Insurgents Set Back In Three-Year Bid ForControl Of Ex-CU Convert

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VANCOUVER, Wash. - (07/24/06)–A dissident group of Columbia CUmembers, who have been fighting for control of the credit unionsince an ill-fated 2004 conversion to saving bank, failed Saturdayto ease requirements for election to the board, on the eve of thecredit union’s annual meeting. Members at a special meetingvoted down three proposals designed to aid the dissident group,Save Columbia CU, in next month’s elections, due to culminateat the Aug. 29 annual meeting. The proposals would have allowedboard candidates to submit a 500-word statement for the votingpamphlet; bar the credit union from endorsing and promotingcandidates; and prevent it from spending money to do so. Almost 400people showed up at the special meeting, where the creditunion’s supervisory committee, already controlled by thedissident group, hoped to convince members to alter the electoralprocess. The dissident group, which forced the withdrawal of the2003 conversion attempt, had won seven of the board’s nineseats since then, but three of its candidates have disavowed thegroup. But with two Save Columbia CU members running for the threeboard vacancies, the group could regain control of the panel nextmonth. The dissidents have been fighting for the last three yearsfor a full accounting of the controversy over the foiledconversion, which has cost the credit union as much as $2 millionin consultants, attorneys, and other fees, with legal fees stillaccruing.

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