Chamber to Host Moderated Candidate Forum

The Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce invites the public to attend a moderated candidate forum on Thursday, March 19 from 5:30-7:30 PM for the upcoming City of Natchitoches Mayoral and City Council elections. The forum will take place at Northwestern State University’s News Studio, Room 142, Kyser Hall, 165 Sam Sibley Drive, Natchitoches, LA 71457. The forum will be facilitated by the Chamber of Commerce and hosted by NSU’s Student Government Association.

Every candidate running for either Mayor of the City of Natchitoches or City Council received a letter inviting them to attend the forum. With their letter, they also received a questionnaire, and a request to submit their answers back to the Chamber by noon on March 12th. Each candidate’s response will be posted and available to view at on March 13th. The responses will also be sent out to local media. See below for the questions that were sent to each candidate.

The candidate forum will be free and open to the public. Each candidate for Mayor and City Council will be given three minutes for opening remarks. The audience (both live and online) will be given the chance to submit written questions to the candidates at the beginning of the event. Questions will be presented by the moderator, and to keep the forum fair, each candidate will have an allotted amount of time to respond to the questions posed. There will be a timer with a signal card to keep each candidate on track. For City Council, questions will be required to be addressed to the district, and not an individual candidate.

The Chamber hosts political forums such as this with the intent of promoting civic engagement and civic literacy. The Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce helps foster a thriving community through transformative leadership, collaboration, and innovation.

Mayor / City Council Candidate Questionnaire

1. Budget: What are your budgetary priorities?

2. Experience: What experience do you have with complicated budgets and management?

3. Changes and Reform: In your view, what has the city done well over the last four years? What opportunities for improvement do you see? Please provide specific examples.

4. Representation: [For City Council Candidates as applicable.] You represent a specific part of the city of Natchitoches—how will you balance the needs of your specific constituents with the needs of the city overall?

5. Economic Development: What in your opinion are the most significant hindrances that prevent businesses from locating in Natchitoches, and how do you plan to address them?

6. Capital Outlay: What specific projects do you see as critical components of our capital outlay plan? What projects do you see having the highest return on investment?

7. Tourism: Tourism in Natchitoches is an important factor of economic development. What do you think we’re doing well in promoting Natchitoches externally, and what other opportunities do you see in bringing outside visitors (and their pocketbooks)?

8. Safety and Security: What do you see as the biggest threat to the safety and security of Natchitoches citizens, and in what ways do you plan to make our city safer.