Highlights of the January 2, 2002 meeting of the
Tompkins County Board of Representatives
By unanimous vote (14-0; Thomas Todd was absent) of the Board of Representatives, Democrat Tim Joseph was chosen as Board Chair for 2002. Michael Lane was unanimously voted to be Vice-Chair. Joseph welcomed new Board members Richard Booth, Kathy Luz Herrera, and Martha Robertson. Leslyn McBean joined the Board in November when she replaced Susanne Davis. New members and incumbents were sworn in by County Clerk Aurora Valenti. 

In a prepared statement, Joseph urged the Board, which now has a political balance of 11 Democrats and 4 Republicans, to work together in a spirit of cooperation. “While there may be times and issues where we will inevitably be opponents, we need never be enemies,” said Joseph. First elected to the Board in March 1993, Joseph has headed up the County’s most influential committee, Budget and Capital, every year since 1996. Now that his role has changed to one of guidance and oversight of all Board activities, he has handed the reins of the Budget committee to Peter Penniman. Joseph told the Board that he expects 2002 to be another year of increased property tax and reductions in services, largely due to less financial help from the State in the wake of September 11, a slowed economy, and the spending down of government budget surpluses.

The standing committee structure will remain the same as in 2001. Committee membership, as appointed by Joseph, is as follows. Chairs are listed first; vice-chairs second:

  • Budget and Capital: Peter Penniman, Richard Booth, Leslyn McBean, Martha Robertson, Thomas Todd.
  • Economic and Workforce Development: Michael Lane, Kathy Luz Herrera, Michael Koplinka-Loehr; Leslyn McBean; George Totman.
  • Government Operations: Michael Koplinka-Loehr, Richard Booth, Dooley Kiefer, George Totman, Thomas Todd.
  • Health and Human Services: Daniel Winch, Nancy Schuler, Richard Booth, Frank Proto, Martha Robertson.
  • Planning: Dooley Kiefer, Peter Penniman, Frank Proto, Nancy Schuler, Martha Robertson.
  • Public Safety: Nancy Schuler, George Totman, Barbara Blanchard, Kathy Luz Herrera, Leslyn McBean.
  • Public Works: Barbara Blanchard, Michael Lane, Dooley Kiefer, Thomas Todd, Daniel Winch.

Special committees for 2002 will be:

  • Charter Review: Michael Lane, Frank Proto, Kathy Luz Herrera, Dooley Keifer, Peter Penniman. 
  • Communications Capital Projects: Barbara Blanchard, Peter Penniman, Michael Lane, Martha Robertson, George Totman.
  • Space Needs and Location: Tim Joseph, Michael Lane, Richard Booth, Michael Koplinka-Loehr, Frank Proto.
Joseph also appointed Frank Proto and Daniel Winch as the County’s representatives to a multi-jurisdictional Library Coordination committee to examine issues having to do with public libraries in Tompkins County.

Edward C. Marx, new Commissioner of Planning for Tompkins County, was introduced to the Board. Marx was planning director for Oswego County for 11 years. He is a 1976 graduate of Cornell University and holds a masters’ degree in Planning and Community Development from the University of Colorado. Contact: Edward Marx, 274-5560.

Highlight index
Board of Representatives
Public Information