Baton Rouge (PPN)- Today, four out of the five African American Metro City Council members will stand together to bring balance to a majority Republican City Council. In the aftermath of the passing of Councilmen Buddy Amoroso, controversy sparked regarding who should receive the appointment to fill the vacant seat. Last week, Councilmembers Chauna Banks, Erika Green, Donna Collins-Lewis, and LaMont Cole put out a joint release stating that they would abstain from voting for anyone to fill Amoroso’s vacant seat. Tara Wicker the only other Democrat chose to uphold traditions and support her fellow Republican colleagues by proposing to appoint the spouse of Buddy Amoroso.
Many community members vocalized their frustration of Councilwoman Wicker via social media, “It is an outrage as to why Tara Wicker would support a long-standing tradition to support the spouse of Buddy Amoroso when it would have given the council an equal number of Republicans and Democrats,” said Dorothy Williams.
“Tara Wicker took a stand on a dead white man vacant council seat but can’t take a stand on African Americans being killed by police officers,” said Alfred Bell.
Six Pastor released a video of their disapproval of those who are in opposition of a Democrat filling the vacant seat.
“It’s not villainous to pursue balance, for the good of all East Baton Rouge Parish residents. Too often, ‘tradition’ is used as the excuse for maintaining a status quo that serves those who are in power, to the detriment of those who are locked out of the real opportunity for advancement”, said Pastor Fred Jeff Smith, Shiloh Baptist Church
The four councilmembers hopes were that by abstaining from voting, the Republicans would not have the necessary number of votes to appoint the widow of Buddy Amoroso or any other Republican before the special session election. So in theory, this would leave Gov. John Bel Edwards who is a Democrat the sole responsibility to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. It is the 4 councilmembers expectation that if the appointment goes to Gov. John Bel Edwards, perhaps he would name a Democrat to the vacant position, creating a 6-6 split between Democrats and Republicans, rather than leaving a GOP majority.
With Democrat Tara Wicker giving her commitment to supporting the appointment of Buddy Amoroso’s wife, this would give the Republicans enough votes to keep their majority on the council.
There are two items of business on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting. The first will be to appoint a replacement to fill Amoroso’s seat temporarily, and the other is to call a special election down the road to permanently to fill the spot.
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