Metro Council votes to override Mayor Holden's veto for NBR development
BATON ROUGE- The Metro Council voted to override Mayor-President Kip Holden’s veto for a proposal to create an economic development district.
The vote was 8-4. Council members Trae Welch, Chauna Banks, Donna Collins-Lewis, Erika Green, Lamont Cole, Tara Wicker, Ryan Heck and John Delgado voted to override the veto.
Council members Scott Wilson, Buddy Amoroso and Joe Boe voted in agreement with the mayor’s veto.
Mayor Holden talked to WBRZ after the vote.
"There's an agenda here for a developer. That is something some people don't want brought out," Holden said frustrated after the veto override. Later, he said, once he is no longer mayor and watching what he likened to a chaotic organizational structure of the development area, he would be "sitting on the side, saying 'I told you so.'"
Holden denied the request last week after the Metro Council approved the development district that was sponsored by council member John Delgado.
The development encompasses an area north of Florida Blvd. within city limits and would provide tax incentives for people to establish businesses.
Council member Donna Collins-Lewis said that she hopes the plan will allow the area to prosper after nailing a solid plan down.
“We need one concrete plan for North Baton Rouge,” Collins-Lewis said.
“I surely hope that we are not bombarded by plans that are not truly North Baton Rouge,” she said.
Following Collins, Council member Erika Green agreed asked Council member Delgado explain in depth the plans outlined for the development district.
Delgado responded by saying that he hopes the Metro Council could craft a resolution to approve or deny projects the Council members would or would not want.
Council member Boe said that he understood that the development would be a tool to bring jobs and investments to the area, however he believes the Council could identify top ten plans for the area and then craft a resolution from those that are the greatest need in the area and then move forward.
Council member Tara Wicker said that the Council needs to focus on the requests for the development moving forward.
“What we need is an implementation strategy,” Wicker said. “My request is that let us be able to focus those requests,” she said.