J. Justin Woods, Cayuga County's newly hired administrator, is set to begin full-time on Dec. 18.

Woods was sworn into office on Friday, Dec. 1, and will be doing some remote work in the meantime.

"I'm very excited to get started," he told The Citizen in a phone interview Monday. "I look forward to getting here and meeting everybody, and learn the customs and how things have been done and adding my contributions to helping things be run a little smoother. I think the (Cayuga County) Legislature should really be commended for stepping up and handling the day-to-day operations for a year, and I look forward to working with them as we transition back to an administrator form of government."

The Legislature appointed Woods to the vacant position on Tuesday, Nov. 7, and approved his $135,000 salary. He takes the place of former administrator Suzanne Sinclair, who left the post in March for undisclosed reasons and with an approximately $80,000 buy out. 

Currently from Victor, Woods said he's in the process of closing on the purchase of a house in the city of Auburn. He's wrapping up work as a professor in the Master of Public Administration Program at Pace University, where he teaches mostly online classes. He's setting up his county phone and email, he said, and the county's management team is bringing him up to speed on some of the key issues.

Woods said one thing he's asked to be done right away is for the county's 2018 budget to be posted online. Legislators passed 10-4 the approximately $146 million budget last month. A draft budget was never posted on the county's website, and no members of the public spoke at the budget's public hearing on Nov. 28. 

Woods said he may be at the Legislature's final meeting of the year, which will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, in the Sixth Floor Chambers of the Cayuga County Office Building, 160 Genesee St., Auburn. 

Staff writer Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or gwendolyn.craig@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.

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