Monday, August 31, 2009

Norwich Meetings 31 August-4 September

This is a short week for a lot of us with Labor Day looming a week from now. And when you glance at the meeting calendar for the City of Norwich, you can see it's a bit light, or as some might like to think, the calm before the storm.

At 5:15 this afternoon in Gales Ferry, at the Gales Ferry Commons which is officially 1639 Route 12 (as you start up the hill towards Groton, after passing the go-kart place, it's on your left) is a regular meeting of the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority. After you go to their home page and scroll down on the left side you'll find the minutes of their August 10th meeting. Strictly speaking the SCWA is a neighbor and not a direct player for residents of Norwich, though all of us need to be concerned about challenges to include unmanaged growth and its impact on our watershed(s) and quality of life, so it's good to know there are others already engaged in this effort.

We hear a lot about 'politics at the retail level' and this may be some of that. At six tonight at 90 Main Street in Norwich (yes, it looks like a store because it is a store), the Norwich For Change party will endorse its candidates for Mayor and City Council. And 'porcfest' I have some Lemon Pledge, if that helps, though I suspect it won't, but keep those cards and letters.

Tomorrow night at 7 PM in Room 335 of City Hall is the first of the series of Mayoral candidates' debates with Mark Bettencourt, Peter Nystrom and Bob Zarnetske slated to take questions from one another and the audience on stimulating and managing economic development in order to grow the Grand List and lower personal property taxes, controlling the rate and pace of growth in the cost of personnel and delivery of goods and services by municipal government, and their positions on the creation of an Ethics Commission and a more transparent city government.

And--SORRY, this just in: the preceding was a result of my medications and is NOT real at all. Point in fact, there has reportedly been very little interest on the part of two of the mayoral candidates in any debates, especially if they were to include the third one, and will, I'm told, be avoided as much as possible for as long as possible. Maybe we should all Z what can be done about increasing interest in having more debates, starting in the 'real soon' until the day before election day. And don't get me started on the dearth of debate opportunities among the Democratic, Republican and Norwich for Change City Council candidates.

Meanwhile, back in our shared reality, though more specifically in Room 335 of City Hall next month, which is technically tomorrow (night at seven) is a forum, sponsored by State Representative Chris Coutu on Job Growth in Connecticut that (hopefully) more than just a few of us should and will attend. I'm not supposed to give away that there will be pony rides after the forum, because Connecticut still doesn't have a budget, and also because it's not true, so I'll come back later and take that part out of this sentence. Hi Ho (Lonesome No More!).

Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 in the "Administrative Building" of Norwich Public Schools (we used to call it the John Mason building, when did that change?) is a regular meeting of the Kelly Middle School Building Committee overseeing the forty million dollar bonding project to renovate and reinvigorate Kelly Middle School. The Administrative Building is the large building across from the Norwichtown Green. The parking is behind it, by the way.

Here's the minutes of their August 3 meeting. I'm curious as to why no one asked how a PLA (read the minutes for a definition) helps "prevent strikes, walkoffs and work stoppages" (but I'll bet I could guess) and what impact deciding to NOT use one will have on this project. There was a lot of talk in the early spring about the innovative energy conservation methods being explored for use in the building. Perhaps the project isn't yet at the stage where those ideas are ready to be discussed and implemented, but that should be interesting to follow, assuming their meeting minutes are in the future as easy to locate on the Norwich Board of Education's website as they were this time. Nice reformatting of the whole site and at first blush, it is much more user friendly than previously (because there was almost no way it could have been less so).

Wednesday night at seven in Room 210 at City Hall is a regular meeting of the Republican Town Committee at which Chief Pudge assures me (in answer to my uncertainty last time around) everyone is welcome, though I suspect my presence might sorely test the strength of that resolve.

And the look at the calendar concludes with a regular meeting at 23 Union Street at seven Thursday night of the Inlands, Wetlands, Water Courses, and Conservation Commission. Their August meeting was cancelled, so I'd expect, reading their July draft minutes to hear some follow-up to their deliberations and decision on the Byron Brook project (that's been around a while already, or is that just me?Seemingly, no.). So patience is also a virtue in development, or perhaps for development, I'm unsure of which.

This is the week we say goodbye to summer and put away all those white clothes as Labor Day is around the corner and who wants to be out of step with haute couture? Speaking of which, those Buster Browns could sure use a shine, John Alden, but I'm sure you can speak for yourself.
-bill kenny

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