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Helping people a rewarding experience for County Manager Josh Potosek

Last updated on November 14th, 2018

The Distinguished Service Award is given each year by the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development to a person who has shown extraordinary service to the county, and with more than 11 years under his belt, Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek is being honored this year for his dedication and hard work.

Potosek was offered the County Manager position in March of 2013, and upon accepting, has been steadily working on improving public safety for residents of Sullivan County, infrastructure and getting projects moving that are desperately needed for consistent economic growth.

One of those projects, that has been a discussion at the table since the early 80s, was a new county jail.

“Building a jail isn’t necessarily what a politician or even the public wants but 10 percent of our workforce works there,” he said. “So how do we face them every day and say ‘no,’ we don’t care that you’re working in these deplorable conditions. “It’s something that has been needed for the better part of two or three decades.”

After moving to Livingston Manor with his parents when he was just four or five years old, Potosek never really imagined himself in a position like County Manager.

“My family and I were never really into politics. I could have probably told you just a handful of things about the government,” laughed Potosek, “like the DMV and the Board of Elections. So I went into the private sector after high school. I worked at IBM for a while.”

Potosek then began looking at some opportunities in Sullivan County, and with a Masters from Marist College, he took a civil service test.

Six months later he was canvassed.

“I was doing a lot of similar things at IBM, but once I started to move up here and got more into policy, I was getting into more rewarding and enriching things,” Potosek explained. “In a big company you don’t really see the end game of things and you’re so distant from the customer. Here you can impact people’s lives more, and you can see it. A decision you make can improve someone’s life it’s much more rewarding to see that,” he said.

Potosek went on to express that when he first took the job, he thought his role would be more accounting and budgeting, but has clearly grown into something much more.

“Everything you do, everything I do, is through that lens of trying to help the public,” he said. “You’re helping your fellow neighbors and residents. But it’s not just me. I could never accomplish everything without a team of people behind me. So this award is just as much for them as it is for me. It’s very humbling.”

STORY AND PHOTO BY AUTUMN SCHANIL