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Highlights of the June 16th, 2020 meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature

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Highlights of the June 16th, 2020 meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Resolution to Change Legislative Terms in Anticipation of 2021 Delayed Census Results Fails

A resolution moved by Legislator Dan Klein directing the County Attorney to prepare a local law changing the term of office for Tompkins County Legislators elected in November 2021 to a two-year term with a return to four-year terms thereafter failed (7-7). The resolution was opposed by Legislators Henry Granison, Anne Koreman, Dave McKenna, Glenn Morey, Mike Sigler, Shawna Black, and Amanda Champion. This leaves the 2021 elections at four-year terms with the next legislative district conversation slated for 2026 unless new action is brought by a Legislator who opposed the resolution. The Tompkins County Legislature has been considering whether to adjust term lengths around the return of census data in order to most accurately represent districts by total population. The redistricting process ensures that residents receive adequate representation in our County Legislature.

An amendment proposed by Legislator Mike Lane (D-Dryden) to have a one-year term followed by four-year terms failed (3-11).

Contact Amanda Champion, Chair, Government Operations Committee, 607-351-2828

Among Other Business

A resolution passed unanimously (14-0) calling on New York State to release $222 million in available funds for childcare and after school programs. Child Development Council Executive Director Sue Dale-Hall joined the meeting to update the Legislature on State regulations, the local childcare situation in light of COVID-19, and to answer questions from legislators. In support of the resolution, Legislator Anna Kelles (D-Ithaca) stated, “We have to recognize that childcare is an economic development issue, we cannot reopen our economy without it.” Contact Martha Robertson, Chair, Intergovernmental Relations Committee 607-592-3119

Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino provided reports to the legislature on COVID-19 and a County equity and anti-racism strategy. The proposed equity and anti-racism strategy establishes a framework to address the County both as an organization and as a service provider. Legislature Chairwoman, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne responded to the strategy stating, “It’s great to see staff coming together and digging in, things aren’t going to change until we see the principles of equity and inclusion in everything we do, and in the structure of county government.” Contact, Jason Molino 607-274-5551

A resolution offering an early retirement incentive and establishing future retiree health insurance benefits for County employees passed unanimously (14-0) with one amendment on the cost-sharing of premiums for Medicare-eligible retirees. The resolution simplifies cost sharing for current and future retirees, as well as offers a retirement incentive for employees over the age of 55 with 10+ years of service with the County. The resolution was brought to the Legislature as part of the County’s response to negative COVID-19 budget impacts. Contact, Jason Molino 607-274-5551, Lisa Holmes, Deputy County Administrator and Interim HR Commissioner 274-5454

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