BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden used his State of the Parish speech Wednesday to take a jab at the attempt to form a new city in East Baton Rouge Parish.
During the speech, Holden said "incorporating a new city is a very complex issue."
Despite a 26 percent drop in homicides last year, up to 5,000 new jobs on the horizon for Baton Rouge and hundreds of millions of dollars being pumped into the local economy thanks to Hollywood South, the St. George breakaway is what highlighted Mayor Kip Holden's State of the City.
"We do not allow a small group of people to divide us, weaken our capital city, bankrupt our future," said Holden.
A future that Holden says is not only shining statewide, but on the national and global front. Now the Mayor blames that small group of people for trying to "carve up the parish" by saying it's all over a failing school system.
"The way to do that is not to cripple the strongest local economy in the state of Louisiana and one of the strongest in the nation. The way to do that is to work together to fix what is broken," said Holden. "But now, we're talking about people who want to divide us in the name of the children."
Holden says the breakaway will take a major financial toll on Baton Rouge; taking away major tax bases like the Mall of Louisiana, Perkins Rowe and L'Auberge, not to mention 79 percent of all money spent on green light projects has been in what would become St. George. All of that money came from tax payers.
"This amounts to more than $322 million being paid by the residents of the entire parish to build up the infrastructure in this area," said Holden.