Information Overload

One way to avoid debate in the City Council is to gather a lot of important issues to a single meeting. Then the summons come with several hundred pages of appendices that none of the opponents have time to read. Information Overload is a result of centralized government. The leading politicians plan the democratic workflow. They could spread information over time. If they wanted to.

The City Council’s meeting  in April 2010 was canceled. The official reason was that the issues where too few. My opinion is, that this was a poor excuse to avoid discussion. It is not the number of cases that matters, but their magnitude and complexity. The next council meeting will among other issues include the gigantic decision on Municipality Master Plan 2010-2030.

The Master Plan 2010-2030 is a single file, with the size of a book. Together with the EIS, the appendix alone in this particular issue measures over 130 pages. We will consider how Vallentuna will develop over the next 20 years – with roads, water, forests, transportation, housing – everything. Now, along with this issue come another eleven issues in May. We have more than 500 pages to read and discuss when spring is in its bloom and the will to debate is zero.

Why could we not devote the entire meeting in April to the municipality’s future in the next 20 years. Is three hours too long time?

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