• Rich Klein

EDITORIAL: WHERE ARE OUR LEADERS?

South Fallsburg has a Covid-19 positivity rate of 12.2 percent. And the rate in Liberty has risen to 8.84 percent. Twelve of the 66 deaths in Sullivan from coronavirus occurred in the past five weeks.

Yet, not one County official has stepped forward to explain any of this to residents. In addition, we learned from County Manager Josh Potosek last week that, yes, he has not ordered the maximum amount of vaccines available from the state because the County has a significant shortage of staff to get shots in arms.

So, what is the Rob Doherty/Mike Brooks-led County Legislature focused on? A political hit job on Legislator Luis Alvarez, the termination of the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association contract and yet another rushed, surprise attempt to place The Care Center at Sunset Lake into private hands in the middle of a pandemic.

And, with the resignation last week of Health & Family Services Commissioner Stephanie Brown, who is steering the County healthcare ship in the middle of this raging storm? Potosek should have been working harder in November, December and January to identify and recruit people who could help to get shots in arms.

If, in fact, Stephanie Brown wasn't doing her job on that issue during those months, then the buck stops with Potosek to get it done. Was he monitoring her work at all? We'll never know. And, for almost a year now, he has failed to do what County Executives in neighboring counties (Steve Neuhaus in Orange and Pat Ryan in Ulster) have done regularly: keep the public informed about the virus.

Doherty can heap all the praise he wants on Potosek about being good with data and information. But that's a small part of being a good County Manager and a good leader.

Below: Potosek, at left, with Legislature Chair Rob Doherty at a 2020 meeting

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