Cary Village Board Considers Policy to Protect Against Board Conflicts of Interest, Patronage

By Nancy Zettler

Tuesday night’s Cary Village Board’s Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting will include consideration of the development of a Board policy to protect against potential conflicts of interest, including potential patronage contracts, grant awards and appointments.

If adopted, Trustee Jennifer Weinhammer’s proposal would require that any Board member with a social, financial or political relationship with any entity or owner of an entity that comes before the Board would be required to recuse themselves from any vote on issues presented. Weinhammer is pushing for the policy to avoid what she sees as, at best, an appearance of impropriety in the way that some grants and appointments have been handled by the village under Mayor Mark Kownick.

Weinhammer, who first broached the subject of discussing the proposal with Village Manager Jacob Rife on June 21st, was originally told by Rife that the proposal would not be included on the July 18th COW agenda because the agenda was full. But by the time GPI reached Rife early this morning for comment, he said that the proposal has been added to the agenda. Mayor Kownick did not return our call requesting comment.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday July 18th at the Cary Village Hall starting at 6:00 p.m. and followed immediately by the Board Meeting.

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