Independent candidate for Bodden Town West Chris Saunders said government is too quick to shoot down bold ideas. He pointed to James Whittaker’s cable-car based Sky bridge cruise berthing concept as one example of an innovative idea left to die on the vine.
“We need ideas that are big, we need ideas that are bold, we need ideas I can show people you know what, we can be different,” said Mr. Saunders.
He told Cayman 27 James Whittaker’s Sky-bridge cruise berthing concept is an example of the sort of out-of-the-box thinking Cayman needs.
“I like people who think creative, I like innovation, and that’s actually one of the things that are actually missing from our overall, in terms of where we are as a people,” said Mr. Saunders.
Mr. Saunders went on the record against cruise berthing last week at the Chamber of Commerce candidates forum, but admits cruise tourism is here to stay.
“The question for us now is, what it is we can do to ensure that it benefits more Caymanians and it’s also long-term and sustainable for the environment,” said Mr. Saunders.
“From our perspective, nothing really needed to be changed,” said Mr. Whittaker. “What needed to happen was it needed to be explored further.
Mr. Whittaker said he still believes in the Sky bridge concept. He agrees the country should be more willing to embrace innovative ideas.
“I think that you can be bold and had a well-thought-out plan and do something innovative, and you don’t always have to kind of do the cookie cutter thing that everybody else is doing,” said Mr. Whittaker.
“Look around us, we did not get where we got by being timid, we got where we got by being big, and by being bold. Once the island that time forgot, and now we are the fifth largest offshore financial centre, and everyone knows the Cayman Islands,” said Mr. Saunders.
Mr. Saunders said the country must be slower to dismiss new ideas.
“There’s too much complacency and too much conformity within our country at this time and we need to start seeing how we can create and innovate,” said Mr. Saunders.
The Sky bridge concept was first introduced in August 2015, and failed to gain traction with the Progressives-led government, which has admitted work will not begin on a cruise berthing facility until after elections.