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Whither Goes A
County PR Person?

By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO — July 25, 2003 – On July 4, after approximately three years serving as the official spokesperson of the county, Sullivan County Director of Communications Lee Bosco left his job to take the newly created Public Relations position at the Recovery Center in Monticello.
Nearly a month later, the position remains vacant.
The job was discussed in great detail at the Sullivan County Legislature’s Personnel Committee meeting on Thursday, July 10. Committee Chair Chris Cunningham asked his fellow lawmakers how to proceed with the situation.
It is still unclear whether the position will be filled, eliminated, or modified, so Cunningham turned the meeting over to County Manager Dan Briggs to review some of the duties Bosco performed.
Briggs stated that Bosco handled press releases, was the Freedom of Information and Liberties (FOIL) officer, and oversaw electrical licensing and consumer affairs issues. Bosco also helped Briggs prepare reports and served as the liaison for the Summer Residents and Cultural Diversity committees.
Briggs then explained how those duties have been handled since Bosco’s departure. Briggs’ office has been handling FOIL requests, while Assistant County Attorney Thomas Cawley is the new FOIL officer. Sullivan County Commissioner of General Services Harvey Smith is handling issues related to electrical licensing, and the rest has gone through the Legislature’s support staff to be delegated accordingly.
Briggs added that he has talked with Sullivan County Visitors Association President and CEO Roberta Byron-Lockwood about writing the press releases. Byron-Lockwood will submit a proposal along those lines, and Briggs said that talks were ongoing with Cornell Cooperative Extension to cooperate with them regarding consumer affairs.
Briggs went on to point out that things cannot continue this way indefinitely, and he would like to see the situation resolved sooner rather than later.
The committee did not make a decision on the position, but they did decide to form a sub-group, with Cunningham, Briggs, Legislature Chair Leni Binder, Legislature Majority Leader Rodney Gaebel, and Personnel Commissioner Pamela Rourke scheduled to meet and further discuss the issue.
The matter is expected to be discussed again publicly, possibly at the next Personnel Committee meeting on Thursday, August 14.

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