Commentary by Wayne Joseph:
If you are a member of the Big Island Federal Credit Union you may find the following informative in making your selection for the two open seats up for election.
The BIFCU has seven volunteer members sitting on the Board of Directors. The Board serves in the best interest of its members and has the authority to hire and fire the President and CEO – Mr. Paul Pakele.
Mr. Pakele is a good CEO who has done well for our credit union, but for some reason has decided to run for one of the two seats on the Board of Directors.
When asked by me as to why he was running he simply stated that, “It’s legal” and “I can”.
Of course Mr. Pakele is correct on both answers, federal regulations does allow a paid representative of the credit union to run for a board seat, although this is rarely done.
If elected, by law Mr. Pakele would have to recues himself for all votes taken by the board that directly relates to credit union business (almost 95 percent of all items voted upon by the board, except for approval of the minutes, relates to credit union business) as this would be a Conflict of Interest.
Of the 12 credit unions on this island none has their president/CEO serving as a Director on their board.
It is my feeling that although it is legal for the president/CEO to run and serve on the board it may not be the Ethical thing to do, and I have stated this to Mr. Pakele at our last board meeting.
I ask you to do two things when voting at any BIFCU branch between March 8 and March 11, and that is to consider giving your two votes to any of the three other volunteer members running and to not vote for Mr. Pakele.
I am one of the three people running, but I am more concerned with preventing Mr. Pakele for taking a seat on this volunteer board rather than being reelected to serve for another three years.
I am and continue to be a strong and vocal advocate for the members of the Credit Union and believe that what we need are more watch dogs that look after our best interest.
Mahalo for taking the time to read this and hopefully consider what I have suggested.
Wayne Joseph, Chairman
Board of Directors, Big Island Federal Credit Union