Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ten Thousand Craters Where It All Should Be

I fell across a great piece of advice scrolling and trolling on the internet the other day. Something that I felt could and should have been written for and about right here in Norwich even though I suspect all kinds of folks in all kinds of places other than Norwich looked at it and said the exact same thing.

Reminds me of an expression we had in the Air Force that went “wish in the one hand and spit in the other. See which one fills up faster.” Okay, we didn’t use the word spit. But I think you get the idea. We also didn’t do a lot of handshaking, for obvious reasons.

In Norwich, we yearn for that mega-million dollar investment, from a developer on the grassy knoll with a sure-fire silver bullet proposal which will return a downtown few of us living here now ever even knew from a half-century ago.

Perhaps soon we’ll take a shuttle bus from the Reid & Hughes Building straight through a rotary on Route 82 up to the new boat launch in the Chelsea Botanical Gardens. I have been known to take flights of fancy, barely and rarely grounded in reality.That may have been one; but if you’re gonna live, why not live large?

Meanwhile, back here on earth, progress is often low-key and a lot less glamorous. But it is still progress. 

It was in early February a year ago, the previous City Council and its-then employee, the City Manager went their separate ways. Fifty weeks later, our new City Council has selected a successor, just in time for the annual dreaded dead-of-winter drill better known as formulation of the next municipal budget. 

All I or anyone should say about the City Council’s choice is welcome aboard. We are in need of all the help we can get so grab an oar and put your back into it because we’re a long way from shore.

The City Council, Mayor and City Manager should promise one another, and all of us who live here and fund our city, to develop an honest budget, no blue smoke and no mirrors. Eyes wide open, tell us what it will cost us in taxes to do those things we tell you we want you to do.

Members of the City Council: You know more now about what we have and what we say we want than you did the night you were elected and you’ll know still more tomorrow and the day after that. You are the change many wanted to see in how we govern. We elected you to make hard choices.

As you gain greater insight into where our challenges are, it'll become more apparent where solutions are needed. Don't worry about credit or blame, those tend to be parceled out in a somewhat capricious, callous and unfair manner. Fix the problem. Be the change you want to be in/for our city.
-bill kenny

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