Monday, June 6, 2011

Piling the Bricks atop One Another

The younger of our two children finished high school a half decade or so ago and the rhythm of our lives changed from a September through June pattern to the more conventional everyday and every direction in which our neighbors move. We're almost a week into the sixth month of the year already, summer's here and the time is right for well a variety of motions and notions, I suppose (including being Johnny Depp's dad) and it's still hard for me to grasp 2011 is almost halfway over.

Here in the Land of Steady Habits, the state has no actual budget for a fiscal year that begins on the 1st of July which means our cities and towns are doing a small vamp for time with their budgets as it's not yet established just how much money is coming from Hartford and how much will be needed from residents. Let's face it, the amount of dollars requested/required will not be going down so you can take that idea off the list of possibilities. Meanwhile governance goes on, and sometimes, on and on.

This morning at 8:30 in their offices in the Norwich Business Park it's a regular meeting of the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Government (SCCOG). If the committee members could only travel to the meeting on a Southeast Area Transit, SEAT, bus, their meeting would take considerably longer to reach a quorum as our regional mass transit system is for more notional than actual.

Tonight at 7:30 in City Council chambers is the first June meeting for the Norwich City Council and a lot of the dollars and sense issues for the next twelve months may be settled in one form or another (with tweaks needed as we roll along). You don't have to be Madame Cleo to realize not everyone will get everything they desire from whatever financial decisions are made tonight. Sometimes a horrible ending is better than horrors without end and if we learn nothing else from all these servings of stone soup we have to keep having, it's that everyone benefits from smart growth and no one wins unless we all win. I just wonder how many more times this lesson will need to be learned before we get it.

Tuesday evening at 6:30, as if to underscore that the future will arrive whether it's planned or not planned for, is a special meeting of the Commission on the City Plan (Plan of Conservation and Development Subcommittee)-the planning to make a plan folks. What we are now is what we were when and what we will be, and hope to be a decade and more from now, depends on decisions we make today. Talking about the future is one thing, living in it is quite another.

Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 in their offices at 10 Westwood Park, it's a regular meeting of the Housing Authority whose explanation of mission and minutes of previous meetings remain as missing as they have from the first time I looked for them. I do admire consistency and yet I'm left cold by the continuing disregard for state mandates.

At six, in room 210 of City Hall it's a regular meeting of the Baseball Stadium Authority and with opening day at Dodd Stadium almost (and finally) here (June 20th), a chance to get a sneak peek at what's planned for the ballpark (aside from hoisting a NY-Penn League Championship banner), and maybe talking to someone in the City Clerk's office about the dearth of meeting minutes on line.

At six, crosstown, in their new location at the Greenville Fire House meeting room, it's a regular meeting of the Greenville Neighborhood Revitalization Committee who, it seems, didn't have a meeting last month.

And also at six, though not listed on the municipal on-line calendar, it's another special meeting of the Sachem Fund Board whose previous meeting was adjourned without taking any actions last Wednesday evening. They were missing two of their members and chose to NOT make recommendations to the City Council without a vote by the entire board. You can use the minutes of their May meeting to see what projects they are considering. As I mentioned last week, their previous 1 June agenda didn't have them making decisions so I'm curious if that omission has been corrected.

And at seven, in the offices of American Ambulance, it's a regular meeting of the Public Safety Committee whose May meeting was cancelled (actually three of the first five monthly meetings have been cancelled so maybe a different frequency of meetings is what's needed?). Based on the April minutes, there will possibly be updates on both Buckingham and Greenville Schools as well as a status report on the Falls at Indian Leap, now called Uncas Leap.

Saturday morning at nine, in the East Great Plains Fire Department meeting room (upstairs over the fire truck bay) it's the first meeting of the One City Forum and for most of the day into the afternoon, there's all kinds of doings at the Leffingwell House Museum that many of us drive by all the time and say 'gee, I really need to stop in there one of these days.' Saturday happens to be one of these days, so we're in luck.
Each of us can be the brightest of sparks or the big black smoke-you decide.
-bill kenny

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