Councilman says legal action will stop St. George
BATON ROUGE - Metro Councilman John Delgado has an idea he thinks will stop any proposed incorporation of St. George. Delgado said he can seek legal action to stop St. George from incorporating into a separate city.
"I think it's inherently unfair to citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish as a whole," Delgado said. "That only the section proposed can vote on that, even though the entire parish would be adversely impacted."
Delgado said state law allows for suit to stop incorporation if it would drastically impact the rest of the parish.
"Loss of tax revenue number one," Delgado said. "Trickles down to police services, fire services. All things are impacted when you lose tax revenue."
Yigal Bander worked on the legal case against the City of Central of before it was incorporated. He sees both constitutional and statutory challenges to stop the St. George efforts.
"It is basically unfair," Bander said. "Unconstitutional for one group of citizens to have their fate determined by the other group and only the other group gets to vote."
St. George supporters disagree. "There is no adverse impact to the city or parish," said Lionel Rainey, spokesman with the Committee to Incorporate St. George. "The residents of the southern portion of the parish will not be bullied by Councilman Delgado from exercising their right to vote."
Rainey said they've taken the holidays off and haven't collected any new signatures for their petition to incorporate. They need 18,000 signatures total before the proposal is taken to vote.