Monday, May 17, 2010

Norwich Meetings 17-21 May 2010

In The Rose of New England, which is what Norwicheans (Norwichites? Nor' Witches? Nor' Easters?) like to call our fair city, this is a quiet (possibly before the storm) week in terms of municipal meetings. Not there's NOT a significant amount of activity or variety in the meetings that are being conducted. Just sayin'.....

The Senior Affairs Commission meets at nine this morning in the Rose City Senior Center. The Commission is suffering from an acute meeting minutes shortage, as the most recent ones posted to the city's website are from last November. I drive by the Center once a week on my way to other things and have taken to scanning the horizon for the Norwich Public Utilities windmills that could be on their way later this summer (I already have the wooden shoes and the tulips).

At 5:15 in their offices at 1649 Route 12 in Gales Ferry, it's a regular meeting of the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority . According to the municipal website, and mentioned here in the interest of completeness because it's an executive session NOT open to the public, there's a special meeting of the Board of Education at 5:30 in the Norwich Public Schools Central office for a discussion and a possible decision on a student expulsion.

At 7:30 in Council Chambers there's a regular meeting of the City Council and another opportunity to offer constructive criticism and feedback on the City Manager's proposed budget. Pounding on podiums, questioning why larger or more reductions in other departments weren't part of this package--none of that will get us anywhere and we should know this by now. The "Save Our ..." stickers, the hand-made poster boards and the planned spontaneity of impromptu demonstrations are all well and good, and protected speech to which everyone has a right, but money doesn't talk, it swears. Be a light, not a horn. Be passionate and have a point.

At 3:30 tomorrow afternoon in the Central Office across from the Norwichtown Green is a regular meeting of the Board of Education Building and Space Committee. The April meeting minutes, lest we forget the last five weeks, recount a meeting filled with lots of initial steps towards decisions we'll all live with for the next decade or longer.
At 5:30 in the Latham Center on the campus of the Norwich Free Academy, NFA, is a regular Board of Trustees meeting. Maybe just me, but from March through, maybe, next month, is about the only time most of us, even those with children in NFA, are concerned about the school's operation because that's when city leaders are working on budgets and NFA is, by default, the 800 lb gorilla in the room in terms of impact on the education budget. That this is case because of our doing somehow always seems to not get remembered. Funny, that.

Also at 5:30 is a regular meeting of the Public Parking Commission at the Buckingham Memorial Building, down the street from the Otis Library. Reading the draft of the April meeting minutes, I was struck, again, in light of how many decisions are made by consulting with the Director of Public Safety (= Chief of Police) that the Chief of Police isn't on the Public Parking Commission. And, as I read the April notes, despite the municipal calendar of events, this meeting may well be next Tuesday, the 25th and not this Tuesday. Consider yourself warned.

The Commission on the City Plan has a regular meeting at seven in the Planning Department conference room at 23 Union Street (and at least on the city's website, one or more of the member's appointments need to be refreshed).

Wednesday morning at nine, and running for three hours I'm told, it's a regular meeting in The Dime Bank Community Room of the Norwich School Readiness Council (Children First). I never tire of mocking them for having a sadly out of date web site uncontaminated by anything vaguely time sensitive and they remain consistent in being outmoded. And if that means we who live here never really learn how we can help our and other people's school age children as resources dwindle and then vanish, well that seems to be the way the cookie crumbles. So sad about us.

At 8:45 Thursday morning, it's a regular meeting of the Rehabilitation Review Committee followed later in the day-- okay, way later in the day, at five in Room 319 of City Hall by a regular meeting of the Historic District Commission but a review of their April meeting draft minutes suggests if you wait until next Wednesday, the 26th, at the annual public meeting, there will be refreshments (I'm thinking pie, mmmmm).

The Mohegan Park Improvement and Development Advisory Committee has a special meeting at six up in the park at the Lakeside Pavilion. They meet every other month and here's the draft of their March meeting minutes. Also at six, over in The Rink, it's a regular meeting of the Ice Arena Authority whose attitude towards meeting minutes in compliance with Public Act 08-3 is much like our adherence to hands-free cell phone use while driving. Be that as it may, hang up and drive-and see what's going on in wherever you call home and how you can make it better by getting involved.
-bill kenny

No comments: