Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gould City Council repeals unconstitutional ordinances

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 10:14 AM

gould_city_council.jpg
  • Chance Horner

The Gould City Council met last night in what turned out to be a long, contentious meeting. Mark Hays, an attorney with the Municipal League, was on hand to guide the council through the meeting. Hays strongly suggested repealing three ordinances that the Municipal League felt were unconstitutional. Two of these ordinances - one banning the mayor from meeting with citizens or citizen group without city council approval, and another banning groups from organizing or meeting without approval - were the subject of a letter sent to the City Council members by the ACLU. The third ordinance repealed last night simply changed the name of the town's treasurer position to comply with state law. According to the ACLU letter, an ordinance that prohibits the use of city facilities and public buildings by the mayor and the public without council approval still needs to be repealed. The council discussed that, and other ordinances Hays and the Municipal League took issue with, but nothing was resolved.

Questions over certain ordinances quickly turned into protracted arguments. One woman had to be escorted out of the building by state police. Hays praised the council after the ordinances were repealed during the first 15 to 20 minutes of the meeting saying, "You all just did something unanimously." But it's clear from the proceedings that the mayor and the City Council have a long way to go before real work, like setting the town's debts, can be done.

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