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St. George leader hush-hush about signature total

2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago May 07, 2014 May 7, 2014 Wednesday, May 07 2014 May 07, 2014 6:15 AM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Ryan Naquin

BATON ROUGE - People who would live inside the proposed City of St. George asked for specifics about how many signatures are on the petition, but organizers remained hush-hush about it at a meeting Tuesday night.

The group met at Woodlawn Baptist Church to discuss the effort and take questions from residents.  Twice when asked by the crowd how many signatures are in, leaders quickly became tight-lipped.

One man asked, "how many signatures do we need and when do we need them by?" He directed his question to Dustin Yates and Norman Browning.

"We're close," Yates responded.

Another man asked if the effort had at least 14,000 signatures, and the conversation was quickly moved to another person in the crowd with a different question.

"It doesn't matter. We don't have enough. What difference does it make? We don't have enough," Browning told WBRZ News 2.

"My goal is four to six weeks," he estimated about when they'll have enough signatures to secure a position on the November ballot.   It's a promise of 18,000 signatures by next month. The deadline to make the November ballot is about eleven weeks away.

Yates did address concerns with the Mall of Louisiana and Baton Rouge General wanting to be annexed into Baton Rouge city limits.  St. George leaders previously said that if the annex is adopted, it would stop the incorporation efforts in its tracks because it would change the legal boundaries currently drawn on the petition to form the city.  But on Tuesday, Yates told the crowd he did not know for sure if the annexation would be the demise of St. George's incorporation effort.

Mayor Kip Holden's office could not be reached for comment for the second day about the issue.

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