Kownick sworn in as Cary village president

CARY – Working on the village’s comprehensive plan and focusing on what kind of businesses to recruit to town are new Village President Mark Kownick’s first priorities.

Kownick was sworn in Tuesday as the village’s 27th mayor, replacing Tom Kierna, who did not run for re-election.

Kownick defeated Trustee Bruce Kaplan in April’s election. Kownick said he has met with staff about updating the comprehensive plan.

“Within the staff, we’ve been kicking around ideas of what do we want to see in types of developments, stores, businesses and things we want to recruit to the village of Cary,” Kownick said. “I’m excited about it, the staff is excited about the direction we’re going to be heading. There’s a lot of work to be done, and I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

He said he also has met with trustees since the election.

“We’re all willing to work together and move things forward,” Kownick said.

As Kownick’s first official act as village president, he proclaimed Wednesday as Tom and Faith Kierna Day in the village. Faith is Kierna’s wife. They received a key to the village.

Tom Kierna served 17 years in the villiage as president, as a trustee and as a member of the Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals. He received a standing ovation after his parting remarks.

“A political servant I wasn’t. A community servant I was,” Tom Kierna said. “At the time, my goal was simple: Work to make Cary a better community every day, and I did. Accomplishments were many, and yes, there were some disappointments along the way … It’s been a wonderful and rewarding journey along the way.”

Trustees Rick Dudek, Jeffery Kraus and David Chapman also were sworn in for their four-year terms. Chapman replaces Ray Chisholm, who did not run for re-election. Chisholm joined the board in 2007.

The board also approved the appointment of James Levicki to the Police Commission for a three-year term. 

Before swearing in the new village board members, the board approved a licensing agreement with CoStar Group Inc., which is a commercial real estate information company.

The settlement agreement acknowledges there was a dispute over whether village staff used passwords assigned to another subscriber to access CoStar products and services. As part of the agreement, however, the parties agreed not to publicly discuss the alleged unauthorized use. The village also does not admit any guilt as part of the agreement.

The agreement includes the village paying a monthly fee of $435 to use the service. With associated taxes and fees, the annual cost to the village is estimated to be about $5,400.

“It is a service we did budget for, do need and will use,” Village Administrator Chris Clark said.

Having a license allows the village access to review available properties in surrounding communities and complete a comparative analysis.

“Through the direct use of CoStar data, the village will be able to regularly track our available office, industrial and commercial properties as part of our economic development efforts,” according to a memo from staff to the Village Board.

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