Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Short and full of it

I'm talking about municipal meetings this week in Norwich--what did you think I meant? Oh.
This is an historic day, and you can't swing a cat and NOT be able to watch some, part or all of it on line, on the tube and possibly in your dreams. How often do we all get to make history? Enjoy it.

Despite its length, this is a busy (and I hope productive) week in the Rose City. Here's what I'd suggest you want to check into on the calendar (and thanks to Josh P, the website wizard for using his powers only for good):

Tuesday, I'd consider bringing a sack lunch (for dinner) to City Hall as there are TWO informational meetings, one at 6 PM a presentation by City Staff and Property Owner's Association on rental housing and codes followed by another at 6:30 a Semiseptcentennial Committee update (these folks have a busy week before them; more in a moment), with a City Council meeting at 7 PM. January is National Mentoring Month so if you were mentoring before the proclamation announcing it to start tonight's meeting, thank you very much. For the rest of us, there are ten days left in the month, so get with the program double-time. Speaking of days and dollars, tonight is also the annual Mayor's State of the City Address, which, I recall was always the FIRST meeting of the year, as outlined in the city charter. After the Council meeting is a reception across the hall in Room 335 sponsored by the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce and Children First because they didn't hold a reception after the FIRST City Council meeting of the year (I guess. I don't know why they're holding it now).

Also Tuesday night at 7, the Commission on the City Plan, meets at 23 Union Street and their agenda looks to be full and filled with important issues and items, from sober houses through zoning matters. And also at seven, at Artworks (which is 49 Church Street), the Downtown Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (yeah, I don't know who's in it either) meets in what, according to their page on the city's website, looks like for the first time since October of last year.

On Wednesday morning it's another of those on the quarter hour rise and shine meetings I so enjoy, the Rehabilitation Review Committee, starting at a quarter to nine at 23 Union Street. I didn't find any meeting minutes or an agenda, but it looks like, aside from one member, all the other members need to get reappointed. Children First Norwich/School Readiness Council, meets at 9 a.m., at the Dime Bank's Community Room (over on Route 82). Just me or does that website need a bit of work? When your 'events page' speaks in the future pluperfect tense about something that happened over two years ago, maybe someone should think 'update'. Receptions, even late, are all well and good but currency of information is paramount (or MGM, if you prefer).

Also Wednesday at their central office, at 90 Town Street, across from the Norwichtown Green, is a Budget Expenditure Committee meeting of the Board of Education (and since we've having a fire sale on currency, how about some for the BoE website as well). All of us know how much of our town and city budgets support public education and how thankless a task being part of any board or advisory can be, but those who volunteer for the Board of Education, and more specifically, those down in the boiler rooms where curriculum is determined and budgets developed, are deserving of every kind word and thought we can summon and not very many of the ones so often hurled at them come budget time.

The Recreation Advisory Board meets tonight at 6 in the Recreation Department office on Mohegan Road and judging from their minutes they get together every other month (another charter note, if I may: members are present or absent. There are NO provisions for 'excused.' It's a very simple and binary situation-one or zero, absent or hero. No middle ground of 'excused.').

If you're still trying to sort out your property tax and changes since the fall's revaluation, you;ll want to be in room 335 in City Hall at 7 PM for Revaluation and Assessment Seminar. If you don't ask the question, the answer is always 'no', so ask, that's what these are all about.

There's an early Thursday (= 8 AM) Norwich Community Development Corporation annual meeting in the NCDC office at 75 Main Street about which I know absolutely nothing and have to wonder if that's more or less by design (I never attribute to malice that which can be explained by ignorance, but sometimes I'm tempted. Ladies (? I guess) and gentlemen of the NCDC: when your Executive Director can moderate a two plus hour forum on what the owners of the Norwichtown Mall should or could do with their private property (and all of those in that forum had to yell since the owners stayed in Boston and didn't come to the meeting), you need to find the time to have your website be more than the cajun pablum it has been for months.

Also Thursday it looks like the first meeting of 2009 for the Historic District Commission starting at 5 in Room 319 of City Hall. I'll be elsewhere in the same building a little later, in Room 335 at 5:30, to be exact, for a special meeting of Sachem Fund Committee. I've already noted last week why I'm so keen on this meeting. The good news is that I, too, still believe in free lunch. The bad news is that I believe we've already eaten it. Would you care for a napkin?
-bill kenny

No comments: