Former Tompkins County Public Library Director Susan Currie has been selected as the Democratic candidate to fill the vacancy created by the November passing of county legislator Henry Granison. The search committee, comprising Democratic party members from Tompkins County Legislative District 3, selected Currie by unanimous vote.
District 3 voters will go to the polls January 24 at one of three polling locations: South Hill School on Hudson Street, the Bell Sherman annex on Cornell Street, and Alice Cook House, at the corner of Stewart and University avenues. No other candidate came forward before the deadline for being included on the ballot. However, write-in candidates are still possible.
Currie was director of the Tompkins County Public Library from 2009 until her retirement in 2017. During that time, she closed a $750,000 deficit caused by the 2008 recession, and expanded services. Currie returned as interim director for four months in 2021, helping the library recover from the covid pandemic while a permanent director was sought.
First taking the helm just as the impact of the 2008 recession was being felt gave Currie a front-row seat to the county legislative process. She was impressed.
“They have a very difficult job. There are so many needs, and they’re all very important. But the county legislature has a thoughtful balanced view. They listen to all the feedback of constituents, they seek out additional information for their decisions, and they work well together.”
She remembers being turned down for funding requests, “but there was always a thoughtful, careful and thorough process. This legislature is very invested in the county and has done incredible work, especially during the pandemic, to ensure that residents are taken care of."
A South Hill resident for more than 30 years, Currie has a long record of local volunteer service, including the United Way board of directors, the advisory council for the Sciencenter and the county historical commission.
“Susan has a great record of service to the county,” says search committee co-chair Ann Sullivan. “She brought a combination of experience and a record that made us think that she would be a super representative.”
“This was in many ways a difficult task for us because we were all so fond and appreciative of Henry Granison and his service to the district,” Sullivan adds. “It was a task that we did not happily take on, but we were glad to do it to honor Henry's memory.”
“He was a wonderful man,” says Currie, citing Granison’s volunteer work at the library and the daily email he sent to district residents during the pandemic. “He was such a kind, caring, hard worker. I hope that I could honor his legacy of service.”