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Cary Village Board to consider donation rules Tuesday

Village Board will meet Tuesday

Cary Mayor Mark Kownick (right) addresses the crowd at a special Village Board meeting Tuesday as Village Administrator Jacob Rife listens.
Cary Mayor Mark Kownick (right) addresses the crowd at a special Village Board meeting Tuesday as Village Administrator Jacob Rife listens.

The Cary Village Board will meet Tuesday night to discuss an ordinance that would establish procedures for handling donations to the village.

The ordinance follows a contentious debate between divided board members about whether the village should have taken a $60,000 donation from a wealthy Cary couple who wanted their identities kept secret.

In June, trustees rejected the anonymous donation by a 3-2 margin. Christine Betz and Ellen McAlpine voted in favor of accepting the donation, while Jennifer Weinhammer, Jim Cosler and Jeff Kraus rejected it. Trustee Kim Covelli abstained.

The board’s agenda packet offers background about why trustees want to change village code: “Currently, the village does not have any formal policy or ordinance relating to the acceptance of a donation made to the village. Several Village Board members have expressed interest in the village having a donation ordinance.” 

Designed to “establish a formal process for acceptance and documentation of donations,” the ordinance asks that: 

• Donations may be in the form of cash, real or personal property and may be designated for a particular purpose or use or undesignated.

• Donations shall be submitted to the village administrator for consideration for acceptance.

• The village administrator shall review donations, determine if the benefits to be derived warrant acceptance of the donation, and submit a recommendation to the Village Board regarding acceptance.

Another clause of the ordinance says private donations only will be considered when the donor is anonymous to all members of the board or when the donor has identified himself or herself to every member of the board.

Opponents of the $60,000 donation said there are dangers that come with government bodies accepting anonymous donations.

The meeting is set for
6 p.m. Tuesday at Village Hall, 655 Village Hall Drive.

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