Video: Premier Hiring Advisor “Makes No Sense”

July 13, 2013

Spending “precious government money” to give $100,000 to an “OBA insider” while cutting scholarships makes no sense and “defies belief”, Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said.

On Thursday, the Premier confirmed that he appointed former UBP and OBA public relations manager Don Grearson as a $105,000 a year Advisor.

The Premier’s Press Secretary said Mr. Grearson will “primarily be responsible for providing the Premier with advice and assistance on government planning, research for special projects and speech writing, when required.”

Premier Cannonier said: “I am delighted to have Don on board. He and I have worked closely together from the formation of the One Bermuda Alliance through the 2012 election campaign.

“He is highly respected in the community, deeply committed to the success of the Island, enjoys close working relationships with every minister in the new government and works hard to get things done.”

Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said: “The fact that this person had been working as a consultant for two months already and not disclosed to the House of Assembly, and was not disclosed to Bermuda is a slap in face to the people of Bermuda and also goes back on the words that the Premier gave previously that they would disclose any such type of engagements which happen.”

Mr Burt continued: “I think it is crazy that the Government is hiring an additional consultant in the Premier’s office to do the work of the Press Secretary when the Premier already has a Press Secretary, Chief of Staff, Special Advisor in addition to a whole army of civil servants.

“At the time we are asking civil servants to cut back and everyone in government is being asked to cut back and we have the OBA creating jobs. It just doesn’t make any sense…it defies belief.

“I think the most shocking about this is that this has been going for two months and nobody knows. This man has been writing speeches for the UBP and OBA for a very long time,” continued Mr. Burt.

“He is their press guy, it is a political appointment purely and clearly and I think maybe the Premier needs more political people close to him in in order to set the agenda and make people think he is doing something as opposed to having photo ops and taking trips.

“But there are lots of things to be done in this country and I don’t believe it makes sense that we are spending precious government money and precious government resources on a consultant. We just cut scholarships…but yet we have money to give $100,000 to an OBA insider? That makes absolutely no sense to me.”

“I think the Premier needs to be held accountable for this and the entire Cabinet…as it has to be approved by Cabinet…any engagement over $50000. So 13 people sat around a chair and thought that it was a good idea to bring one of their political people into the Cabinet office and take away money from student scholarships?”

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (67)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Articles that link to this one:

  1. Weekend Reports, Photos, Videos, Links & More | Bernews.com | July 15, 2013
  1. SoMuchMore says:

    Burt I too think its insane and the premier needs to rethink this I’m a oba fan. at the same time the pee l pee should think twice before commenting cause they spent like a drunken sailor with loose pockets.

    Oba is no better than the pee l pee but that can change if cannioner starts to think. No wait, he needs don his advisor to think for him. Smh

    • Luis Suarez says:

      David Burt, whatever mistakes the OBA make, and this is relatively minor….compared to what your party messed up, I’m surprised that you even have gall. Who are you anyway? Your predecessors ( who would eat you for breakfast) wrote the rule book on unnecessary consultants and jobs for the boys. It’s Sunday tomorrow, talk to the elders.

      • Mazumbo says:

        Minor are you crazy, in 7 months the OBA/ubp have totally made an a– out of themselves , well they are the OLIGARCHY resurrected what more do you expect. And for David Burt his intelligence, mannerism ,pronouncement of his words and knowledge of the amendment would put your Premier and most of your party to shame!!!! And looking at your comment name speaks volumes. LOL

    • Robert says:

      You know what, the fact that you refer to The Progressive labour Party (PLP) as the pee l pee, as in urine, “PISSES” ME OFF !! i dont what your inference is, but i dont like it. It does nothing but strength my support for the bermuda progressive labour party.

      PLP ALL THE WAY, ALL THE WAY PLP

  2. Vote for Me says:

    After reading some of the posts about Grearson’s appointment yesterday, it is easy to conclude that the post of Premier has been rendered entirely meaningless by the OBA. The Premier is hiring an increasing number of personal assistants at the Cabinet office but he seemingly has no real authority over his Cabinet colleagues. In response they seem happy for him to ‘frolic all over’ while they get on with the real work.

    If I am correct, it is no wonder none of the Ministers vehemently opposed the appointment of Grearson. I can see absolutely no benefit in doing so and the only result is permanent embarassment (and a potential lack of support) for the Premier. We need not be reminded of the OBA timetable for selecting a Leader later this year. Some of Cannonier’s recent mistakes might give many pause to consider whether he should continue as Leader.

    On a more controversial note, the Premier had some very strong comments about the racial imbalance in Bermuda as part of his response to the Throne Speech in November. Based on his comment, many thought a focus for him as Premier would be to address Bermuda’s racial imbalance. Since becoming Premier however, he has not been at all forceful as our new Premier. Has been advised to scale back his comments??

    With respect to his ‘public visibility’, he seems to have given much more prominence to Dunkley, Richards and Fahy – this is a fundamental mistake by any political analysis.

    To add to my observations, recent polls have shown that Cannonier is not even the favoured leader of the OBA!!

    • Impressive says:

      I agree, I would also say that having Mr. Cannonnier as Premier, seriously dilutes the integrity of the office of Premier in this wonderful country, and I stand by this statement 200percent..

      I know that the OBA have some very smart people, so having this individual as leader of the party definitely makes me question their aim in really improving this county..

      • Mazumbo says:

        If you have not been following politricks in Bermuda he was chosen as a SURREGATE to get the black votes!!!!!!!!

  3. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    I’m NO plp supporter,but this guy is getting $105,000 a year for WHAT?
    chit chat??

    I have 5 words for the Premier…GET RID OF HIM NOW!

    • Come Correct says:

      Why don’t we just fire Craig and appoint Grearson premier for $105,000, save us some money. I don’t understand why the Premier needs advisors, shouldn’t he be THE advisor/leader? I completely agree with Vote for Me above and with the comments made by Burt. Maybe the Premier should have to hire these consultants out of his paycheck. There’s a lot of people out there struggling right now, paying bills, no insurance, and this guy gets hired at a six figure salary for being a glorified sock puppeteer. OBA needs to check themselves before they wreck themselves.

  4. nomoremoney says:

    the ice gets thin…

  5. toilet water says:

    Axe him please. You do not need him.

    • justsayin says:

      When you are the premier and you are not qualified to be the premier and you lack experience in politics, your first option is to hire an adviser who is qualified.

      People in the business world do it all the time. They hire a consultant. More times over, the consultant doesn’t tell you anything you didn’t know already. It ends up just being a waste of money.

      • Impressive says:

        and why appoint somebody as Premier who you have to spend extra funds on, just to help him do his joh competently.. Why not appoint a leader who already has the skills?? just saying..

        • justsayin says:

          Craig was appointed so that the OBA could win the election. If they would have appointed an ex UBB member that could have possibly lost the election due to the history of the UBP party.

          Leadership is immensely stressful especially when you are the focal point. The blame always comes back to haunt you. Leaders want to make the best decisions that can possibly be made and some feel they cannot do it on their own. Hiring a consultant mitigates some of the risk by getting a helping hand.

          In my opinion, I think there are enough members in his own political party to help make decisions. Consultants are usually a waste of money. Especially when there only hired to talk and give direction because they are telling you stuff you already know.

          The Bermuda government has used so many consultants across the board we can almost blame the consultants for our failed economy and bad decisions.

  6. Jus' Askin' says:

    OBA keeps creating jobs ;-)

  7. Bermuda Male says:

    One has to laugh at Mr. Burt and his hypocrisy.

    His company continued to receive government contracts as a consultant despite the PLP cutting the budget in programs such as mirrors, slashing budgets to charities, daycare allowance requirements tightened, free college tuition scrapped etc.

    I don’t agree with the Grearson appointment either. But that doesn’t excuse one from being a total and utter hypocrite.

  8. Mazumbo says:

    OBA can learn a lot from this guy .He’s intelligent, he speaks well, fluent and precise. Though I may not agree with some things PLP did , in 6 months OBA/ubp are doing worse . Drunken sailors is an understatement for the OBA/ubp, and it cant change (if cannioner starts to think) because he’s the one that’s not doing the thinking remember he’s one of the SURAGGATE’S . LOL

  9. Rich says:

    I’m going to take a slightly different track from most of the criticisms leveled about this – though I don’t want to dismiss those criticisms.

    First, let’s assume that there is a genuine need for an additional special adviser. And maybe there is a genuine need for it. But is Don Grearson the best man for the job? Is he capable enough to do what he is doing?

