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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LPR

Baton Rouge Metro Council Leader Calls for Reexamination of St. George Incorporation

In a recent turn of events, Baton Rouge Metro Council Leader Lamont Cole has initiated a move to request a new hearing on the incorporation of St. George. This decision stems from what he perceives as crucial missing details in the Louisiana Supreme Court's recent ruling on the matter.

Cole's attorney, Mary Olive Pierson, highlighted that despite the Supreme Court's 4-3 decision in favor of St. George, significant components of the incorporation process remain unresolved. Pierson emphasized that the court failed to address critical elements such as the city's official boundaries and the date of incorporation, both of which are essential determinations under state law.

Pierson pointed out that these unresolved issues are likely to require remanding to a lower court for resolution, potentially leading to a complex legal process. She expressed concerns about the Supreme Court's ability to rectify these fundamental problems directly.

On the opposing side, Andrew Murrell, a spokesman for St. George, countered these arguments by asserting that the city had officially incorporated following their successful election in 2019. Murrell emphasized that St. George's boundaries align with those outlined in their original incorporation petition, dismissing the need for further deliberation on these matters.

The incorporation of St. George has been a contentious issue, with proponents citing dissatisfaction with Baton Rouge's services and advocating for greater local control over tax dollars. However, opponents, including Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Council Leader Cole, have raised concerns about potential financial repercussions and service disruptions for Baton Rouge.

The legal battle began after St. George's victory in the 2019 incorporation election, with Baton Rouge leaders challenging the incorporation's compliance with state law. Initially, both a district court and an appeals court ruled against St. George's plan, citing reasons such as lack of "reasonableness" and failure to meet all statutory requirements.

Despite the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of St. George, the ongoing legal dispute underscores the complexity and contentiousness surrounding the incorporation process. With the deadline for filing a rehearing request approaching on May 10, the future trajectory of St. George's incorporation remains uncertain, signaling continued legal and civic challenges ahead.


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