I’d heard recently about civic turmoil in Gould, to most people a blur on the highway with about 1,300 residents between Pine Bluff and Dumas in Lincoln County.
But it’s really gotten crazy. The City Council, unhappy about a civic betterment group, the Gould Citizens Advisory Council, apparently has adopted an ordinance “disallowing” the organization from existing and further declaring “no new organization” can be formed in Gould without council approval. Shades of the bad old days when Southern politicians tried to root out the NAACP and similar dangerous organizations. According to the PR source who provided documents on the dispute, the mayor vetoed the ordinance, but the council overrode the veto.
It goes without saying that the Constitution takes a dim group of governments that “disallow” an organization’s existence.
This bears some more followup, which we hope to do. But, in the meanwhile, following is a news release that rounds up the controversy from the civic group’s point of view. It includes missed tax payments, a leaky sewer system, a fight over a community building donated by a bank and lots of government discord.