Opinion: Cortland County Legislature should hire county administrator

The Cortland County Legislature at a 2016 meeting (Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

Editor's Note: The following is a letter from The League of Women Voters of Cortland County addressed to members of the Cortland County Legislature. It does not reflect the opinions of the Cortland Voice. 

As always, alternative viewpoints are welcome. Email news@cortlandvoice.com to submit an opinion piece.

Dear Chairman Sudbrink and County Legislators:

The League of Women Voters of Cortland County (LWV) urges the County Legislature to enact legislation this month to hire a county administrator in accordance with existing county law LL No. 7 of 2002.  Existing county law prohibits the Chairman from serving more than 60 days as acting County Administrator without authorization by the Legislature. Thus, legislative action is required at your February 22, 2018 legislative session or a special session this month.

We ask you to move forward now. With a $134 million budget, our county needs a full-time professional. Only ten of New York State’s 62 counties have no administrator or executive.

The LWV strongly recommends that the Legislature extend the Chairman’s term as acting Administrator only until a County Administrator is hired and commences work. For example, the Legislature might extend the acting Administrator’s authority for three months, requiring legislative action if further extension is necessary.

In addition, the LWV recommends that the Legislature’s resolution establish a search committee that includes private and public executives who have hired successful senior administrators. An experienced search committee may help ensure that we hire someone with both the managerial qualifications and the people skills to be an effective administrator.

Sincerely,

Board of Directors, League of Women Voters of Cortland County