If it’s Monday…

If it’s Monday, I must be at a meeting. Three weeks out of four, Monday nights are public service nights for me and last night was no exception.

We had a nice and easy agenda at the RTM which everyone hoped would mean an early close so we could enjoy our bi-partisan socialable soda at the beginning of the Giants-Cowboys game.

The first three items were appointments to various boards and they easily got lumped together on our consent calendar (which basically means all the committees involved had unanimous positive votes).

Next up was a parcel of land being donated to the town. We couldn’t act on it last month because we needed more information and then got the information too late to consider at our committee meetings last week. Turns out we need a survey, a title search and a ground sample taken to ensure nothing toxic awaits us. So, once again we have held it over to the December meeting to see if the donating family wants to provide us with such materials.

The final item was one that I watched closely because it was an ordinance written by a fellow member and with three of my sub-committee’s about to be finalized, I wanted to see what will happen. This was an ordinance that would prohibit the RTM from seizing private lands through eminent domain in order for private developers to benefit. This is an outgrowth of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding our neighboring town of New London.

At the caucus, it became clear that several of the lawyers in the group felt the language needed tightening up, an opinion the assistant town attorney agreed with. It was decided that we’d hear some of the pro and con discussion and then move that the ordinance be referred to our standing committee on Legislation & Administration. I was asked to do that and as the meeting unfolded, did just that.

Turns out, though, that the ordinance was standing over a month, per procedures, and was to be discussed anew at the November committee meetings. After vigorous debate, my amendment went down in flames (not the first time I’ve taken one for the team). I wish leadership had realized the futility of the motion so I could have avoided that. Ah well.

We were at the bar, just after kickoff, so things went swimmingly after that. In fact, I had a wonderful conversation with Peter Ambrose, my Finance Committee vice-chair, really getting to know him for the first time which was a plus.

Tomorrow night we get back to my sub-committee for what I hope will be the final meeting.