Posted: May 12, 2014 5:12 PM by Jason Newton
Updated: May 12, 2014 6:52 PM
BATON ROUGE - Things are coming to a boiling point in the next few days over the proposed city of St. George. Aside from today's protest and call to action by the group Better Together, this week could prove pivotal in the efforts to incorporate a new city in East Baton Rouge.
Protestors gathered Monday, calling on those who signed up for St. George to think again.
"Any elector may withdraw their name from the petition by filing a statement of withdrawal with the registrar of voters," said Jane Patton with Better Together BR.
The group announced their new "withdraw your signature" campaign.
"The purpose is to ask every citizen who signed the petition to reconsider," Patton said. "To consider withdrawing your name because of the negative effects on the entire community."
They also rallied against any new school district that may come along with a new city, saying that in the proposed St. George city limits, there is not enough schools, and that more than half of the students in that area would have nowhere to attend.
"Five thousand seats, 10,327 students," Lara Gautreaux said. "That means 5,327 students without a place to go to school."
They also said that 7,000 students would be displaced.
Those in favor of creating a new city said that school capacity issues have an obvious solution.
"It doesn't take much to put up temporary buildings and two to three years to build additional schools," said Lionel Rainey, spokesman for the Committee to Incorporate St. George.
St. George supporters said the lack of school capacity in the proposed city of St. George, is because of neglect from the East Baton Rouge School Board.
"Why are there not enough schools," Rainey asked. "Why are there only 10 schools in proposed St. George?"
The East Baton Rouge Metro Council is expected to vote on whether or not to annex the Mall of Louisiana and nearby hospitals this Wednesday, which could potentially kill the efforts at a new city altogether.