ALEXANDRIA, Va.-With just one member each from opposing political parties serving on the three-member NCUA Board for most of 2005, some decisions were postponed until an agreement could be reached. But as of November, the NCUA Board returned to its full complement with the resignation of NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz and the nomination, confirmation, and swearing in of new board members Rodney Hood and Gigi Hyland. Hood was later elevated to vice chairman. From the start it was clear the agency was moving ahead full throttle. For example, the budget proposal delivered at NCUA's October budget briefing included a staff reduction of three full-time equivalents. The previous year Matz had objected to the two FTE reductions NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson had hoped for. The new three-member board unanimously approved the reductions at the November 2005 NCUA Board meeting, but did not get through. When it finally appeared that Johnson would be joined by two new colleagues-including another Republican-she declared, "It's a new day at NCUA and I think this is an opportunity to move forward in a positive manner with two bright, very intelligent board members coming on…Having a board at full capacity-you know, it's been a year and a half since that's been the case-that's very exciting." She added that Hood's background in community development was an important asset to bring to the agency and Hyland's work in credit unions and the corporate credit union world bring a level of understanding to the board. Hood and Hyland got into the thick of it as early as their Senate confirmation hearings where they had to outline credit unions' role in the financial services arena and defend their tax-exempt status. -

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