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Compass Point Owner Warns Govt To Meet His Demands: I’M Serious - I’Ll Shut It For Ever

The Compass Point property.

The Compass Point property.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

COMPASS Point proprietor Leigh Rodney yesterday doubled down on his threat to make the historic resort disappear if the government does not take credible steps to improve the ease of doing business.

Mr Rodney told The Tribune he felt his demands were reasonable given the Free National Movement’s reform promises on the campaign trail.

He suggested the government has not acted in good faith on those promises, and further threatened the dismissal of the property’s 60 employees on or before the next general election. “If we do not have legitimate discussion,” Mr Rodney said, “at very least to make some changes, legitimate changes, then Compass Point will start the process of disappearing on or before election day.  

“Quite simply,” he continued, “I’m serious, if there is not at least legitimate consideration to making changes the business will be gone. Not sold to another sucker, but gone.”

Mr Rodney took out a full page advertisement in The Tribune on Tuesday detailing his anger over the perceived inaction by the FNM administration. 

Mr Rodney purchased Compass Point as part of a four-member consortium after it was shuttered from severe hurricane damage in 2004.

The ad details an appeal for the establishment of a small group to compile recommendations for amendments to existing laws and regulations, with the inclusion of Mr Rodney as a participant alongside a government representative as its chair.

“The FNM administration promised voters that it would be the leaders that made all changes possible to make it easier to run a business in the Bahamas. The Compass Point owner believed that promise,” the advertisement said.

“For the two years the FNM has been in power, the Compass Point owner has made what he thinks is a simple request.”

It continued: “If the leadership of this country resorts to publicly distorting this request into derogatory statements, the owner of CP will not respond. The CP owner is not interested in making this a public spectacle, he is not running for office.

“He simply wants to make some positive changes that will benefit everyone in the Bahamas.”

Yesterday, Mr Rodney told The Tribune he explained his motivation for the potential shuttering with staff three weeks ago.

“There’s a lot of improvement that can be done,” Mr Rodney continued, “with how regulations can be done.”

The resort and its restaurant gained notoriety through the Compass Point Recording Studios, which has hosted such talents as Lenny Kravitz, Celene Dion, Bob Marley, the Rolling Stones and Jimmy Buffet.

Mr Rodney is the president of Detroit Forming Inc, a family owned business that designs and manufactures rigid plastic packaging. He told Tribune Business, shortly after acquiring the Compass Point property in 2006, that he had been visiting the Bahamas for 20-30 years, visiting once a year since the 1970s.

Mr Rodney was accused of racial discrimination nearly two decades ago by a black warehouse worker at the Detroit-based factory.

Former employee Darryl Hall testified that Mr Rodney told workers at a shift meeting they could “go back and pick cotton” if they didn’t like the way he ran the company.

The Michigan Court of Appeals felt the evidence was compelling enough to send the case to trial; however, Mr Rodney said the claims levelled by a former friend were ultimately dropped.

Mr Hall also claimed Mr Rodney said his dog had been trained to bite black men.

Yesterday, Mr Rodney explained to The Tribune that he was being sarcastic at the time, and making a joke that referred to the racist generalisation that black people were more afraid of dogs than white people. He noted it was a phenomenon commonly discussed in the Bahamas, and widely held to be true. However, it was poorly received and used as evidence to bolster Mr Hall’s claim he was denied a promotion due to his skin colour.

“I thought he was my friend,” Mr Rodney said. “I had worked with him for some 15 years, we loaded trucks together. He was being recommended to me for termination for doing a poor job. I was trying to meet with him to discuss how severe the claims against him were.”

• This story has been edited to remove a reference to Paul King as being one of the owners. Mr King's law firm states he was only the attorney on record for the purchase.

Comments

ohdrap4 1 month, 1 week ago

Many can understand his frustation, and he is quite right about the ease of doing business.

But his demands are ridiculous, he has not been elected to do anything, and, justto think a "furreigner " is going to be advising onlegislation is quite naive.

He needs to hire a lawyer, or perhaps a talk show host, to lobby for him, been done many times.

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Baha10 1 month, 1 week ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Clamshell 1 month, 1 week ago

Not true. I’ve stopped in there for a meal and a beer many a time while waiting for a flight connection, the restaurant was fully functioning and we’d see guests from the cottages out on the beach.

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proudloudandfnm 1 month, 1 week ago

It makes you wonder if this FNM is populated by the mentally ill. They're out there all over the country talking about increasing the ease of doing business all while they're actually making it more difficult to do business....

Said it before and I'll say it again. This is the most dishonest, incompetent FNM yet.....

Minnis gots to go man....

