TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—In preparation for Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino’s departure from his role for a job in the Livingston County government, the Tompkins County Legislature named Lisa Holmes as his interim replacement.

Holmes currently serves as Deputy County Administrator after working for over 20 years with the Office for the Aging. With Molino’s help, county officials will hold a wider search for a permanent replacement later this year. She was approved unanimously (watch the discussion and vote here).

“This is certainly a bittersweet time for me, it’s been a pleasure working with Jason and I’d really rather he wasn’t leaving,” Holmes said. “I’m happy to serve the county during this interim period, and we do have a lot of great initiatives underway that will continue, not the least of which we have the challenge of the budget season coming ahead of us. I’m grateful, as you are, for our skilled staff here who will help and collaborate.”

The move, introduced by legislator Deborah Dawson, was approved by the Budget, Capital and Personnel Committee prior to the legislature meeting. When she introduced the resolution to approve Holmes’ promotion, she took a moment to again thank Molino for his service, particularly during the last 14 months in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

“You’re the only county administrator I’ve ever worked with, so I don’t really have a basis for comparison, but I’ve learned a tremendous amount from you,” Dawson said. “Your work ethic is admirable, your judgment is unfailingly sound, and you’re going to be sorely missed.”

Other legislators voiced their thanks to Molino as well, while expressing confidence in Holmes’ ability to handle the job during the interim period and in the county’s ability to find a suitable candidate to replace Molino long-term.

“We are really fortunate here to have a deputy of the quality of Lisa Holmes,” added fellow legislator Mike Lane. “I think we’re in good hands, and I think her appointment will resonate well among our departments and employees, over 700 of them, not to mention members of our community, agencies and other things.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at