Group pushing back against movement to form City of St. George
BATON ROUGE - A group against the proposed City of St. George is asking those who've already signed the petition to think again.
'One Baton Rouge' has one goal: keep the City of Baton Rouge together. The group has been fighting the effort to separate a portion of the parish. They've created an online withdrawal form instructing those who want to reconsider their original petition to do so.
The push to make St. George its own city began years ago after residents sought to start their own school system. In order to do so, they needed to create their own city. The organizers say they're not relenting and will continue to get more signatures.
"Good luck trying to go and get people who've now signed a petition twice to withdraw their signatures," said Lionel Rainey, with the St. George leadership team.
Over the past week, One Baton Rouge has distributed more than 300 yard signs.
"We're concerned about making sure everybody who is thinking about or who has already signed the petition has the opportunity to first review the facts, especially those economic studies showing that St. George, based on their budget will have a deficit for sure, and taxes will be raised... This is information that the public deserves to know," said M.E. Cormier, representing One Baton Rouge.
Rainey emphasizes that signing the petition does not create the city but it allows citizens the opportunity to vote whether the incorporation of St. George should occur.
"They'll tell you things have gotten better... But what's gotten better? Has traffic gotten better? Has crime gotten better? Have our schools gotten better? Has our leadership gotten better? Of course, it hasn't," Rainey said. "Everybody knows it, everybody's fed up, everybody's ready to do something else... It's time for a change, and that's what we're offering."
Organizers for the city of St. George have 12,876 signatures. The deadline for those signatures to be turned into the Secretary of State is November 27th.