Monday, November 1, 2010

You Can Get It Wrong and Still You Think that It's Alright

This is a relatively quiet week in local government possibly because of the World Series on Fox, or not (I think Tim McCarver's birthday is sometime this week; I hope Joe Buck gets him something meaningful to say as a present (and gets a little of the same for himself)). Of course, I know the big reason for the quiet week has a lot to do with the elections on Tuesday-and everything about the elections on Tuesday has to do with our going out and voting.

The letters to the editor, the comments in the readers' online forums of the newspapers, the calls to the radio shows, the heated discussions with friends and family in your living room or street corner--ALL OF IT MEANS NOTHING if you don't get thee to a polling place Tuesday between six in the morning and eight in the evening, here in Norwich. Nothing changes if we don't make the commitment to change. You wanna blame somebody for the mess we're in? Start by looking in the mirror and working your way around the room.

I'll mention in passing, as it's listed for tonight at five in their Central offices across from the Norwichtown Green, a special meeting of the Board of Education, which, according to their agenda is an Executive Session about pupil expulsion.

The City Council meets in Council Chambers tonight at 7:30--here's their meeting agenda. Do you remember the floods this past March and the damage done across the city and the region? The Council does and is taking steps (Resolutions five and six) to help avoid a repeat while also retaining a vibrant local tax-paying business that's a community asset and resource on countless projects throughout the years. Good for them-better for all of us.

Tuesday is that voting thing you've been hearing so much about. Bear in mind, if you don't vote you have to keep your mouth shut for the next two years because you will have forfeited your right to have an opinion. I, for one, can't do it, and stop snickering.

The School Building Committee meeting for Wednesday has been cancelled, says the city's website. The Republican Town Committee meets at seven Wednesday in Room 335 of City Hall. You don't have to be a Republican to attend-I assume light refreshments will be served, not sure if that includes both tea and coffee or just the former; may depend on Tuesday's outcome... ;-D.

Thursday afternoon at four, in their conference room over at the golf course on New London Turnpike, it's a special meeting of the Norwich Golf Course Authority and involves approval of the new operating budget and the renewal of employment contracts with both their course superintendent as well as course manager.

At 5:30 in the conference room of the Latham Science Center it's the Annual Corporators Meeting of the Norwich Free Academy (NFA) Board of Trustees. NFA is facing some challenges as population trends are negatively impacting their enrollment and that, in turn, will have an adverse impact on the operating budget of all the towns who send children to the school at a time economically when such an impact can be least afforded. That long-running discussion we keep having about "paying for what we want versus what we need" is about to get warm again, dress accordingly.

Also at five thirty, downtown in Chacers (which sounds to me like all the argument to attend most of us will ever need, at least until that Hooters gets built and then we'll all see the Regional Intermodal Transportation Center in a new light, I'm sure) is a regular meeting of the Downtown Revitalization Zone. Trying to get a better understanding of their function, purpose, challenges and how we can help them is complicated by a lack of posted meeting minutes. When you go here, and count along with me, there are four sets of minutes for the previous twenty-four months- one is a draft from August, one is approved but not linked and one is from over two years ago. This has to improve as it's just not acceptable as it is.

Thursday evening at seven in the Planning Department conference room in the basement of 23 Union Street is a regular meeting of the Inlands Wetlands, Water Courses and Conservation Commission. Looking at their October meeting minutes gives you a better appreciation for the levels and layers of government, even locally. 'Big picture' actions such as housing development initiatives also require small detailed adjustments to keep the entire effort in balance and a lot of people have to work very hard to keep the entire project in perspective.

When you see how much farther and faster we can come by working together, I can't understand why we work so hard to NOT do more of that. Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting. And no time to do it right the first time, but always time to do it over.
-bill kenny

No comments: