ITHACA, N.Y. —After a series of recent deadlocked votes for this year’s chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, the county clerk has selected Legisaltor Shawna Black.

Legislator Black (D-Town of Ithaca) was selected by Clerk Maureen Reynolds, who was vested with the responsibility by the charter after the position remained vacant for 30-days after the legislature failed to come to an agreement. Voting on a chair will remain unfinished business for the legislature. Black will remain chair until a legislator places a vote on the agenda, which based on comments from Black, could be made official by the legislature at the next meeting.

“I would like to thank County Clerk Maureen Reynolds for her confidence in my ability to lead our Legislature,” said Black. “I look forward to serving as Chair,’ adding that “Over the past week situations have changed and I look forward to a resolution at our Feb. 18 meeting.”

Black was first elected to the legislature in November 2017 and was elected vice-chair of the legislature in 2019.

This move changes the calculus for legislators voting on the chair after Anna Kelles (D-City of Ithaca) announced early Friday morning that she would also be running for the New York State Assembly seat being vacated by Barbara Lifton, who announced she would not be seeking a tenth term last week.

This spells the end for outgoing Temporary Chair to the Tompkins County Legislature Mike Sigler(R-Lansing), who had said in a statement Friday that he enjoyed his time serving the community in a different compacity.

“I want to thank my fellow legislators for this chance to serve the county in a different capacity. I think we accomplished a lot in a month and I was proud to represent you,” said Sigler. “I also want to thank Cornell, TCAD, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, the City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick and his staff, and our department heads and county employees for understanding the unusual position I was in, welcoming me in that role, and working with me to accomplish county business that simply couldn’t be put off. It was a good month.”