Friday, July 21, 2023

SECU Board's New Election Procedures - Democracy In Action In North Carolina Thursday, July 20 was the deadline for members to apply to run for the SECU Board of Directors. As I understand it, more than a half dozen or so members have submitted their application to the SECU Nominating Committee for consideration. So it appears there will be a contested election in 2023.

There will be at least three Board positions on the ballot. Current Board members whose terms are expiring are Jo Anne Sanford, Alice Garland and Thomas Parrish. The Nominating Committee will nominate one candidate for each of the three positions. In the past, the approved Nominating Committee slate has consisted of the incumbents, which would mean that Sanford, Garland, and Parrish would be the anticipated slate.

The Nominating Committee will file its approved slate on August 11, 2023. The  Nominating Committee is composed of Mona Moon (Chair), Chis Ayers, Bob Brinson, Mark Fleming, Ben McLawhorn, and Jim Johnson. All are current members of the SECU Board, except Mr. Johnson, who left the SECU Board in 2019. 

✅ With the changes in Election Procedures (adopted 4/12/2023), the SECU Board has sought to make an independent candidacy for the SECU Board at best an extremely difficult task. 

If not selected to the official slate of candidates, a member who wishes to self-nominate must obtain the signatures of 500 members to be eligible to run. That is not unreasonable, but the "New Election Procedures" have added  a requirement that those signatures must be obtained on an "Official Nominating Petition", which the SECU Board will not release to the member until August 11, 2023 - and which must be returned by August 21, 2023.

✅ Over the last several months, members from around the State have asked the SECU Board for a copy of the "Official Nominating Petition", and when denied have asked for the SECU Board's justification in refusing to provide the form.

Q: "Hello Ms. Funderburk [the SECU Board Corporate Secretary], 

Please email me a copy of the Official Nominating Petition form for the SECU Board at your earliest convenience. Thank you in advance for your assistance."

A: "Thank you for your inquiry.  As set out in the election procedures:

If a member is notified by the Nominating Committee that they were not selected as a candidate, and the member wishes to self-nominate, the member may then email the Assistant Corporate Secretary at to request a copy of the Official Nominating Petition for State Employees’ Credit Union Board of Directors (the “Official Nominating Petition”).

The self-nominating packets will be available after the filing of nominations with the Corporate Secretary."Thank you, 

Q: "Ms. Funderburk,

What is the purpose for the delay in providing a copy of the self nominating petition?  Is there any reason other than to suppress my interest in becoming a candidate?   Please provide an honest answer as to why you will not provide the form now. If there is no legitimate reason not to provide the form at this time, then please forward it to me as requested. Thank you."

A:  "Thank you for your note. The Election Policies and Procedures establishes the timeline for distribution of the Official Nominating Petition.  The Election Policy and Procedures were approved by the Board and notice of them was given to the members 180 days before the Annual Meeting (April 12, 2023).  Distributing the Official Nominating Petition according to this timeline is consistent with the Election Policy and Procedures."

If you're like me, you probably haven't really taken the time to study the Election Proceedures closely. When looking at them today, I felt even greater disappointment in the SECU Board. Don't believe anyone who is fair-minded would not believe the new Election Procedures are a flagrant effort to quash the democratic process within the credit union cooperative.

We'll take a closer look over the next few days...

... and just when you think things couldn't get any worse, the SECU Board posted By-law amendments today to attempt to quash participation at the Annual Meeting!