Cortland County seeks to fill longstanding vacant County Administrator position

The Cortland County Office Building at 60 Central Ave, Cortland, N.Y. (Source:

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The Cortland County Legislature held an after-hours meeting Tuesday night at the County Office building to discuss the job description of the Cortland County Administrator position, which has sat vacant for many years.

The County Administrator position is a management position in Cortland County that is the chief administrative head and budget officer of the county, according to a Cortland County Personnel/Civil Service jurisdiction adopted in 2005.

County legislators have posted the position online and have already received applicants. The interview panel is comprised of five different legislators from both the Personnel Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee.

“We’ve had the position posted as of June. Once that went through several legislators, only two legislators gave feedback on the job description and ways that it could be changed. At the end of the day, it was mostly just changing words not changing the context; therefore, I, along with other committee members, thought it was irrelevant, and decided to keep the description the same,” said Kelly Preston, Chairperson of the Personnel Committee.

The tentative date for the interview process is set to begin on September 17. However, if the legislature begins sooner, they could have confirmation of a filled position by this September’s session.

“That’s pretty ambitious, but it is possible. That would put the person’s start date in October,” said Preston.

The County Administrator position is essentially a “two-in-one” position, holding authority as County Administrator as well as Budget Officer of Cortland County.

For the past year, Charles Sudbrink, County Chairman of the Legislature, has held the position in addition to his duties as County Chairman, accepting no additional pay for the County Administrator duties.

“Many of us newly elected legislators campaigned with the goal in mind to fill this position, with [Sudbrink] appointed as acting County Administrator until the end of this year so that we could get this needed position in place for 2019,” said Preston.

After this year, the newly appointed position of County Administrator will come out of the 2019 budget; however, if the position is filled before then, the County Legislature will find the money from contingency funds or elsewhere until the 2019 budget is released in the beginning of January.

“I’m very happy to see that the goal is almost completed. We’re at the home stretch now, and I look forward to the ending results,” said Preston.