product; climate change resiliency; proper infrastructure management; protection of the environment and renewable energy options.
The bottom line is that we are not entitled to pursue our prosperity today at the cost of our children’s prosperity tomorrow. We must strike the right balance.
Success vs. Quality Of Life
The metrics that Government traditionally relies on to measure the success of the country are not necessarily a true indicator of what most people feel in their everyday lives. Using GDP per capita as a measurement of prosperity for example, does not accurately reflect what you, me and the majority of the population feel as it relates to satisfaction with our overall quality of life. It can also obscure the persistent and worsening issue of income inequality. Broadly, issues such as health, education, employment, the environment, personal security, work-life balance and traffic all contribute to our perception of whether we are leading happy prosperous lives.
So I would use other methods, in addition to the usual metrics, to measure the perception of success. Methods that give a better sense of the quality of life as perceived by residents like you and me. Then I would work to develop policies and initiatives that are aimed at achieving desired outcomes including better income equality which contributes to a better quality of life for all citizens.
The future of Newlands
Newlands is a vibrant and diverse community which is experiencing tremendous growth as the Cayman population continues moving east. Heather Bodden and I have kept the Savannah Newlands Community office open over the last four years to serve residents and address their needs. We will continue to do the work of improving and enhancing our communities in conjunction with well-established District Councils.
This work includes neighbourhood watch programmes for all communities; the setup and training of sufficient Community Emergency Response Teams; the safety and security of home and businesses; public transportation; road improvements; effectively addressing drainage and flooding issues; managing and maintaining public spaces; implementing a local composting facility; and beautifying our roadsides and community parks. My objective is to make Newlands the best community in Grand Cayman where residents enjoy a quality of life that is second to none.
Why have you decided to run for Government again?
I came to public service from a successful 30-year career in the private sector. I have benefitted from opportunities that we made available to me and I want to help other Caymanians achieve their full potential and have the same opportunities I had. The truth is I think the call to serve my country is ingrained in me and I could not just walk away and abandon the people who believe in me. I come from a long line of family members who were public servants so the desire to get involved in Government and contribute to the success of my Country is compelling.
Once I became a member of Government, I realised that not only was it some of the most rewarding work I’ve done in my life but it also felt natural. Some may say I have the qualifications and experience to run for Government and this may be true but the most important reason why I should be considered as a strong choice is that I am committed to one thing and one thing only, and that is making a positive difference in the lives of the people who call these islands home.
Alva Suckoo is the incumbent Member of Parliament for Newlands. MP Suckoo was elected as the first representative for the single member constituency of Newlands in 2017, which marked the first elections in the Cayman Islands run under the “One Man, One Vote” system. He was first elected to Parliament (then the Legislative Assembly) in 2013 to serve as a Member representing the former multiple member district of Bodden Town.
During his political career, MP Suckoo has served as Deputy Leader of the Opposition, May 2017 to Present; Member of Parliament for Newlands, May 2017 to Present; 4th Elected Member for the District of Bodden Town, May 2013 to May 2017; Councillor to the Minister of Home & Community Affairs, May 2013 to December 2015; Councillor to the Minister of Health, Sports, Youth & Culture, May 2013 to December 2015; and Councillor for e-Government, May 2013 to December 2015
Since 2017 MP Suckoo has earned a Certificate in Law from the University of Essex and will complete the LLB Hons. in December 2021. He decided to study law as a way to improve his effectiveness as a legislator while also building on his considerable qualifications and experience.
MP Suckoo has 20 years of private sector experience in Financial Services and Technology and eight years of Parliamentary experience.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from DePaul University, Chicago, and a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University, N.Y.
MP Suckoo is the devoted father of two daughters.
The top 3 national issues that Alva intends to address if re-elected:
• To continue the effort to protect the country from the pandemic. This includes economic recovery and taking steps to protect the health and safety of all residents. I will also ensure that businesses, schools, government, and individuals are supported and that we approach the re-opening as safely and efficiently as possible.
• Securing new parking for Spotts Public BeachEducation must be a national responsibility. We need to prioritize opportunities for continuing education for adults who are becoming displaced as jobs are becoming more technical and sophisticated. We must address the growing number of students with special education needs who are falling through the cracks and we must ensure that we have the resources to effectively educate our people, this includes a third primary school for Bodden Town.
• Infrastructure must also be a priority. We must effectively deal with the growing traffic issues; housing for Caymanians; protection of the environment and public rights of way; park and recreational facility development; a performing arts center; ensuring that everyone has access to healthcare and that emergency services are quickly and effectively available for every resident.
The top 3 Newlands constituency issues that Alva intends to address if re-elected:
• Infrastructure improvements for Newlands and the surrounding community must be a priority. We need a holistic floodwater management solution and more classrooms at the primary level to accommodate the rapidly growing population. While a number of roads have been resurfaced, we need to continue this effort along with the installation of speed humps and street lighting. Hirst Road also needs sidewalks to ensure the safety of pedestrians and we need to prioritize covered bus shelters for school kids and other users of public transportation.
• Newlands does not get the benefit of tourism; an effort must be made to ensure that tourist attractions are developed around cultural and historic sites in the constituency. I plan to develop the Jackson’s Wall site into such an attraction, as an example. We need to ensure that Newlands is included in our tourism plans nationally, and to ensure that we can participate in a renewed Go-EAST initiative for the Eastern districts. There are direct and indirect benefits to doing this, such as the creation of business opportunities for landowners and the development of area businesses that support our tourism product.
• I want to support the development of ICCI in Newlands. There are tremendous benefits that can be gained by merging the two university colleges (ICCI and UCCI) making Newlands a destination for those who want to pursue higher learning not just for local residents but for overseas students as well. This would provide opportunities for residents to develop businesses that will offer goods and services to students, including housing.
Alva explains why he is running in the 2021 elections:
I was the first elected member for the newly created single member constituency of Newlands in 2017, which was a great honour for me and an opportunity to effectively represent the community, help it to grow, and help residents manage this growth. I’ve made a good start in addressing pressing issues in the Newlands community, despite being on the Opposition bench. Several infrastructure and safety issues have been addressed on my watch that have improved the lives of my constituents. This is my job as a representative – to make people’s lives better. And it has become my calling. Much has been accomplished, but there is still work to be done. I hope to continue that process into the next four years. With the benefit of eight years of legislative experience, my goal is to be able to make a difference at the national level as a Minister of Government – which would allow me to effectively deliver on my manifesto promises and work to improve the Cayman Islands as a whole.
Links to campaign website/social media channels:
PPM Manifesto: https://www.theprogressives.ky/2021PPM_Manifesto_FinalFinal.pdf