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In response to Henry Wirz’s letter in the March 9th issue entitled “Don’t Kick Former CUs Out of Shared Branch Networks” I offer these words. Whose side are you on anyway? I, too, was sympathetic to the bankers at one time and felt some proponents of the “people helping people industry” took it a little too far in their anti-bank rhetoric. But in case you haven’t noticed over the last few decades the bankers are trying to run you and your credit union out of business. It’s time for some credit union folks to wise up and choose a side. The fact that the Texas CU League kicked Community CU out of the shared branching network was not a “bold move” as some would have you believe. Rather, it was the only correct response possible. I’m more than a little disappointed that TCUL CEO Dick Ensweiler didn’t come up with the idea on his own, but rather he hid behind a task force created to “study” the issue. The fact that CCU plans to jump charters and convert millions and millions of dollars from CUs to banks should make every credit union person sick. There is no justification for CCU’s planned attempt to convert. If CCU management and directors want to work for a bank maybe they should just resign their positions and apply at a bank. Many have told me that CCU’s planned attempt to convert will be successful because “they do their homework at CCU.” Well, now that NCUA has informed CCU they will abide by the new rules for member disclosure, I’m not so confident. Seriously, what informed member in his or her right mind would vote to give up their ownership and gain nothing? Of course, my rationale assumes the membership is properly informed. I’ve contacted one credit union in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area and pledged our support of at least $1,000 toward an ad campaign aimed at informing CCU and OmniAmerican members of the pending merger. I feel somebody should step up and act since TCUL leadership has taken a “wait and see” attitude (remember, they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings!) If we can get several credit unions to donate $1,000 maybe we can start spreading the word. It’s at least an attempt to inform the members. If you want to help, contact me via the contact page at www.SpaceCityCU.com. We already have the print media ready to go; now we just need some money to get it out there. As for Mr. Wirz’s comments in favor of banks joining the service center networks. wasn’t one of the main reasons so credit unions could compete with the big banks that could afford to place a branch on every corner? Service centers were created by credit unions for credit unions. Why would any credit union choose to give up one of its competitive advantages and simply allow the competition to use it too? I was curious why Mr. Wirz might embrace this concept, so I decided to log on to the SAFE Web site and snoop around. Curious – if I didn’t read about SAFE being a credit union I wouldn’t have known it from their Web site. Especially since their tagline reads, “Bank at SAFE.” You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the site and break out your magnifying glass to detect the words “credit union” in the fine print. Kind of makes me wonder. Craig Rohden CEO Space City Credit Union Houston, Texas

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