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The_Oracle 1 month, 1 week ago

His point on the ease of doing business is valid, far too many conversations lately on shutting down/exiting/moving away. However, it isn't so much the legislation but the combination of new rules and incompetent interpretation and administration of them. The "D" level academic has ensconced itself in the Public sector and it shows. Add to that the ever present "out of office/Stall/Deny/power trip" at every level of civil service you get stagnation.

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concernedcitizen 1 month, 1 week ago

Add to that all holding their hand out for "tip" to do their job ,,and if you don,t tip ,bribe , your application keeps going to the bottom of the stack

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JackArawak 1 month, 1 week ago

Most Bahamians have no concept of ease of doing business. Recently in the US, the state mailed me a reminder my car needed a new tag. I went on line and renewed it in a matter of minutes. Three days later I had the new decal in my mail box. When I compare that to my experiences at the road traffic office in Marsh Harbour Abaco? LOL and that's just one easy example. My phone plan with Sprint compared to Batelco LOL again. The Bahamas has a very long way to go but it seems that the FNM either doesn't want to or doesn't know how. I am going with the latter. The owner of CP is 100% correct.

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B_I_D___ 1 month, 1 week ago

You can open a bank account online within minutes as well. Could take DAYS if not WEEKS to open one here after all the running around for extra paperwork they seem to pull out of their hat as requirements!!

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Islangal1 1 month, 1 week ago

JackArawak I can identify with that, they make everything flipping complicated in The Bahamas. In Europe, I got my residency card in the mail. WEnt to the post office, took a passport size photo, sent in my application with my Bahamian passport via registered post, 48hrs later got confirmation of receipt. 2weeks after that, letter saying my application is being processed and I have the right to work, claim benefits (health care etc). Driver's licence took less time than that, I got a provisional, in 5 working days because they don't exchange your Bahamians licence, filled in the application online, took a photo with my phone, paid online and submitted. The Bahamas not only backward in thinking but also in the way it's ran.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

Our problem is that Minnis and his merry band of bandits are too busy getting 'theirs' to worry about us getting ours. Any local business today that is heavily dependent on E- educated labour or on the government approval process may as well close its doors....and that's exactly what many businesses have been doing since May 2017. The Dimwitted Minnis-led government has now proven beyond a shadow of doubt that it is clueless about governing for the benefit of our country, its people and its local businesses. Minnis's lack of integrity, core competencies and leadership skills have made him the butt-end of many jokes now being told in our community. Sadly though, as amusing as the jokes may be, the reality of the situation is a most serious situation for the rest of us struggling to make ends meet.

Laughing at The Tribune's inability to resist injecting racism into the above story....but then again, the reporter Ava Turnquest may be unaware of The Tribune's own very racist roots.

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concernedcitizen 1 month, 1 week ago

tourism is up ,investment is up ,new construction is up , the ratings agencies have given us a bit better marks , and no the FNM is not perfect but if they get the the new 95 million worth of generators installed and there are no big electrical problems next summer they will probably win again ...In reality the alternative is the PLP ,,enough said .. We are a young country that went to Bahamianization in the education too fast .We we could not get enough qualified Bahamian teachers so we made the College of the Bahamas to produce them .We have dropped the passing grade to 50% and are still only producing at a D average .We are ignorant , not well educated , and arrogant about it .We survive b/c of 2 things we had nothing at all to do w , beautiful beaches etc and being located very close to an affluent country to draw guest from .With majority rule comes responsibility . will we mature and become responsible ,,that is yet to be seen

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

It's fine to tout the positive "up" things, but we must accept that they came about because of the up turn in the U.S. economy under President Trump....not because of anything that the Minnis-led FNM government has done. Our national debt is up, our taxes are up, the head-count of our unproductive civil work force is up, our local business closings/bankruptcies are up, etc. etc. just to name a few of the negative "up" things. Of greatest concern though is the fact that our government has failed to recognize low oil prices and low interest rates are about to come to an end, with the U.S. nose diving into a prolonged recessionary period that not even President Trump with the help of the Federal Reserve will be able to prevent. Things are going to be so bad in 2022 that Minnis and the FNM will stand no chance whatsoever of remaining in power, and Turnquest is going to have a legacy 10 times worse than that of Michael Halkitis. The writing is all over the wall and the early indicator will be negative interest rates taking hold in the U.S. in a desperate effort to get American businesses spending and investing. And uncontrollable inflation (without higher interest rates) will be heavily stoked by central banks worldwide in an effort to mop up all of the foolish quantitative easing (printing of fiat currency) that has taken place over the past decade. The day of reckoning for the great divide that has developed over the last decade or so between the "haves" and the "have nots" is not far off. KP Turnquest has no idea what's on the verge of happening.

