St. George petition gaining ground as opponents push for more information
BATON ROUGE - Organizers of the proposed City of St. George are gaining more signatures in order to bring the decision to a vote.
Today, proponents of the City of St. George spoke to the Press Club inside of the Belle of Baton Rouge. The original reason why this group wanted to break away from the City of Baton Rouge was to form their own school systems and reduce crime. Organizers believe they can do a better job with tax dollars.
"When you're tired of higher taxes, when you're tired of terrible schools and you're tired of high crime, all of a sudden, magically money shows up to find a way to do something a little bit better. And that's our goal," said Murrell.
Their presentation included their idea of a better operating budget, better schools, and overall less crime.
"It was very confusing to have them bring up the library tax since the library is a parish-wide tax and it would be unchanged if St. George were to happen. It is always disappointing that they still have not made any movement in their budget to allow for a school system, which they say is their main goal," said M.E. Cormier, the Executive Director of Better Together Campaign.
Mayor Sharon Weston-Broome released a statement Monday afternoon stating the group revealed inaccurate findings regarding the city-parish finances during the Press Club Meeting.
Broome's administration provided a response:
-Organizers failed to acknowledge changes the city-parish made to its pension system for regular, municipal, and fire employees hired after 2015. While we cannot undo the past, we have made significant changes to retirement benefits to achieve massive savings moving forward.
-Organizers also took the Library Board to task on how it spends its dedicated tax revenue. They also failed to note that a majority of residents in the proposed city voted to support the library system’s 2015 tax renewal.
The East Baton Rouge Registrar of Voters says it will not certify a petition from residents looking to incorporate the city of St. George until the Attorney General answers a list of questions.