    Ok, so he was communications director for the OBA in last year’s election. He did the same job for the UBP before. And I think the UBP’s time in opposition from 2003 until the OBA’s formation was a masterclass in weak, ineffectual political communications. Is this man worth spending 100K+ per annum of taxpayers’ dollars?

    Second, is this a reflection of the fact that the Premier’s communications strategy before was failing? If so, what does that mean about his incumbent appointees? Are his Chief of Staff and Press Secretary up to the job? Maybe Don Grearson is the appropriate person to be there. But does that mean we can afford to consolidate some positions in the Cabinet Office? Maybe let some one go?

  10. Um Um Like says:

    Perhaps we should hire a consultant to determine if this advisor is required.

    • SoMuchMore says:

      Lmfao! Love it.

    • Mazumbo says:

      I think OBA/ubp already beat you to that idea!!!! LOL

    • Impressive says:

      and a advisor to the advisor to make sure his advice is actually getting to the Premier and to make sure the Premier is actually learning from the advice, or is he going to just simply accept the advice, as he really doesn’t the intelligence to question the advice… hooo hummmmm

  11. SoMuchMore says:

    maybe cannioner needs to go back to managing his gas stations. someone please pay me for my brilliant idea. Lol

    • Mazumbo says:

      He cant even do that right, two gas stations running out of gas at the same time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a joke

      • SoMuchMore says:

        i was going to say that but i remembered its the manager that screwed up and not him.

      • Worry says:

        You think it’s easy why don’t you try it smuck PLP loosers

        • Mazumbo says:

          No one said it wasn’t easy that’s what he gets paid for. If you cant take the heat get out of the kitchen. LOL

  12. Terry says:

    Michael Dunkley/Grant Gibbons/E.T. Richards/Moniz with be the next Premier when his period is up.
    John Swan is still an adviser.
    Irony.

    • margeI says:

      When is the Premiers time up ? I think Michael Dunkley should take over.

  13. Real Talk (original) says:

    So we have a press secretary, a personal aide and now an advisor? All for the leader of a country of 60,000 people…

    Delusions of grandeur…

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Real delusions of grandeur is calling a 20 square mile reef a ‘country’ or worse yet ‘nation’.

      • Mazumbo says:

        The land dose not make the country or nation its the people that’s in it

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          Maybe the PLP should use that exact quote as their motto.

  14. Rockfish#1 and #2 says:

    Premier Cannonier has far too many people in his retinue, and is behaving like a child in a candy store, or a drunkard at a free bar! The state of the economy has nothing to do with my conclusion, there are too many period. All he needs is a capable/qualified private secretary and a driver. The DCI and other government departments can be utilized to provide the support required by the office holder,they certainly need more work to do.

    The OBA is beginning to act just like the former government who they correctly criticised for this type of nonsense. Where is the change?
    Does the Cabinet approve of his ego trip?

    • Terry says:

      Rockfish it’s not the Cabinet per sey.
      See my previous comment.
      UBP still in charge.

      • Rockfish#1 and #2 says:

        I understand that, however my comments are directed to those who we elect/pay.
        They are accountable to us,not those in the smoke filled back rooms.

      • White says:

        Hey bie, UBP still in charge, you know many of us wanted that anyway.

        And is it worse? Of course not, this is a molehill in the mountains of sh** the PLOP offered us on a weekly basis.

  15. Rockfish#1 and #2 says:

    Terry,
    My better half(#2) claims to remember him as a humble young man. What happened?

    • Terry says:

      I ate humble pie and still do.
      should HAVE STUCK WITH # 1.
      Shalom.

  16. TTG says:

    14 years of the PLP Govt. made no sense. Stick to OBA these guys are trying to distract you from turning Bermuda around

  17. blazer says:

    If Don is going to be doing all of those things, he may as well be the
    Premier.

  18. Onlooker says:

    Seems to me that the old guard in the OBA are sitting back and letting Mr. Cannonier sink further and further into the mire by doing this they have a plausible excuse to move him on for the real crony they want in charge.

    Can’t believe I’m saying this – as an OBA supporter but Mr. Cannonier is just getting it sooooo wrong lately I can only believe that he is being led by the nose to his own execution. (Watch out for Pettingill et al. they are after the top job………..)

  19. Whistling Frog says:

    What did you all expect? Who puts their money on a horse that’s never ran on a track?

  20. Robert says:

    This progressive labour party will be around for eternity, regardless of what you morons think !!

