BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) Activists for the City of St. George are celebrating their closest step to incorporation after nearly a decade-long fight.
“Over 16,000 people said I want a new city, I want something different,” said City of St. George spokesman Andrew Murrell. Saturday night’s election numbers pulled 54% of the votes toward the creation of the City of St. George, a city that will soon be the fifth largest in the state.
Many questions are still up in the air. Many residents concerned because of their inability to vote even though the topic seems to affect the whole parish. “Even though it may be a benefit for the people who will be living in this new city, it’s going to effect everyone in the Parish in a way, so I’m sort of concerned for the effects on someone like me that lives in North Baton Rouge.
Mayor President Sharon Weston-Broome released a statement saying in part, ” It is truly unfortunate that only a portion of our community was able to participate in a decision that will ultimately affect everyone.”
Still, the question remains, what’s next?
“It’s time for us to start having some conversations, it’s time to start talking about all those things you used to tell us were premature, because guess what, they’re not premature anymore,” Murrell said. But the Mayor’s Office says it’s just too soon.
There is still a 30 day period before the election is certified and the bottom line is that nothing changes immediately and specific steps will be decided in the coming weeks. “We’ll take it one step at a time and go through the process of what has to take place,” Broome said.
Despite the disappointment for the Mayor President, her goals of better drainage systems and transportation improvements will unify the newly divided cities. “I’m going to stay focused on the goals at the hand that impacts everyone,” Broome said.
Murrell says revenue matters will be first on their agenda, then education and the debate over whether to build their own public school district. “We thought we could build a better government and we wanted to give local control of our taxes to the people of St. George and the people of St. George listened and tonight a resounding yes, to the city of St. George,” Murrell said.