Premier Appoints Don Grearson & Jeff Baron

June 12, 2014

The Cabinet Office announced this evening [June 12] that Senator Jeff Baron and Don Grearson have been appointed to the posts of Special Advisors to the Premier.

A statement said, “Mr. Grearson will focus on communication and Sen. Baron’s responsibility will encompass special project matters, daily support for the Premier and administrative details as required.

“It should be noted that Sen. Baron will continue serving as a Senator and Junior Minister for National Security.

Mr. Grearson on the left, Sen. Baron on the right:

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“Under the Act, the Premier and the Opposition Leader are permitted to employ personal staff, to be funded from the Consolidated Fund.

“Regarding the communications and media matters under the Premier’s Portfolio, the public is advised that the Premier will continue to use the already existing Public Affairs services of the Department of Communication and Information.

“In that regard, the Premier’s Press Officer, Ms. Nea Talbot, a Civil Servant, will be responsible for the Office of the Premier, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of National Security.

“And finally, the Premier has advised that the post of the Premier’s Executive Assistant has been filled by Ms. Carol Hayward also a Civil Servant within Government. All will serve under the direction of the Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Derrick Binns.

“It should be stressed that personal staff appointments are not unique, as this has been the case with previous administrations. Additionally, this is the least number of personal staff appointments compared to previous Premiers.

Premier Dunkley said today, “I am very pleased to welcome these individuals to the team. Each of them bring a strong level of commitment and professionalism to the table.

“Additionally I was very keen to continue utilizing the talent and skill within the Civil Service as I have come to value their level of expertise during my time in Government. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done and we have a great team within the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of National Security to get it done.”

The appointment of Mr. Grearson, who was also hired by former Premier Craig Cannonier, is with immediate effect, while Sen. Baron is due to start next week.

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Comments (55)

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  1. somuchless says:

    Whatever you do Dunk, don’t listen to Don. Just look at what happened with Cannioner.

    • ERJ says:

      Or maybe Cannonier didn’t listen to Don…..

  2. Sick n Tired says:

    OK AND HOW MUCH MORE PROOF DO WE AS A PEOPLE NEED TO SEE HOW BADLY WE WERE BAMBOOZLED IN 2012!!!!!!

    SICKENING!!!!

    • Are you for real? says:

      At least Premier Dunkley does not have 10 Bodyguards on the payroll as some previous Premiers under the PLP. THAT was REALLY sickening!!

  3. Chris Famous says:

    Whoa this is laffable.. Baron I can understand

    Considering the was DG advised ex PCC …woa this is gonna be fun

    round 2

    • Are you for real? says:

      But the PLP could do nothing wrong, right?

    • Unbelievable says:

      oh wow, you posted under your real name. What happened to the other names you like to use?

  4. nuffin but the truth says:

    Baron was a good move.
    Grearson was a bad move!

    • Paradise Reclaimed says:

      Baron has ZERO peoplle skillz, ZERO.

      • Tough Love says:

        He don’t need them. When you look as fine as that, people are nicer to you and let more things slide, such as being a people person.

    • clearasmud says:

      I beg to differ! We have previously been told about Gearson’s expertise what exactly is Baron’s expertise that would justify him being a special advisor?

  5. Tell me again says:

    So what happened to Cannonier’s Personal Assistant. The Guy who used to walk around town with him.

    • WAW says:

      he was black!

    • Hurricane says:

      And Ms. Burgess the Press Secretary, is she still there? This whole thing makes me laugh to keep from crying. Whilst THE ACT may allow for all this personal staffing, when will have have someone as premier who doesn’t see the need for it? And don’t tell me about anything in the past. We were supposed to have moved forward and voted for change. The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. SMH!

      • Tough Love says:

        A press secretary is needed. If you knew how politics worked, you would know this already.

        • Hurricane says:

          @ Tough Love, I do not not need to know how politics works. I simply asked a question………translated for you Mr/Ms know it all ” does Charmaine Burgess still have her job as press secretary”. Duhhhhhh!

  6. Cow Polly says:

    Um, can Jeff Baron be my assistant too?

  7. trulytruly says:

    “..this is the least number of personal staff appointments compared to previous Premiers.” This is the good bit. Shows he is sensitive of the need to be more economical with appointments. Jeff Baron is a great choice.

