St. George organizer Andrew Murrell: “Baton Rouge has never wanted us.” Slams EBRP government for exorbitant library expenses, BRAC’s number-crunching skills, and expresses concern EBRP Mayor-President may file litigation to block a vote on incorporation.

Proposed city of St. George organizer Chris Rials


Proposed city of St. George organizer Andrew Murrell

Two organizers for the movement to form a new city in Southeast Baton Rouge, St. George, Andrew Murrell and Chris Rials, spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday, June 11, 2018.  Let’s break down what all they had to say and their responses to media and press members’ questions:

Murrell states that, “Baton Rouge has never wanted us,” openly slams the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s number-crunching skills, and pleads with the mainstream media to “fact check the chamber’s numbers.” Here’s the Baton Rouge Business Report article wherein the material on the J. P. Morgan article was outlined.

Murrell responds to a question by Sound Off Louisiana’s Robert Burns about the integrity of the petition-signing process vs. what it was in a previous effort several years ago. In his response, Murrell expresses concern that EBRP Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome may tie the incorporation effort up in court.

Rials presents what he referencs as “the most efficient city we researched, Sandy Springs, Georgia.” Murrell was subsequently hit with a barrage of questions entailing whether the proposed City of St. George can replicate that success and not be challenged by growth of the proposed city, with one question going so far as to question whether a breakoff of the breakoff may transpire in the future.

Rials cites the inefficiency and bloat of the EBRP Library system as one reason for his group’s efforts.

Rials and Murrell address the genesis of the movement (i.e. separate school system) and Murrell addresses repetitive questions by The Advocate’s Rebekah Allen entailing making a “promise” that future St. George residents won’t see an increase in their taxes to fund education within any newly-formed city.

Murrell responds to a question entailing how many signatures have been gathered, how many are required, and how the organizers are funding the initiative. Here’s a link for the St. George Louisiana website he references.

Murrell responds to a reporter’s question about “crime being more of a North Baton Rouge problem,” after which he was forced into a mini-debate with The Advocate’s Andrea Gallo (who authored this article on the presentation) about the degree of legacy costs (e.g. pensions, etc.) for which any new St. George city would be held responsible.

Murrell responds to a question from former candidate for Attorney General (2015) Ike Jackson entailing whether a St. George city may be hit with requests for corporate exemptions (which Jackson characterized as “giveaways”) upon the formation of a new school district for any City of St. George.

Murrell responds to a question about “comparable cities of 100,000 or so in Louisiana” and a characterization that the St. George proposed budget “smells.”

Murrell responds to a question that he essentially deemed nonsensical by BRPC Member Remi DeLouche.  Perhaps our subscribers can better understand what Remi may have been trying to ask!!

CLICK HERE for Murrell and Rials’ presentation in its entirety.

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