Reader wonders why private business operates on public property

Published 9:39 am Saturday, June 6, 2015

Dear Editor:

I have been asking this question since about October 2014 when I saw an ad in a local paper for the “Firefighter’s Credit Union.” It was advertised to loan money to anyone and after checking with them, most anyone can join. Their address is the same as the Bogalusa School Board.

I have spoken to Mr. Hymel, Mr. Kates and Mr. Creel, the board president, about the matter. They have been able to find out that they are located in a trailer behind the board office. Mr. Creel said they purchased the previous credit union, so they are just continuing to use the building that belonged to the previous credit union. They supposedly are paying $1 per year lease, but no one can find where the money is going.

The trailer does have its own electric meter, though no one knows whose name it is in.

Mr. Creel also found that a lot of the school employees are members. However, I checked with the Washington Parish School Board and the St. Tammany Parish School Board and found that neither one has their own credit union. However, he is not a member even though he is a retired firefighter in addition to being the school board president.

Mr. Creel’s main question to me was “Why it concerned me.” I told him that while I had no children in the Bogalusa School System, I do still pay taxes for the school system. If they are going to allow a credit union to operate on “our” property, where does it stop?

– Robert Barber