November 27, 2021

County opts against replacing treasurer

The Cortland County Legislature decided unanimously Tuesday against creating a deputy treasurer position to act after the retirement of County Treasurer Cynthia Monroe at the end of this month.

It will, instead, rely on people already deputized to act in Monroe’s absence: Deputy Receiver of Taxes Kellie Green and Legislature Chairman Donnell Boyden, already the acting countyadministrator.

Under state law, if the treasurer leaves office and a county has no deputy treasurer, the governor can appoint a replacement, hence the rush to have special meetings of the Personnel Committee and the full Legislature to create the position before the end of the month.

Monroe was elected last year to her second four-year term. Her position would be filled by special election in November.

“I thought this was going to be a five-minute deal,” said Legislator Kevin Whitney (R-Cortlandville). “But there’s two people already deputized?”

“It would be nice to have someone to work with the treasurer,” to learn the position, said Legislator John Troy (D-Cortland). But he, too, questioned the wisdom of creating a job for four months and about $13,000.

“If the deputy treasurer position does not get created,will the work get done?” asked Legislator Sandra Price (D-Virgil, Harford), vice chairwoman of the PersonnelCommittee.

“Yes,” said County Attorney Karen Howe.

“No,” Monroe said.

“They think it’s just about the banking,” Monroe said after the vote. The treasurer oversees collection of property taxes, signs checks, issues certificates of residency. Monroe handles hundreds ofaccounts.
“There’s many, many aspects to this job,” she said.

As chairman of the Legislature, Boyden (R-Scott Homer, Preble) is acting county administrator. He has said he typically spends 30 hours a week working for the county.

The 0-11 vote followed a 30-minute executive session to discuss specific employees. Legislators Luke Snyder (I-Cortland), Linda Jones (R-Homer), Christopher Newell (R-Cortlandville), Joseph Steinhoff (R-Cortlandville), George Wagner (R-Marathon, Lapeer) and James Denkenberger (R-Cuyler, Solon, Truxton) were absent.