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St. George incorporation petitions hit East Baton Rouge Parish

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Posted: Sep 18, 2013 9:15 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Sep 18, 2013 9:15 PM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 4.0 (5 votes)

Topics: new town, St. George, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, break-away school district, St. George Incorporation Effort, petition campaign, Dustin Yates, Mayor President Kip Holden, Kip Holden, Ryan Naquin

BATON ROUGE - People who want an all new town instead of just a break-away school district kicked their plan into motion.

Monday, St. George Incorporation Effort volunteers started collecting signatures for its petition campaign.

"The movement was called for by the people, and it's going to be accomplished by the people who live in this area," effort leader Dustin Yates said.

If the effort comes to pass, it would create a new school district for the more than 100,000 people in the area. The main reason behind the push came after a plan to break-away from the East Baton Rouge Parish School District failed in the state legislature.

"When they went to legislation, they continually heard the same thing over and over again. That was you're not a city," Yates said. "We okayed it for Central because they were a city. We okayed it for Zachary because they were a city."

Those pushing the effort need a little more than 18,000 signatures to keep it going. If that amount of signatures are collected, the petitions would be turned into the Registrar of Voter's Office for certification then would need Governor Jindal's signature before a vote could be set.

"Signing this petition does not incorporate the city of St. George. Singing this petition simply allows the residents of this area to vote on the incorporation of St. George," Yates said.

"This is something that will not work," Baton Rouge Mayor President Kip Holden said.

He strongly opposes the creation of a new city. He believes the district has no reason to split because the school system's performance numbers are increasing.

"Kind of amazing that after we go in and make all of these improvements and bring Baton Rouge up to greater standards somebody would choose to try to separate us," Holden said. "This will be a failed movement."

But those in charge of the effort feel the movement is attainable.

"We're that committed to getting this thing accomplished," Yates said.

Yates could not answer how many signatures were collected to this point. An update on the amount is expected in ten days.

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