Monday, October 3, 2011

We Are the People We Have Been Waiting for

I'm thinking in light of the summer season we had in these parts, we should see a reasonably sedate autumn, with local voters paying close attention to the issues at hand and on-hand, while listening carefully to those neighbors seeking office and making choices from which we can all benefit. Ha, ha! I just crack myself up sometimes. Forget what you've heard, peyote buttons are not found on southwest sweaters.

The higher up the governmental food chain you go, the less functional everything seems to be. Helps explain the chaos emanating from the UN. Conversely, here on earth, what does still work does so best when we're closest to home. Stands to reason, I may not be able to see the White House from my house, but I can see yours and while I'm happy you're waving, I'd be happier, still, if you used the whole hand.

This week in Norwich, Connecticut, there are a variety of meetings of agencies, boards, commissions and committees, each adding a touch and sometimes a bit more than that to the flavor of life in The Rose City. In much the way as no single drop of rain is itself responsible for the flood that follows, the sum of the parts of any city is always greater than the individuals making the efforts to be part of the equation.

At eight this morning in their offices in the Norwich Business Park it's a regular meeting of the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Government. A review of their agenda shows the return of consideration of the Regional Ethics Commission. People prefer problems that are familiar to solutions that are not. I'm sure we'll have hours of discussion on this issue before agreeing, finally, to discuss it some more at another time.

At six, rescheduled from last week, is (now) a special meeting of the Recreation Advisory Board in the offices of the Recreation Department (up at Dickenman Field, across from the tennis courts. That link required use of the WABAC machine and I should have warned you). If you went here in search of either a meeting agenda or for minutes of any of their meetings held so far this (or any other) year, you already know you found nothing. And I'm considered cynical.

The City Council meeting agenda for tonight at 7:30 indicates the Council may (or may not) resolve the Greeneville/Buckingham Schools demolition situation. You read the same newspapers as I and know as much, if not more, about the goings on in the last fortnight, so I'll spare you my snarkinesson all of that. I think we'll have all seven members of the City Council present tonight, which has been the case less than 50% of the time since this Council was seated in December 2009.

Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 in the Kelly Middle School library, it's a regular meeting of the (Kelly Middle) School Building Committee, whose September meeting minutes, assuming there was a meeting, aren't posted (I, too, am so surprised) but here are their approved August minutes (which is how I know there was a September meeting). Here's what I don't understand, why can't the City Council Candidates' Forum for Wednesday, 26 October from 7 to 9 PM be held in the Jacqueline Owens Auditorium of the Kelly Middle School instead of the Slater Museum on the NFA campus? The former is city property, is brand new and unseen by most of the residents whose taxes helped pay for it; while the latter is none of the above.

Wednesday night at seven in Room 335 of City Hall is a regular meeting of the Republican Town Committee-and maybe in the coming days we can finally remove the note about their March meeting from the city's website. Maybe?
Thursday afternoon at one is a "Buckingham Memorial Architectural Review Presentation" that has nothing to do with now-closed elementary school and everything to do with the building in downtown. I have no idea where this meeting is-but imagine if you call the Office of the City Clerk, at 860-823-3734, you can find out. (You were expecting a candy joke, weren't you? Truth to tell, me, too.)

And at seven o'clock in the basement conference room of the Planning Department at 23 Union Street it's a regular meeting of the Inlands Wetlands, Water Courses and Conservation Commission (why is there NO comma between Inlands and Wetlands? Proper punctuation can save lives: 'let's eat Grandma' or 'let's eat, Grandma' I rest my case). I was intrigued at reading their September meeting minutes to discover how few people can constitute a quorum (hint: at least one less than I thought). All the members' appointments expired in June, according to the city's website, so I hope they get renewed soon if that's what those now serving desire.

Speaking of serving on a volunteer panel, and we have lots of them (though none devoted to pony rides for birthdays which may explain the ongoing lack of success of that initiative), there's always room for helping hands. The application is right here-it and you could be just the person we've all been waiting for. As long as you and I are here, put it there.
-bill kenny

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