Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas
Wednesday, February 25, 1998
Credit union participation is cut by Court
By LAURIE ASSEO
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled for bankers today in a
high-stakes turf battle with credit unions, saying the
government wrongly let credit unions enroll members beyond
what federal law allows.
In a 5-4 ruling, the justices threw out a 16-year-old
government policy that has let credit unions accept millions
of new members from outside traditional membership pools.
A credit union official said the ruling could force millions
of customers to lose their memberships. The head of the
American Bankers Association said bankers won't try to force
out credit union members who signed up under the
now-invalidated rule, but they will move to stop credit
unions from using the rule to add new members.
The broader rule is contrary to Congress' intent as
expressed in the federal law, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote
for the court.
Legislation has been proposed in Congress to retroactively
authorize such expansions in credit union membership. House
Speaker Newt Gingrich announced Monday he would co-sponsor
Today's decision upholds a lower court ruling that the
Clinton administration had said ``threatens nationwide
instability and losses in the credit union industry.''
``Because we conclude that Congress has made it clear that
the same common bond of occupation must unite each member of
an occupationally defined federal credit union, we hold that
the (government's) contrary interpretation is
impermissible,'' Thomas wrote for the court.
His opinion was joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist
and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and
Dissenting were Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, John Paul
Stevens, David H. Souter and Stephen G. Breyer. They
contended the banks lacked legal standing to sue.
The ruling affects almost 3,600 federally chartered credit
unions that hold $132 billion in deposits from more than 32
Credit unions offer many of the same consumer services as
banks but can make better deals on loans and savings rates
because they don't pay federal taxes.
Marc Schaefer of the AT&T Family Credit Union said the
ruling means people who work for companies too small to form
their own credit unions now will have to use other,
higher-cost financial services.
Dan A. Mica, president of the Credit Union National
Association, said he was ``extremely displeased'' with the
ruling. ``Ultimately, it could cause 10 to 20 million credit
union members to be told they would have to give up their
membership,'' he said.
American Bankers Association President William T. McConnell
said, ``We will not seek a remedy that should cause them to
lose their accounts with a credit union. However, ABA
believes that credit unions should stop adding new groups or
new members illegally.''
The 1934 Federal Credit Union Act says membership ``shall be
limited to groups having a common bond of occupation or
association'' or to groups in a geographical area.
In 1982, the National Credit Union Administration expanded
its definition of ``common bond.'' Small businesses that
lacked enough workers to form their own credit unions were
allowed to join existing credit unions, so long as each
group of employees had its own ``bond.''
Government officials say that rule has let credit unions add
to their membership rolls about 15 million people, mainly
from businesses too small to form their own credit unions.
A group of North Carolina banks and the American Bankers'
Association sued the government, saying the 1934 law
required all members of a credit union to share a single
common bond. The government's rule would allow an unlimited
number of people to join a single credit union, the bankers
A federal appeals court ruled in the bankers' favor last
July. While the case was being appealed to the Supreme
Court, credit unions were allowed to continue enrolling new
members from previously approved employee groups. They could
not add new employee groups.
Today, the Supreme Court upheld the appeals court decision,
saying the language of the federal law was clear.
``Just as all members of a geographically defined federal
credit union must be drawn from the same neighborhood ...
members of an occupationally defined federal credit union
must be united by the same common bond of occupation,''
Under the government's interpretation, Thomas added, a
single credit union could be created ``whose members would
include the employees of every company in the United
Cedar Street retail area part of City agenda
Town of Pecos City Council members will meet at 7:30 a.m.
tomorrow in the City Council Chambers to discuss several
on-going projects and tackle some new ones.
The council will consider closing the alley across block
123, original town and block 4, College Addition (from
Eighth to Ninth streets on the east side of South Cedar
Street) for the development of a retail area; leasing of a
service station to Wes Tex Waste; act on permit
amendment/renewal for the city's wastewater treatment plant,
consider drafting an executive letter to TNRCC, implement a
private sector abatement program and consider an agreement
with Frank Spencer and Associates for training city
employees in first stages of TV camera training.
Also on the council's agenda is hearing a request of the
Pecos Youth Advisory Commission, discuss proclaiming March
2-6 as "Texas Independence Week," opening bids for the
installation of water pipe for loop at Reeves County
Detention Center, and consider proclaiming Feb. 26 "Dot
The council will enter into executive session to discuss the
performance of Armando Gil, director of the health
Ballot amendments to set Democrats' platform
By ROSIE FLORES
Along with the state and local races which Reeves County
voters will be voting on between now and March 10, three
propositions appear in the back of the ballot for the
Democratic primary elections.
However, unlike past proposition elections, where the
voters' decisions become law, the three on the ballot are to
determine whether or not they'll be part of the party
platform for the Democrats.
