Cortland County legislators met Thursday night and the evening featured a debate over what to do about the county jail.
Lawmakers did move $1.9-million dollars into a jail reserve fund and committed casino money that’s paid to the county to the same dedicated fund.
Some legislators who voted down Phase II of the process for a new jail wondered aloud why it appears nothing’s being done?
Those comments drew Sheriff Mark Helms to the podium. He told legislators he accepts their no vote, but he’s not sure what to do next about a new jail.
An item not on the agenda was called a “State of the County” address from legislature chair Donnell Boyden.
The assessment of county government is typically delivered by a county executive or administrator in other counties. Instead, legislators got to listen to six minutes of reading aloud as delivered by the legislature clerk.
The vacant county administrator position was mentioned as a cost-saving achievement.
Working with the city?
Mayor Brian Tobin spoke briefly to legislators, saying the City of Cortland welcomes county participation in a jointly funded study of where to put a public safety complex for fire and police.
Tobin was politely received if nothing else.
Later in the meeting, the Sheriff Mark Helms suggested if his department ended up sharing a building with city police and fire, it could make more sense to proceed with a countywide police merger. He did not endorse the concept.