County Legislature moves to abolish position as elected office

Cortland County office building. (Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith/Cortland Voice)

Cortland County residents will vote for a ballot proposition to abolish the county treasurer position as an elected office during the Nov. 8 midterm election.

The move was presented and voted on unanimously by legislators at the Thursday County Legislature meeting as a way to modernize the county’s government system.

“This is part of a process we are going through. Our fiscal professionals have really helped right-size our county and continuing to hand over the reins to those fiscal professionals is the right direction for this county,” Legislative Minority Leader Beau Harbin (D-LD-2) said. “Many of our sister counties have gone in that same direction.”

According to the local law voted on by legislators, the county “finds that, through a more efficient administration of the various fiscal affairs of Cortland County, the County Legislature will be able to provide for better direction, control and coordination of Cortland County governmental finances.”

The law also states that Andrea Herzog, the county’s finance director, has the ultimate responsibility of the financial cement activities of the county outside the collection of due property taxes and a few other functions associated with the county treasurer.

Harbin called the treasurer position a “19th century invention.”

“It had its place, but it doesn’t any longer,” he said. “This is the first step of many we will be taking in the next year to continue to modernize county government.”

Reception of the local law reflected bi-partisanship across the county’s body of government. 

“I second that,” Legislative Majority Leader George Wagner (R-LD-15) said of Harbin’s comments.