Village Gives Thanks To Retiring Barown

Village Gives Thanks

To Retiring Barown

Mayor Praises Her Institutional

Knowledge, Efficiency, Expertise

A tearful Teri Barown – she retired Friday after 15 years as village clerk, then village administrator – was joined at this afternoon’s farewell ceremony on 22 Main’s pillared veranda by daughters Julie, center, and Nicole, and son Matt. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch presents Teri Barown with a plaque “from a grateful Cooperstown community.”

COOPERSTOWN – Despite the rain, they came to praise her:  Teri Barown, village administrator for the past five years and village clerk for 10 before that.

“Teri’s leadership abilities were always apparent and so very valued,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, who also emceed the ceremony.  “…All have benefited from her professional and skillful handling of village administration.

“She could keep the day-to-day operations of this village flowing smoothly and, at the same time, was willing to take on new tasks, learn new skills and accept new challenges,” the mayor said.  “And she always did it calmly and impartially.”

Also praising her were two past mayors, Jeff Katz and Wendell Trip, and Bill Waller, whose wife Carol, was mayor when Barown joined Village Hall.

Tripp called her “the steering wheel” of village government.  Katz praised her for handled a “sub-job” that landed on her lap: grantsman.

“I could see how amazing she was” handling downtown restoration grants that ran in to the many millions, said Katz.  When it became clear that Cooperstown could spend money, complete projects and process the paperwork in a timely way, more grant came, he said.

“The reputation of the village rested on how well she did her job,” he said.

On behalf of the village trustees, the mayor presented the retiring administrator with a proclamation calling her “a true role model, a working mom and hero”; a plaque “from a grateful Cooperstown community,” and a 1890 lithograph created by Trustee Jim Dean’s New York Archival Prints company, “selected and paid for by the entire Village Board.”

For her part, Teri tearfully thanked the board the the dozens who gathered to honor her, saying she loved the job because “it allowed me to see people I’ve known all my life.”  She is a Native Daughter of Cooperstown and a CCS graduate.

In particular, she thanked her deputy clerk, Pat Winsor, Nancy Morton and DPW Superintendent Mitch Hotaling for the support they provided her.

She announced her resignation at the Village Board’s September meeting, reporting that, in time of COVID-19, her children needed her to tend her grandchildren.

Two were among those attended, Blake Barown, 4, and his sister Olivia, 2, along with dad Matt Barown and mom Haley Groat.  Matt’s sisters, Nicole and Julie, also attended.

Jenna Utter, a former deputy clerk of the county Board of Representatives, has been appointed to succeed her.



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