Monday, July 27, 2009

A Quiet Week for Norwich Government

This time of year many of us either actually take a vacation or some 'me' time and cutback on the activities outside our homes and families. That's pretty much the case this week in the Rose City as the municipal meetings calendar actually has more cancellations than scheduled meetings.

The Redevelopment Agency meets this afternoon at five in Room 210 of City Hall. Of its nine members, five have expired appointments which is an oversight the City Council would correct in seconds if any of the RDA members attempted to drive through Mohegan Park, I suspect. The Redevelopment Agency is very hard-working, dedicated and remarkably honest with one another and the rest of us. And no, I don't say that about everyone, ;-).

Check out page two of their June meeting minutes and tell me the last time you heard/read of a Norwich citizen volunteer panel wondering as to what their function is supposed to be and how they can do their jobs better. If we had at least one elected body in Norwich with this degree of selflessness, we'd be a darn sight better off. And their plate is pretty full for tonight's meeting as well when you look at the agenda.

I'd hope to see one or more of their members Tuesday evening at 6:30 in the Wauregan Ballroom for the Downtown Parking and Business Forum organized by Mayoral candidate Bob Zarnetske. Sort of an outgrowth from a Public Parking Commission meeting, I think in a perfect world, all the folks who insist they have a speaking part in the economic redevelopment of downtown (and all of Norwich for that matter) should be in the same room at the same time so the merchants and businesses who have invested their own money and sweat in working downtown can explain what they feel is going well and what is in need of improvement.

I, for one, suspect the latter is a target-rich environment and wonder why the Public Parking Commission just doesn't tell the shop owners how much they love Norwich and how they hope things will get better. That should take care of everything, right? Except, as we all know, hope is NOT a plan. Only a plan is a plan and without the will to implement a plan, it's a wish you make with your heart.

Also Tuesday, starting at six, in their conference room on Golden Street is the July meeting of the Board of Public Utilities Commissioners/Sewer Authority. Norwich Public Utilities, as I'm sure you know, is municipally-owned and potentially the most potent single force for economic growth in Norwich. I say that in deference to Bob Dylan's observation that 'money doesn't talk, it swears', as they generate millions in revenues, whereas to my knowledge, none of the three or four dozen other development boards create any wealth at all.

As I said, a quiet week for meetings and perhaps if we get some nice weather, this would be the week to get out and about. Maybe take up swimming, or rafting, or boat-building, especially if the current trend of overcast skies followed by torrential downpours continues. If it stays wet like this the plague of locusts will have nothing to eat when they get here, making the bugs easy targets for the rain of frogs.
-bill kenny

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