Monday, January 9, 2012

Game Face On

If you got a sled for Christmas, my apologies that you have to drive for hours to use it. I wish it were days. And please forgive me because I hope you have to drive all winter (though I know in my heart you won't). The rest of us, when not pining for the fjords, are perhaps more interested in what is going on locally to make where we live better. That, at least in theory, is the premise behind this note about what's going on in Norwich, Connecticut.

I'd like to think we have so many volunteers engaged in various boards and advisories, not because we need so much help, but because we have so many open-hearted people who want to lend a hand. Your mileage may vary, mine always does so sometimes I walk.      

This afternoon at five, we have dueling meetings in City Hall (what ever became of Eric Weissberg anyway?) with both the Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Fund Committee in Room 209 and the Ethics Commission next door in Room 210 (December's meeting minutes aren't on the city's website) .

At five thirty, around the corner, at 23 Union Street in the Planning Department's conference room it's a special meeting of the Reid & Hughes Committee to review an amended proposal from the same developer, who, a decade ago did the Wauregan Hotel.  

Tomorrow morning at 8:30 in Room 335 of City Hall it's a regular meeting of the Youth and Family Service Advisory Board, whose most recent meeting minutes, from November are here.

At 4:15 in the Public Works Director's office at 50 Clinton Avenue, it's a regular meeting of the Public Works & Capital Improvements Committee who have, seemingly, close to an infinite mission with very finite resources. Based on their agenda, they're not easily daunted.

At 5:30 in cafeteria of the newly renovated Kelly Middle School, it's a regular meeting of the Board of Education, whose most recent meeting minutes as posted on their own website are from the middle of November.

And at seven, at 23 Union Street in the Planning Department conference room, it's a regular meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Assuming the minutes' posting on the city's website is accurate, they haven't had a meeting since May. And since these are actually 'as needed and requested' meetings, it may be a placeholder and not a hard and fast meeting. If you're planning on going, call first.  

Wednesday morning at 8:45 (what's with quarter hour start times? Perhaps the city could sponsor an essay contest and find a good explanation; the winner gets a watch) at 23 Union Street (the Planning Department), it's a regular meeting of the Rehabilitation Review Committee. Looking at the city's website, they met last in April (begging the questions of function and exigency). Here's another question: if the decision to salvage the Reid and Hughes building is made in the affirmative, does the building then become part of this committee's purview or do we just continue to stumble along with two committees with overlapping responsibilities? I'll bet we both know the answer; and keep your chocolate out of my peanut butter.

At two, in their offices at 132 Military Highway, it's a regular meeting of the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resource Recovery Agency, SCRRRA. And at 4:30, in their offices at 10 Westwood Park, it's a regular meeting of the Norwich Housing Authority, whose page on the city's website is an unshirted disaster. Here is a comedic classic. Now check their page and try to guess why this file was listed as minutes of a September 14th meeting. Pathetic.

At 5 PM in Room 319 of City Hall, it's a regular meeting of Emancipation Proclamation Commemorative Committee, whose membership, meeting minutes and, actually, any information whatsoever about their function and purpose at all is conspicuous by its absence from the city's website.

At six in Room 210 of City Hall, it's a regular meeting of  the Baseball Stadium Authority, whose page on the municipal website is in need of updating: members, members' appointments and meeting minutes.

And at seven, in the Occum Fire Department, it's a regular meeting of the Public Safety Committee whose last meeting, if the city's website is accurate and current (pause for laughter or expression of dismay) was in September .

Thursday evening at six, it's a regular meeting of the Mohegan Park Improvement & Development Advisory Committee in Room 210 of City Hall. I worry if that becomes their new meeting location we'll very soon need another way to drive to City Hall. I, for one, would appreciate the same degree and depth of concern about the timely, and legally--mandated, posting of current meeting minutes. My dark blue suit already matches my eyes.

If you are a website developer, or know someone who is, and you'd like to leverage available technology to speed and enhance communication, and make some money while so doing, please bid on the Request for Proposal to "web site design, development, hosting and maintenance services" for the city of Norwich's municipal web site. Please? Thanks! And see you at something, somewhere this week?
-bill kenny  

No comments: