Angola Council Discusses Potential Mound Ordinance
By: Colin Meadowcroft/Mike Stiles -
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
(photo courtesy of City of Angola)
(ANGOLA) – Monday night, The Angola Common Council discussed a draft of an ordinance that would not allow anyone on the center of the monument circle.
This would be an all or nothing ordinance, eliminating any kind of gathering, demonstration or pedestrian access to the mound in downtown Angola for any reason. The discussion originated at the previous Council meeting in an effort to eliminate protesting on the mound.
City Attorney Kim Shoup says the First Amendment is the most important right and freedom that we have. He says that's why the ordinance needs to apply to all people. If anyone can go on the mound, then everyone can. But if no one can go on the mound, then no one can with no exceptions.
Shoup says he feels confident he could defend this ordinance, as written, in court. But if there starts to be exceptions added to it, he says it would weaken the ordinance.
There will not be a vote until the Council can do more digging about the legality of such an ordinance. It will be brought back at a future date when Council can gather for in person meetings and hear the thoughts of the public, due to the sensitivity of the subject.
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