By John Czop
On March 25, 2012, the membership of the Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union (PSFCU) held a SPECIAL MEETING of the membership to review the performance of one member of the Supervisory Committee, the Chair of the Board of Directors (BOD), and three directors. At that time, Mrs. Marzena Wierzbowska, who is now Chair of the PSFCU’s BOD, was a member of the BOD. Mrs. Wierzbowska wholeheartedly approved of the 25 March 2012 SPECIAL MEETING. After debate, this SPECIAL MEETING voted to oust four colleagues of Mrs. Wierzbowska and one member of the Supervisory Committee who were her opponents. Does Mrs. Wierzbowska only approve of a SPECIAL MEETING if it suits her political purposes?
Late last summer, 11 September 2012, the membership presented Mrs. Wierzbowska with a petition requesting that she convene a SPECIAL MEETING. To date, she has refused to do so. Even though over 2,000 PSFCU members signed this petition after they were asked to do so by several of their fellow members. I was among those collecting signatures. I briefly explained why the SPECIAL MEETING is necessary to at least 400 PSFCU members. They signed the petition after I informed them that the ANNUAL MEETING of 20 May 2012 adjourned BEFORE several resolutions, calling for the ouster of four members of the BOD and one member of the Supervisory Committee, could be debated and voted on by the membership.
Moreover, I reminded my fellow PSFCU members that as a democratic credit union, the highest governing authority of the PSFCU is the Annual Meeting. Almost all of my fellow PSFCU members agreed that the SPECIAL MEETING needs to be convened to continue important business that should have been completed at the ANNUAL MEETING. Many of those who signed the petition calling for the SPECIAL MEETING suggested that in the future more time should be budgeted to complete business at the ANNUAL MEETING. Therefore, those who signed the petition calling for the SPECIAL MEETING did so for procedural reasons to keep our credit union democratic. It makes little sense to hold an ANNUAL MEETING, which the PSFCU bylaws clearly identify as the highest governing authority of our credit union, and then not to vote on resolutions presented at the ANNUAL MEETING. At the meeting held in August 2012 at the Dom Narodowy, Driggs Avenue, Greenpoint, to discuss the petition to convene a SPECIAL MEETING, only one member of the PSFCU BOD was present, Mrs. Marzena Wojczulanis. She forcefully registered her support for the SPECIAL MEETING largely for procedural reasons. I am confident that Mrs. Wojczulanis will succeed in persuading her colleagues on the PSFCU BOD to convene the SPECIAL MEETING without further delay.
To the dismay of many, Chair Wierzbowska declined to convene a SPECIAL MEETING even though the PSFCU bylaws require her to do so. Instead, she hired a lawyer, whose fees are paid by the PSFCU members, to delay and to thwart the calling of a SPECIAL MEETING. On the advice of this lawyer, Mrs. Wierzbowska declared the members’ petition which she received on 11 September to be invalid on the trumped up grounds that the intent of the signers of the petition is unclear. The lawyer detected discrepancies between the Polish language version and the English language version of the informational leaflet which PSFCU members received from fellow members circulating the petition, and the lawyer concluded that this makes the intent of those who signed the petition calling for the SPECIAL MEETING unclear. What hairsplitting nonsense! What a pretext for delay!
Concerned members of the PSFCU are undaunted. A revised English language only leaflet and English language only petition form are now being presented to the PSFCU membership. The Polish version has been suppressed to satisfy this lawyer. To prevent this lawyer from raising the same objection again only the English language will be used to prepare a petition for a Polish organization. So far over half of the 750 signatures required to call a SPECIAL MEETING already have been collected.