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Tompkins County Government

Welcome!Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Chairwoman, Tompkins County Legislature

Tompkins County is an incredible place to call home. Ours is a compassionate, resilient, and innovative community – one where people from all backgrounds are invited and welcomed. Our Tompkins County government is made up of 27 departments and hundreds of dedicated employees who work hard to meet the needs of our community and provide relevant resources and inclusive services. Remember, our County government works for you.

From ensuring fair and free local elections to providing Health Department inspections, there’s a lot of County work that happens behind the scenes. These are in addition to the human services, transportation infrastructure, and services like the DMV or the Tompkins County Public Library, all of which (and many more) are either run by or supported by Tompkins County.

As the Chairwoman of the County Legislature, it’s my pleasure to share our resources and services with you. I invite you to explore everything provided to you by our County government, and to reach out to your legislators or other dedicated public officials who are eager to represent and serve you. "
Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Chairwoman, Tompkins County Legislature


County Government

County governments in New York State offer a diverse collection of services. Originally created as administrative subdivisions of State government, their responsibilities include delivery of a wide range of human services delegated to counties by the State.

County government responsibilities include:

  • Human Services
  • Public Health
  • Public Safety and Corrections
  • Roads and Maintenance
  • Public Records
  • Elections

Read more about The Role of County Government


Tompkins County was founded in 1817. Since 1970, it has operated under a County Charter, with a legislature-administrator form of government.

County Legislature

  • Oversees county services and spending
  • Sets policy and determines the best use of financial resources
  • Appoints the County Administrator, County Finance Director, County Attorney, and Legislative Clerk
  • Legislators elected every four years from districts of approximately equal population size
  • As of 2014, the number of legislators and districts will decrease from 15 to 14, as a result of the 2010 Census

County Administrator

  • Oversees and coordinates county government
  • operations to carry out policies of the Legislature
  • Appoints all other non-elected department heads, subject to Legislature confirmation
  • Guides delivery of services by employees of county departments and through contracts with not-for-profit agencies and service providers

County Departments and Offices

Other County Elected Officials


Tompkins County Local Government Directory Map

Located within Tompkins County are the City of Ithaca; the Towns of Ithaca, Caroline, Danby, Dryden, Enfield, Groton, Lansing, Newfield, and Ulysses; and the Villages of Cayuga Heights, Dryden, Freeville, Groton, Lansing, and Trumansburg.


Tompkins County Council of Governments (TCCOG) is an association of local governments organized to provide a forum for discussion and negotiation leading to agreements for more efficient and fiscally responsible delivery of government services. One of the initiatives of TCCOG is the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium