Monday, December 20, 2010

I Wish You a Hopeful Christmas

This is a week better served it seems if you catch up on last minute shopping and gift giving for Christmas and the municipal meeting calendar is suitably thinned out to help you do just that as the final fortnight of 2010 heads into the homestretch.

If, because today is the third Monday of the month, you thought there'd be a City Council meeting and perhaps you'd read about an informational meeting by the Norwich Education Excellence for Today and Tomorrow's (NEXTT) School Design Team, you can clear all that from your Hallmark calendar as both have been cancelled, postponed, rescheduled (choose your favorite verb) and are not happening this evening. An optimist might assume we have a plan of action for that downtown development bond we passed early last month and we've already gotten all the meaningful input on school redesign we need in order to start mapping that journey. Or not.

Actually, this afternoon at five rescheduled from last week, and thus becoming a special meeting, is the Ethics Commission in Room 210 at City Hall. I guess congratulations are in order for one of our local newspapers which often is the only window into the goings-on of city government many residents have (and that certainly explains a lot, doesn't it?) but, in this case, finds itself on the agenda. Perhaps the Commission is intending to issue a proclamation designating a day to honor the reporter for his accuracy and timeliness of coverage. Or not.

Unless you drink your whiskey neat, you might want to visit the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority at 1649 Route 12 (up the hill from the go-kart place, if that helps) which has a special meeting starting at 5:15 (I don't get quarter hour start times, I really don't) with a finance committee meeting following in the same room at 6:30. Don't kid yourself because Norwich isn't (yet) a member of the Authority. As regionalization continues and the costs of services continues to climb and economies of scale are sought, potable water and sewer services are going to be critical infrastructure as the area starts to grow again after the economic doldrums. He who hesitates will be lunch. Or not.

There's a twin bill of meetings at the Norwich Public Utilities offices at 16 Golden Street beginning at 6 o'clock Tuesday evening. Unfortunately neither the agenda of the Commissioners' meeting nor that of the Sewer Authority is on their website. More troubling to me, in terms of compliance with state law, is the absence of minutes of both November meetings. Perhaps nothing of interest or value went on. Or not.

The special meeting of the Recreation Advisory Committee at six in the Recreation Department offices, based on its agenda, may be the most interesting meeting of the week. They last met in May, and have cancelled three meetings since then, but their agenda for Tuesday doesn't have them reviewing and adopting their May meeting minutes so I'm curious as to how they are holding another meeting. Actually, the subject of the special meeting, an update on the community center (the former YMCA in need of six figures of capital investment just to open), in light of the city's current finances adds new meaning to what our friends from Britain call gobsmacked. Or not.

There's a six o'clock meeting of the Personnel and Pension Board in Room 319 of City Hall and at seven, next door in the basement conference room of the Planning Department at 23 Union Street it's a regular meeting of the Commission on the City Plan where the hearing on the development proposal for Hansen and Scotland Roads continues and an agenda item to place two members on the Conversation (sic) and Development sub-committee suggests we really do a lot of talking around here. Or not.

And Wednesday at six, in their conference room at the Golf Course on New London Turnpike, the city's website says there's a regular meeting of the Norwich Golf Course Authority who held a special meeting last week. Maybe at this meeting, assuming it's held, the discussion tabled from last week on benefits for their full-time employees will happen. (Say it with me) Or not.

And that, more or less through the end of the year, is the municipal meetings schedule here in The Rose of New England. I hope you have yourself a Merry Little Christmas though it's my experience that the Christmas we get, we deserve. Or not.
-bill kenny

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