Monday, April 4, 2011

Maybe a Week without Snow? (Norwich Meetings 4-9 April 2011)

This is shaping up to be one of those weeks in municipal government where he who hesitates is lunch, which explains that sprig of parsley I found in my shirt pocket. I still don't understand why someone thought liverwurst aftershave was a good idea before we visited the dog pound, but live and learn....

Tonight at seven thirty in City Hall's Council chambers, the agenda reflects one of the more important meetings of the City Council not just for this year but in recent memory. The City Manager will outline his proposed 2011-2012 municipal budget and let's face it, budget formulation is zero fun in the best of times and that's NOT where we are right now. But speaking of hopes for better things, also on the agenda is Council adoption of the plan for downtown revitalization we approved bond money for in November, so it looks talking the talk is over and walking the walk now starts.

Tuesday afternoon are a pair of meetings in the Integrated Day Charter School, IDCS, in Laurel Hill at the rehabbed old Thermos factory that are probably of value if you have children and/or are looking at schools and/or are interested in seeing how other than a public school system creates the needed educational room to grow for it students and teachers. The IDCS Governance Committee, followed by the Planning Committee, meets at five in their conference room. There's a reason why the school's waiting list is in excess of three hundred children-perhaps you should see for yourself.

And, since I'll never hear the end of this from Dennis if I don't mention it, Wednesday evening at seven in Room 335 of City Hall it's a regular meeting of the Republican Town Committee and if you were waiting for me to say something caustic, hope you have a good book because it'll be a long wait (a party with a person with no sense of Revolutionary War geography and a Congressional leader with a terrific tan needs me to make sport of it? I think not).

Thursday is chock a block with meetings, sort of. The sort of part is on account of the first one, listed on the City's calendar as the Downtown Neighborhood Revitalization Zone at 5:30 though the where is unclear and the deeper you dig the less clear it all gets. I think the schedule and location of meetings posted on the municipal website is actually from last year which is, in a way, a marked improvement over the archive of meeting minutes available. Perhaps the expiration dates of the members' appointments could be brought into the now while we're attempting to comply with the state's mandate on posting of meeting minutes more current than the draft minutes of the August 5th 2010 meeting. Seriously.

The Inlands Wetlands, Watercourses and Conservation Commission meets at seven in the basement conference room of the Planning Department at 23 Union Street. This must be their first session of the year as no minutes for 2011 meetings are available on the website. Yep, that's probably what happened.....

At 7:30 in Room 335 (sit up front or you will hear NOTHING) is the first installment of the municipal departmental hearings on the 2011-2012 budget with Planning and Neighborhood Services followed by Human Services, Corporation Counsel, the Mayor (on Economic Development) and concluding with the Finance Department and Treasurer each having twenty minutes (in theory) to make the case for their respective budget requests and to answer questions from the City Council (fyi, 'who's your daddy?' does not count as a question).

This Saturday's Meeting with the Mayor starts at 9 AM in the Taftville Volunteer Fire House at 134 Providence Street. Bring a squeak toy for the Dalmatian, and for the Mayor, whatever questions you have on where the city is heading and how we're going to get there. We need to start practicing singing in harmony, as tomorrow's just a song away.

-bill kenny

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