There has been lots of discussion after Randy Karnes, CEO of CU*Answers, a CUSO in Michigan, circulated a petition calling for major changes in NCUA. The petition was quickly followed by a polite (not really) rebuttal by Dave Adams, CEO of the Michigan league. Essentially Mr. Adams said that CUs should not sign and leave the heavy lifting to the trades. He contended that we "should trust the experts" and referred to some vague process that somehow will make everything work out. He noted that MCUL had commented directly to NCUA about their budget-busting increases in salaries, and stated he was doing the same with the Fed while reminding them that several proposals would be detrimental to credit unions. Hoo boy, I betcha Ben B. is losing sleep about these tactics.
In reality they will have no effect on the Fed proposals. It's over Dave! You and CUNA, as well as every other asleep-at-the-switch trade association, have failed miserably in paying attention to the toxic environment that CUs are operating in-and that measurement is easy to make. It is the thousands of corpses of CUs left in the dust during your tenures. Maybe it isn't your fault; perhaps you and the powers that be at CUNA forgot what goes on in credit union land. Those cocktail parties and junkets that AACUL goes on are tiring and can easily be distracting.
More importantly, perhaps you forgot that your role is the protection of the environment that CUs operate in. Too busy with the "Invest in America" and "Save to Win" programs, perhaps you forgot to look around and note the ever-diminishing number of volunteers, and CUs that could never be helped by such programs as they simply went away. Perhaps you should remind CUNA what its role is.
So, Randy Karnes, paying attention to his client base and seeing the difficulty credit unions are having and angry about NCUA's la la land mentality (the arbitrator made me do it), did something-he authored a petition and asked CUs to sign it. He stuck his neck out (are you listening, Dave and CUNA?) and asked us to help by signing the petition. He measured the effectiveness of the leagues and CUNA, and like most of us, found the efforts pretty feeble. How many years do we tote CURIA up the Hill and tote it back down? How about the success at raising the limits for business lending? How about interchange and courtesy pay legislation? Knowing all this, he realized that someone had to call NCUA out and offer some solutions to the problems that they lay at our feet as they keep their highly paid, benefit-rich jobs no matter what bad stuff they do.
Well, this is why I will sign and why I think everyone should sign. It's too late to wait one minute longer. Signing it won't save those already slated for the chopping block, but it represents the beginning of a movement to change. It's easy to sit back and say, "What can I do? I'm only one person and I'm up against a government agency and everyone knows they won't listen." Well, they do listen when the real grassroots rises and demands attention. They do it for an obvious reason, especially if they are as lame and inefficient as NCUA. They are frightened that the people that can effect change will find out about them and do something.
Thanks, Randy, for having the gumption to care and do something about the travesty that is NCUA.
Dennis Moriarity, CEO
Unity CU, Warren, Mich.