Monday, October 4, 2010

Nothing Happened Today (?)

Spent the weekend marveling at how quickly we went from 'gee, it sure doesn't feel like fall' to 'yipes! Now it does.' I have to get started on that list of autumn chores I hope to ignore as successfully as I did my summer list. It's hard work being a layabout but I'm dedicated and will carry on.

This week in The Rose of New England there's a variety of meetings so each of us owes it to ourselves and to one another to do more than just vote on Election Day and hope things work out. (Say it with me) Hope is not a plan and nothing ever happens if you don't make it happen. So practice being a light, preferably a beacon, instead of a horn, especially a vuvuzela.

This morning at eight in their offices in the Norwich Business Park (Glad we got that tax exemption status sorted out at a Norwich City Council meeting not too long ago) it's a regular meeting of the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) who are working to get us, with mixed degrees of success, to think bigger than our individual town and city borders. You'll find their meeting agenda here, but I have no idea where any of the four attachments are posted.

This afternoon at five in Room 209 of City Hall is a special meeting of the Volunteer Fireman's (or Firefighter's; it's both ways on their agenda) Relief Fund Committee and at seven-thirty is a regular meeting of the Norwich City Council in Council Chambers. The meeting agenda is right here and I'm wondering how, if at all, the hazardous materials survey on the Greeneville Elementary School will impact the village's effort to develop a charter school at that location. I'm curious especially in light of how parsimonious the current administration in Hartford is towards funding the charter schools its predecessors encouraged to get started.

Tomorrow morning at a quarter of eight at a regular meeting of the Greater Norwich Chamber of Commerce, at 101 High Street and open to one and all is a presentation and question and answer session on next month's bonding initiatives. If you have questions, comments, suggestions or pony rides, this is a good place to get all of that settled (okay, three out of four). Don't let the Norwich No-It-Alls make up you mind for you, okay?

If you don't know enough (or anything) about the proposals, to include what they'll cost and what they are intended to do and how that impact will affect you, then you should attend Tuesday's session or catch the second show, so to speak, Thursday morning, same time, at the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce meeting on Salem Turnpike in The Dime Bank's Community Room. Just don't show up at the polling place on Election Day not knowing anything or having somebody else's opinion.

Wednesday afternoon at five in the Kelly Middle School is a regular meeting of the Norwich Public Schools School Building Committee. Lots of different people from across, and beyond, our community putting aside personal differences for the good of a larger project and it shows. I hope some of the rest of us are taking notes for when it's our turn.

At seven, says the city's website, there's a meeting in City Hall, Room 335, of the Republican Town Committee. I'm wondering if a certain martial arts movie star will be in attendance and am grateful he only uses his powers for good.

Thursday afternoon at 5:30 (a local newspaper says seven, but the city's website says 5:30) in the Donald Oat Theater, it's a regular meeting of the Downtown Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Committee. I'm not sure of their meeting frequency but based on the last line of this, it looks like it's monthly. I wonder where the city's website posts the meeting minutes, since I don't find them well or often and if the absence of public comment at the meetings (and possibly citizen awareness) about a group of volunteers who play a vital and integral role in downtown redevelopment might be connected to the paucity of information on their activities. In that spirit, here's a draft of their August meeting minutes-I couldn't find the minutes from the August 11 special meeting.

And Thursday night at seven in the basement conference room of the Planning Department at 23 Union Street, it's a regular meeting of the Inlands Wetlands, Water Courses and Conservation Commission, whose draft September meeting minutes are here. A quick read suggests the Public Works Department is about to pick up at least one more street to maintain (see Monday's City Council agenda for another one) and I get a little nervous when I think of the funding shortages we already have that are impacting on road work for current city streets in need of help.

And that, despite mumblings and grumblings to the contrary, is a snapshot of our neighbors in action and in meetings on a variety of topics and activities across our city as the leaves continue to turn and winter slowly approaches. "I stood there waiting, waiting for something. There wasn't a thing-Not even one thing." But there can be more than enough if you're willing to lend a hand.
-bill kenny

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