As a 34-year veteran of this wonderful thing I learned to loveas “the credit union movement”, I feel compelled to protect thelegacy of equity from the pioneers of this credit union and themembers they labored so hard and so selflessly to bring on board. Ibelieve that many gave much believing that their successors wouldlikewise selflessly give of their time, energy and available fundsto make this opportunity available to the following generations. Iam convinced that those who made this credit union possible wouldnot have conceived of future volunteers and staff turning thealternative they started to provide services they had been deniedby banks, into a bank. I hurt inside for those who brush this trustwe have been given as though it were nothing more than a decisionto determine which vendor gives the best value to member statementprocessing. So, how to protect the equity? I am not sure this isthe best solution but we are investigating the possibility of abylaw amendment that would require a two-thirds vote of the entiremembership to convert to something other than a credit union and atwo-thirds vote of the membership to change that particular bylaw.We must be very careful as we proceed lest we lock in somethingthat is then nearly impossible to change for reasons not relatingto equity retention and or distribution. But I believe something onthis order is necessary to protect member equity from beingserepticiously turned over to savvy investors who know a good dealwhen they see one and too bad about those who missed theopportunity. I am thinking that included in the bylaw amendmentwould be provisions requiring full disclosure, open meetingdiscussions and options for each member to either leave the equityin place for the new owners or distribution to each member on aprorata basis. Obviously, this type of restriction will requirecareful planning and full discussion by the board, but I believe wewill be able to put in place a reasonable safeguard for themembers' equity. Jim Holt President Mid American Credit UnionWichita, Kan.

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