Legislators thank Mareane for ‘dedicated and tireless service

Tompkins Weekly Staff


Joe Mareane was the administrator for Tompkins County.

With what they termed as “an abundance of gratitude,” at their meeting last week, members of the Tompkins County Legislature thanked “Joe Mareane for his years of dedicated and tireless service to the residents and employees of Tompkins County.”

Mareane, who has served as Tompkins County administrator for the past nine years, is retiring after a 37-year career in local government, on November 30; he commenced a medical leave on November 13.

Legislators, department heads and staff joined in paying tribute, many wearing orange to symbolize the administrator’s Syracuse connection – from graduating from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School in 1979, through his many years in Syracuse and Onondaga County government, where he last served for 12 years as Chief Fiscal Officer before joining Tompkins County in 2008. The wide-ranging, two-page proclamation described his extensive career in public service and thanked him for the many, many ways of how he has contributed to Tompkins County through his executive leadership.

“Joe became Tompkins County Administrator in October 2008, just as the Great Recession was beginning,” the proclamation states, “clearly an excellent moment to assume fiscal responsibility for a county of 110,000 souls, a $165 million budget, and a 750-person workforce engaged in programs that range from aging services to youth programs, and literally everything in between…[S]teering Tompkins County through the fiscal crisis of the Great Recession was Joe’s overriding project for the following years, a project he performed with consummate wisdom, empathy, skill, and humor, so that we were able to maintain critical county services for our residents and shield our workforce from the layoffs that many local governments endured.”

The document continues with more than a page of examples of Mr. Mareane’s accomplishments, where his leadership has made a difference.

Several department heads and many legislators reflected on their experiences in working with Joe Mareane—his dedication, his expertise, his support and guidance. Among them, Legislator Anna Kelles called him “one of the most amazing mentors that I have ever had. He is a true leader, and one I think we should all try to emulate a little bit.”

“Joe gave everybody his time and his friendship,” said Legislature Chairperson Mike Lane. “He tried so hard to deal with our employees and make them successful. He has the patience of a saint and he gave us good advice.”

“We, the members of the Tompkins County Legislature, on behalf of the residents of Tompkins County and the employees of the Tompkins County government, do hereby extend our deepest appreciation to Joe Mareane for his unparalleled and unstinting public service throughout his career, and send him our very warmest wishes for a healthy and happy retirement,” the proclamation concludes.

To read the full proclamation, visit TompkinsCountyNY.gov/files2/legislature/Joe%20Mareane.pdf.