Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
August 16, 2013 Issue
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Dan Hust | Democrat

Acting County Manager Josh Potosek has earned praise from legislators for his performance, and will help them shape the 2013-14 budget as the search for a new county manager goes on.

Hire 'head-hunting' firm to find Fanslau replacement

Story by Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — July 23, 2013 — Legislators have decided to seek a “head-hunting” company to help them pick the next county manager.
Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson confirmed yesterday that he and his colleagues liked the three finalists for the county’s top appointed role but were not sold on any of them.
“They just weren’t exactly what everybody was looking for,” Samuelson said.
So Personnel Officer Carolyn Hill is compiling a list of “head-hunting” agencies – firms that specialize in candidate searches – to aid the Legislature.
That process promises to be more expensive than the advertisements and in-house search effort legislators undertook after County Manager David Fanslau’s departure in March, but Samuelson feels it will be worth it.
“We shouldn’t settle,” he explained.
The nine legislators culled 23 applicants down to four who were interviewed. The final three met with legislators last week for a second round of interviews.
Despite the lack of a clear candidate, Samuelson doesn’t consider the past five months wasted effort.
“We really wanted to see what was out there in a very quick search,” he said. “... We gained a more specific idea of what we’re looking for.”
So what are legislators seeking that they couldn’t find?
According to Samuelson, they want someone not just good with numbers but with team-building and communicating – “to be able to comfortably deliver the message of the Legislature” internally and externally, he said.
“We had some good people and were happy with parts of each of them, but we really want to make the right decision,” he added.
Josh Potosek will remain acting county manager while the new search begins.
“Josh is doing a great job,” Samuelson affirmed.
That general satisfaction with Potosek’s performance and the upcoming 2014 budget preparation process mean legislators aren’t likely to speed through the manager selection process.
“We didn’t want to rush it,” Samuelson said. “Do we really want to bring in somebody in the middle of all that?”
He didn’t set a timeline, though if legislators are intent on avoiding the complex budgeting process, which ends in December, a permanent county manager might not be in place until early next year.

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