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2014 Legislature Leadership Reelected for the Year Ahead

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2014 Legislature Leadership Reelected for the Year Ahead

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Tompkins County Legislature, at its 2015 organizational meeting, reelected Chair Michael Lane (D) and Vice Chair Jim Dennis (D) to continue to lead the Legislature in 2015.  The positions of Chair and Vice Chair are filled each year by a majority vote of members of the Legislature.

Mr. Lane was the only candidate nominated for Chair, and Mr. Dennis the only nominee for Vice Chair, and the election votes for each were unanimous.  Nominating Mr. Lane to continue as Chair, Legislator Dan Klein (the newest member of the Legislature) praised Lane for his “excellent job in steering the ship with a steady hand,” describing him as a very patient, thorough person who brings a great deal of institutional memory and experience to the position.  Legislator Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, seconding the nomination, expressed appreciation for his consistent outreach and ability to connect to each of his fellow members of the Legislature.

Mr. Lane, first elected in 1993, is serving his fifth term on the Legislature, representing District 14 (Eastern part of the Town of Dryden, including the Villages of Dryden and Freeville).  He served three consecutive terms, then after a one-term hiatus, was returned to the Legislature for two more. 

In nominating Jim Dennis for Vice Chair, Legislator Nate Shinagawa praised him as a friend and mentor during the time both have served on the Legislature for the past nine years.  Referring to his experience, both in City government and County service,  Mr. Shinagawa said, “I have really seen Jim take his experience and passion to the job and…bring some serious results to the County,” and that Jim has clearly demonstrated to the Legislature his value, both as a Legislator and as Vice Chair.

Mr. Dennis, who represents District 5 (Town of Ulysses and part of the Town of Enfield), is in his third term on the Legislature, where, in part, he has served as Chair of the Legislature’s budget committee and led the annual budget review process.  Mr. Dennis also chairs the County Industrial Development Agency.

Saying that the election was “very humbling,” Chair Lane told his colleagues, “I’ll try to do the work of this legislature with you, as one among equals, with all of our jobs to act jointly as a team.”  He said he will deliver his annual Chair’s message and announce 2015 committee structure and appointments at the Legislature’s next meeting January 20.