"These propositions appear only on the Democratic ballot,
these are suggestions made by the Democratic Party, that
will hopefully be passed," said Reeves County Democratic
Party Chairman Bobby Dean.
Dean explained that these propositions will be presented at
the State Democratic Convention and will be adopted as the
"They will later be presented to the legislature when they
meet in 1999 and hopefully will be passed," said Dean.
"This is just a matter of them having numbers to show the
legislature when they meet to get their approval," said Dean.
He said a similar ballot measure was used by Republicans
during their 1996 primary election to determine the party's
Proposition 1 on the ballot is "Do you support a change in
law requiring health maintenance organizations (HMO) to
offer Texans an option to choose their own doctors?
Proposition 2: Do you support a constitutional amendment
prohibiting sales taxes on food and medicine?
Proposition 3: Do you support a plan to better recruit and
retain qualified teachers in Texas classrooms and to make
computers accessible for education to all students in Texas
"All are good recommendations and I'm sure everyone will
vote for them," said Dean.
Texas residents began casting ballots last week in early
voting for state, area and county primary races, along with
the proposition questions. Early voting for the March 10
election will run through next week, and a special Saturday
early voting day will be available for Reeves County
residents at La Tienda Thriftway on South Eddy Street.
Bessie Haynes announces winners of fair
The winners of the science fair that was held Tuesday at
Bessie Haynes Elementary have been announced.
In the Earth and Space Science category, first place went to
Kelsey Flores, second went to partners Ashley Horsburgh and
Sara Wein and third place went to partners Ivan Peredez and
For their Physics science projects, Camilla Alvarado won
first place, partners Jorge Martinez and Eric Rodriguez took
second and partners Jack Bradley and Chance Fincher took
In the Chemistry category, partners Bianca Rivera and Rosa
Mesta took first, partners Jennifer Bryant and Susan Moore
came in second and Mario Jasso took third place.
For their Behavioral Science entries, partners Sarah Clark
and Rachel Lujan took first place and partners Eric Mata and
Angel Aguilar took second.
Under the Life Science category, partners Monette Muniz and
Mireya Serrano won first place, Sharon Prieto came in second
and partners Misela Garcia and Gabriel Reyes took third.
In Environmental Science, partners Melanie Contreras and
Vanessa Carrasco's project took first place, partners Bryan
Chowning and Jacob Leal were second and partners Jesse
Ornelas and Miguel Madrid took third place.
School officials and teachers involved congratulated all of
the fifth-graders who entered the science fair on their
Rural heath board named by governor
AUSTIN (AP) - A dozen Texans, including representatives from
Alpine, Stanton and Snyder, have been appointed to the new
Statewide Rural Health Care System board of directors.
The 1997 Legislature created a private, nonprofit health
system governed by rural physicians, hospitals and community
leaders. The board appointed Tuesday will administer the
Named by Gov. George W. Bush were:
- For terms ending Feb. 1, 1999: Dr. Pervaiz Rahman,
Gainesville; Lucille H. Rochs, Fredericksburg; Joe Tom
Terrell, Jacksonville; and Dr. Hugh H. Wilson Jr., Hale
- For terms ending Feb. 1, 2001: Dana W. Cooley, Snyder; Dr.
Joyce A. Roberts, Mount Vernon; Dr. Pablo C. Teveni,
Stanton; B.R. Wallace, Lampasas.
- For terms ending Feb. 1, 2003: Dr. Harold R. High, Cuero;
Ralph H. Meriwether, Alpine; Dr. Thomas E. Mueller,
LaGrange; and Doris L. Reding, Littlefield.
All appointments require confirmation by the Texas Senate.
Patricia "Patsy" Tarin, 28, of Fort Stockton, died Tuesday,
Feb. 24, at Memorial Hospital and Medical Center of Midland.
She was born March 25, 1969, in Pecos, was a longtime
resident of Balmorhea and a Catholic.
Mass is scheduled for 3 p.m., Thursday at Christ the King
Catholic Church in Balmorhea with burial in Balmorhea
Survivors include two sons, Jose Ramon and Kevin Lee T.
Salazar of Fort Stockton; parents, Ramon and Christina Tarin
of Fort Stockton; maternal grandmother, Tomasa Contreras of
Saragosa; paternal grandfather, Raul Tarin of Balmorhea and
one sister, Joann Tarin of Fort Stockton.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Monday, 87. Low this morning 49. Tonight: Mostly clear
across West Texas. Lows in the mid 40s. Mostly sunny on
Thursday. Highs in the mid 70s. North Texas will likely have
showers and thunderstorms tonight and mostly cloudy skies
with a chance of lingering showers on Thursday. It will be
cooler across all of North Texas, and mostly cloudy with a
chance of showers and thunderstorms tonight and Thursday in
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise