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Highlights of the May 4th, 2021 meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature

Legislature Names Lisa Holmes Interim County Administrator

Following the recently announced impending departure of County Administrator Jason Molino, the Tompkins County Legislature unanimously (13-0, Legislator Granison was excused) approved Lisa Holmes as interim Administrator. Lisa is currently a Deputy County Administrator and will start in the interim role on May 17th, with time to overlap with Molino before his exit later in May. A comprehensive search for the next permanent Administrator is planned for later in 2021.

Legislators thanked Molino for his time leading the organization, Legislator Deborah Dawson (D-Ithaca) stated, “I’ve learned a tremendous amount from you, your work ethic is admirable, and your judgement is sound, you will be sorely missed.”

Holmes’ experience in the organization was lauded, Legislator Mike Lane, (D-Dryden) stated, “We’re in good hands, her appointment will resonate well with our over 700 employees and our community.” Legislator Martha Robertson, (D-Dryden) added a nod to Lisa’s background and expertise at the County organization, including that she started in 1998 at the Office for the Aging, eventually becoming that Department’s leader before becoming Deputy County Administrator. Holmes recently also served 18 months as Interim Human Resources Director. Holmes accepted the Interim Administrator role sharing that it is bittersweet to see Molino moving on to another role and that she is happy to further the initiatives underway including the upcoming budget season.

Leslyn McBean-Clairborne extended gratitude to the entire County Administration team and Deputy County Administrator Amie Hendrix for her ongoing work at the helm of the pandemic response.

Legislature Hears Presentation from Emergency Operations Center on COVID-19 Response and Vaccine Administration

County Administrator Jason Molino and Public Health Director Frank Kruppa shared information on the COVID-19 pandemic response and the ongoing rollout of vaccines in the community. Kruppa outlined the demographics of those vaccinated to-date and the success of pop-ups that have been held in rural communities to-date. Future pop-ups are planned for Dryden, Enfield, Trumansburg, and other municipalities and locations will be announced as the Emergency Operations Center assesses demand. Kruppa announced that the Health Department is now offering a form that any community business, organization, or community group can fill out to request a small pop-up clinic at their location for their stakeholders.

Legislators and County staff celebrated the recent accomplishment of surpassing 50,000 vaccine doses administered locally in partnership with Cayuga Health System.

A published timeline of vaccine distribution in Tompkins County can be found on the Health Department website here.

A comprehensive document outlining the Tompkins County’s COVID-19 response can be found here. Contacts: Jason Molino, Tompkins County Administrator, 607-274-5551; Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director, 607-274-6674

Among Other Business

A proclamation was read recognizing Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. The Ithaca Asian American Association was present to accept the proclamation. Legislature Chairwoman Leslyn McBean-Clairborne explained that the association encouraged all Legislators to promote a campaign titled “Virus has no nationality,” following a year of aggression being wrongly pointed towards Asians and Asian Americans related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A resolution was passed unanimously (13-0), formalizing the target of a 1.89% increase in the tax levy supported during the Legislature’s budget retreat held last week. The resolution was moved by Deborah Dawson (D-Lansing) and seconded by Mike Lane (D-Dryden).