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justaskin

Natchitoches, LA

#1 Jul 12, 2010
Fairly new to Natchitoches. I saw that some people had qualified for an upcoming school board election. From talking to long time residents, the opinions I have encountered lean heavily to a need for new faces on the board. Knowing little about the incumbents or their challengers, who are the best bets....and why?

I know it's the nature of this site for many to get on here and play around, but in this case I'll really be sifting through trying to find some information. Honest answers will be appreciated, if not really expected.
justaskin

Natchitoches, LA

#2 Jul 12, 2010
These were the qualifiers according to the Alexandria paper:
-----
Natchitoches Parish
School Board District 1
Julia C. Hildebrand (D)
School Board District 2
Harry D. Graham (D)
School Board District 3

School Board District 4
Michael “Mike” Hilton (R)
School Board District 5
Joella Wilson (D)
School Board District 6

School Board District 7
Cecil Walker (D)
School Board District 8
Carl Means Sr.(D)
School Board District 9
Carroll E. Daniels (D)
School Board District 10
Craig Rachal (R)
School Board District 11
Pat Jones (D)
Emile E. Metoyer Sr.(D)
Mayor, Ashland
W. Gahagan Lee (R)
justaskin

Natchitoches, LA

#3 Jul 12, 2010
The previous list was incomplete. Here is a more complete one:
NATCHITOCHES PARISH
School Board District 1
Julia C. Hildebrand (D)
George C. Rhymes (No Party)
School Board District 2
Harry D. Graham (D)
School Board District 3
John Babers (D)
Charles Raymond (No Party)
Ralph Wilson (D)
School Board District 4
Lincoln Hall (D)
Michael “Mike” Hilton (R)
School Board District 5
Precious N. Barber (No Party)
Joella Wilson (D)
School Board District 6
Gilda L. Johnson (D)
Wayne Lodridge (D)
Thomas “Tommy” Melder (D)
School Board District 7
Sherman Vogel (No Party)
Cecil Walker (D)
School Board District 8
Pam McAlexander (R)
Carl Means Sr.(D)
School Board District 9
Carroll E. Daniels (D)
School Board District 10
Russ Danzy (D)
Craig Rachal (R)
School Board District 11
Pat Jones (D)
Emile E. Metoyer Sr.(D)
Parent

Haughton, LA

#4 Jul 12, 2010
We need educated people on the school board. If they don't have a college degree I am not voting for them. If they are running for reelection, I am not voting for them. We need a clean slate. Tommy Melder is the best one I see so far running.
observa

Natchitoches, LA

#5 Jul 12, 2010
Ahhh...politics. Okay...with fair warning, I'll advise you that you are likely wasting your time hoping for many straight answers here. You obviously ARE new here.
Having said that---I think that there are some rising stars on this list deserving of a chance.
Pat Jones is a very capable and hardworking man. Tommy Melder has a solid reputation in the community, and Craig Rachal is well respected by many. I don't know all of the newcomers on the list, but Carroll Daniels and Julia Hildebrand are among those running again that I think have at least tried to bring good things to the schools over the years.
Those are my thoughts....no doubt---here come the carving knives.
abc123

Natchitoches, LA

#6 Jul 12, 2010
Agree largely with post 5 above, and Mr. Linc Hall is well qualified--and has done a great job in the past. He's intelligent, capable, and understands the business of education.
abc123

Natchitoches, LA

#7 Jul 12, 2010
Apologies for the double post. Got impatient during the glitch and clicked again. I know...bad form.
Come on Man

Natchitoches, LA

#8 Jul 12, 2010
What do board members make and their expenses? I really don't understand qualifications for the position or who can and can't run. Why can't teachers be one member. I think one is already a principal in another parish. The state needs to really look at every board in the state and grade them on precedings and outcomes etc. Teachers and pricipals have to be graded and observed and boards across the state make big educational decisions as well as big money decisions. I just hope for our kids futures people can come together and quit playing politics.
observa

Natchitoches, LA

#9 Jul 12, 2010
Come on Man wrote:
What do board members make and their expenses? I really don't understand qualifications for the position or who can and can't run. Why can't teachers be one member. I think one is already a principal in another parish. The state needs to really look at every board in the state and grade them on precedings and outcomes etc. Teachers and pricipals have to be graded and observed and boards across the state make big educational decisions as well as big money decisions. I just hope for our kids futures people can come together and quit playing politics.
There are rules about "double dipping" that stops teachers who are active in the parish from also drawing a second salary as a board member. But, as with most laws, there are loopholes and one of those is that you can be on the board in this parish while working in another parish.
People have proposed all school board positions be changed to volunteer...non-salaried posts. But I don't think you will find a very substantial pool of qualified candidates willing to come forward with no compensation. The pool here is shallow enough with pay.
Voter

Marthaville, LA

#10 Jul 12, 2010
I don't think anyone being paid with taxpayer dollars should be on a board that decides how tax money is spent. Sounds like conflict of interest.

