Monday, November 8, 2010

So I Set My Sights on Monday

This is a week that's more or less two shorter weeks with Veterans Day on Thursday, a holiday we've so far failed to commercialize (not that we haven't tried) providing a break in the routine. Though, in looking at the meeting calendar, the variety of different topics and approaches makes for an interesting week already.

Today, actually this afternoon at five in Room 210 of City Hall, it's a regular meeting of the Ethics Commission. The city's website has no October meeting minutes or the notice/agenda for this afternoon's meeting though if form follows function, review and approval of the October minutes will be on the agenda as will, I imagine, continuing to identify those areas of the Ethics code that are in need of adjustment and refinement.

At five-fifteen, in their office space at 169 Route 2 in Gales Ferry it's a regular meeting of the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority, whose website could do with a refreshing, I think, in terms of currency of content.

Tuesday morning at 8:30, the Youth and Family Service Advisory Board meets in City Hall's Room 335 (a/k/a 'The Cone of Silence' because if you don't sit in the VERY first row, you'll hear nothing of what is going on. Some have suggested that's where I should write these notes.). They meet every other month, and here's a copy of their September meeting minutes. It's human nature to spend a lot of front lobe attention on 'big picture/big ticket' items, but many of the programs this group is engaged in are quiet, small pieces, lots of one to one empowerment and enrichment requiring many small steps that become a great leap forward when you look at where they started.

At four in the afternoon, in their facility on the New London Turnpike, it's a special meeting of the Norwich Golf Course Authority to approve a budget and a pair of contracts with two employees.

At 5:30, and I'm walking on thin ice a bit here is a regular meeting of the Board of Education. The City's website says the meeting is in the library of Kelly Middle School (and the December meeting will be in Samuel Huntington School) but the agenda of both the September and October meetings, as posted on the Norwich Public Schools' website, indicate those meetings were in Huntington. I'm not a betting man (this close to the casinos that is sort of foolish, I know) so I'd suggest calling the office at 860.823.4200 and double-checking the location.

The Public Works and Capital Improvements Committee, which meets every second Tuesday of each month at five in the afternoon in the Public Works Directors office at 50 Clinton Avenue, except when it doesn't, should be meeting this afternoon. There are no minutes from a September meeting for which there is an agenda posted on line and I think I remember the October meeting was cancelled though there's no notice to that effect on the city's website.

As a matter of fact, so far in calendar year 2010, there are minutes of TWO meetings and notices of FIVE consecutive cancellations (to include a cancellation that had minutes. Huh?). There were news stories earlier this week about how the members of the city council will work harder on communication with one another and with the public. Look at the municipal website, ladies and gentlemen, it's a target rich environment for improvement.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to meet at seven in the basement conference room of the Planning Department at 23 Union Street, though their most recent meeting minutes and agenda is from September rather than October (I didn't find a cancellation notice). The ZBA has the sometimes unglamorous job of enforcing policies and ordinances they didn't formulate and the rest of us more often than not rely on its members to know the zoning codes and related materials, because we certainly don't.

Thursday morning at eleven the Frederick J. Sullivan Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2212 and the American Legion Post 104 will hold a Veterans Day observance in the Taftville Memorial Park. All across this nation, people will take time out Thursday as close to the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month as they can, in a tradition that began as Armistice Day, marking the conclusion of 'the war to end all wars,' World War I.

That it has a Roman numeral after it might lead you to conclude, correctly, it wasn't successful at being the war to end all wars. Here in 2010, we don't even bother giving the wars numbers or names, we just take for granted the men and women who fight them in countries far away and out of sight. Hope you can join us in Taftville, or wherever you live, to recognize the too-many-to-count who've worn our military's colors in peacetime and in war. Thank you, and thank them, too.

Thursday afternoon at five, in Chacer's, it's a meeting of the Downtown Revitalization Zone, rescheduled from last Thursday (but it's not a special meeting though I think it's supposed to be, technically). The agenda lists review and approval of the October seventh meeting notes (I'm not sure why the word minutes isn't used). Neither notes nor minutes are posted on the city's website; as a matter of fact, click here for EVERYTHING on the city's website about what should be an important component in the rebuilding of our downtown. Perhaps together we can figure out how to get 'the word out' on important information that is probably NOT getting to those of us who live here the way the committee members would like.

On the City's website for Saturday is a note of cancellation on a meeting with the Small Business Association that, I hope, will be well-attended when it is held a week from tomorrow, Tuesday the 16th at 6:30 PM in City Council Chambers. We should have, by now, all the pieces to solve, or at least to start to solve, the decades long puzzle that has been a moribund downtown.
The time to do so has arrived.
-bill kenny

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