Public will get rare opportunity to replace board members on foundation with missing $19,500

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

26 thoughts on “Public will get rare opportunity to replace board members on foundation with missing $19,500

  1. The title of the organization is vague enough to let them do anything they think improves the community. Maybe that’s why someone (or more than one person) was able to make the $19,500 disappear. There are dozens of ways to improve this community like building sidewalks, installing metal detectors at local schools, or providing more elderly people with Meals on Wheels. But there has to be a process by which the organization informs the public about a proposed improvement project and allows the public to either decide in favor of or against it. And every dime should be accounted for even if no tax money goes to the organization. Charities and other similar organizations are required to do it.

  2. P.S.:Harry, the current board members vote on the new board members. It is a 15 member board. There is no standard for members other than they have to be residents of Natchitoches, 21 or older and not have a felony conviction. So, sure, it is possible that five people could apply and be voted in as long as they fit the qualifications. Terms are three years per member.

    • Edwin: in a “perfect” world, well Natchitoches anyway, what CAN this organization accomplish if properly led? What would you like to see this organization do/accomplish?

      How much money is in the pool (minus $19,500) that can be used to accomplish things for the community?

      I appreciate your efforts, and yes, Mr. Stelly’s efforts as well, in keeping this in “daylight.” It’s amazing what people will do/not do if they think no one is watching.


  3. Yes. Very true Mr. Stelly. I thank God for using the Real Views and now the Journal to tell the truth and keep the public informed. God bless them both. Now let me answer some questions you all asked. First, the bylaws don’t mention applications, it just says you need to mail in your nominations. So really all you need to do is send in the names of those you are nominating to Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation, P.O. Box 606,, Natchitoches, LA 71458. (However, sometimes you can get applications at the Library downstairs in Children’s section on the table near exit). The election meeting is supposed to happen on the second Tuesday in April, April 9, 2019 at 7pm. 1st Baptist Amulet is where they meet. (or for more info call 1-318-623-2466) Please check local paper. Keep your receipts. God bless you.

    • Who votes for new members of the board, the current one? I see there are 15 seats, and 5 are up for replacement. Do the presiding 10 vote on applicants? And if there are only 5 applicants, do they all automatically get a seat?

      • I think I saw it posted, but don’t see it here, so can someone please post where the applications can be picked up? Thanks.

  4. P.S.

    And just to be clear: remember you can also nominate other people who fit those qualifications. Just ask them if they would be willing to serve if elected. Of course, also pray for the election that the five board seats will be filled with new people who truly want to serve the people of Natchitoches. God bless you all.

  5. Anyone of any race can run and can serve on the NCIF board because the board seats are open to the entire population of citizens living in the town of Natchitoches. So yes, you can be white, black, Asian or any other race. Qualifications are simple: You have to be a resident of the town of Natchitoches, be 21 or older and not have a felony conviction. Doesn’t that sound pretty open?

    • These are strictly volunteer positions, right? No compensation for serving? How large is the board, how many total seats? How long are the terms? Thanks.

  6. Maybe that board has been exclusively black because non persons of color would rather comment on message boards rather than step up and actually DO something. Just a thought.

    • Agreed! But not sure they would want him on the board. They couldn’t get away with all the mess they have in the past.

  7. You can steal my money from an old fruit jar, but don’t step on my blue suede shoes! You can do anything that you wanna do……well, finish he rest of the song. Is this why we love this place so much? You can get by with most anything— even burning a house, more than once,
    with life in it!

  8. install a gondola ,or underground tunnel .This is sounding like why did the chicken cross the road ? why did the NSU student cross the road ? for fast food and a text book .These kids are young and can move faster no need for a cross walk,and isn’t it illegal to run over people ?

  9. Edwin, thanks for following this situation and we hope the NCIF will produce positive results for the community in the near future.

  10. so the board is breaking the law and their own rules,very interesting .
    I would love to run but I live out of city limits.ugh !

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