Monday, August 23, 2010

Like Cows at a Passing Train (Norwich Meetings 23-28 August 2010)

As families with children struggle through checklists to make sure "back to school" preparations are complete, or close to it, the grind of local government continues with neighbors and friends we've not yet met sitting on a variety of commissions and committees working as best they can to make a difference in where we live. We in Norwich still have way too many vacancies on far too many panels and advisories and so volunteers are always in demand, but it doesn't stop those on the various boards from doing what they can and what they have to. it's another week on the edge of the world.

This afternoon at five in room 210 of City Hall, it's a regular meeting of the Redevelopment Agency. Considering where we are on the calender and in the process of the printing of the November ballot which will include the three separate bond referendum questions, I have to wonder how much progress has been made on item V, subtopic b from the July informational meeting minutes. I'm trying to be polite-I already know the answer because it's always the same.

Tuesday afternoon at four thirty in their offices at 10 Westwood Park, there's a special meeting of the Housing Authority, about whose actions, not one word of meeting minutes has ever been posted on the city's website. I feared to be a member you had to take a vow of silence (= I could NEVER be on it), but I noticed Marcel Marceau isn't listed as a member so now I'm back to square one. 
Later, at five, the Harbor Management Commission meets in the City Manager's office. The minutes of their July meeting aren't posted on line so I have no way of knowing if they have already, or ever plan to, discuss their role in the downtown economic redevelopment envisioned by the Mayor, the City Council and members of the four primary agencies with a stake in downtown redevelopment. Might be nice if they think they have an oar in that water to perhaps put their backs into it (a somewhat oblique nautical reference as I'm a totally obtuse solitary Sail on Sailor!) and speak up. One interrupted Heritage Walkway is enough.

And at six, in their offices at 16 Golden Street, in the village of Greenville, as Ron W always says, it's a twofer as the Norwich Public Utilities Board of Commissioners and Sewer Authority hold consecutive meetings. How do they do it so low? Volume! They meet in bulk and pass the savings on to you, and you, and most especially, you. I would assume if you have a question on the proposed bond issuance for the NPU natural gas pipeline expansion, this is the forum in which to ask.

If you thought twofer Tuesday was incredible, brace for Wild Wednesday, dudes and dudettes! For the price of one chair cushion (because you'll be staying awhile) you will be treated to a threepeat, shockabra! Well, sort of. The Dangerous Buildings Board of Review meets at 5:30 in the Planning Department conference room at 23 Union Street (and nice job on currency of minutes on the municipal website, btw). This meeting rolls directly into the 21 West Thames Street Advisory Committee meeting whose convenings, I would assume, are growing closer to zero as a result of close to current events. That meeting, in turn will be followed by a regular (I assume, as neither of these two have had any meeting minutes posted online since February) meeting of the 751 North Main Street Advisory Committee. 

And at seven, in their club house on New London Turnpike, it's a regular meeting of the Norwich Golf Course Authority. It take a lot to laugh; it takes a train to cry. The dry summer, according to the Authority's July minutes have enhanced revenue because the weather is nicer and people play more golf (maybe including cooling off in the water hazards), but, the dryness and heat also mean increased maintenance expenses to keep the course looking sharp and playing well. Take that Mark T

Thursday morning at seven thirty in their offices at 77 Main Street, it's a regular meeting of the Norwich Community Development Corporation Board of Directors.

And Saturday morning at eight(ish) since some of us have a somewhat casual relationship with watches and telling time, it's a workshop in the training room at the Central Fire House (why doesn't the clock on the tower work anymore? Technically, it's correct twice a day but still...). The topic Saturday morning for the City Council, the various development agencies throughout the city and those of us who live here and attend these sorts of things (aside from Keith R, Karen N, Kathleen M, Robert F, Bonnie H and the lady I always see but whose name I don't know) is/are (?) developing fact sheets on each of the three bond issues for the November referendum. 

If you want to just say 'no' and not have any facts and further information, that's your prerogative and nearly a right guaranteed in the Constitution. I think it'll be harder to do after Saturday when we better define what each of the three bonds does (and doesn't do) as well as quantify the cost for taxpayers, and the projected returns, and detail the scope and purpose of each initiative. See you there, I'd hope, since the last time I checked your part of Norwich was in just as much trouble as mine is. But feel free to continue to believe otherwise, and let me know how that all works out. If dirt were dollars, I wouldn't worry anymore (as I have a big shovel and an even bigger wheelbarrow). 
-bill kenny      

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