Lafayette Director Responds to Country Club Criticism
The board secretary of the $370 million Lafayette Federal Credit Union declined to comment on the propriety of holding the credit union's annual meeting at a country and golf club.
However, Thomas Harmon IV did tell CU Times the venue complies with the credit union's bylaws.
Lafayette's rules stipulate that the annual meeting must be held within 100 miles of a credit union branch, and the Washington Golf and Country Club, in Arlington, Va., qualifies, he said.
Harmon said he has been board secretary for about two years and has served on the board for 23 years.
Two members, who petitioned the credit union for inclusion on this year's board ballot, criticized the choice of the country club for its remote location and dress code, which they said would prevent some members from attending the meeting.
Harmon said Lafayette has had the annual meeting at other venues but chose the country club this year because it had space available on the annual meeting date.
He also explained that considerations of how members might get to the meeting didn't enter into the credit union's choice of venue.
“We just make sure it’s according to the bylaws, which you can read on the website,” he said.
Roughly 200 people attend the annual meeting each year, Harmon estimated. He also said some years feature more than one candidate for each open board seat and some years do not.
“It just depends on the year,” he said.
He declined to comment on the possibility that the country club's dress code might prevent some members from attending the meeting.
However, Harmon did say, “everyone in this day and age has something they can wear to church, for example.”
When asked about the possibility that some members might not feel comfortable dressing up to attend their credit union's annual meeting, he replied, “I am just not going to say anything about that.”