Councilwoman begins push for city-parish residency requirements again

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Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 6:49pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 9:21am

Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle said she was shocked to learn just how far some city-parish workers are commuting to get a paycheck.

"There are some that live outside of the state, which really throws me for a loop; I don't know how they do that," explained Marcelle.

That’s why she wants to require everyone who works for East Baton Rouge Parish to live in East Baton Rouge Parish.

"I think if you were a city-parish employee and you did live in Livingston or Gonzales, you don't run out to the store to baton rouge to shop, you shop where you live and so that would be more tax dollars for the city of baton rouge," explained Marcelle.

It is not the first time Marcelle has pushed this issue, but this time around she thinks she's going to get the support she needs.

"I think maybe it has garnered a little more traction, maybe because of the St. George pull out. But for me it's always been an issue as you know, of how to best keep the dollars from the parish of Baton Rouge, into the city of Baton Rouge," shared Marcelle.

But she may have some trouble convincing the people of Baton Rouge that these stricter rules are better rules.

"I really think it's unfair and really unreasonable to do that because a lot of the people who work in the inner city don't live inside it. They would lose a lot of people who live out of the city," said Baton Rouge resident Chrystal Vinson.

"I could see where you're coming from because you want people to be influenced by the decisions they're making, but it's not fair to limit your employees to where they want to live by where they work," said Michael Cheatham, another Baton Rouge resident.

Marcelle said the issue will most likely appear before the council in the next few weeks. She still wants to discuss some of the particulars with her colleagues.

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