Monday, July 26, 2010

This town, This city, This crowd (Norwich Meetings 26-31 July 2010)

We're more than halfway through summer and if you don't think so, find a glum-looking fifth grader someplace who's already sick of all the 'back to school' adverts on the tube and s/he'll tell you the next school year is just around the corner. Here in CT. we're about two weeks away from primaries for a variety of offices whose occupants we'll officially choose in November, but we want to get a  head start on not having choices so we'll start winnowing people out now. Should be quite the demolition derby-hope yours is as interesting, where ever it is you live.

Meanwhile at the 'back here on Earth level' of government, the one where our trash gets picked up and the streets get patched (after a three year study, plus minus six months), there's a plateful of goings on and more than enough for anyone who fears we're too little and sleepy.

This afternoon at five in Room 206 of City Hall it's a regular meeting of  the (Norwich) Redevelopment Agency whose chairperson was in the newspapers last week, which, I think, is good news because every proposal and plan can only be improved with debate and an open exchange of ideas. And if there's one thing the RDA has always been, it's a place for frank exchanges, as a look at their June minutes indicates (I'm not sure with two vacancies, that having four members present really should constitute a quorum).

Speaking of vacancies, there are plenty and many across a broad variety of boards and commissions-you can apply to be a member and become involved yourself. Your neighbors will thank you, though sometimes the 'thank yous' may sound like something else.

Tuesday afternoon at five, in Room 219 of City Hall, it's a regular meeting of the Harbor Management Commission, whose June meeting minutes have yet to be posted on the city's website. When the changes in state law went into effect on the first of July I knew we'd see a lot of interpretations of the word 'timely'. For what it's worth, this one is an epic fail (but it's not alone here in Norwich), and the Commission needs to do better. Do I even want to ask how the reopening of the Heritage Walkway is coming along? Suspected as much.

At six, in their offices at 16 Golden Street, it's a doubleheader, sort of, of the Board of Public Utilities Commissioners and the Sewer Authority, both of whom, or at least the activities they oversee, have also been in the local newspapers. I'm always saddened when we substitute emotion for facts, in any debate because we then try to substitute volume for logic but I seem to be almost alone in my unhappiness.

Wednesday afternoon at five-thirty in the Planning Department's conference room at 23 Union Street, it's a regular meeting of the Board of Review of Dangerous Buildings whose most recent posted minutes are draft minutes from their December 2009 meeting. I'm concerned about the public's ability to care while some seem to be opposed to our right to know.

The regular meeting of the Recreation Advisory Board has been cancelled-you won't find that on the main page of the city's website but it is on the Rec Advisory Board's page.

And finally, at seven, possibly a regular meeting but since none of their minutes since April are posted, who knows, it's a meeting of some kind of the Golf Course Authority in their facilities on New London Turnpike. I'm sure by Christmas, Whitsuntide at the latest, we'll know what went on at this Wednesday's meeting. Just keep checking back at the city's website, I know I will.

And at least for this week, there's nothing more left here to see.
And yet I hope to see you at something.
-bill kenny


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