Cary Trustee Candidate Tim Ritter Explains Objections to Council Expenditures

Under the article about who filed for the Cary Village Board, Council candidate Tim Ritter made the following comment:

I look forward to running and bringing to light the issues that the current board faces.

Having the entire Cary Village board run by the Cary-Grove Chamber of Commerce might not be the best of ideas as the Chamber would have the power to pass any legislation they want.

With the conduct of the Mayor and others from the Chamber, I question if their motives will truly benefit the citizens of Cary instead of their own personal agendas.

With three shady dealings to date this year alone involving the Mayor and Trustee McAlpine, can we really afford to have more backroom deals and shady behind the scene actions take place?

I do not really count on them anymore to do what is right for the people of Cary like they are supposed to as elected representatives.

I prefer an open public government system.

Something only a few current of our officials care about.

Let’s not go in the wrong direction this April.

In another email, Ritter explained the “backroom deals” about which he complained:

1. First instance was the $60,000 donation tried to accept without letting anyone know who the individuals were. All we had to go on was “his word” that the individuals were on the up and up. Not only did he try to deny knowledge of donations to our government he did not even allow our duly elected officials know where this money was coming from? As I said during that process, I am sure the individuals donating the money were harmless and had the best of intentions, it is no excuse to accept random large sums of money without any knowledge of how it was acquired. If a bank does not accept giant cash donations without knowing who is making the deposit then why would our elected officials. 
2. The Mayor or Village Administrator spent nearly $5,000 ($4,800 I believe) of our taxpayer money without having the board vote on how those funds were used. They used these funds on outside legal fees looking into the charges of a particular board member. Amounts that large are only allowed to be spent by the Mayor or Village Administrator for very specific reasons given in the codes for the Village. Most of these codes are related to emergency situations where immediate or short action is needed. Not only did he spend the money without it passing a board vote, it took several months of behind the door meetings before someone leaked the situation to a news outlet. Hiding the spending of that much money as you look into a fellow elected official should not be something that is hidden for several months. 
3. The third point is based on the Maplewood property. Several times a building has shown interest building a large complex on the site only to be turned down my certain board members. Trustee [Ellen]McAlpine and Mayor [Mark] Kownick are strong supporters of that property. After being turned down by the board for his designs, he has once again purchased the maplewood property with “provisional” requirements this late summer. While I can not prove that the mayor agreed to these terms the likely case when it was purchased late summer was that developer hold onto the property until the future election to which new members more positive to his position can be placed on the board. Sure enough a 3 member group for “unity in Cary” highly supported by the mayor are running together. The mayor and a majority of this group represent the Cary-Grove Chamber of Commerce which is supportive of the commercial opportunities that such a property would bring. Making dark alley deals with an out of town developed you agree with to build a large residential complex while neglecting the will of the affected citizens does not seem the type of behavior one should be taking part in. If this unity group are allowed to win this Spring a majority of the board will be members of the Chamber of Commerce, representing a conflict on interest putting the needs of the community ahead of the needs of what is good for Cary. All in an effort to increase the tax revenues at the expense of many other issues. There are other ways to create growth and revenues without poor development of a property for short term financial gains. 
I hope that I clarified my earlier comments for you. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. The types of people that align themselves in this type of behavior should not be supported. There is no reason to hide your views or plans as a public official unless hiding it benefits your personal cause. 


Cary Trustee Candidate Tim Ritter Explains Objections to Council Expenditures — 6 Comments

  1. No 3, Backroom deals? really, Are you referring to preliminary discussion for “provisions” that will be brought to the board for discussion. Go ahead, piss off the Chamber of Commerce, the very people that run the business and shops that have a pulse on the community.

    “All in an effort to increase the tax revenues at the expense of many other issues.” What would those other issues be? What poor developments are you talking about? We have no developments.

    “There is no reason to hide your views or plans as a public official unless hiding it benefits your personal cause.”

    What are your plans?

    So far all you have done is criticize.

    We all ready have that with Costler and Covelli.

    We need people that will move forward not dwell in the past.

    You have not shawn any willingness so far.

    My vote would be a NO.

  2. No.1 The donation was brought before the board and presented to it as was appropriate. The board turned it down. Backroom deal? It was presented as the doner asked and not accepted. Where is the harm?

    No. 2 Where did they hide the expense? It was brought before the board, Was there a mistake yes. the expenditure should not have been made without board approval. Can it not be said they did so as to not embarrass the people involved publicly.

    Hindsight is always perfect isn’t Mr. Ritter.

    If you want to impress the voters try to look forward instead of dwelling in the past. It makes you look petty and we are already stuck with Cosler and Covelli.

  3. No 1:

    So if someone makes a donation and wants to remain annonymous how do you know where the money is coming from if only the Mayor gets to know? So if I make a donation to Cary it doesn’t matter to you at all where those funds come from so long as one person says it is ok and that it is cool? Yes it is a backroom deal. You have one person deciding as to the credibility of the individuals making the donation. How do I know if that deciding person’s values line up with other citizens of Cary?

    For example, What if the donators are racist and hate immigrants? I would have a big problem personally knowing Cary took money from people such as that. Not exactly the image I want Cary to have as people come to our town. Or substitute any other areas with questionable moral implications. The point is by having only one person decide what is an acceptible standard isn’t how things should be done. That is why we generally have governing bodies made up of multiple people that are supposed to represent multiple views.

    No 2:

    That was never brought before the board as far as I know. I go to most of the meetings every time they occur and I do not remember ever seeing the board vote on “$4,800 in legal fees to investigate a fellow board member for harrassment” ever being on the agenda. I left a few meetings early but if you would like to show me where that vote occurred I will be happy to take back my statement. Even at the special meeting that took place other members of the board said they did not vote to disperse those funds and they were dispersed from the $20,000 limit that is available by the Mayor/Village Administrator. It may have been brought to the board but it was never voted on and never made public. If you are going to spend that much of Tax payers money then you should have to tell people what you are spending it on.

    That situation was handled in such a poor fashion by several members. I don’t know how it works at the village but I can tell you at my public institution that if someone makes such a claim on another employee or student that there is a very specific procedure that is followed step by step by step. Harassment of any kind is a serious thing and there should be a very clear policy in place on how to deal with it and what actions should be taken.


    There has been a plan for some time now to develop the Maplewood property. The current builders plan is to install large residential structures on the property. The designs that the developer has come up with show no regard for the environmental impact that will be caused by designing buildings to such old standards.

    You talk about thinking about the future and not dwelling in the past. There was next to no use of modern sustainable design practices being employed in any of the developer’s designs. Building a developent that has nearly 400 units is a large undertaking and something the citizens of Cary will be stuck with for the next 100 years or more. Not only are current sustainability practices more efficient and cost effective, they are even more so when they are done during initial construction and not done as retrofits. If anyone is going to develope a large amount of structures then they should be designed with the environmental impacts in mind and designed to mitigate those impacts. Communities across the country (and select states) are putting in ordinances to ensure this happens while Cary has very little input in this regard. We can not help to solve our environmental problems if we continue to build the same way we have for the past two decades.

    As I said earlier, I am not against building and developing the site, but it needs to be done in a sustainable way and the several plans I have seen that came forward are not up to what needs to be done for a sustainable future. If we want people to live and stay in Cary then we need to design for the needs of 10-30 years down the road. Not for 20 years in the past.

    I am always looking to move forward, sir. It is important to learn from past mistakes and then move on. As a research scientist, I am more qualified then most to be a forward thinking individual. If you are after someone who is constantly thinking about the future, then I would look no further then myself. Working on the cutting edge and being on the frontier of what is possible is something I do on a daily basis. I would apply those ideals and high standards to all future situations as I currently do now.

  4. Man, the new tourism ads should say “Cary is hysterical.”

    I’m still trying to figure out why anonymous donations are OK but donations that are almost anonymous are suspect.

  5. No.1. Not a back room deal. He presented it to the board with the doner’s stipulations. the board rejected iot. No harm no foul. The deal was never consumated. It the Mayor took the money without board knowledge or approval you would have something.

    No.2 Yes, there were mistakes made. Now slap the administrators hand and move on. Petty crap. More than likely won’t happen again. Move on no longer an issue.

    No.3 No agreement has been reached. It also sounds like you are asking for way to much. Cary has always been the most difficult village to deal with. Every other village seems to move forward with development besides Cary. I worked for a housing developer for years so I know Cary’s reputation. does that mean we give it away, no, absolutely not. But Cary always seems to stifle any development that come around. You seem to be from that mold. You mention sustainability, another “buzz word” with no substance to the use of the term. May be we need someone with some real world practicality and not theoretical “knowledge”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.