Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let the Day Begin

By now you may have heard about the developers from Ohio, or perhaps it's Pennsylvania, who are putting the finishing touches on a project that will place all of Norwich under a geodesic dome. We're talking about enclosing the whole city from Laurel Hill to Plain Hill over to Occum and Greeneville to include the Eastside and across to Thamesville, too. In very short order, we could be the eighth wonder of the world and maybe the ninth, too. Heard all about it from my barber's landscaper's babysitter.

Of course no one in City Hall knows anything about it. They are not alone. In truth, no one knows anything about it as I made up that entire first paragraph from whole cloth (I always wear a ski cap, so even the barber part is a lie) and even though I'm telling you it's a fable, some part of you still wants to believe it's true. And why not, we've talked so often about how we're thisclose to the big development idea that will bring Norwich into the Now that we overlook the small(er) steps we're taking every day to incrementally improve our town.

Could a geodesic dome large enough to cover the city be feasible? I'm not Buckminster Fuller and I didn't stay at a well-known hotel chain last night, but I'd suggest we're not quite as likely any more to get too emotionally invested in believing in the One More Big Wish theory of development. And that's probably just as well.

Maybe you've noticed, and maybe you haven't. We've stopped looking for people to blame when projects start too slowly to gain altitude and soar or never quite take off at all. We've begun to channel the energy we used to waste on Searching for the Guilty back into fixing the original problem (conceding the former has little to do with the latter) and, more importantly, agreeing we cannot simply talk our way into a better and more successful city, there's got to be doing and we're the ones who have got to be doing it.

By voting in support of the Board of Education's initiative to expand and enhance Kelly Middle School while reorganizing the entire public school system and, more recently, to fund downtown improvement efforts, we may have surprised even ourselves with our willingness to improve our reach and our grasp. Money aside, and yes, I realize I'm talking about a lot of our tax money, we've also been willing to turn out and turn up for public meetings across the city with our elected leadership and listen as they explain what they're trying to do and, when it's our turn to talk, to tell them our hopes for a future for our children and ourselves.

It's a good thing that Spring's coming with short sleeve shirts because we'll be needing to roll up our sleeves and lend a hand as our neighborhoods start to reinvent themselves as the hesitancy evaporates from our optimism and confidence and we rub the sleep from our eyes to greet the day. And let the day begin.
-bill kenny

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