Small Town Tyrants: It Can Happen To You

Sometimes we look at the national level of politics so much we forget the local, thinking it can’t be as bad as what the Congress and President are doing. But we’re wrong. The First Amendment that recognizes our Right to speak and gather is being trampled on with such audacity it makes the Federal Government envious. First example, less than a 100 miles away from me in Gould, Arkansas. The link here.

But that’s just what the ordinances do – disbanding a citizens group, forbidding the Mayor from meeting with people and stopping any groups from forming if members discuss the city without council approval.

A quote from the Story. So this town council outlaws public gatherings, censors political speech, and locks the Mayor in a proverbial box. If the Federal Government was that overt, we’d be in the streets. This is the stuff we fought a revolution over. Gould’s Town Council appears to think they’re royalty to not be questioned. And not just here, also in this town in Arizona. Quartzite. And for speaking your mind there, that Town Council will throw you in jail.

Let me set it up for you, a few citizens had a gripe about a rise in sewage rates and went to a public meeting of the Town Council. The rules for speaking at the meeting is that you have four minutes, and no insults and foul language. In this video it was less than a minute into her speaking that a Council member tried to shut her down, while the Mayor who is in charge of the meetings wanted her to speak.

Did you see that! The police chief and few of his stormtroopers broke their vow to defend the Constitution and basically told his boss the Mayor to stick it. She was within her time limit and was civil! Then a few days later the Council had a secret meeting, unannounced,  which is illegal. And “fired” the Mayor and put the Police Chief in charge, which is  also illegal. The succession to Mayor is next the Vice-Mayor. What to do when the law is lawless?

Here is the link to the town’s official website here(at time of writing the site had exceeded bandwidth)

The Town Code that is the law there can be read here. Note Sections 2-2-4 F which describes the mayoral powers, Section 2-4-2 Special Meetings rules and Section 2-4-3 that governs Public Meetings. Also, in a blatant rewriting and censorship in the June 28th meeting where the woman, Jennifer, was arrested I have a link to the Minutes of the Meeting. First off the announcement here and then the meeting here. Notice they didn’t record the comments but they did at a later meeting on July 7th Special Meeting here where Jennifer returns.

The back story and it’s still going on is evidence of another local government thinking they’re royalty and corruption. I’ll post the links.

While watching the national politics remember to watch your back. Small town tyrants exist, and maybe in your town.

Links for the Quartzite situation:

The Consumerist


My FOX Phoenix

The Libertarian Solution


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