<p>WICHITA FALLS, Tex. – Often times in educational credit unions, it's the CU that leans on its benefactor-school districts-but at the $45 million Wichita Falls Teachers Federal Credit Union the tables were turned this month. Supporters of a special $121 million bond issue which included school district board members borrowed the CU's main office to operate a volunteer phone bank to conduct surveys and calls voters on behalf of a Feb. 5 bond issue. For a two-week period, nearly a dozen volunteers manned CU phones at night to conduct surveys and urge voters to support the bond issue. But the efforts turned out in vain as the bond issue failed by a wide margin in a Feb. 5 election. "Like a few others we were a little disappointed the bond issue didn't make it," lamented Eddie Tucker, president of the 6,300 member Wichita Falls Teachers CU. Nonetheless, he said, the CU felt it did perform a useful community service to its major sponsor. In the Feb. 5 election, voters turned down the bond issue by a wide margin – 60%-40%. Funds would have gone toward school renovation and construction in this north Texas community of 100,000. "There was some concern by voters at the size of the issue, and there were some communication problems in getting public support," explained Tucker. Tucker said a number of CU employees assisted the volunteer phone group who took over CU offices from 5:30 to 9 p.m. each night. Tucker said he anticipated the failure of the bond issue "will have some impact on us since there will be fewer new teachers hired" and there could be salary cutbacks. It was the first time a school bond issue had failed in Wichita Falls in 38 years. Tucker and other CU executives said the size of the bond issue was a major factor in the bond rejection as critics complained $121 million would have been proper for a large Texas city but not one the size of Wichita Falls. Supporters of the bond issue including school district board members sought out the CU facility since state law bars use of public facilities for campaigning. -</p> <p>[email protected]</p>

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