Conversion Opponents Near Control OfColumbia CU

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VANCOUVER, Wash. - (04/28/05) -- A group of Columbia CU members whoforced the credit union to abandon plans to convert to a bank lastyear is expected to win control of the nine-member credit unionboard during the coming elections. The group, Save Columbia CU, wonfour seats on the board last year and could win as many as threemore this year (one of last year's seats is being recontested).While some of the group members elected last year have left SaveColumbia CU, this year's elections are sure to mark the demise ofthe old guard, which was responsible for the failed, and costly,conversion attempt. Still, the group has failed to obtain vitalinformation pertaining to the controversial conversion, reported tocost the $620 million credit union well over $1 million, andculminating in a bitter special meeting in which members narrowlyrejected an unprecedented bid to recall the board. The group's suitseeking details of the protracted conversion battle is now beforethe state appeals court, according to Lloyd Marbet, head of SaveColumbia CU, who was elected last year as chairman of the creditunion's supervisory committee. "The issues raised are member accessto documents," Marbet told The Credit Union Journal. "That's thelegal dispute going on. We're not talking about member access topersonal information, but about the operations of the credit union.I just think that it needs to be resolved."

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