<p>Mike Welch's publisher's column in the April 17 Credit Union Times, "A definition beats a clich any day," reflected exactly what has been driving me buggy as of late. I am from a $7 million credit union in Iowa. The Minnesota League had a small CU conference last fall and invited surrounding states. I attended. The open discussion the first evening was disappointing from the standpoint that it was very apparent that the small credit unions really felt that the big credit unions were different. In my opinion, they are not! Democratically controlled, member-owned, no stockholders, we are all the same. One attendee even made a statement to the effect that it was small credit unions that kept all credit unions from being taxed. It seemed that the person was inferring that small credit unions were the only real credit unions and that large credit unions were no longer CUs. These small credit unions thought that the large ones owed them. For example, large credit unions should help pay salaries for small credit unions. My question is, why should a large credit union that has succeeded be indebted to small credit unions that may have not made the right decisions at the right time, missed opportunities, not had aggressive leadership? I for one sure do not expect a large credit union to dole money out to me. It scares me that the banker's association here in Iowa has attempted to divide the small credit unions from the large credit unions. They would like to tax the community charters over $50 million. I truly believe, united we stand, divided we fall. The only difference between small and large CUs are some additional numbers. And the difference between ALL credit unions and banks is that credit unions are democratically controlled, member-owned, no stockholders. Deb Whittie CEO Blue Plans Credit Union Des Moines, Iowa</p>

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