Judge cancels Satsuma election after lawsuit
LIVINGSTON - The Livingston Parish community of Satsuma will not get the chance to vote on the possible incorporation next month after a judge threw out the election Monday night.
Judge Brenda Ricks put a stop to the March 28 election after ruling on a civil lawsuit filed by a business owner and three residents. The judge says recent annexations have changed the proposed boundaries of the petition.
Previously, Governor Bobby Jindal and the Attorney General's Office signed off on the petition to send the issue to a vote. The group behind incorporation, "Save Satsuma," took to social media to voice its frustration.
A Facebook post from Monday night reads "It all ended tonight. The Louisiana Secretary of State and the Louisiana State Attorney General's office testified that the Save Satsuma March 28th election was legal and proper. However, the judge sided with the two billionaires opposing the Satsuma incorporation, and the election was cancelled."
The post refers to business owner Marvin Henderson and developer Gary Lewis who both own land in Satsuma.
"Oh I love it. I didn't know I was a billionaire, but man it sounds good to even be called one. It don't put any money in your bank," said Henderson. "To say we're billionaires...somebody doesn't even know what a billion dollars is. A billion dollars is 1,000 million. I bet if you ask them that they wouldn't have any idea."
Save Satsuma leaders HL Arledge and Royce McLin wanted to incorporate the community to limit growth to keep Satsuma "country." However, some residents and business owners like Henderson turned to the neighboring town of Livingston to get out of the reach of a possible Satsuma incorporation.
The town of Livingston recently annexed land that was included in the boundaries of Satsuma. That's why Judge Ricks put a halt to the election. Save Satsuma can appeal the ruling, but it is unclear if the group will do so.