In a vote that has roots in a 2018 independent assessment of Cayuga County’s government structure, legislators this week will vote to hire the county’s first finance director.
On the agenda for Tuesday’s Cayuga County Legislature meeting is a resolution to hire Mary Beth Leeson, currently a deputy treasurer for the county, as finance director.
The hire, which was approved last week by the Legislature Ways and Means Committee, would follow approval votes earlier this year on a law establishing the new Office of the Cayuga County Finance Director and a resolution authorizing the finance director position itself to be created and filled.
The new office is part of a restructuring that will remove many of the day-to-day financial responsibilities of the county treasurer’s office, which is headed by a full-time elected treasurer. The Legislature in February voted to state its intention to reduce the pay and duties of the elected treasurer as part of the restructuring.
The longtime incumbent treasurer, Jim Orman, then oversaw a committee that hashed out the specifics behind the new finance director office. Orman said in an interview last week that the reorganization will ultimately lead to more financial efficiency in county government.
“In this day and age, municipal accounting is such a specialized function,” Orman said. “It only makes sense to have a centralized finance department, instead of having various arms around the county involved.”