(CMR) Deputy Chief Officer Tristan Hydes has reportedly told a local community group that they can no longer paint the traffic islands around Grand Cayman's roads because the color is a “PACT government color.” The bizarre suspension came after the group completed more than 19 islands.
The bizarre meeting took place on Wednesday afternoon after Ms. Romelia Welcome was invited to meet with the minister along with his chief officer, Stran Bodden, on unrelated matters.
Upon receiving the phone call on Monday to meet; Welcome phoned back to inquire about the matters to be discussed. She was told that they wanted to speak with her regarding her request for a KYD $5,000 beautification grant and sponsorship for a senior's trip to Panama.
Before the meeting began, Minister Bryan walked out and indicated he would be returning shortly. Upon his return, he brought Chief Officer Tristan Hydes with him. Hydes is the DCO for Planning, Agriculture, Housing, Infrastructure, Transport, and Development. Hydes proceeded to drill Welcome about, who gave her permission to paint the traffic islands, to which she replied that she had gotten permission from National Roads Authority head Howard Edwards.
She proceeded to show an email on her phone to Minister Bryan. Bryan then handed the phone to Hydes for him to satisfy himself that the permission was indeed given. He then responded, “Minister, I believe you,” but according to Welcome, he appeared shocked. He abruptly got up and stated that he would be returning shortly.
Back in late August, Welcome submitted the request to paint that special color and provided Edwards with a paint sample of the teal color that would have been used. She even provided Edwards with a computer-generated sample to approve. Without hesitation, he responded that “noted and approved as discussed. Yellow base with blue/green top.”
Upon Hyde's return to Minister Bryan's office, he started saying that he would have to stop her from using that color and suggested several other colors and noted that NRA would provide her with all the paint so she wouldn't have to continue soliciting for paint/funding to continue to her. He promised that he would get back to her on Friday, January 19th. That call has not yet been received.
Both Hydes and Edwards are members of the Traffic Management Panel Board – which, according to Hydes, will have to approve this initiative.
Ironically, they also told her that they would not be immediately changing the 19 painted islands but would be waiting for them to fade and require repainting. Most of the islands completed thus far have been in George Town. Welcome's Cayman Kind Action Committee also solicited the assistance of youth groups and other volunteers, including Boyz 2 Men.