ACTION NEEDED (by May 20th): WIC Program Threatened With Cutoff from Tompkins County Health Department,

There is a Resolution currently being considered by the Tompkins County Legislature which recommends that the County Health Department discontinue its’ sponsorship of the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program here in Tompkins County.

The Health Department has sponsored the WIC program for the past 28 years. WIC is a federal and state funded program which, for the most part, brings all of its own funding into Tompkins County. The $1.5 million dollar budget includes money for food vouchers and to pay the salaries of the WIC program employees.

A change in sponsorship could mean that current employees (all presently unionized through Civil Service Employees Association) would need to seek employment elsewhere in order to maintain their present level of salary and benefits. If the new sponsoring agency (which will, most likely, not be unionized, nor is guaranteed to be located in Tompkinis County) does not offer an equitable salary and benefits package, this could mean that the WIC program will have a high level of turnover in its employees. In the short and long term, this could mean that WIC program services will suffer.

This Resolution to discontinue the County’s Sponsorship of the WIC Program will be going to the Tompkins County Legislature. The full Legislature will vote on the Resolution at its Tuesday, May 20th meeting which starts at 5 :30 p.m. in the County Courthouse, corner of Court and Tioga Sts. in Ithaca.


If you think that the Tompkins County Health Department should continue sponsoring the WIC Program or have had a positive experience with Tompkins County WIC program, please consider writing a letter or emailing Tompkins County Legislature members listed here by Monday, May 19th. Please show up for Public Comment at Tuesday’s County Legislature meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the County Courthouse, corner of Court and Tioga Sts. in Ithaca.

Full list of legislators- Yours should be on here. You can call Office of the Legislature at 607-274-5434 to find out who yours is.


1) If the County decides to not to reapply for sponsorship of the WIC program, then there would be a loss of 8 ‘union’ jobs through the County (and the subsequent benefits accrued through a union).

2) If the County does decide to not reapply, then there is no way to guarantee that whomever *does* pick up WIC would even be located in this County. This could mean the loss of jobs and potential taxes to the County.

3) The present WIC Program that is run through the County is ranked very highly in the state of New York (one of the highest). Switching to another agency obviously runs the risk of losing this level of quality service.

Legislators to write/email/call:

1 (D) Pamela Mackesey (City of Ithaca, portions of Town of Ithaca), 323 Pleasant Street, Ithaca 14850 273-6203 Email:

2 (D) Leslyn McBean-Clairborne (City of Ithaca), 528 West Clinton Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 277-5104 E-mail:

3 (D) Carol Chock (City of Ithaca and portion of Town of Ithaca), 39 Woodcrest Avenue Ithaca, NY 14850 273-9007 E-mail:

4 (D) Nathan Shinagawa (City of Ithaca), 520 East Buffalo Street, Apt. 2, Ithaca, NY 14850 280-7557 E-mail:

5 (D) Katherine Luz Herrera (City of Ithaca, portions of Town of Ithaca, Village of Cayuga Heights), 116 Utica Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 273-8169 E-mail:

6 (R) Michael J. Sigler (Portion of the Town of Lansing), 218 Peruville Road, Freeville, NY 13068 339-7978 E-mail:

7 (R) Frank P. Proto (Towns of Caroline and Danby and portion of the Town of Ithaca), Cannonbrook Farms, 2585 Slaterville Rd., 277-4875 Slaterville Springs, NY 14881 Email:

8 (D) Greg W. Stevenson (Town of Newfield and portion of the Town of Enfield), 130 Harvey Hill Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 273-2439 E-mail:

9 (R) Duane T. Randal (Town of Groton, part of the Town of Dryden and portion of the Town of Lansing)l, II, 305 West Groton Road, Groton, NY 13073 898-3995 E-mail:

10 (D) Dooley Kiefer (Village of Lansing; part of the Village of Cayuga Heights), 629 Highland Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 257-7453

11 (D) Michael Koplinka-Loehr (Town of Ithaca, East), 124 Crest Lane, Ithaca, NY 14850 257-2329 E-mail:

12 (D) Will Burbank (Town of Ithaca, West), 132 Glenside Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 272-7555 Email:

13 (D) Martha Robertson (Town of Dryden, western part), 1655 Ellis Hollow Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 272-0584 E-mail:

14 (R) Michael R. Hattery (Part of the eastern town of Dryden), 4 Greystone Drive, Dryden, NY 13053 844-4361 E-mail:

15 (D) James P. Dennis (Town of Ulysses, portion of the Town of Enfield), 47 Elm Street, Trumansburg, NY 14886 387-4058 E-mail: