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Gould city council members say ordinances to be amended, not repealed

Gould city council members are talking about amending, not repealing, the ordinances causing national attention and plenty of arguments.
GOULD, AR - The Gould city motto is, "A City United For Change" but ordinances deemed unconstitutional by the Arkansas Municipal League are tearing the city apart.

"We've got people now that used to be close friends not speaking to each other. That's not right," said Gould City Council member Essie Cableton when asked about the ordinances.

"It's been a long week," said Gould Mayor Earnest Nash.

Bombarded with countless phone calls, Mayor Nash continues to fight against city ordinances - one stating people cannot discuss city business without council approval.

"This whole battle all boils down to our basic constitutional rights," said Mayor Nash.

Council Member Harry Hall says one ordinance should actually be written to ban groups from meeting in a city-owned community center because the city can't afford to pay the utilities for the building.

"Get your own place. Don't use the city," said Hall.

Right now, ordinances are written that ban people from discussing city business unless approved by the council.  Lawyers say it's a violation of the First Amendment.

"One of the ordinances was misprinted," said Hall. "We've got new council members so we are entitled to some mistakes."

 "If you don't know what you're doing, than you don't need to do it," said council member Cableton, who opposed passing the ordinances in the first place.

But there are still other ordinances that need answers.  For example, one is written to ban the mayor from meeting with people without council permission.

"The Mayor wants control over everyting and were just not going to let him have control," said Hall.

Council members say the ordinances will not be repealed, only ammended, meaning there's still a long way to go before these conflicts get resolved.

The next city council meeting is set for August 9th.  Although on the books, so far, the ordinances have not been enforced as written.
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