What Some CCU Members Were Saying
"We had what, 150 people at this meeting? We usually fill this room and it's standing room only at our annual meetings. This was nothing. This meeting was 'widely publicized' because NCUA required them to notify us three times. But this was all we could get here tonight because people already knew the mail-in ballots had decided this vote."
Even the cash incentives were designed to hold down attendance at the special meeting, one 25-year member suggested.
"The credit union always has some sort of cash and prizes it offers to encourage people to come to the annual meeting-but you have to actually be at the meeting to win," the member observed. "This time, you could win the prize just by popping your ballot in the mail. There was no need to come to the meeting." It should be noted that CCU was required by NCUA to offer mail-in ballots to its membership.
"I considered getting up and saying something, but in the end, it was clear to me: what's the point? This thing has already been decided. The vast majority of votes were cast long before this meeting and long before there was any chance for any sort of dialogue, because this was the first and only chance for dialogue, and the decision had already been made.
"Sure, the board was happy to let people have their say tonight, because they knew they already had the votes in their pocket. (CEO) Gary Base has done a phenomenal job with this credit union, and he's getting ready to retire, and he wants to leave behind a legacy. Too bad it couldn't have been a credit union legacy."