October 26, 2021

Heider named chairman of county Legislature

Cortland County Seal

Cortland County Legislator Paul Heider said Thursday the legislature needs to work as one rather than just opposing parties during a speech he gave after being sworn in as the new legislature chairman.

The legislature voted unanimously to appoint Heider (R-Cuyler, Solon, Truxton) to the post.

The challenges in front of us are significant,” Heider said. “For too long, this body has worked in separation. Democrats meeting in one room, Republicans meeting in another room. That separation plays out negatively at time in front of the public. It is my intention to bring us together. I believe legislators need to lead. I want this legislature to sit down as a whole and define our goals both short-term and long-term for moving our county forward.”

Heider was first elected in 2017. He served as the vice chairman of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee since 2018.

Legislator George Wagner (R- Marathon, Lapeer) was unanimously voted as the majority leader, while Legislator Beau Harbin (D-Cortland) was unanimously chosen to be the minority leader.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with Paul Heider as chairman and George Wagner as majority leader,” Harbin said.

Leaders named
Here are the chairmen and chairwomen of the major Cortland County Legislature committees:

  • Agriculture, Planning and Environmental: Kevin Fitch, (R-Homer, Preble Scott).
  • Buildings and Grounds: Beau Harbin (D-Cortland).
  • Budget and Finance: George Wagner (R-Lapeer, Marathon).
  • Health and Human Services: Cathy Bischoff (D-Cortland).
  • Highway: Chris Newell (R-Cortlandville).
  • Solid Waste: Newell.
  • Judiciary and Public Safety: Sandra Price (D-Harford, Virgil).
  • Personnel: Kelly Preston (R- Homer).

He also noted he’s excited to start the new term with all the key people in place, including Rob Corpora, who was promoted Dec. 19 to be the county administrator, and a staffed finance department.

“I’m looking forward to working with them to make substantive and progressive change with Cortland County,” Harbin said.

Also appointed unanimously were county Auditor Stephen Trobert to a four-year term, Director of Veteran Affairs Thomas Tedesco and Legislature Clerk Eric Mulvihill. Karen Howe will also remain the county attorney for four years after being appointed, 15-2.

Harbin and Doug Bentley (D- Cortland) voted no. Public Defender Keith Dayton was reappointed to a four-year term.