BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome told Baton Rouge’s rotarians her vision for the city and surrounding areas — after a year that saw the southeastern edge of East Baton Rouge Parish vote to form its own city.
“Dismiss the pessimistic rancor of yesterday and unite around the goals that we all share,” Broome said in her State of the City address before the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge. “Twenty-twenty is going to be, indeed, filled with so many puns about perfect vision that I can’t wait to see them.”
She owes last year’s drop in homicides to the city’s Real Time Crime Center and Computer-Aided Dispatch Systems, but she voiced hopes to bring the number down further as part of her so-called “2020 vision.”
“I look for months in 2020 where my phone does not ring from dispatch telling me there’s been a homicide,” Broome said.
Come March, the Sherwood Forest area will add police cameras and license plate readers to the streets. Meanwhile, Broome says federal housing investments in the Ardendale neighborhood will reduce the blight she suspects keeps communities down.
“We have factors like mental health issues, factors like poverty, systemic neglect, morality,” she said. “I can do a lot of things, but I can’t legislate morality.”
Broome also focused on St. George, the proposed city that won a vote to incorporate this past October. She’s defending her lawsuit against St. George planners, saying the vote should have included input from across the parish, nor just within the proposed limits.
“I can’t tell you how many citizens are concerned that they didn’t have the right to exercise their vote on a matter of this size,” she said.
On ballot item that will be parish-wide is her reelection bid this fall. The Democrat’s team confirms she is eyeing a second term.