Posted: May 6, 2014 2:44 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: May 6, 2014 4:29 PM
BATON ROUGE - Councilman Buddy Amoroso accused city leaders of playing "politics" and became the first metro council member to formally announce he's backing the City of St. George Incorporation.
"I can not remain silent any longer," Amoroso wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday. "As of today, I am all in for the City of St. George."
Amoroso represents District 8 which is split between Baton Rouge city limits and the proposed city. He said he's become frustrated with city leaders' method of annexing businesses to keep St. George from incorporating.
On Monday, the Mall of Louisiana and Baton Rouge General Hospital turned in a joint petition for annexation. If council approves the annexation, it would stop the St. George incorporation effort in its tracks because it would change the legal boundaries currently drawn on the petition to form the city.
"The issue of St. George, Louisiana has always been about the children and education and has been a pure example of a democratic exercise. Attempts to short circuit the process through political trickery is wrong. The attempting to annex the Mall of Louisiana is nothing less than political trickery," Amoroso said.
Amoroso along with council members Chandler Loupe and Joel Boe are against annexing the businesses if it hinders the incorporation of St. George. Members John Delgado, Chauna Banks-Daniel, C. Denise Marcelle and Tara Wicker want to annex the mall and hospital. Council member Trae Welch, Scott Wilson, Donna Collins-Lewis and Ryan Heck are undecided. Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards could not be reached.
Heck also took to Facebook to vent his frustrations. He accused East Baton Rouge city leaders of "destroying the middle class in this parish, and continue to do so at a breakneck pace" and "Too many people now realize that this town is run by a small group of elite businessmen who have teamed up with the Poverty Pimps that control votes with an endless supply of 5 dollar bills and even more empty promises. I'm not kidding. Look at the memberships of these entities. Its all the same people. They just create another acronym, here and there, in the guise of a non-profit. As if!"
St. George supporters need 18,000 signatures to bring incorporation to a vote.
Incorporation leaders will hold a public meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Woodlawn Baptist Church on Jones Creek Road. Better Together Baton Rouge, which opposes the incorporation efforts, also scheduled a "strategy" meeting for 6:30 p.m. at the Highland Presbyterian Church.