Monday, May 16, 2011

From the Smoke into the Smother

My sister's middle child celebrated his eighteenth birthday this past Sunday which is another reminder to me how quickly time passes and how much more easily that passage is recognized when looking out the rear window of a speeding car than the front. Before us lies the journey ahead, and behind us the road already traveled. Sometimes the only measurement of our effort from one to the other is the distance. But if we're lucky, we learn along the way. This week, again, in The Rose of New England, learning opportunities abound. Perhaps.

This morning at nine in the Senior Center is a regular meeting of the Senior Affairs Commission, a resource I would think, when we speak of experience, historical perspective and lessons learned, the rest of us might better avail ourselves of than is currently the situation. Of course, if some of us did a better job at sharing meeting minutes with the rest of us on line, that would certainly help.

Monday night at seven thirty it's a regular meeting of the City Council with an emphasis, in my eyes, on setting dates for public hearings in the immediate future that are heavily tied to our city's quality of life, the Neighborhood Assistance Act and Community Development Block Grants, among them. If you're not clear as to what they do and their impact on you, please attend the hearings and get some first hand information.

Tuesday afternoon at five thirty in the Latham Science Center on the campus of the Norwich Free Academy, it's a regular meeting of the NFA Board of Trustees. Also at five-thirty, in their offices at the Buckingham Memorial Building, it's a regular meeting of the Public Parking Commission who last met, judging from city's website, in January as a draft of those meeting minutes are the most current entry.

At six in Room 319 of City Hall, it's a regular meeting of the Personnel and Pension Board whose public posting of meeting minutes could be improved just a skosh, for my taste though they're doing better than the aforementioned Public Parking Commission. And at seven in the basement conference room of the Planning Department, at 23 Union Street, it's a regular meeting of the Commission on the City Plan, who has another full agenda before them.

Wednesday morning at nine in the Community Meeting Room of The Dime Bank on Route 82, it's a regular meeting of the Norwich School Readiness Council (Children First) whose very undoubtedly worthwhile activities and deserving-of-your-support advocacy agenda is less than well-served by a pathetically poor informational effort beginning with a website anchored firmly in the fall of 2009. Here is their Facebook page which is better on current events but still light on strategy.

At five thirty, in the Norwich Arts Council Coop Gallery at 60-64 Broadway, it's a special meeting of the Downtown Neighborhood Revitalization Zone whose last regular meeting earlier this month lacked a quorum (again)-so if you're on this volunteer board, please cut your fellow members a break and respect their time by showing up.

Thursday at five, it's the Historic District Commission, though you'd not know that by this link on the municipal meeting calendar, referencing a change in their March meeting, holding a regular meeting in Room 210 of City Hall though, apropos of history, the most current posted meeting minutes seem to be a draft of their February meeting.

At six, in their conference room at The Rink, it's a regular meeting of the Ice Rink Authority. I'd applaud their efforts on posting their previous meetings' minutes on the municipal website but there aren't any (minutes or efforts).

Friday morning at nine it's a regular meeting of the Chelsea Gardens Foundation who exist, it seems, enough to have had requested assistance from the Sachem Fund Board in recent years, but not enough to have a listing of its membership, the ordinance creating it, its purpose for existence or an account of any of its previous meetings on the city's website. I was heartened to learn last week they sound thisclose to starting on their project if you define thisclose as an eight digit figure for the first phase (I didn't understand how much of that money they have on hand, but I'll bet I can guess).

Saturday morning at eight, why not join us at the front steps of City Hall as we start the first installment of the One City Clean Up. My mom, who could never get me to pick up my room as a kid, will probably want pictures of any attempts to help I make and if enough of us show up to pitch in and pick up, when we finish around lunch time, I think we'll all be amazed at how far we've come, literally and figuratively even when we're still building, then burning down. See you there?
-bill kenny

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