AUGUSTA, Maine (10/5/09)--Kennebec Valley FCU (KV FCU), whose members voted down a proposal to convert to a bank and merge with Kennebec Savings Bank, is looking toward business as usual as a credit union, says KV FCU's president, who said she will continue her plans to step down in March. Beverly Beaucage, president of the $53 million asset, Augusta, Maine-based KV FCU, expressed "disappointment" at the vote's outcome to a local newspaper Morning Sentinel (Oct. 2). However, the credit union's managers and directors will move on as a credit union without seeking another merger partner, she said. KV FCU will introduce some new member services that were put on hold during the merger process. "This is a business, and when you hear from your base that it wants to go in a different direction, that's what you do," she told the newspaper. She noted that the membership has been "quiet" for years and hadn't attended annual meetings. "In a sense, it's good to hear from the members." she said. KV FCU Board Chairman Richard Tardiff issued a statement that the board members respect the credit union members' will and the democratic process. The merger proposal spawned two member advocacy groups. KV Members Matter opposed the proposal and was supported by the Maine Credit Union League, according to league President John Murphy. KV Members Voting Yes for the Merger, which favored the merger, was supported by Kennebec Savings Bank. Both groups debated the merger proposal publicly in a series of letters to the editor of local newspapers. The vote concluded Sept. 21 and was tallied by a New York City firm, said the article. Credit union officials did not ask for the exact vote tally or the number of members voting, Beaucage said, adding the credit union just wanted direction from its members. Credit union officials had been planning the conversion for more than a year and had approached the bank about a possible merger. A merger between a bank and a credit union would have been the first of its type in Maine. Plans were for Beaucage to serve in a management position at the bank if the merger succeeded. However, she planned to retire within months after the merger date. She said the merger has not prompted her retirement. She will leave in March after 21 years.