Elected Officials

Jason Leifer


Jason is running for his fourth term as Dryden Town Supervisor. A Town Board member for seven years, he now has 15 years of experience in Dryden government and knows the town’s strengths and needs. 

Jason has used his team-based governing style to improve the town’s infrastructure and attract environmentally friendly development. His efforts generated more than $100 million dollars in new public and private investment in just 5 years. Other projects were made possible by responsible budgeting and grants.

One of Jason’s goals is to replace the patchwork of private Internet service providers with municipal broadband. Now in Phase One, the plan will provide high-quality Internet service to all town residents. Revenue from subscriptions will fund town reinvestment for generations to come.

Other priorities—to update the town’s Comprehensive Plan and the Dryden Rail Trail—are near completion. The trail project received millions of dollars in grants from the state and federal government, town funding and private donations of time, money, and materials.

Jason is a graduate of New York Law School and primarily practices family law and criminal law and serves as an attorney for children.

Dan Lamb

Dan has served as deputy supervisor for five years and seeks a third term on the town board. He is focused on economic and community development, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing property taxes.

Dan negotiated an exclusive agreement with Solar Farms NY that doubled the savings for Dryden residents. He led the town’s negotiations with Berkshire Hathaway Energy that will require cleaner emissions, reductions in methane leakage, and unprecedented public disclosure at Borger Station in Ellis Hollow. He also established Dryden’s Business Loan Fund to support small businesses and create jobs.

Dan wrote the resolution that created the Dryden Rail Trail. He negotiated an agreement with New York State to route the trail through state-owned land.

Dan teaches intergovernmental relations and politics at Cornell, drawing on his 25 years working in federal, state, and local government. He is active on nonprofit boards focused on healthcare and environmental protection.

Leonardo Vargas-Mendez

Leonardo was appointed to the town board in February to fill a vacancy and hopes to win his first full term. He is eager to continue to help improve the quality of life for all town residents, while preserving our beautiful, productive environment.

His priorities include working with other local governments and responsible businesses to develop well-paid job opportunities and supporting ecologically sound affordable housing. Leonardo also hopes to promote a buy-local mindset for products from Dryden farms and artisans.

A 43-year resident of Tompkins County, Leonardo retired in 2017 after 30 years at Cornell. He was director of the university’s Public Service Center, which matches students with volunteer agencies around the world. He has served on numerous local boards, including Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services and Catholic Charities of Tompkins and Tioga Counties.

Michael Lane
Tompkins County Legislator, district 14

Mike is running for re-election to the Tompkins County Legislature, where he represents the east side of the Town of Dryden and the villages of Freeville and Dryden. He has also served as mayor of the Village of Dryden.

As a county legislator, Mike served as the Chair of the Legislature for four years. Recently he has chaired three standing committees (Budget, Government Operations and Facilities), as well as special committees like Transportation and Census. He has also chaired the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency.

Mike’s top priority is helping the county recover from the pandemic through economic development. Other top concerns include addressing local housing needs, supporting TC3 and our Sheriff’s Road Patrol, and increasing the county’s use of renewable energy sources.

An attorney with a private practice located in the Village of Dryden, Mike also serves as a Trustee of Dryden’s Southworth Library Association.

Greg Mezey
Tompkins County Legislator, district 13

When County Legislator Martha Robertson announced that she would not run for a sixth term, fellow Democrat Greg Mezey stepped up to succeed her—with Robertson’s enthusiastic endorsement.

A member of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and a 2009 graduate of Cornell’s Hotel School, Greg believes that tourism and the arts are vital for our local economy. He serves on the Tompkins County Strategic Tourism Planning Board, an advisory board to the Tompkins County Legislature.

Greg owns a modest number of residential and commercial properties in the community as well as a marina and laundromat in Lansing. This has provided him with the finance, governance, and community experience required of a county legislator.

Greg’s priorities include a strong post-pandemic economic recovery, increased access to affordable and reliable childcare, affordable housing, public safety reform, and investment in the development of our workforce and small businesses.

Rick Young

The former chief of Neptune Hose Company was well-prepared when he was elected Highway Superintendent eight years ago.

Rick brought with him years of management and budgeting experience and a GPS-like knowledge of the town.He promised responsible, responsive management and has made good on it. Rick actively reaches out to community members, and uses their input to plan everything from plowing, to ditching, to road and bridge repair.

In 2019, Rick helped the town win a $705,636 grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to help fund the town’s streambank stabilization project. He also secured a grant to repair two critical town bridges, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rick looks forward to leading his team’s continued efforts to keep our facilities safe and accessible all year round.