The Metropolitan Council appointed Denise Amoroso to fill her deceased husband’s District 8 seat Thursday night.
A special meeting was held to vote for Buddy Amoroso’s replacement tonight, following weeks of a seesaw debacle.
Since Amoroso’s untimely death, council members have been at odds over who should take over. Just last week, four council members said they would not vote to fill the seat.
Amoroso’s wife has been very vocal about her desire to fill her husband’s void, even Gov. Edwards supported her.
“Right now I think the only person under consideration is Mrs Amoroso. She’s expressed a desire to serve,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards.
“A long-standing tradition and precedent in East Baton Rouge Parish is to allow the spouse of a council person to serve out the term if that councilperson a person dies in office. And I would encourage the council to do that. I know that that’s with the mayor wants and I think it’s the right thing to do. So I don’t want to see more than that. We’ll see what happens today, but I don’t think it’s likely that that matters going to come up on my desk and it should not end up on my desk.”
Although the vote was 7-0, not everyone was pleased with this decision.
As some in the room clapped, the majority of people here for this public meeting left angry.
One by one, people took the time to speak on why Amoroso’s widow shouldn’t be chosen.
Many people pointed out that the process is outdated and needs changing. Many others say the city’s divide between north and south should be taken into consideration.
The council members who said they would not vote did just that and many people applauded them.
Council members Chauna Banks, LaMont Cole, Erika Green and Donna Collins-Lewis released the following statement regarding where they stand in selecting a replacement:
We write to address our Tuesday, July 19, 2018 statements and the reactions that have unfolded in the days since, regarding the appointment of a replacement for our colleague the late Buddy Amoroso.
The last 10 days have been challenging as we have watched statements from some of our colleagues and a few in the media maliciously malign our character and unfairly report our intentions. We realize our initial statements raised more concerns than provided answers.
Please allow us to clarify now:
We have genuinely paid our respects to Buddy’s service on the council and the Amoroso family. We want to maintain governance during difficult times like this; and are facing a question on how best to address the untimely vacancy of District eight. During this time of mourning and in the immediate aftermath of our colleague’s passing it came to our attention plans were being made to hastily fill councilman Amoroso’s seat. The law requires a vacancy occurring mid term has to be filled within 20 days. In an atmosphere where others among us were rapidly making plans, we announced our intentions to abstain from voting.
We were quickly confronted with harsh statements from some of our colleagues who publicly maligned our character and assumed the worst of our motivations and intentions. They are entitled to their opinions, however these are the same colleagues we work with everyday in an effort to serve the citizens of Baton Rouge. “