City’s finance director to step down; Cortland officials to begin replacement process

(Photo provided by Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

City of Cortland officials will soon begin the process once again of hiring a new director of administration and finance.

Mayor Scott Steve said at Tuesday’s common council meeting that Lisa Henty, the city’s current director of administration and finance, is still stepping down from the position at the end of this week.

Henty will move onto Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has held the position in the city since last May.

“It’s been both a privilege and a pleasure to work here,” Henty said.

Lisa Henty, the City of Cortand's current director of administration and finance, is stepping down from the position at the end of this week. (Photo provided by Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

Steve expressed the appreciation of his partnership and friendship with Henty. The mayor praised Henty’s professionalism, due diligence and expertise.

“(The Maxwell School) is getting a classy person,” Steve said. “I can’t tell you how great it is to have a person that can finish my sentences and try to get where it’s going. Your contributions will be remembered and appreciated, for sure. We want to thank you for your dedication and positivity during this time. I know it’s been difficult, but I appreciate how far we’ve gone.”

Councilperson Katy Silliman (D-2nd Ward) noted how impressed that Henty was able to provide a positive impact to the city’s finances “in a short amount of time.”

“I feel like you’re leaving us in much better shape than you found us. I deeply appreciate it,” Silliman said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, council unanimously approved creating a temporary position in the finance department to fill out the void until the city finds Henty’s replacement.

Steve said the search to find Henty’s replacement will begin in about six months. After it previously took almost a year-and-a-half to fill the director of administration and finance, councilperson Pat Lane (D-4th Ward) expressed concern on whether it would take that long the second time around.

Steve ensured it wouldn’t take that long to fill the position again, but noted he needs some time to “clean up stuff” about the position before a search begins. The mayor added he’s looking to address the challenges and other issues that came with the position.

The city, Steve said, could use the same template to hire a replacement like they did with hiring Henty, but updates will be made to the position.

“Some things definitely still need to be addressed before we start looking for someone to come in,” said councilperson MaryClare Pennello (D-3rd Ward). “So if we can take care of some of the issues, and bring on a temporary position in the meantime, then we can move forward.”