By Edwin Crayton
There is a popular saying, “Prayer Changes Things”. Well, a lot of people must have been praying for change to come to a Natchitoches community group that admits it can’t account for what happened to $19,500 in money designated for the public. I say that because five board seats are now available on that board and for sure, that will mean real change if the public wants to step up. The board is the Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation (NCIF)– a group that has been given the job of distributing 1.8 million dollars to the public in the areas of education, recreation, housing and economic development.
The seats actually are available now. In January, five board members were supposed to vacate their seats but did not. Unfortunately, the 15-member board kept these expired members on, claiming they did not get enough qualified applicants. The board claimed also that if they let the five go, they would not have enough members to conduct business. Yet, that is not true according to their bylaws which say clearly that it only takes eight people to conduct business. If five people exit the board, that would leave 10 which is more than enough. In addition, the bylaws do not say that expired members can remain in their positions past their term limits for any reason. So the current members have no authorized basis to remain according to legal, court approved bylaws.
On the bright side, that means five opportunities open up for members of the public who would love to serve their community by giving grants and scholarships out to citizens in Natchitoches. Qualifications are simple. All you need to be is 21 years old or over, reside in the City of Natchitoches and not have a felony conviction. That’s all. If you are interested in serving yourself, or would like to nominate one or more persons, send those names to Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation, P.O. Box 606, Natchitoches, Louisiana 71458. (please keep all receipts). Election is April 9, 2019 at 7pm at First Baptist Amulet, so send that in now as nominations should be received about March 15 or 20, 2019.
It’s up to the public to make a change. Truly it’s a rare opportunity to help your community and to help bring positive change to a foundation that has made several troubling missteps and truly needs fresh ideas and new blood from the wider Natchitoches Community. If you are concerned about your community and about the issue of $19,500 being unaccounted for, here is an opportunity to do something that will be a very positive credit to you and your community. Things can only get better when people who care enough step forward. Your community will be grateful to you and a foundation that ironically has “improvement” in its name will be itself improved—and so will Natchitoches.
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
The Book of James, 4:17