Dustin Yates Is First Mayor

By Woody Jenkins, Editor, St. George Leader – Baton Rouge

After years of suspense, the new City of St. George finally has a new Mayor, Police Chief, and five members of the City Council.  

In ceremonies Monday evening, June 10 at Woodlawn Baptist Church, Court of Appeal Judge Hunter Green swore in new St. George Mayor Dustin Yates, City Councilmen-at-Large Richie Edmonds and Patty Cook, and District Councilmen Steven Monachello, Ryan Heck, and Max Himmel.

New St. George Police Chief Todd Morris was sworn in by District Attorney Hillar Moore.

The new city officials were appointed by Gov. Jeff Landry to serve until their successors can be chosen in a special election.

The creation of the new city and appointment of its officials represent an amazing turnaround for a cause that seemed almost lost. 

The voters of St. George turned out in record numbers in October 2019 to vote in favor of incorporation.  However, since then, the proposed city experienced setback after setback from the 19th Judicial District Court and the Louisiana 1st Circuit Court of Appeal. Then on April 26 of this year, the Louisiana Supreme Court voted 4-3 to overturn the lower courts’ decision and ratify the incorporation vote.

On May 23, Gov. Jeff Landry announced the appointment of the interim Mayor and Chief of Police for the City of St. George.

Gov. Landry said, “Chief Morris and Mayor Yates have the experience needed to fill these roles—especially during this important time of transition. I look forward to the work they will do to ensure St. George is a safe and thriving community.”  

Mayor Dustin Yates responded, saying, “I am extremely humbled to be appointed by Gov. Landry to lead this newly-created city as the interim Mayor. Our goal will be to ensure a timely transition that will set up the City of St. George for long-term success.”

Chief of Police Todd Morris said, “I would like to thank Gov. Landry for this appointment and for trusting in me. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the first Chief of Police for the City of St. George. I have called this community home for the past 40 years. I am excited to bring my 34 years of law enforcement experience to serve the citizens of St. George.” 

“I am committed to working collaboratively with our residents, business owners, Sheriff Gautreaux and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, as well as community leaders to ensure St. George is a safe, welcoming, and thriving city for all.”

Mayor Dustin Yates

Dustin Yates, 44, was born and raised in New Orleans where he graduated from Jesuit High School and UNO earning a B.A. in education. He taught and coached in public school for four years before entering the fire service with the St. George Fire Department. 

The new mayor is currently serving his 19th year with the Fire Department where he has held the positions of Firefighter/Operator, Lieutenant, and Chief Administrative Officer. He continued his education with an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science, and also graduated from the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Maryland. 

He has been involved with the City of St. George beginning with the original petition drive in 2013. He has been married to Allison for 18 years, and they have two children, Avery, 16 and Bennett, 14. They are parishioners at St. George Catholic Church.  

For more on Police Chief Morris, see story on Page 1, “Todd Morris Sworn in as Police Chief.”

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!