Aren’t we all tired of this long and snowy winter? Spring is just around the corner and along with that the 35th Annual Membership Meeting of the members of PACFCU is coming. It will take place on May 5, 2011 at the APCC in Troy at 5:30 pm. If there will be more candidates than one for each available seat, the election will take place.
If there won’t be any candidates by petition; then following members will fill the vacancies: Jaroslaw Ciszek, Sophie Kosowski, Zdzislaw Miloboszewski, Zbigniew Martusiewicz.
Last year 7 members of the CU were interested in going through the election process and trying to become directors. If they had been elected, they would have broken the chain of continuous service of the same people. An exception to this pattern occurred in 2007, when 4 newcomers were voted onto the Board by the members. At that time Piotr Skorupka and Hendrik Zenicki lost their seats on our Board. However, they were eventually moved by a majority vote of the “old” Board to the Supervisory Committee.
In 2010 a new Election Certification Letter was created by the Board. The wording became an issue and a matter of a dispute. Because they did not sign the 2010 document all potential candidates were disqualified from the election. However, they completed all other necessary parts of the application and signed the Certification Letter that was in accordance with our bylaws and was the same Certification Letter that was used in the 2009 election.
Why is the Annual Meeting Still on Thursday instead of the Weekend?
Before the meeting in 2010 a significant number of members of PACFCU signed a petition requesting that the Annual Meetings be moved from Thursdays to the weekend. There is a growing interest in the how the CU is functioning and various others related issues. It is very difficult for our members to attend the meetings during the work week. Thursday at 5:30 seems to be inconvenient to a lot of members.
Unfortunately the petition was not accepted in 2010. According to the CFO of PACFCU, John Swidwiński, there was not enough time to change the arrangement with APCC to accommodate the meeting at a different time. He gave the members a promise that the Annual Meeting would take place on the weekend in 2011. Members were satisfied with his word. To their surprise and great disappointment, this year’s Annual Meeting is again scheduled for Thursday. Is this a broken promise? The members request was rejected even though in his interview with Polish Times on February 2010 Mr. Swidwiński said: “Najważniejsi są dla nas nasi członkowie”, which translates to “The most important to us are our members”.
Changes Taking Place at the Credit Union and Serious Unanswered Questions
During the time between the election in 2010 and now several changes took place at PACFCU. The members were faced with the fees on their checking accounts from $2.00 on personal to $10 on business account every month. Some directors have disappeared from the Supervisory Committee and our Board, but there was no information about it was passed along to the members. Our credit union appears to have reported losses in both 2010 and 2011. The concerns of the future of our organization with the 35 years of history are growing among the members and many want to attend the forum at the Annual meeting.
The Polish Weekly has tried several times to conduct an interview with the officials of PACFCU. There was either a rejection or no response from any representative of the credit union. Members elect the directors in order to have their representation and to be able to present problems, issues, and questions to the people who are in charge. There is silence and virtually no communication between the members and the Board. The management is sharing a few words with the members in the quarterly Newsletter. That is not enough at the time when our credit union’s performance has become questionable and important issues are not being addressed.
The Editor in Chief of The Polish Weekly, Alicja Karlic, visited the Troy Branch of PACFCU on February 7, 2011 in order to find out how she could contact the credit union’s Supervisory Committee. Ms. Dul, when informed about the purpose of Alicja Karlic’s visit, came out from the back offices with a hand written note. There was Piotr Skorupka’s name on it and his phone number. Alicja Karlic insisted on the phone number to the chairman of Supervisory Committee, Mr. Urban. Ms. Dul’s response was that Mr. Urban is often out of the country and therefore the best and only contact name is Piotr Skorupka. She also stated that she directs everybody who wants to contact the Supervisory Committee to Mr. Skorupka.
The next day Mr. Urban contacted The Polish Weekly and informed Alicja Karlic that he is no longer serving on the Supervisory Committee.
Another source has advised The Polish Weekly that Mr. Skorupka is in fact not just a member of Supervisory Committee, but he may also be an employee of the PACFCU. Based on our own investigation, it appears that NCUA bylaws prohibit employees of a credit union from serving on the Supervisory Committee of a credit union. Specifically, Article IX, Section 1 reads as follows: “The supervisory committee is appointed by the board from among the members of this credit union, one of whom may be a director other than the financial officer or compensated officer of the board. No member of credit committee if applicable, or any employee of this credit union may be appointed to the committee.” Can the language and the intent of the NCUA be any clearer?
Serious questions are now beginning to emerge concerning the activity and possible conflicts of interest within our Board and the Supervisory Committee. The members of the Supervisory Committee are selected by the Board of Directors. The role of Supervisory Committee includes but is not limited to:”inspect the credit union’s records for accuracy, its assets for security, and its procedures for the proper handling and use of funds.” (Source: Credit Union Board of Directors Handbook, CUNA)
Questions for the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Committee
What is the explanation for this situation at our credit union? Lack of responsible parties? Lack of knowledge? Manipulation of roles and positions? Ignoring the Bylaws and hoping that the inconsistencies are not identified? How can any credit union function without an independent Supervisory Committee? Are the actions of the directors possibly inconsistent with best interests of the members? The Supervisory Committee is supposed to make sure that there are no fraudulent activities and yet at least one of them appear to be filling a dual role of being an employee of the credit union and a member of the Supervisory Committee?
Is our Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee a waiting room for some to take the position at the credit union? What is the explanation for why no one from the outside is allowed to break into the Board? Do we have a self serving Board?
Members and certainly the Polish Weekly would like to know the answers to all such questions.
According to Bankrate.com PACFCU’s performance is recently worth just one out of five stars. PACFCU has reported losses of almost 700,000 dollars (the exact reported to NCUA amount is $679,915) in just last 2 years.
As always we extend to the Management, Board and the Supervisory Committee the opportunity to respond to the above. We would be more than happy to print your comments.
Spring is coming and it might be a great time to spring clean PACFCU.