  21. navin johnson says:

    $105,000? could you not make it $160,001 so it would be more than Derrick Burgess gave the Reverend Bean for his little BLDC report?

  22. Bermuda Boy says:

    @ Robert, I wish they do stay around, just like they are now, an opposition party.

  23. Muff diver says:

    Hiring the advisor makes no sense,according to Mr.David Burt.
    Did hiring Rolf and Renee make any sense to you Mr.Burt?What did they do for the $100s of thousands they got?

    • Vote for Me says:

      @ muff diver 9:31 am
      It would be interesting to know what your moniker is intended to represent.

      RE Rolf and Renee – the PLP have already paid the price for them. You must now keep to teh point for the OBA is definitely paying the price for their recent mistakes and if not careful they may lose the government in less than the 5 years they have.

      If you read the various comments about Grearson and the previous private jet travel, plus frequent trips and hiring Corey Butterfield, Louise Jackson, Thad Hollis? and others, even the ardent OBA supporters are becoming frustrated.

  24. Rockfish #2 says:

    Given his background in local politics, Grearson should have insisted on his appointment being made public from day one. Between him and Charmaine Burgess, that would have been easy to do.

    He was a part of this sneaky cover up also. The question is, can he be trusted by Cannonier, who shouldn’t need him in the first place!

    Grearson should resign and seek employment elsewhere.

  25. Vote for Me says:

    Here is one for the conspiracy theorists amongst us.

    The appointment of Grearson is a plan hatched by Grearson (with full knowledge of the former UBP stalwarts) to justify the removal of Cannonier as OBA Leader in September. Once Cannonier is replaced by Dunkley (most likely candidate) with Richrds or Crockwell as dark horses (figuratively speaking), Grearson can help to ‘justify’ the replacement by demonstrating that Cannonier has made too many mistakes as a Leader and has decided to ‘resign for personal reasons’.

    Fahy then runs in #12 to replace Cannonier at the next election (or they can have a bi election) and the ‘palace coup’ will be complete.

    We should all be aware of former MP John Barritt’s public comments that seem to be at odds with Cannonier / OBA in terms of how they have changed their leadership selection process. It has also been interesting to hear that Barritt agrees that Dupperault should not have spoken publicly about his work as SAGE Chair. Barritt also has some questions about the inappropriate comunication with the Cabinet about SAGE activities. Taken on their own, Barritt’s comments may not be of any concern. If we take Barritt’s comments in the context of his personal sacrifice to let Cannonier become an MP and hence Premier, Barritt’s comments take on more significance.

    Any bets on what would happen if Barritt decided to run as an independent against Cannonier in #12?

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      Blah blah blah. In two months we will see what a load of hogwash this guy talks.

      • Vote For Me says:

        @ Sandy Bottom
        The post is only for the conspiracy theorists amonsgst us.

  26. abc says:

    ALL POLITICS R DE SAY

    TILL THERES MORE SNOWDEN AND OTHERS DIS CLOWS WILL RUIN DE WORLD

  27. Mazumbo says:

    Dark horses (SURREGATES), conspiracy very likely , no surprise typical Oligarchy tactics. LOL

  28. Rockfish #2 says:

    An interesting theory, but unlikely to happen for a number of reasons.

    Frankly, I think Grearson is simply cashing in his chips.

  29. Victor says:

    Perhaps Mazumbo could explain why the real Mazumbo’s kids are a former UBP Premier (Pamela) and the current OBA Minister of Health (Patricia)?

    • Ya got me Rollin ......NOT says:

      Go do your homework and find out their story and you will see that it makes perfect sense why they are who they are today.

      • Victor says:

        I have – I read Mr. Ira Philip’s book. Besides, I was testing Mazumbo and not you..

    • Mazumbo says:

      Because as black people as long as we feel that if we get accepted or a right of passage from white people that we’ve accomplished something it’s called Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome ever wonder why Henry Tucker’s, Gibbon’s ,Dunkly’s and other Oligarchy kid’s don’t support PLP talk about a people that’s spun . It’s sad but that’s life. LOL

  30. yes says:

    yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnn!

  31. Rhonda Neil says:

    hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil… on a person’s family matters….

  32. fried onion says:

    maybe if mr Grearson’s skin was a little darker it would not bother some people as much

  33. Realist says:

    Mr.Burt,did anything your party do,make sense for the country?Or did it make sense for you and your colleagues?