PEWAUKEE, Wis. – With the number of credit unions continuing to decline nationwide (CU Times, Aug. 28), a Wisconsin Credit Union League committee is taking a closer look at how credit unions in the state are distributed among the league's 15 districts. WCUL President/CEO Brett Thompson notes the league's bylaws require district lines to be reviewed every five years to make certain all districts contain approximately the same number of credit unions. There are about 25 credit unions in each district, with the actual count ranging from 20 to 30. Those districts are segments of the state whose credit unions meet annually to elect a local representative to the league's board of directors. League bylaws allow district boundaries to be redrawn by the board if, by doing so, all districts can acquire roughly the same number of credit unions to participate in league board elections. "We'd be required to look at this regardless of changes that may be going on in the environment," Thompson said. "Having said that, I'm not sure we in Wisconsin are seeing anything different than what is occurring in other parts of the country. Certainly there are mergers of credit unions, there are credit unions that are affected by the impact of the economy and closings of their sponsor companies, and those kinds of things. "So the number of credit unions through the years has decreased. I think we mirror what goes on in other states," said Thompson. Each state league's representation structure, he adds, has its own nuances. But generally what people are looking for at the league level is a fair cross-representation of membership. Thompson explains the league district review committee has just begun its work, which may continue until the end of the year. "Probably the biggest challenge is setting what is a fair representation in a very changing environment and a very changing world for credit unions. The challenge also involves developing a system that will serve us well in the next five years before this is examined again," Thompson says. Carol Adler of Marshfield Medical Center CU chairs the district review committee. "Credit unions around the state deserve a fair opportunity to determine the person who becomes their voice on the league board," she says. The committee could decide to leave district boundaries as they are, or recommend changes that would have to be voted on by credit union delegates to the league's 20003 convention in Milwaukee. Other committee members are Cathy Becks, P.C.M. Employees Credit Union; Carl Brugger, Belle City Credit Union; Robin Marohn, Heartland Credit Union; and Chris Rosland, Cudahy-Southshore Credit Union. [email protected]

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