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Cortland County Sheriff Expresses Frustration At County Legislature On Undersheriff Position

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Cortland County Sheriff Mark Helms. Image via Cortland County.

Cortland County Sheriff Mark Helms has expressed his frustration to the Cortland County Legislature over the lack of action, let alone discussion of the Undersheriff position within the Sheriff’s Office.


The Cortland County Undersheriff position has remained vacant since the previous Undersheriff Budd Rigg, retired after serving with the Sheriff’s Office for 28 years.

Sheriff Mark Helms said he had hoped since the retirement of Rigg that he would be able to meet with leaders of the county government regarding concerns about the salary of the Undersheriff position. To date, this has not yet occurred.

Back on August 9th, Sheriff Helms sent a letter to members of the Cortland County Legislature regarding his concerns and has had a lack of response since sending the letter.

“Bottom line, I was hopeful to work with the legislature to correct the situation with the Sheriff and Undersheriff wages. There isn’t another department within the county government where the employee’s base wages are more than that of their department head. Nothing is happening to even acknowledge my concern and in the meantime, I continue to do the work of two people.” Sheriff Mark Helms said in a release.

Towards the end of last month, Helms attempted to place a resolution in front of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee of the legislature. This request was denied.

Salary for Undersheriff was thousands of dollars below a lower ranking member of the Sheriff’s Office. In 2020, the salary for the Undersheriff stood at $88,272 while the Road Captain salary was $91,098.

Sheriff Helms believes he will not receive closure on the subject of salary in the position.

“They [Legislature] surely need a manager that can assist them with the timely addressing of the day to day issues instead of turning their back on the people who work for them.” Helms continued.

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