Monday, June 13, 2011

...A Long, Lonely Taxi Ride Going Nowhere

Small towns spend a lot of time in a chamber of commerce equivalent of pecker checks and score keeping which is why this week could be a good week to be Norwich whereas last week was an awful week to be our neighbor, New London. And we thought it was a bad thing when that proposal for fountains near Howard Brown Park went nowhere...

This afternoon at five it's a regular meeting of the Ethics Commission in Room 210 of City Hall and it looks like they have a full night ahead of them, especially when you read the May minutes as a prelude and background for unfinished business for June (and beyond, I suspect). At five thirty in the Latham Science Center on the campus of Norwich Free Academy, it's a special meeting of the Board of Trustees who will be in Executive Session so save yourself the trip (the school's motto strikes me as a little Twilight Zonish or maybe that's just me....).

Though I thought otherwise, Karen B was correct. Admittedly reading and re-reading page eight of the 6 June Council minutes might lead you to conclude differently, there really and truly is no City Council meeting tonight (I'm sure the alderpersons are releived to learn of this except they already knew). Should I have assumed as much when I couldn't find an agenda? Pshaw! I refuse to take the hint.

Tomorrow at 5:30 in the Kelly Middle School cafeteria, it's a regular meeting of the Board of Education and you can expect a lot more discussion and decisions on the dollars for the next school year though I wasn't able to locate the meeting agenda.

And at seven in the basement conference room of the Planning Department at 23 Union Street, it's a regular meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals. You can review the May meeting minutes to get a flavor for the community issues that make up so much of the ZBA's workload.

Wednesday morning at nine o'clock, in the community meeting room of The Dime Bank on Route 82, it's a regular meeting of the Norwich School Readiness Council (Children First). I'll spare both of us a reprise of my well-worn rant about the amateur manner in which these people manage public awareness. If you have a child dependent on their advocacy, you have my sympathy.

At five thirty in the Norwich Arts Council Coop Gallery, it's a regular meeting of the Downtown Neighborhood Revitalization Zone, it says on the municipal meeting calendar. But remember, please, the website hasn't updated the membership of the board nor posted any of the meeting minutes so I don't know what's real on the city's site or surreal (or cereal, come to think about it and breakfast is the most important meal of the day).

Also at five thirty, the city's website says "A.M." but I think not, is a special meeting of the Dangerous Buildings Board of Review on the next step to take with the (former) Buckingham School.

Thursday afternoon at five in Room 319 of City Hall it's a regular meeting of the Historic District Commission though this note can be removed from the city's website as it's outdated (and don't get me started on that topic). At six, in The Rink, it's a regular meeting of the Ice Arena Authority, and no minutes of any of their minutes for ALL of 2011.

And at seven in City Council chambers it's an update and progress report by the Redevelopment Authority to the members of the City Council (and the rest of us) on where they are and where they're going, on a variety of projects they have been engaged in. You can stay home and listen to gossip on what's going on by people who have no clue, or you can be part of the discussion. We wanted a more proactive and engaged local government-when you buy a ticket, you get the whole ride; strap in and hang on.

And Friday morning at nine in Room 319 of City Hall it's a regular meeting of the Chelsea Gardens Foundation about whom absolutely nothing is posted on the city's website-no listing of members, no enabling ordinance, no posting of previous meeting minutes. Maybe that's what the Sachem Fund Board grant can help pay for? Would certainly be a start...

Don't forget Saturday morning, starting at ten (Jill B is correct it's on city's website), in Howard T. Brown Park it's the 23rd Annual Juneteenth Celebration, a cause worth supporting by everyone of every race, creed, religion or background. Just another reminder of where we live is more than a collection of buildings and an assembly of streets and sidewalks. We are our city.
-bill kenny

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