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I just finished P.J. Heller’s article in the Jan. 7th issue on Operating Engineers (Local Union #3) FCU’s retiring President/CEO Bill Onesta (“CU Tax `Inevitable,’ Predicts Retiring CEO Onesta”), and am not sure how you can say that Mr. Onesta remains upbeat about the future of credit unions, when he apparently has such a pessimistic view. I don’t know if Mr. Onesta’s view was completely relayed through the article, or if the editing process skewed it, but it reads like he has a horrible view of the future of credit unions. Perhaps the fact that his career was spent in California has some influence that others of us from outside of that state don’t share. I have managed two credit unions, one in Florida for seven years, and now in Ohio for the last four years. I can tell you that the cooperative spirit is very much alive and well, at least in those two states. Further, I don’t believe that CU taxation is inevitable. FOM has absolutely nothing to do with taxation. If credit unions stop serving their members as if they are owners (which, of course they are), then we have a problem. But charter conversions don’t necessitate a loss of our tax exemption. I wish Mr. Onesta well in his retirement, but if he really thinks that taxation is inevitable for credit unions, then perhaps we don’t really need or want him to remain active in the movement during his retirement. Kelly V. Schermerhorn President/CEO Harvest FedFCU Heath, Ohio8777

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