St. George’s new leaders are eager to get to work

    What’s next for Louisiana’s newest city?

    Three newly appointed members of the St. George City Council shared some initial insights Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan Newsmaker Luncheon at Café Americain.  

    Those three individuals—Richie Edmonds, Steven Monachello and Max Himmel—were sworn in on Monday evening alongside St. George’s mayor, police chief and two additional aldermen. The officials were appointed by Gov. Jeff Landry last month after the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the city could move forward with incorporation.

    Though all three speakers expressed that their work has yet to begin in earnest and that many big questions cannot yet be answered, they did voice their eagerness to get started and paint a picture of what they envision for St. George in the years to come.

    “I think we all have the same vision,” Edmonds said. “A city that is formed by the people for the people—one of less government, one of minimal taxes, one of less red tape, one where people take ownership of their streets and their neighborhoods.”

    On the issue of crime and how the city’s law enforcement would be structured, Monachello said the St. George City Council “would be open to anything.”

    “We don’t know at this point,” Monachello said. “We’ll see how things go. A big part of it will be [decided by] the feedback that we get from the citizens of St. George.”

    When it comes to city planning, the three speakers agreed that they would like to see St. George have its own planning and zoning board that would contract out a good deal of work to privately owned companies.

    And as for taxation, Himmel said he was intent on keeping taxes at a minimum for St. George citizens.

    “As long as I’m on this board, we’re not raising taxes,” Himmel said. “We’re not going to do it. … We’re going to run this like a business.”

    While a precise meeting date or location was not disclosed, Edmonds said the St. George City Council would likely meet for the first time within the next week.

    The monthly Ronald Reagan Newsmaker Luncheon is sponsored by the Louisiana Republican Assembly and is hosted by former state Rep. Woody Jenkins, who serves as chairman of the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish.