‘Business Report’ Publisher: Baton Rouge ‘unity’ is becoming harder to achieve

    It’s not fair to change the rules after the game has begun, writes Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister in his new column.

    In a rare agreement with The Advocate editorial board, McCollister says that Sen. Yvonne Colomb’s bill to rewrite the rules on who gets a vote on the city of St. George incorporation is misguided and should be defeated in the Legislature this session.

    Colomb’s bill—which, if approved, would require a parishwide vote to answer the St. George question—has the backing of Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, who regularly preaches a vision for unity. But should the bill pass, it would divide the parish, not unify it, McCollister writes.  

    Broome also says that it’s impossible to compare the Central vote with the St. George debate, because of the number of people involved, which McCollister disagrees with.

    On the other hand, Colomb told The Advocate that the “backers of making unincorporated St. George a city are ‘secessionists’ and allowing the entire parish to decide the issue is a fair approach.” She goes on to claim, “It’s merely democracy.”

    Also in his column, McCollister notes the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board has consistently overturned disciplinary decisions made by the Baton Rouge Police chief, and questions if the board is stacked in favor of the unions.

    McCollister also applauds New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell for opposing and leading the opposition against a new tax for the New Orleans Council on Aging.   

    However, he is still waiting on justice in three cases: Judge Mike Erwin, Jussie Smollett and EBR School Board member Connie Bernard.  

    Read McCollister’s full column. Send comments to editor@businessreport.com.

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