News without any content

This article in the Times is about several laws passed by the City Council of Gould, Arkansas, which prohibit the formation of any clubs or other organizations without Council permission, order a particular political club to disband, and forbid the mayor to meet with any organization without Council permission.  These laws are both hilarious and unconstitutional, and evidently they reflect some fairly high levels of rancor among the town’s political class.  But somehow the article never manages to explain what the actual issues are: we learn that “the town faces nearly $300,000 in unpaid taxes,” but what this means is never explained.  (Owed to whom?  Over what timeframe?  How big a number is $300,000 in context?  How did this come about?)  Moreover, there is not even a single sentence to suggest what the actual conflicting positions are.  Why, for example, can the Council pass absurd laws over the mayor’s veto, but not similarly pass a law dealing with the $300,000?  News without content is very frustrating.

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