(CMR) Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Brevon Elliott has been appointed as acting director of the Cayman Islands Port Authority (PACI) as they continue to search for a permanent replacement for Joseph “Joey” Woods. If Elliott is given the position permanently it appears he will be tasked with finding at least four other members of his management team.
Elliott is set to replace Elizabeth “Beth” McField who has been acting since September of last year. McField was appointed for an initial period of three months with an extension of a further three months that ends next week. She was on secondment from The Ministry of Border Control & Labour.
Elliott was appointed as Acting Chief Officer in March 2019 and was one of three Caymanians being strategically groomed to take over the chief fire officer position with the Cayman Islands Fire Service. However, that position was given to Dwight Randy Rankin, which has allegedly caused some friction within the top brass of the fire service.
Some well-placed sources have claimed this latest appointment is an attempt to placate the situation at the Cayman Islands Fire Service. There is some speculation that Elliott will eventually be selected for the position once the recruitment is reopened. An initial recruitment process has left the port with no new director and people applying that were seen as extremely weak candidates both in experience and on paper.
Hopes of finding a port director that has specific experience working at the port appears to be diminishing after deputy director Willem Jacobs resigned with almost three decades at the port. Woods tendered his resignation initially from the top position in September 2021 after he shared that he could not continue working with several board members who remained after the PACT government took office. In February he confirmed he was retiring in April.
An interim acting deputy director was announced last month when it was revealed that Dale Christian, the Cayman Brac Port Manager, would be stepping in to assist with the operations. The top two positions at the Port Authority have been left vacant after both the director and deputy director resigned from the organization; leaving a significant leadership void.
Criticisms of the port board's inability to find suitable replacements have left many wondering if the board needs to be reshuffled. CMR has received complaints that the board's ongoing interference in the management at the port have been rife with some contending that they enjoy micro-managing the management team acting above what is legally permissible. Some have queried if some board members should not apply for the vacancies themselves given their desire to involved themselves in the day to day operations.
CMR understands that the management voids is not exclusive to the top two positions as both the the human resources manager and the night operations manager for cargo are only acting with no permanent placement. After Wood's retirement, the cruise and security manager's position will also be acting as he stepped back into that position when he vacated the director post in September.
The staff at the port shared with CMR that they were hopeful that McField would be staying on permanently in the position as many saw her as a refreshing breath of fresh air. One employee noted that the first time in many years they were afforded staff meetings. They were hopeful that those initiatives would continue in the future.
McField has a strong human resources and administrative background.