In the newspaper report from the gondola meeting at “Usikten” in Devoldfabrikken on 18 January, there is a reference to posts that indicate a lack of knowledge or willingness to respect the State Administrator’s role.
One can get the impression that the State Administrator is a stick around, who engages in untimely interference in municipal self-government.
On the website of the Statsforvaltaren, we find that the Statsforvaltaren is the representative of the King and the Government in the county, and is responsible for following up decisions, goals and guidelines from the Storting and the Government.
Among other things, the State Administrator is also an important link between the municipalities and central governing authorities. And the Statsforvaltaren is the appeal body for municipal decisions and supervisory board power in central welfare areas that the municipalities manage.
Rather than seeing the State Administrator as an adversary, one can see the State Administrator as a good support player for the municipal self-government, which has an important advisory and control role vis-à-vis the municipalities, and which ensures the legal certainty of individuals, businesses and others in the municipalities. This applies, among other things, to matters within the Planning and Building Act.
Throughout my many years in the service of Sula municipality, first as head of administration 1977-87, later as a member of the municipal council for 12 years, I have seen the County Governor (now the State Administrator) as both an inspiration and a guide in the work for good decisions for the good of all that the municipality is responsible for.
Regarding objections, the information from the State Administrator states, among other things, that state and regional bodies can promote objections (objections) to municipal plans that are in conflict with national or regional interests. The state administrator intervenes in municipal land management by notifying or promoting objections. When there is an objection to a planning proposal, the municipality cannot adopt the plan.
The gondola case with its many sides is probably the most difficult and divisive case Sula municipality has had. There are different views on the matter. But both sides should agree on this: All sides of the case should be thoroughly explained and assessed also in the municipality, first by the director of the municipality, then by the municipal politicians. This is a big job.
It is reassuring that the new municipal director is asking for more time before the case can be presented to the politicians. And the politicians have an obligation as the people’s elected representatives to familiarize themselves with all sides of the case, based on the initiative holder’s plans, all hearing statements and objections and the municipal director’s decision.