(CMR) Wayne Panton and Heather Bodden have announced their candidacies for the upcoming 2021 Cayman Islands General Election where they will once again contest seats in the Newlands and Savannah Electoral Districts respectively, this time as aligned independents.
Mr. Panton says it is his compelling desire to serve his country and his love for public service that made him decide to throw his hat in the ring once again. These feelings are equally supported by the substantial qualifications and experience necessary to confidently represent his district and the Cayman Islands. Ms. Bodden echoed his sentiments.
“As a child my father told his children to ‘be honest, work hard and do good while you can’. That is what has guided my life”, explained Ms. Bodden when explaining why she is aiming to represent her community once again.
“I have always had a passion for community service and being the elected member for Savannah will provide the opportunity for me to do the most good for my community and by extension my country.”
Ms. Bodden has spent the past 30 years giving back to her community, from organising senior citizen events, to serving as a trustee on the ICCI board to fighting for overall improvements to the Savannah and Newlands communities.
She also served as a representative for Bodden Town from 1995 until 2000. During her tenure in Government, she brought the motions for establishing handicap parking and creating a safe house for battered and abused women and children island-wide, which is known today as the Crisis Centre. She also worked to strengthen the litter laws and contributed to many other important initiatives.
Panton, the former Minister for Financial Services, Commerce and Environment (2013-2017) did not retain his seat in the last General Election but continues to serve the residents in the Savannah/Newlands community.
He has kept his Savannah/Newlands Community office open, which is managed by Ms. Bodden, and both have been addressing various issues in the area, from the maintenance of roadsides and beautification of the community parks and the safety and security of homes and businesses to public transportation and road improvements.
They have also been partnering with Savannah Primary School to meet some of the needs that have been identified at the school and to continue to fund various projects and initiatives in their respective districts. One of those is the upkeep and improvements to Savannah/Newlands playfield on Pedro Castle Road.
Campaigning under the theme “Community Creates Country”, Mr. Panton and Ms. Bodden believe that everyone, using their individual strengths and abilities, has a contribution to make to his/her community and, by extension, his or her country.
“We cannot underestimate the impact that is made, and the momentum that is created when individuals in their communities throughout the islands come together in their own neighbourhoods, working to help their neighbours and care for their districts. Those seemingly small acts and demonstrations of community spirit by separate groups all combine to create a strong, united country that is heavily invested in the wellbeing and future of all its citizens,” Mr. Panton said.
Both candidates ran with the Progressives in the 2017 election.