BATON ROUGE – Two and a half years after an initiative to form the city of St. George in southern East Baton Rouge Parish failed by 100 signatures on a petition, organizers once again are bringing the effort back.
On its official Facebook page Friday, the group announced it is pushing forward with plans to gather enough signatures to force a vote on forming St. George. The group submitted its official paperwork with the Secretary of State's office. Click HERE to see the petition, which includes boundary information and a map.
The initiative was originally focused on creating an independent school district but expanded to include plans for an entirely new municipality similar to Central, Baker and Zachary.
In the summer of 2015, St. George narrowly missed its requirement of 17,859 signatures to force a vote. A new state law at the time banned the effort from returning for two years. The summer 2017 deadline passed with only chatter on social media.
But, that changed Friday.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome released this statement around lunch Friday:
"I am aware of efforts announcing a renewed move to breakaway part of the parish and I remain steadfast in my opposition. Since becoming mayor, I’ve reached out and met with concerned citizens in the Southeast part of our parish and have had constructive dialogue.
However, we know that every tax-payer dollar spent on this 'new' government is a dollar taken away from traffic remediation or flood protection efforts. We should be focused on government efficiency, not duplication.
My position remains that creating a new city stands to further divide East Baton Rouge Parish while drastically raising the taxes on those families in the new city. My goal as Mayor-President is to unite every part our parish around the common goal of prosperity for all."
Also, the superintendent of public schools in East Baton Rouge released this statement:
“Since I became Superintendent in 2015, my team and I have worked very hard to engage and serve every segment of this community. We will continue our efforts to provide a quality education for all students," Superintendent Warren Drake said.
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