What’s in it for me?
In like a lion and out like a lamb!
Well over a year ago, Seattle-based Amazon announced their search for a site to house their second North American Headquarters (HQ2). The sweepstakes began among municipalities hoping to lure this corporate giant to bring 25,000 high paying jobs and the related tax revenues, construction jobs, housing needs and local restaurant and small business activity. In what was reported as some back room closed door negotiations, Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio emerged from them announcing that Long Island City won the hand of Amazon.
As the Governor and Mayor were backslapping themselves, the battle lines were being drawn by the local communities and local politicians to derail the deal. Some local leaders walked arm in arm with their communities and were outraged at the lack of transparency and inclusiveness of the communities in the process. There were Unions (construction related) who supported the headquarters but there were also those who wanted Amazon to be more pro-union with their own employees. Then there was the recurring soundbite of the $3 billion “gift” given to the richest person in the world.
The Dutch Kills Civic Association, one of our recently added SEGs, was an outspoken group among the many local communities that voiced concerns. Their opposition wasn’t really against Amazon coming. Parents walk by the badly needed refurbishing of playgrounds. Teachers in the local public schools buy much of their classroom supplies. Homeowners were fearful of seeing the assessments (and taxes) on their properties rise. Renting in Long Island City and Astoria would become even less affordable. The congested streets and subways would become more crowded. All of this and Amazon receives the Tax breaks? Apparently Amazon executives promised to be “good” neighbors and pass wealth and savings back into the neighborhoods but local leaders weren’t able to locate any binding documents for Amazon to keep their promises.
On Valentine’s Day, Amazon broke their engagement with Long Island City and New York.
There is still some debating going on as to who the winners and losers were and are. This may be a future topic for a business school case study. It is, however, a bit surprising to see how thin Amazon’s skin was for them to pick up their ball and go home.
Greater Metro assisted Dutch Kills by sending flyers to some 8,000 residents in the area, inviting them to the Association’s monthly meeting where Agency officials were scheduled to
attend to answer questions. Amazon’s pullout deflated the eventual attendance of the meeting. The Credit Union, however, was able to cast a net to capture the interest of the local community
with some product offers and its link to the Association.
Rates on the Rise?
Not so fast!
In our last Newsletter we were poised to prepare everyone (including ourselves) for the rise in rates. In a matter of a month or two, the anticipation of rate increases has ceased (none for 2019) and there’s even a good chance that the FED may decrease rates by January 2020. Short term rates are rising higher than some long term rates. As this continues, there is a point known as an inversion of the yield curve which signals to many that a recession may follow. The last time this occurred was in 2007 with the recession following in 2008. Whichever direction the rates will move, we stand by the last line in the Fall article “You can be sure that Credit Unions will do their best for its members!”
Although real estate loan rates did increase, 2019 may still be a good time for prospective homebuyers or those looking to make major improvements to their existing homes. Greater Metro’s auto loan rates are among the lowest and if you’re carrying credit card balances, they really should be carried with us.
This year’s meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22 at 6PM at the Credit Union’s main office in Long Island City. As is the case every year, the main order of business is to elect members to the open seats of the Board of Directors. There are two seats up for election this year.
In December, the Chairman of the Board appointed a Nominating Committee to collect applications from those interested. At the February meeting, the Nominating Committee submitted their selections in the names of Mark Schwefringhaus and Michael Ingino.
Mark Schwefringhaus has served on the Board since 2016 and is the current Vice-Chairman.
Michael Ingino is employed at the VA Hospital in Manhattan and was instrumental in getting the Credit Union Branch up and running after Hurricane Sandy. It was from that time that he took a keen interest in the Credit Union and has been involved ever since.
Any member who would still be interested in a position on the Board may submit their name to the Credit Union through the Petition process. Information regarding the process may be obtained by calling 718-361-1002 extension 210.
Balance Transfer Promotion
For NEW Greater Metro Mastercard members
Open a card with us and transfer balances up to $25,000 at 0% for one year with no balance transfer fees!
Restrictions apply; ask a representative at the credit union for details.
*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Credit limit subject to creditworthiness. Offer expires within 6 months of card opening.
†Certain terms, conditions and exclusions apply. For full terms and conditions go to www.mastercard.com/credit-gtb To request a printed guide-to-benefits, call 1-800 MC ASSIST.
More members of Greater Metro took advantage of our auto loan rates in 2018 than in any year previously.
As Low As
5 year rate
As Low As
5 year rate
*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. The rates above reflect our 5-year terms to the highest credit scores. Even lower rates available for shorter terms but also based on credit scores.
Things to Remember!
Keep your contact information updated! If you’ve moved, changed jobs, phone numbers or email addresses, please let the Credit Union know. This is especially important when it comes to your Credit and Debit cards. When possible Fraud is detected, your card will be blocked and a call will be made to the phone number on record.
Change your passwords regularly! And make them a bit complicated. With so many user ID’s and passwords to keep track of these days, it’s easier not to change your password if it’s not demanded. We encourage members to do so. We aren’t talking about store or cable TV accounts but rather accounts that hold your funds. Keep them safe!
Scams! Be viligant! Don’t be fooled by the offers of receiving something for nothing. Don’t open links in emails from sources you’re not familar with. Don’t even open attachments. One of the more recent scams relate to calls that appear to be coming from the Social
Credit Union Offices will be closed on the following days in 2019
Memorial Day – Monday, May 27
Independence Day – Thursday, July 4
Labor Day – Monday, September 2
Columbus Day – Monday, October 14
Veterans Day – Monday, November 11
Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 28
Christmas Day – Wednesday, December 25