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concernedcitizen 1 month, 1 week ago

The minister of tourism has done a good job , bringing all those cronies home that were in tourism offices all over .He has expanded our online presence and bolstered our advertising .I do agree reckoning is coming , but the top 5% are not going to share their wealth willingly .It will be the same as before they have already privatized their profits and will socialize their losses w the taxpayer bailing out the banks etc .The Bahamas and the Island I,m on is playgrounds for the very rich ,although they may whine during a recession the difference is there making less millions a year not losing homes or going hungry .Damm during the last great recession they were buying properties on this island and are now renting them for up to ten thousand a week on Arbnb

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DDK 1 month, 1 week ago

Many economists had predicted the crash THIS year. Your buddy Trump was the icing on the cake for global economic chaos which is predicted to make 2008 look like a picnic. Trump is just trying to stave it until after the U.S. election.

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TalRussell 1 month, 1 week ago

Come again, comrade Leigh Rodney, In all me and me family's 199 years on colony of out islands,and with me childhood years spent in and the old pubic market, and all over Bay Street - - this is very first time any we had heard of, "black people were more afraid of dogs than white people that it was a phenomenon commonly discussed amongst the colony's out islanders, and widely held to be true." On this I say, more power we government, and do it with great speed, yes, no .. This man's couple dollars - should not be missed ....Complaining about we government - should be left we out islanders, exclusively ....

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ABOMINATION 1 month, 1 week ago

Some citizens are quick to complain, but let's remember, the ease of doing business in this country has been lacking from Governments past and present. It's nothing new! Why would this man be complaining now, and did not in the past? Sure, agree with him, to some extent. The current Administration is at least attempting to fix some of our problems. What we need is complete fresh start in this country, by that I mean get rid of Parties, both PLP and FNM..once we change our electorate system, and vote in reputable C.E.O s with tract records, et al.....we may begin to see some progress. No Lawyers please!!! We the people will do the hiring, its about time we The People act like the Employer!

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proudloudandfnm 1 month, 1 week ago

You're not paying close enough attention, this FNM has created more bureaucratic red tape in their effort to reduce it. It's like a fireman trying to put out a fire with matches all the while telling everyone he'll have it out in a few minutes....

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concernedcitizen 1 month, 1 week ago

and your fighting 40 years from who got their job from their MP and got they hand out and can,t be fired .If one government gets rid of them ,the next one fight to get them back .PGC big fight , non fight , w BTC to get the 2% back was nothing more than strong arm tactics to get a few of his back in high paying position ,, you cant really blame our slide to mediocracy on the last 3 years of the FNM ,,if you do your just feeding your own bias .

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DWW 1 month, 1 week ago

NO, you don't need not politicians. you need all new staff in every office adn department in the entire country. it is the only way anything with change.

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Gotoutintime 1 month, 1 week ago

Good luck with that suggestion---The Party System will be the ruin of the of the Bahamas but it is never going to change while the Government in Power (which ever Party it might be) is governed by greed!!

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Clamshell 1 month, 1 week ago

I agree with much of the previous commentary: This depressing grind of doing business with any element the Bahamian government transcends political parties — and it’s not just businesses, as JackArawak noted, it’s private citizens as well.

Long-time expat homeowners are beginning to sell off and flee the Out Islands, in droves, out of pure exhaustion in dealing with horrid government bureaucracies and their growing piles of rules, regulations and fees — many of which are contradictory, illogical and simply make no sense.

So many second-homes are on the market that it’s driving down real estate prices. Time and again, the long-time owners simply say, “I give up. Just can’t take it here anymore.” Sad.

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DDK 1 month, 1 week ago

This is very true...... I think a lot of native "first" home owners wish they could do the same and quite a few do!

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Clamshell 1 month, 1 week ago

Yeah, probably so. I spoke recently with a guy who has given up on Eleuthera and moved back the the U.S. — and for many years he was one of the island’s biggest boosters, very active in the community, doing good works, etc. But he finally just got worn down, he said.

Final insult: He found a buyer for his home; the sale is being held up because a government office is demanding that he provide an original copy of the bank transfer of funds from when he purchased his home 15 years ago —despite the fact that he’s held the deed, free and clear, all those years.

Think of that: A 15-year-old receipt! He called his bank and found that not even the bank keeps the original documents for 15 years. At the moment, he’s simply stuck, has no idea how it will turn out. That says it all ...

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DDK 1 month, 1 week ago

Sad AND disgusting. Many civil servants seem to love to exercise control over the general public, as with all the epaulets! I hope he doesn't lose the sale, but guess what? I doubt anyone in Cabinet or Government office gives a royal hoot!

