Monday, April 26, 2010

There's Action in the Street All Night

Or in the case of Norwich, Connecticut, there are meetings of volunteers going on almost every night this week (just doesn't scan as well, I guess). It's really hard to pick an afternoon or evening that's more (or less) quiet than any other-as they're all chock full of interesting and engaging activities, very possibly one or more of them being of interest to you.

This afternoon at three in Room 335 of City Hall, there's another public hearing on applications for Community Development Block Grants, CDBG, by the Norwich Community Development Advisory Committee whose engagement, especially in light of very tight to non-existent budget allocations by the City Council, will be crucial to the survival of many activities and agencies.

The Redevelopment Agency, a player in the Economic/Community Development Plan being pulled together across the city, meet at five in Room 206 of City Hall. I'm not sure they met in March as I couldn't find those minutes posted on the municipal website, but here's February's and there are issues, I assume, still open (Reid & Hughes comes to mind-not as famous as Tinker and Evers (to Chance), perhaps, but a lot closer to home).

And at seven, in the training room of the Central Fire Station is the (very probably) final meeting of the City Council's Charter Review Sub-Committee that has been listening to citizen suggestions on possible changes to the City's Charter. Tonight the members, Alderpersons Caron, DeSaulniers and Nash will discuss and formulate their list of recommendations they wish to forward to their colleagues on the City Council.

Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 in the Central Office, across from the Norwichtown Green, is a regular meeting of the Norwich Board of Education Policy Committee, whom, I hope, will decide real soon to make it policy to comply with public law and post their meeting minutes on the Norwich Public School's website. Right now, all that's there is the schedule of LAST year's meetings. Perhaps another victim of budget shortfalls? You can use your website to inform and explain your role and its importance to the rest of us across the community or you cannot be bothered to meet even the minimum requirements of the State's Freedom of Information Act and then be surprised taxpayers have so little appreciation for what you do.

The Harbor Management Commission meets at five in Room 219 of City Hall. They had no meeting in March, but here are the minutes of their February special meeting though I'm not clear as to why the February meeting was 'special' unless it was because it was held in the City Manager's office. As someone who enjoyed walking the Heritage Trail from Yantic Falls to Brown Park, I'd hope the sidewalks that were to be rebuilt after the seawall rehab was accomplished (and it is) are close to completion. With the weather getting nice, that's a lovely hike and it's been a long time since I, and others, could accomplish it.

At six, in their offices at 16 Golden Street, will be twin meetings (I always assume one after the other, though simultaneously might be more visually stimulating) of Norwich Board of Public Utilities Commissioners/Sewer Authority. Here am (are) the agenda (agendae? agendas?). And at seven, in Room 319 of City Hall, it's the investment meeting of the Personnel and Pension Board.

Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 there's a (regular? special?) meeting of the Board of Review of Dangerous Buildings in the Planning Department's conference room at 23 Union Street. I'd like to compliment the Board on their compliance with Public Act 08-3, but they're not within a mile of it. Public be damned-well played, gentlemen!

The Golf Course Authority meets at seven in their facility on the New London Turnpike and reading their March minutes, it looks like their season has gotten off to a good start. I've since withdrawn my membership drive idea, "Win a Date with Tiger" contest where first prize was self-evident and second prize was a Buick Rainier with a seven iron through the back window.

And at seven thirty in Room 335 of City Hall, there will be a City Council department review with the Board of Education on the City Manager's proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning 1 July. There's been a lot written and (too) much (more) said, in varying emotional states, and we're running out of time to waste any more on pouting, posturing and finger pointing so, while I hope for the best because reasonable people should be able to agree to disagree, I fear an outcome far from that when this meeting ends.

Thursday afternoon at 5:30 in the gazebo at Howard Brown Park, it's a meeting of the Downtown Neighborhood Revitalization Zone, NRZ (perhaps special, perhaps regular. Look at their page on the city's website and tell me it doesn't look like the dog's breakfast. Go ahead, I'll wait right here) followed at seven by a regular meeting of the Democratic Town Committee, I suspect in Room 335.

As I said, many different activities fueled by the engagement and interest of hard-working volunteers who both make a difference and are the difference here in The Rose of New England. There's bound to be something going on of interest and importance to you, and those serving would certainly appreciate a helping hand, and yours is a good start. If where ever you live, you don't have this kind of involvement, maybe you should think about relocating to Norwich (but wear pants with pockets as you'll want to have someplace to put all the fun, and the other stuff, too).

"There's action in the street all night. We're bopping to the big beat, go! Get up off your seat and roll."
-bill kenny

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