‘Business Report’ publisher: Shame and blame on the history of St. George

    Rolfe McCollister Business Report


    Every time I see another story about the mayor’s lawsuit against St. George or the Metro Council voting on another annexation request, I want to scream, writes Business Report publisher Rolfe McCollister in his new opinion piece. 

    All this craziness could have so easily been avoided. The current division and anger all traces back to the failure of our legislative delegation—including then-state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome—who refused to let the residents of East Baton Rouge Parish vote to establish an independent school district for their children.

    Twice the bill was rejected, each time with legislators like Broome saying if a region wants an independent school district, they should first form an incorporated city. The voters of St. George did just that and now Broome is fighting them in court, claiming the city-parish government can’t afford the resulting financial hit.

    These legislators forced the hands of parents, believing they could never get a petition done or pass it. More concerned with protecting the union-backed jobs in a failing public school system, the politicians underestimated the commitment of these parents to take care of their children, McCollister writes. 

    Also in his column, McCollister asks how many of the Baton Rouge elite or community leaders who now oppose St. George lobbied for passing the bill for an independent school district?

    Regardless, now it’s our community paying the price. We’re a parish struggling to navigate the drama, anger, division, and the expense of lawsuits for the foreseeable future. 

    All because of the absence of good leadership and judgment by many of our legislators at the time, McCollister writes. They put special interests over community interest and voted wrong twice.

    McCollister also writes about how President Joe Biden appears to be having some sort of meltdown. So much for the “hero” of the Democratic Party and “savior of the American dream.” What I see in Washington, D.C., looks more like a nightmare, McCollister writes. I still can’t believe Biden is the best the Democrats could come up with to challenge and beat President Donald Trump (who had his own meltdown moments). 

    The question about Biden wasn’t so much whether he could defeat Trump, but was he strong enough and fit enough to effectively lead and serve? For a majority of Americans right now the answer is “no.” Read the full column here. Send comments to editor@businessreport.com