Two newcomers, two incumbents in Cary village board race
Two Cary natives who returned to their hometown in the past few years will be vying, along with two incumbents, for three open seats on the Cary village board in the April 4 election.
The new candidates are David Prusina, a senior business analyst for the Chicago-based company SDI Presence and drummer for the Chicago-area band The Allstars, and Anthony Stefani, a Cary resident who is on the village's zoning, planning and appeals commission.
"The process (on the commission) has been fulfilling," Stefani said. "I have a great passion for our village, and I want to ensure it's a great place to live and raise a family."
Prusina said he was motivated to run because he wanted to keep Cary "a safe, beautiful and fun place to live" and to help support local businesses. Since moving back to Cary in 2020, Prusina said he'd been frequently attending village board meetings to learn more about the role.
The two incumbent candidates seeking reelection are Ellen McAlpine and Dale Collier Jr., Deputy Village Clerk Susan Greene said.
Trustee Kim Covelli did not file a candidate petition to run again, Greene said.
Collier said the current board has worked well together and been able to make good decisions for the village.
"Not everybody is always in agreement, but we're always open-minded," Collier said. "It has been a pleasure (being a trustee) for sure."
Both Collier and McAlpine cited the new municipal center, which opened in late 2021 and did not require a tax increase, as something they were proud of helping to accomplish while on the board.
"I see the village moving forward in positive ways," McAlpine said. "And I'm looking forward to building off the momentum we have, helping residents with services or offering them more whether that is future business, retail or anything that will improve residents' quality of life."
Stefani, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Cary School District 26 board in 2021, praised the "hometown feeling" of the village and said he was running to bring in a younger perspective to the village board.
"We know we can go anywhere in Cary and not feel overwhelmed," Stefani said, adding that he and his family enjoy the village's amenities and events.
Stefani said he also wanted to be a part of building out the downtown area, praising the current board and village staff's work implementing the Downtown Cary Strategic Plan.
The strategic plan was approved in 2021 as a blueprint to renovate and redevelop the part of town closest to the Metra station. Recent initiatives downtown have included the annual Alfresco Alley, where portions of the street are converted into outdoor dining areas for downtown restaurants, and allowing food trucks to park downtown for a trial run this past summer.
Both McAlpine and Collier cited downtown plans as one of the things they'd be most excited about working on should they win reelection.
McAlpine called the area near the Metra station "the heart of the community" and said she'd like to see monument signage that lights up and welcomes people to Cary, adding to the one sign currently downtown.
Collier said he had no one project he was preferential to but cited work downtown, as well as development of the former senior center and an upcoming streetscape project, as efforts he wants to be part of seeing through to completion.