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Cary Board Votes to Privatize Management of Village's Finances

Measure to hire outside firm passes 4-3 with Mayor Tom Kierna casting deciding vote.

Cary’s Board of Trustees this week hired its auditor of the past 13 years – Warrenville-based Lauterbach & Amen – for a new job, to manage the village’s books for the next nine months or longer ... if it works out.

Although Christopher Clark, Cary’s new village administrator, told trustees that he expects a “seamless” transition, three trustees on the board are not so sure. The Village of Cary has a $15 million budget.

Trustees Karen Lukasik, Jeffery Kraus and Robert Bragg voted against the measure.

“I want a clear definition of who they answer to,” Lukasik said. “I’m concerned we will lose control.”

Lukasik added that she didn’t have time to study documents provided to her at Tuesday night’s board meeting. She suggested that the board be given more time to study the contract.

“Change is hard,” Trustee Bruce Kaplan said. “But this doesn’t scare me.”

Kaplan said if there are any glitches the village could end the relationship with Lauterbach & Amen after giving a 180-day notice as spelled out in the contract.

Trustees Raymond Chisholm, Duane (Rick) Dudek joined Kaplan in supporting the measure. Mayor Tom Kierna was the tie-breaking vote.

Ron Pfeiffer, Cary’s finance director and treasurer since 2008, would stay on and help with the transition as an employee of Lauterbach & Amen, working a three-day week.

Pfeiffer told trustees he supports hiring the firm, which would open up the village to the finance industry’s “best practices.”

The firm would help with “long-term financial stability while maintaining service levels,” according to village documents.

As it stands now, Cary has a 20-year-old auditing system that would cost $500,000 to upgrade. And it needs to hire another outside auditing firm as Lauterbach & Amen’s replacement by next spring.

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