Group needs just 2,000 more signatures to put Watson incorporation on the ballot

Group needs just 2,000 more signatures to put Watson incorporation on the ballot
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Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 6:33pm

Bob Watts and the Neighbors in Action group are halfway to their goal of 4,000 signatures; they need that many Hancock’s on a petition they are circulating to attempt to turn the town into the city of Watson.

"We have over 22,000 residents, that’s more than double or triple any city in Livingston parish but we don't have any control over the growth, the management of the growth, because the parish ordinance is law. It’ll mean that it'll give the citizens that live here a voice in their own self determination," explained Watts.

Since late March they have been asking their friends and neighbors to support the change over.

"This is all for the future. This is not for the people behind this effort. It’s for the kids and grandkids," Watts added.

Not everyone in town is in favor of shaking up the situation in Watson.

“I think it's something we don't need. I think it would be added expenses, most probably added taxes, and I think we're doing mighty well as it is," said Fleming David Hilbun, an 84 year Watson resident.

Watts said the fees to keep the new city running will be minimal.

"People that are worrying about the taxes? By law we can't do that. We are using franchise fees on the electric meters to finance this limited government that we want," said Watts.

But to many in Watson, any extra money out of their pocket is something they're not willing to take on.

"If we have to elect a mayor and a chief of police, I don't see where we would have the funds to pay for that without burdening all of us to pay for it," said Hilbun.

Once the group has the 4,000 signatures they need, they can put the issue to a vote of the people.

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