Future Schock no excuse for no plan

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Alvin Toffler wrote a pivotal book 40 years ago titled “Future Shock.”

“Future Shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time,” Toffler said.  

Toffler put forward the argument four decades ago that society was undergoing tremendous structural change. He said change was coming so fast that people would be overwhelmed.

He was right on the mark.

Technology and knowledge is moving so fast that at times it is virtually impossible to keep up. Many of us are disoriented as a result.  

Perhaps this explains the situation in Woodford County and the ongoing venomous battle over a comprehensive plan.

A comprehensive plan is a very useful tool.

Yet there seems to be little agreement on that fact. It has been repeatedly reported that Woodford County’s comprehensive planning and zoning committee is in no hurry to face the plan that has been drafted.

The plan has five main themes — balanced growth, economic development, proactive collaboration, transportation and environment.

Board member Doug Huser asked, “Why should the government step in and take a yellow crayon and draw a line and tell people what they can and can’t do on their property — people who have owned their homes for a hundred years or their farms or their small businesses?”

Because that is what is required of responsible representatives.

Huser said the county should restrict residential development and encourage suitable businesses that bring in more revenue than individual property taxpayers.

“Now everyone from Peoria is jumping into Germantown (Hills) and Metamora, and all the problems are now in Metamora with the extra water and sewer, and schools are overflowing,” he said.

Huser answers his own question as to why a comprehensive plan — which can bring order to chaos — is needed.

More government is not the answer. More regulation for the sake of regulation is not the answer.

But, well-reasoned regulation can bring order.

The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, along with a 14-member committee of representatives from throughout the county, have been working on the plan’s draft since 2008.

Perhaps the board is suffering from “Future Shock” and needs some down time, some relaxation. Maybe the board needs to quietly contemplate what works in the best interest of the county’s citizens.

Or, perhaps, “Future Shock has nothing to do with it and the board just needs to knock off ridiculous politicking and get down to conducting the people’s business.