Since: Apr 09

Natchitoches, LA

#11 Jul 12, 2010
Come on Man wrote:
What do board members make and their expenses? I really don't understand qualifications for the position or who can and can't run.
Board members make $800 per month, the max allowed by state law. I think they may also be eligible for health insurance(?)

The qualifications to run for school board are that you must be a resident of the district in which you are a candidate, and you must be able to read and write.
observa

Natchitoches, LA

#12 Jul 13, 2010
Voter wrote:
I don't think anyone being paid with taxpayer dollars should be on a board that decides how tax money is spent. Sounds like conflict of interest.
Yeh---that is an ethics issue that is really tough to reolve. I mean, when you consider that congress and the legislature fit that same description--and you find them routinely rising from the ranks of state or local government employment and political experience---there is a definite problem there. But they won't just volunteer time. Most people who are really able to lead, such as business, military, or professionals, didn't get there by giving away their time, and they won't likely do it for long in positions of public leadership, either. Call it business, or call it greed--you won't find very many people of leadership quality willing to give something for nothing.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#13 Jul 13, 2010
Chinquapin wrote:
<quoted text>
Board members make $800 per month, the max allowed by state law. I think they may also be eligible for health insurance(?)
The qualifications to run for school board are that you must be a resident of the district in which you are a candidate, and you must be able to read and write.
Chinquapin I don't think they get any benefits other than pay. At least thats what mine told me. Also good to see you posting again.:-)

Since: Apr 09

Natchitoches, LA

#14 Jul 13, 2010
observa wrote:
Most people who are really able to lead, such as business, military, or professionals, didn't get there by giving away their time, and they won't likely do it for long in positions of public leadership, either. Call it business, or call it greed--you won't find very many people of leadership quality willing to give something for nothing.
Very perceptive. As originally conceived, service in the legislature was expected to be for a short period, performed by the best and the brightest citizens, who would then GO BACK to their civilian occupations. What we have now is little short of an oligarchy.

If you spend any time around the US Congress, you get the feeling that our "public servants" think of themselves as royalty, entitled to all the perks and privileges. For example, they treat the Air Force as their private airline.

And it isn't restricted to the feds; it was recently reported that the Louisiana legislature spends more to support its members and staff (600 people) than does the British royal family (1250).

Regular turnover in elected office is a good thing, even at the local level. It's time for some fresh faces.

Since: Apr 09

Natchitoches, LA

#15 Jul 13, 2010
HotFoots wrote:
<quoted text>
Chinquapin I don't think they get any benefits other than pay. At least thats what mine told me. Also good to see you posting again.:-)
Thanks...and thanks for setting me straight on the pay thing.

Are you satisfied with your board member?

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#16 Jul 13, 2010
Chinquapin wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks...and thanks for setting me straight on the pay thing.
Are you satisfied with your board member?
No I'm not. Mine has helped me but over all needs to go. I have called and ask questions about things and for the most part this member was clueless. 9 out of 10 questions couldn't be answered. Not a good record.

On the other hand the one thats running against her isn't any better so what is one to do?

Since: Apr 09

Natchitoches, LA

#17 Jul 13, 2010
HotFoots wrote:
<quoted text>
On the other hand the one thats running against her isn't any better so what is one to do?
Just my opinion, but if I've got one who has not improved over time, I'm going to give the other one a chance.

I don't know about your district, but some of the new candidates on the list are VERY promising. I'm anxious to hear what they have to say during the campaign.
observa

Natchitoches, LA

#18 Jul 13, 2010
Chinquapin wrote:
<quoted text>
Very perceptive. As originally conceived, service in the legislature was expected to be for a short period, performed by the best and the brightest citizens, who would then GO BACK to their civilian occupations. What we have now is little short of an oligarchy.
If you spend any time around the US Congress, you get the feeling that our "public servants" think of themselves as royalty, entitled to all the perks and privileges. For example, they treat the Air Force as their private airline.
And it isn't restricted to the feds; it was recently reported that the Louisiana legislature spends more to support its members and staff (600 people) than does the British royal family (1250).
Regular turnover in elected office is a good thing, even at the local level. It's time for some fresh faces.
Amen...as witnessed in Sally Clausen's recent "retirement" maneuver to up her pay---while laying-off faculty and civil service workers due to budget cuts.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#19 Jul 13, 2010
Chinquapin wrote:
<quoted text>
Just my opinion, but if I've got one who has not improved over time, I'm going to give the other one a chance.
I don't know about your district, but some of the new candidates on the list are VERY promising. I'm anxious to hear what they have to say during the campaign.
The other candidate has served before that's why I'm stumped on who to vote for. Both have proven to be bad choices. When you know both are bad choices it makes one not want to vote at all.

Since: Apr 09

Natchitoches, LA

#20 Jul 13, 2010
HotFoots wrote:
<quoted text>
The other candidate has served before that's why I'm stumped on who to vote for. Both have proven to be bad choices.
Ouch! Heck, why didn't YOU run?? LOL

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