    • clearasmud says:

      Just because a statement is made does not mean that it is true. Premier Scott had less personal staff!

      • Riley B King says:

        Scott had less than two? What Cox, Brown, and Smith?

  8. js says:

    I thought Dunkley was an interim Premier until the OBA had their upcoming leadership challenge to vote in a new surrogate

    clearly he sees himself in the position long term and is making staff appointments now

    talk about a group of people being relatable

    not!!!

    I suppose he should enjoy it while it lasts

  9. watchinandwatn says:

    scaaarrrryyyy!!!

    The “people” are already feeling mistreated and overlooked while in the meantime all the recent appointments (banking/politics/insurance etc) are starting to take on the same complexion.

    Come on Bermuda….I was not a PLP supporter, by any means, but it’s starting to look like Bermuda circa 1960 to me.

    Please OBA/ Corporate Bermuda….Tidy this trend up or risk losing more than just the government if the people continue to feel totally under represented…..

    just sayin….

    • Kangoocar says:

      Yeah, like I believe you were NOT a plp supporter??? Anyone that sees race before anything else, could only be a plp supporter!!! The OBA does not make decisions, based on race, the plp did that and look at the mess we all ended up in!!!!!

      • flikel says:

        “he OBA does not make decisions, based on race,”

        That is far from the truth. Both parties make decisions based on race, both parties hire consultants and experts to provide advice on race, both parties play the ‘race card’.

        When you have an electorate that largely votes along racial lines, to suggest that only the PLP looks at race is an utter and complete fallacy.

        To even believe that race was not a factor in choosing the former Premier as leader of the OBA is just plain naive.

      • jonny says:

        your joking right

  10. will the real UBP please stand up says:

    Wow all the the black window dressing is Gone. Dale jackson Gone, Charmagne Burgess Gone. The black faces have served their purpose. These guys dont get it!!!

    To all the psuedo intellectuals and tree huggers that thought the OBA was different from the UBP and an all Encompassing party are now seeing the true colors.

    this is sad but transperant

    BAD MOVE

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      So, what is important? Window dressing or job performance? Me, I don’t care what the person looks like. I want performance.

      Look where putting “Those who look like me” got us.

    • St D says:

      Agree. The only way this is going to work is if they wow us with their excellence. So we need to see a marked difference in the next week.

    • Anon says:

      How disgustingly racist and narrow minded of you.

    • Hurricane says:

      Yes @ will the real UBP please stand up, the surrogates have served their purpose.

  11. frank says:

    ms burgess I don’t know if you saw it coming but you to were used
    when it comes down to who has the better communication skills it was ms burgess but we all knew that don would stay call it race card

    • Anon says:

      So a black person in the OBA is considered just a puppet of the white man (Cannonier) and then if a white person is hired, it’s just like the old UBP again. So let’s face it. They can’t ever do anything right no matter what they do according to you. THE DAYS OF RACIST POLITICS ARE OVER MATE!

    • Riley B King says:

      So frank. If they had been kept on staff you’d have complained about the cost. If the staff is reduced you complain.
      The truth is: you just want to complain.

  12. Rumforbreakfast says:

    What if he just simply hired people that he thought would be best for the job? I don’t think it would be appropriate to select on other criteria…. say…. race. Surely that would be discrimination? So in this instance they are light skinned, in another instance they may be dark skinned. One thing I know is that Dunkley really doesn’t care about the color of someone’s skin and so, accuse him of other things, but not that.

  13. X man says:

    So two white guy’s were chosen — BIG DEAL! – a lot of noise here’
    I just want them to encurage the Premier to make good decisions for all the people of Bermuda which includes
    all Races of people,the Rich and the Poor,the unemployed,the Homeless,amd not encurage the opposition
    to cry wolf and gain the edge like when CC was the Premier.
    Premier Dunkley has a lot riding on him.– these guy’s chosen cannot screw this up.

  14. Ace girl says:

    How about a Premier running his own show, writing his own speeches, making his decisions with Cabinet. This entourage is pure nonsense. We are in the worst economic state that we could wish to find ourselves in and the leader of a little party has all of these paid employees. These people think they are Barak Obama. They just can’t resist empire building. You accepted the job, just do the job. Don Grearson is a journalist, that is what he needs to do. Jeff Baron is a toy soldier, with all due respect he should be in the regiment. The Premier has a P.A. What more does he need? These salaries could be put to much better use. To think this government says the Civil Service is bloated. Me thinks the Premier needs to look within, before he looks out.
    On another note, Charmaine Burgess was a paid employee, how could she have been ‘used’? These are jobs of a lifetime.

    • jonny says:

      you don’t think a paid employee can be used?

  15. Alvin Williams says:

    With the announcement of the UBP/oba emperor’s new public relations team; one thing is clear. In the wake of political demise of the former premier; the role of the black conservative politician is done; you are not needed any more.

    • jt says:

      You should be happy about that Alvin…having penned your despise for black conservatives on numerous occasions. Sad that your compass points are what they are…or are they?

  16. watching says:

    Disappointed in the retaining of Don Grearson. I thought Dunkley had more political savvy than this.
    Not surprised at Baron. However I think he is a nice guy but overrated politically. A lot of what he says and does seems to be contrived.

  17. Clevie Richardson says:

    It is very important to summize these recent events. A plan to win the Government back which included the master plan re branding of the UBP and to two parties that followed. The by any means necessary mantra to get elected ( very little of what was said by the OBA during their campaign has been implemented in fact they with a straight face say where not going to be doing that now. )The resignation of their leader and the AG not to mention the most recent GATE harbourgate really Bermuda blacks whites permanent residence with and without voting rights.
    We really appreciate the opportunity to live on this beautiful unique island that provides us with certain security unimaginable in majority of the world. That said WE must engage in the process and hold our reps accountable

  18. Rockfish#1and #2 says:

    The effort to streamline his personal staff by using Talbot and Hayward under the direction of Binns is commendable. Btw I don’t know, nor care what color the ladies are, but I know Dr.Binns. Dunkley now has a lean and hopefully more efficient machine.

    Baron is a good choice, but I cannot understand why Dunkley continues to hang on to Grearson. This man is a relic from the past and has far too much baggage!

    • Hurricane says:

      @ Rockfish #1 & #2, nothing against Baron, don’t really know him. Enlighten me, whatever make him a good choice?

  19. Terry says:

    Some great comments today.
    Interesting read.

  20. Unbelievable says:

    Do any of you lot even read the story before making a blog comment? Or do you just look at the pictures and see white faces and so you make judgement?

    When Craig Cannonier stepped down, all his staff had to be let go too. What’s wrong with you people?

    Now that Michael Dunkley is Premier, he obviously has made the decision to keep these appointments low and so he has only appointed one person which is Mr. Grearson. A speech writer. Every president/prime minister/premier has one. Everyone else on his close team comes from within the Civil Service.

    Read people, please read.

  21. faith says:

    What will make people happy, painting our elected officials green so we can finally back someone and work together to progress forward? Wait, it will probably bring forth bickering that green is somehow racist too.

    We get what we deserve.

  22. watchinandwatn says:

    In this day and age racial division and tension is a sad reality in Bermuda.

    We expect that our new Leader is sufficiently politically astute to understand that in our small community, perception is reality.

    With a unique opportunity to not only speak harmony but to promote harmony through careful and visible choices that reflect a unifying approach, he can truly go a long way to remedying the mistakes of the past.

  23. Unbelievable says:

    Do any of you lot even read the story before making a blog comment? Or do you just look at the pictures and see white faces and so you make judgement?

    When Craig Cannonier stepped down, all his staff had to be let go too. What’s wrong with you people?

    Now that Michael Dunkley is Premier, he obviously has made the decision to keep these appointments low and so he has only appointed one person which is Mr. Grearson. A speech writer. Every president/prime minister/premier has one. Everyone else on his close team comes from within the Civil Service.

    Read people, please read.

  24. watchinandwatn says:

    @ unbelievable

    politics 101…..perception is key.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Well that inner circle that the Premier has now that he brought in from the Civil Service are def PLP supporters. You think Don Grearson has the upper hand on those people? Really? You think that a speech writer has carte blanche over senior civil servants who have been on the job for quite a while now?

      Get real. All this personal attacking of DG is ridiculous. The man has a job and he does it. He’s a private citizen and that should be the end of it.