Monday, July 13, 2009

People Curse the Government....

"Lights are out in the city hall
The castle and the keep
The moon shines down upon it all
The legless and asleep."

I think we're fortunate that neither above condition precludes being part of the (at least) forty-six different elected or volunteer advisories, authorities, boards, commissions and committees in The Rose City (I say at least, because not listed but very much a presence and a reference is the Norwich Community Development Corporation, starting closest to home, I guess) and I don't know how many other organized volunteer efforts of which I am clueless.

So many people in the same device. The one volunteer panel on the list that caught my eye, this week, and there's not a lot on the city's website to go on, is the Microenterprise Grant Program, especially as some of us continue to talk (and develop plans) about economic development and smart growth in Norwich during this Mayoral and City Council election year (though in fairness, I should point out that others of us don't talk about it at all). I did find this and have promised myself to return and review.

I wanted to start a preview of meetings with an item that's NOT a meeting, but, rather a vacation trip for hosts with the most on Washington Street, 好旅途!, and enjoy your time away.

Turning to this week's meeting calendar:Tomorrow afternoon at five, at the Public Works facilities at 50 Clinton Street, is a regular meeting of the Public Works Capital Improvements Committee, who haven't held any meetings, it appears, since February. Here's the agenda for tomorrow's meeting-forthcoming isn't a word I'd use to describe it, but that's probably because I got a dictionary for my birthday. I'd assume updates on the dog pound (you remember that from the City Council meetings, right? That actually goes back to the previous City Council) and the repair of the seawall (that was to happen before the 350th but couldn't), might be logical.

Later, at seven in the basement conference room of 23 Union Street is a regular meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals. (By the way, it seems two of the members, including the chairman, have lapsed memberships-so now I really know how local government really works.) If you're looking for their agenda, good luck. It's not posted. If you're trying to project what might be on it, based on the decisions and actions of their 9 June meeting, there are no minutes posted from that meeting. It's like 17 June 2008 never happened.

Speaking of never happened. I could feel bad about repeatedly pointing out the lack of current information on the Children First Norwich website, except two months ago I dropped them a note offering to help bring them up to date and am still waiting for an acknowledgement much less a response. This is an organization I know from our two children, engaged in important and worthwhile work, who consistently fails the 'who cares?' test because they cannot seem to get their stuff in one sock (as used to say in the Air Force, sort of) in terms of timely updates on critical events and intiatives . Meaning well is so ten minutes ago; doing well is the new now. Anyway, their regular monthly meeting is at nine o'clock Wednesday morning at the community meeting room in the Dime Bank on the Salem Turnpike.

Thursday may be busier than it seems, or not, depending on whom you read and what they say. At five in the afternoon in Room 319 of City Hall is a regular meeting of the Historic District Commission. Their agenda doesn't seem to be available, which I realize comes as a surprise, but here's a draft (=not yet reviewed and approved by the Commission) of the May meeting (Yeah, I noticed the same thing; maybe we had so much rain in June, it flooded out the minutes).

Perhaps, at six in Room 335 of City Hall (the room with the lousy acoustics and the cathedral ceilings) is a Campaign Finance-Training Seminar, held by the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC). It's NOT listed on the City of Norwich, but SEEC website has it posted.

Also Thursday, also at six, though across town at the Norwich Ice Arena on New London Turnpike is a regular meeting of the Norwich Ice Arena Authority. It would appear, as is so often the case (get Al Gore on the phone and be careful, you're getting carbon footprints all over the rug!), global warming has caused both the July agenda and their June meeting minutes to melt into nothingness.

In keeping with my first point about the number of committees, the last meeting this week I'll mention is for folks NOT on the city's list but still working hard. Friday morning at eight, is a 'Private meeting' (it says on their events calendar) of the Chelsea Gardens Foundation, to be held 'east of the sun and west of the moon' perhaps....which is where, I suspect, "The ghost of Dirty Dick is still in search of Little Nell." And an Old Curiosity Shop could be just what's missing from the Chelsea District.
-bill kenny

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