Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Time For The State Of North Carolina To Stop Playing "Kick The Can" With Its' Citizens


To: The North Carolina Credit Union Commission

Jammison Applequist, Chair; Roger Montes; Caleb Malcom; Lafayette Jones; Christopher Dillon (Two positions are vacant.)
Dear Mr. Chairman,

In July, 2023, we approached the Administrator with a concern that SECU was violating State credit union laws by refusing to permit an eligible, qualified SECU member to seek self-nomination to the SECU Board of Directors. On September 1, 2023, the Administrator ruled that she found no violation.

In September, 2023, we subsequently appealed that decision to you and appeared before the Commission at your Fall, 2023 meeting. We have heard nothing from the Commission since that time.

The SECU Board announced on March 19, 2024 (yesterday) that it intends to continue with the exclusion of qualified, eligible members from self-nomination during the 2024 election cycle. SECU election procedures must be finalized by April 11, 2024.

Ms. Ray, in her letter of March 20, 2024 - which you received, has refused to clarify her decision and refused to respond further. Ms. Ray was also vague as to whether or not we - and others - will be permitted to appear before you as requested at your Commission meeting on April 9, 2024.

We are therefore once again asking you to address our concern and appeal from September, 2023.  N.C. law specifically defines your authority and duty as: "The Credit Union Commission is hereby vested with full power and authority to review, approve, or modify any action taken by the Administrator..."

Ms. Ray apparently misconstrues "our complaint" and appearance before you last Fall.

Our concern  with the illegal policy of SECU remains, but our real complaint is with Ms. Ray's refusal to enforce North Carolina law. That's why we asked for the N.C. Credit Union Commission to exercise your authority to review and rule.

 It would seem that six months would be sufficient time for your thorough consideration. All that is required is that you answer the following three, simple questions, which Ms. Ray has refused to address.
  1. Is the N.C. Credit Union Division required by North Carolina law to approve, monitor and enforce compliance by state-chartered credit unions with their bylaws? 
  2. May a N.C. state-chartered credit union adopt rules, policies and procedures which effectively amend its bylaws without approval by the NCCUD?
  3. May North Carolina credit unions deny eligible, qualified members the right to seek self/member nomination to serve on a credit union board? 
That's really all that has been asked of the Administrator over the last nine months. We believe the Commission owes North Carolina credit union members an answer to those three questions.

We are now confronted with an April 11, 2024 deadline at SECU for resolution. Would note that Mr. Adam Olls, SECU attorney, at yesterday's SECU election procedure review meeting;  justified continuing the illegal practice of excluding eligible members from self-nomination by repeatedly citing federal credit union laws. Mr. Olls was, however, "selective" in the citations he used. "Overlooking" the following:

 👉 "There are, however, no restrictions on the eligibility requirements that a nominating committee can use in selecting candidates for office. We have previously stated that the nominating committee is free to set reasonable standards as to whom it will nominate. Failure to be nominated by the committee, though, does not preclude a member from running for office."

👉 "Any other limitations on eligibility for election would be impermissible."

👉 "Existing officials can use standards as a way of perpetuating their own positions or limiting board membership to their own clique."

We hope that the N.C. Credit Union Commission will take a more "comprehensive" view of this issue. Federal law and N.C. law both concur on these questions. Over 2.5 million North Carolina credit union members will be affected by your decision.

Time truly is of the essence. This can has been kicked down the road as far as it will go!

We welcome any questions you may have before the April 9, 2024 Commission meeting. We would appreciate acknowledgement of the receipt of this letter and your intention to rule before April 11, 2024.


Jean and Jim Blaine
March 20, 2024

.... it's been fun, but it's now time to decide.


The SECU "We Board" - What Is The Problem? "Playing 'Possum" With Truth, Trust, And Transparency ?

  😎  Don't Really Have To Look Too Far...


                           ...  just change that "us" to "We"!

...  last three years have been a po' go for SECU members!