Our County Government delivers a high level of service to residents each and every day. Our county services help people find jobs, manage over 300 miles of county roads, respond to emergencies, keep the community healthy, safe and vibrant, manage records and technology important to people’s lives, deliver critical programs to people in need, oversee local elections, the list goes on - and our responsibility to keeping these services running and supported has never been greater.
We have a responsive Legislature, with a tradition of investing in what matters to our organization and our residents, I am looking forward to a successful year in 2022 of becoming more resilient and investing in sustainability and betterment across our operations. Local government feels closer to people’s lives than ever before. Our successes and challenges have deep and lasting impacts on the lives of our constituents and neighbors. It is my sincere hope that our Legislature will continue to make the investments to reflect our roles in people’s lives, and continue to take our responsibility seriously.
Shawna Black, Chairwoman, Tompkins County Legislature
County governments in New York State offer a diverse collection of services. Originally created as administrative subdivisions of State government, their responsibilities include delivery of a wide range of human services delegated to counties by the State.
County government responsibilities include:
- Human Services
- Public Health
- Public Safety and Corrections
- Roads and Maintenance
- Public Records
Read more about The Role of County Government
Tompkins County was founded in 1817. Since 1970, it has operated under a County Charter, with a legislature-administrator form of government.
- Oversees county services and spending
- Sets policy and determines the best use of financial resources
- Appoints the County Administrator, County Finance Director, County Attorney, and Legislative Clerk
- Legislators elected every four years from districts of approximately equal population size
- Beginning in 2014, the number of legislators and districts decreased from 15 to 14, as a result of redistricting following the 2010 Census.
- Oversees and coordinates county government
- operations to carry out policies of the Legislature
- Appoints all other non-elected department heads, subject to Legislature confirmation
- Guides delivery of services by employees of county departments and through contracts with not-for-profit agencies and service providers
County Departments and Offices
Other County Elected Officials
Located within Tompkins County are the City of Ithaca; the Towns of Ithaca, Caroline, Danby, Dryden, Enfield, Groton, Lansing, Newfield, and Ulysses; and the Villages of Cayuga Heights, Dryden, Freeville, Groton, Lansing, and Trumansburg.
- City of Ithaca
- Town of Ithaca
- Village of Cayuga Heights
- Town of Caroline
- Town of Danby
- Town of Dryden
- Village of Dryden
- Village of Freeville
- Town of Enfield
- Town of Groton
- Village of Groton
- Town of Lansing
- Village of Lansing
- Town of Newfield
- Town of Ulysses
- Village of Trumansburg
Tompkins County Council of Governments (TCCOG) is an association of local governments organized to provide a forum for discussion and negotiation leading to agreements for more efficient and fiscally responsible delivery of government services. One of the initiatives of TCCOG is the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium