The St. George incorporation effort is a lot like any other hotly contested topic nowadays, writes Business Report Executive Editor J.R. Ball.
The debate is a “trench war of rhetoric, where both sides callously hurl verbal scuds at one another without ever bothering to stop for a nanosecond to actually consider what the other side is saying,” Ball writes in his latest column.
Here’s what we know about the effort so far:
- Incorporation organizers issue a report or give a speech in support of St. George or against city-parish government that makes any mention of money or tax dollars, and Mayor Sharon Weston Broome declares the numbers to be false, inflated or just plain nuts.
- Broome or the Baton Rouge Area Chamber issue a report or give a speech questioning the less-than-detailed financials outlining how the proposed city will operate and St. George supporters declare the statements to be false, misguided or just plain nuts.
Ball writes that the truth of the matter is that, barring some remarkable legal work down the road, the city of St. George will become a reality if it gets roughly 13,000 legitimate signatures before its Tuesday after Thanksgiving deadline and if a majority of voters who live in the proposed St. George actually show up to vote.
“Which is why I can’t figure out why those behind the effort to create what would be Louisiana’s fifth most populated city—behind Lafayette and ahead of Lake Charles—are so coy about releasing more details about how this hamlet of 86,000 residents will be able to financially function without needing to raise a single new tax to both govern and educate these fine folks?”
It seems reasonable that even the undecided people living within the proposed city would be pushing for more details, Ball says.
“What does bother me is both sides in the battle over St. George have valid points,” Ball writes, but the days of possible compromise are over and the war won’t end until someone declares total victory.