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concernedcitizen 1 month, 1 week ago

Funny on the family Island I live the winter resident home market is up ,,prices are up about 30% and both sales and new construction is up for the second home/winter resident market . The main marina is stuffed w high end Jupiters and Intrepids w dual and triple large outboards

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geostorm 1 month, 1 week ago

"The CP owner is not interested in making this a public spectacle, he is not running for office**."

By taking out the ad, you are making it a public spectacle.

Agreed, the government needs to make it easier to do business. It's ridiculous how much time we spend, renewing a passport, licensing our cars or paying for services etc. It needs to be fixed, but how quickly can you fix 46 years of red tape and outdated technology and in some cases, no technology? While it has to be a priority, I think that getting us financially responsible appears to be the government's first order of business as it should. You can't make doing business easier when you are in debt and unable to survive financially or are blacklisted . I don't think many of you realize how close to the edge we were financially.

I say give them time to fix the ease of doing business, if its not done at the end of their term then you have every reason to hold them accountable.

So if Mr. Rodney thinks that threatening a sovereign government will make the case, then go right ahead, but I suspect that your business will close down regardless of whether its difficult to do business here or not. You need to work on your product. It is no where near the standards that it used to be at in the late 90s early 2,000s. Look at Poop Deck, go figure what they are doing well because you are no longer there sir!

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Clamshell 1 month, 1 week ago

Fair enough, Geo ... but one questIon: How much “time” would you give them, given that few efforts are currently underway to reform and update an entrenched, mud-thick bureaucracy?

Hint: Parliament passed legislation more than a decade ago enabling Customs to accept credit cards for payment of duties. Still, few if any Customs offices accept credit cards, at least in the Out Islands. Dunno ‘bout Nassau

Meanwhile, the street vendors selling lemonade in the U.S., Canada and Europe accept credit cards. Most taxi cabs in those place take credit cards. But here? Nahhh. Cash, mon. And I think we all know why ...

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concernedcitizen 1 month, 1 week ago

They do on the Island I,m on ,,and the alternative is the PLP ,,enough said ,, at the least w the FNM we got new roads , new airport , harbor dredge , new port , new post office , even if it is in Brents building etc etc , .In the PLPS last two terms they helped the Chinese stiff Sarkis , legalized casinos on every corner despite the people voting no , let billionaire Nygard steal crown land , and walked 500 million right out the front door of BOB to their friends ,lovers and cronies .

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DDK 1 month, 1 week ago

All of his points ARE accurate but it COULD be a ploy to get out of it without severance pay and taxes!

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realfreethinker 1 month, 1 week ago

So a company that's been in business for more than thirteen years just found out that it's hard to do business here? There has to be another underlying issue here. Story seems fishy

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ColumbusPillow 1 month, 1 week ago

In the Ease of doing Business Index 2019, Bahamas ranked 119, behind Swaziland #118, New Zealand is #1, USA is #8 That says it all.

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BillSoCal 1 month, 1 week ago

On Long Island most businesses take Visa & MasterCard & a few take American Express card, but a few small places, both local & foreign owned still take cash only! But why I am taking the time to write is about the trash on this beautiful Island! It is dumped on almost every side road to some beautiful area! But it is even at Dean's Blue Hole! A pile of trash & two mattresses. I called the Administrator's Office & was told to call 337-1068 which I did two weeks ago & nothing was done! Called again yesterday & was told it was not a Government area to clean up, yet it is mentioned as a point of interest worldwide! There is not even a trash can at Dean's! Who would dump mattresses at Dean's? Has to be a property owner near by, because there are many more convenient side roads on the way to the dump! How about someone with a pickup truck take a couple hours & volunteer to take the trash to the dump, since Clarance Town Government can't do the job! This is Government failure at the lowest level!

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by BillSoCal

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BillSoCal 1 month, 1 week ago

At least The Bahamas is not last at 190 on the list!

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BillSoCal 1 month, 1 week ago

On Long Island most businesses take Visa & MasterCard & a few take American Express card, but a few small places, both local & foreign owned still take cash only! But why I am taking the time to write is about the trash on this beautiful Island! It is dumped on almost every side road to some beautiful areas! But it is even at Dean's Blue Hole! A pile of trash & two mattresses. I called the Administrator's Office & was told to call 337-1068 which I did two weeks ago & nothing was done! Called again yesterday & was told it was not a Government area to clean up, yet it is mentioned as a point of interest worldwide! There is not even a trash can at Dean's! Who would dump mattresses at Dean's? Has to be a property owner near by, because there are many more convenient side roads on the way to the dump! How about someone with a pickup truck take a couple hours & volunteer to take the trash to the dump, since Clarance Town Government can't do the job! This is Government failure at the lowest level!

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="None">

by BillSoCal

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