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BURLINGTON, Vt. – In what is being called a “discouraging” development by its leadership, members of the Vermont Credit Union League have narrowly rejected a dues hike for 2003. League management, calling the defeat a “temporary” setback in a program to increase revenue, had sought the increase to pay for increased administrative and lobbying expenses. League members however, following a series of televised statewide meetings last month, rejected a bylaw amendment which would have eliminated a 10% annual growth cap on assessed dues and a cost-of-living adjustment. The vote was 32-20 in favor of the bylaw change, but a two-thirds majority of the membership was required for the amendment to pass. League President Joe Bergeron, noting there was a certain amount of misunderstanding over the dues proposal, said the overall dues “restructuring” was to be revisited by the League’s Board at a meeting last week. He said there are no current plans to cut services or programs next year, but there could be problems “in future years” If there’s no change in the dues structure. “I think we probably have to do a better job of making our members understand the strategic changes we envision for the League over the next three to five years,” explained League Chairman John Benoit, president of the $90 million North Country Federal Credit Union in S. Burlington. Economic conditions impacting individual CUs may have been a factor in the bylaw rejection, he said. There are 40 CUs in the state, and the League noted on its Web site that 13 CUs “failed to vote” on the bylaw change. There were 26 CUs that cast two votes each resulting in 32 in favor and 20 against. The results were announced Dec. 5 on a statewide TV hookup in which assembled delegates from 15 CUs – “the minimum necessary to achieve a quorum” – heard the outcome. The hookup sites included Colchester, Randolph, Rutland and Springfield. -

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