City, villages help fund records management effort

By Tompkins Weekly Staff
The Tompkins County Legislature, at its meeting on July 19 authorized the county to accept a total of $31,800 from the City of Ithaca and villages of Cayuga Heights, Dryden, Groton and Trumansburg to support data conversion of municipal police department records to county’s Spillman computer-aided dispatch/records management system.
Records going back to 1999 have been hosted by Tompkins County Information Technology Services (ITS) in the New York State Spectrum Justice System (SJS), which is no longer supported by the state, and county servers used to host the application are over seven years old and scheduled to be retired.
The conversion was identified by the Tompkins County Law Enforcement Shared Services (LETSS) group as a top priority for 2016.
Tompkins County ITS will serve as project manager for the data conversion, and has contracted with White Box Technologies to perform the data conversion project. There will be no county cost; the municipalities are funding the project expense—80 percent from the City of Ithaca and 5 percent from each of the villages.
Nurse position approved
Lawmakers also approved a Community Mental Health Nurse position to provide utilization review at the Tompkins County Mental Health Department.
Operating under Utilization Review Authority for the County Mental Health Clinic, under New York State Office of Mental Hygiene regulations, the position will assume review functions formerly split among clinical supervisors. The purpose of utilization review is to ensure that clients are receiving appropriate car, and an appropriate level of care.
The position will also provide documentation and clinical training to staff to ensure departmental quality. Cost of the position should be offset by other internal position changes and increased Clinic revenue.
In other business: The legislature authorized the county to execute quitclaim deeds for seven parcels acquired by tax foreclosure proceedings and sold, contingent upon legislature approval, at public auction on June 20.
Committee chair Dooley Kiefer reported that the legislature’s special Charter Review will meet on Tuesday, July 26, at 3 p.m., in Legislature Chambers, with the main focus of the meeting a continuing examination of the position of Sheriff. Kiefer said the committee will take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of having an appointed Sheriff, as opposed to an elected Sheriff. She invited all interested in the future of the position, including other Legislators, to attend this meeting.
County Administrator Joe Mareane reported on second-quarter sales tax receipts, as compiled by Finance Director Rick Snyder. The report shows receipts down 1.2 percent, compared to a year ago. While somewhat improved from the first quarter, the administrator said the issue of sales tax remains a cause for concern in budget preparation for 2017.
Legislature Chair Michael Lane recognized Clerk of the Legislature Cathy Covert for achieving 30 years of service with Tompkins County. Lane thanked the clerk and deputy clerks for all they do in support of the legislature and Tompkins County.