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Highlights of the July 21st, 2020 meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature

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Highlights of the July 21st, 2020 meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Legislature Hears Update on COVID-19, Including Demographic Breakdown of 202 Total Positive Cases

Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino and Public Health Director Frank Kruppa provided a local update on COVID-19. The update included a demographic breakdown of positive cases, information on the reopening plans for K-12 schools, and details on a New York State travel advisory. Kruppa shared additional details on the number of positive cases over time resulting from individuals traveling outside of the county and returning, including a recent increase in cases resulting from such travel.  

During discussion on the impact of colleges returning for the fall semester, Kruppa stated “This is not a student problem to-date, what we know about our cases so far is that it is community behavior, not student behavior.” The Tompkins County Health Department and Emergency Operations Center continue to work closely with the colleges on development of their plans for campus reactivation. Kruppa added a reminder on the details of quarantine, stating “The important thing about quarantine is that it is always 14 days, and you cannot test out of it. Testing only tells you results in that moment; the quarantine is about the full incubation period of the disease which is 14 days.”

Legislature Chairwoman Leslyn McBean Clairborne (D-Ithaca) stated “We are going to do everything in our power to minimize spread of this disease in our community. We hope everyone in our community will join us in that as well.”

The full timeline document from the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis can be found here. Contact, Jason Molino, Tompkins County Administrator, 607-274-5551, Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director, 607-274-6674

Legislature Passes Resolutions Adjusting 2020 County Budget Due to COVID-19 Impacts

Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino presented a 2020 budget update outlining ongoing expenditure reductions and further actions to address the expected budget deficit. Actions included the extension of furloughs of county staff, a reduction in fourth quarter payments to supporting agencies, and a further reduction in capital appropriations to the Capital Fund.

Molino acknowledged that continuation of furloughs does not equate to an abolishing of positions, that individuals on continued furlough will still have access to county-sponsored health insurance, and that if workloads change that individuals may be reinstated.

A resolution authorizing the County Administrator to continue some furloughs through the COVID-19 pandemic moved by Legislator Martha Robertson (D-Dryden) and seconded by Legislator Deborah Dawson (D-Lansing), was passed 12-2. Legislators Dan Klein (D-Danby) and Amanda Champion (D-Ithaca) dissented. Legislature Chairwoman Leslyn McBean-Clairborne thanked all Legislators for their thorough discussion and compassion during this difficult time. Contact, Martha Robertson, Chair, Budget Capital and Personnel Committee 607-592-3119, Jason Molino, Tompkins County Administrator, 607-274-5551

Ten County Employees Recognized For 25 Years of Service

A resolution was passed unanimously recognizing significant county employee milestones, including ten employees who were recognized for 25 years of service to the County, joining the “25 Year Club. Legislator Martha Robertson shared that while COVID-19 has limited the ability to celebrate in-person, “We could not be more grateful and proud to work along and with these dedicated employees.”

Employees celebrating the 25-year milestone are:

  • William Apgar, Probation
  • Brad Covert, Sheriff’s Office
  • Dariele Drake, Department of Planning and Sustainability
  • Carol Kellogg, Sheriff’s Office
  • Michelle Lansing, Sheriff’s Office
  • Lisa Lorer, Department of Social Services
  • Toini Pulver, Department of Social Services
  • Darlene Robinson, Department of Social Services
  • Laurel Rockhill, Probation
  • Susan Spicer, Department of Mental Health

Among Other Business

Chairwoman McBean-Clairborne read a proclamation into the record recognizing the late Congressman John Lewis. The resolution commended his contributions to the Civil Rights movement and leadership in the U.S. Congress. The proclamation orders County flags flown at half-staff for the remainder of month of July.

Recordings of Tompkins County’s legislative and committee meetings can be found on YouTube here.

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