The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, SCCOG, Executive Committee has a regular meeting this morning at 8:30 in their offices in the Norwich Business Park. Their last two meetings, one a special and the regular meeting early last month, have both had a high concentration on transportation issues, though I've not yet found any mention anywhere in their notes of the last eight to ten months about the Regional Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown in Norwich, slated to begin construction next month.
There's a special joint meeting at 4:30 in the Kelly Middle School Library of the Norwich Public School's Budget Expenditure Committee and the Building and Space Committee. With the bankruptcy of Madame Cleo, the clairvoyance industry has been keeping a low profile, but suspect even I can guess the topic of this meeting, especially in light of the agenda of the City Council's first regular meeting for the month of May, in City Hall starting at 7:30.
I admire the passion and engagement of all those who've spoken out and/or spoken up on the City Manager's proposed budget, and who'll have another opportunity at the second public hearing this Thursday evening beginning at 7:30, but I keep looking at the dollar figures he and his department heads are looking at, and the missions (and to some extent, mission creep) of the various city agencies, and applaud the men and women on the City Council for listening to everyone and deciding for themselves.
I've gone through the budget book numerous times and I don't see where the increased dollars for a particular program, personnel or initiative are coming to come from if alterations to the proposed budget are made. I'm not saying increases aren't merited or deserved-just that I cannot see how they're affordable. I think this City Council, better than many since I've lived here, understands we can only have as much government as we can pay for. The alderpersons are not making decisions lightly-and agree or disagree with that, you have to give them their due for their willingness to make a terribly painful decision that so many of us might not be as able to do.
If it's of any solace, and it's not, we started down this slippery slope very probably in the late Sixties, not just here but across the country, and it's taken this long for all of our bad habits, spend-thrift ways and moral and ethical bankruptcy to finally catch up with our fiscal profligacy.
Wednesday afternoon at three in City Hall's Room 210 is a public hearing by the Community Development Advisory Committee to explain the program's qualification requirements and accept recommendations