Monday, October 25, 2010

Love Among the Ruins

In less than a fortnight, across the country, we'll be rewriting our history. Again. We'll be choosing among more of the same, less of the same or for something that will prove to be completely otherwise. Exactly as we wanted, unless it wasn't. No one has ever said representational government is especially neat and tidy-good thing, because it isn't. And while the big mandala continues to spin, smaller and lower echelon wheels, where much of the real grinding gets done, continue to move.

It's a busy week in Norwich as commissions, committees and boards (oh my!) of all shapes and sizes continue to accomplish much of the heavy lifting that makes Norwich, Norwich (for better or for worse, depending on your perspective).

The Board of Education's Budget Expenditure Committee meets at four thirty this afternoon at 90 Town Street in the Central Office basement conference room. I can offer you August's meeting minutes which will have to do.

At five in Room 210 of City Hall it's a regular meeting of the Redevelopment Agency and they seem to have a very ambitious agenda before them, on our behalf. The expression my wife's countrymen use comes to mind, translated as 'it's never eaten as hot as it's served.' I have just enough napkins to go around.

Interesting item in Room 335 early Tuesday morning, at 7:30-an economic report on the local, state and national third quarter of the fiscal year from the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, CERC, with members of the City Council and Norwich Community Development Corporation, and members of the community who can make themselves available. Hope it's being videotaped for sharing later on public excess, I mean access, and that word gets out as to when that will be on.

At 3:30 in the Central Office's basement conference room, which has a growing reputation for being the cool kids' hangout, it's a regular meeting of the Policy Committee. For those who wondered about the 'oops!' lunch policy that's been in the news, had you followed these meetings more closely, you'd have seen the process as well as the product. Sometimes it's not the talking part we get wrong, it's the listening.

The Harbor Management Commission, whose September meeting minutes aren't posted on the city's website, meets at five in Room 219 in City Hall. I didn't see an update on the Heritage Trail rehabilitation in the harbor district on last month's meeting agenda so I don't know how far along that has gotten but it should be close to being done (I hope) as it's been years since the Chelsea end of the Trail has been closed off.

And at six at 16 Golden Street in the Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) training room it's a twofer, Board of Public Utilities' Commissioners meeting and (at NO additional charge) a Sewer Authority Meeting. I can think of at least one person who'd like me to believe he thinks there's a secret stash of NPU meeting minutes-and if he says so often enough, it will be true. If that idea works, please try pony rides for birthdays as your next project, Florida, as I'd love one.

Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 in the basement conference room of the Planning Department at 23 Union Street, it's a regular meeting of the Board of Review of Dangerous Buildings followed by the 751 North Main Street Committee who, in turn, at least in theory, are followed by the 21 West Thames Street Committee. All three of these committee's meeting minutes are less than satisfactory and EXTREMELY out of date. My memory may be going, but I think some months ago the City Council appropriated money to fund the demolition of 21 West Thames Street so that committee may be past tense, or not (this is where meeting minutes come in really handy).

At seven, in their meeting room at the Golf Course on the New London Turnpike, it's a regular meeting of the Golf Course Authority. All I can offer you for background reading are the August draft minutes as, wait for it, there are NO September meeting minutes on the city's website.

Thursday morning at 7:30 in their offices at 77 Main Street is a regular meeting of the Norwich Community Development Corporation. The agenda for Thursday morning and the minutes of the previous meetings are an email away, just drop Shelley C a note at admin@askncdc.com (it does NOT work for pony rides, trust me on this one).

That's the highlights and some of the headlights of meetings in The Rose of New England for this week-leading me, and I'm not always alone on this, to wonder, how in the world did the excellent baby wind up in this hotel so broken inside?
-bill kenny

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