In 2015, an effort to carve out a southeast portion of East Baton Rouge to form a new city called St. George failed to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot.
This year, proponents returned with a similar proposal to breakaway, but under significantly different conditions. Together Baton Rouge leaders point out that figures utilized by proponents of the St. George breakaway effort don't quite add up. In addition to a significant drop in ethnic diversity within newly drawn lines, residents would likely be faced with immediate tax hikes and public safety subsidies to make the finances work.
Civic academies about the upcoming vote have drawn significant crowds, including one session (photo above) at St. Margaret's Episcopal which drew 150 residents and congregational leaders. A teaching on public finance, delivered by local professors, informed small group conversations led by local leaders.
According to Together Baton Rouge,"We heard from a variety of voices and opinions, but the one thing that was clear is there is a strong desire for more honest information about what the true cost of the breakaway would mean, both for those in St. George and the larger EBR Parish." The vote on whether to form a breakaway city is set for October 12th.