Dan Hust | Democrat
JOSH POTOSEK OF Livingston Manor is expected to be confirmed as the Commissioner of the county's Management and Budget Division.
County Native Tabbed to Head Budget Division
By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO April 17, 2007 Talk about a rapid rise.
Livingston Manor’s Josh Potosek joined Sullivan County Government in January as a budget analyst, fresh from a six-year stint doing accounting and auditing for IBM in Endicott.
Two weeks ago, he was named Acting Commissioner of Financial Management, succeeding the now-retired Richard LaCondre.
And by the end of this month, he’ll likely be a full commissioner, albeit of the renamed Division of Management and Budget, earning $74,500 a year.
The Sullivan County Legislature’s Personnel Committee unanimously recommended his appointment this past Thursday, setting the stage for his official confirmation by the entire Legislature on April 26.
It’s a heady time for the 29-year-old Livingston Manor Class of 1995 salutatorian, who didn’t expect to be at this point when he took the Civil Service exam on a lark a year ago.
“I was kind of looking for something closer and a little more challenging,” Potosek said, recalling the drudgery of an hourlong commute from his hometown to IBM.
Initially, he didn’t hear a thing and thought “it was dead in the water.” But County Manager David Fanslau saw potential in the longtime county resident and brought him on board as a budget analyst at the beginning of the year.
His two bachelor’s degrees in economics and management, plus his pending MBA (just three credits shy), impressed Fanslau, as did his experience for the world’s best-known computer company, but for the county manager, it was also about heading in a new direction.
“He’s not entrenched in the old way of doing things,” Fanslau said, pointing out Potosek’s newness to public service.
That means Fanslau’s desire for a new budget process complete with performance goals and mission statements for each county agency will be that much closer to reality.
“The effort is to make the county budget more efficient than it has been,” he explained. “I would rather have a county budget fund things that are really needed.”
“The goal is to get performance-based budgeting up and running,” added Potosek. “We’re going to institute capital budgeting… especially in light of the jail project.”
From creating a strategic financial plan to overseeing the installation of new software, Potosek admitted, “There’s a lot on the plate.”
He’s the only person officially in his division, as well, although that may change as work increases (though his sole management experience is in an unofficial team leader capacity at IBM).
Still, his windowed office sits right next to Fanslau’s, and the two will work hand in hand to revamp the county’s financial procedures.
“I’m excited, especially in light of what David’s trying to accomplish,” said Potosek.
Fanslau pointed out that Potosek is not costing the county anything extra (LaCondre’s salary was in the $80,000 range) and brings a range of business and local experience and talent to the job.
“Josh is eminently qualified,” Fanslau remarked. “He’s proven himself to be a quick learner.”