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County Manager Recommends Pay Cut Due to Fiscal Impacts of Coronavirus

Monticello, NY – Sullivan County Manager Josh Potosek has recommended the Legislature approve a temporary reduction in the salaries of 87 management/confidential County employees.

“I have come to a difficult but necessary conclusion that, effective July 1, 2020 and through December 31, 2020, all management/confidential employees will receive a 4 percent reduction in their annual salary. This will have the effect of reducing your take-home pay for the 2020 calendar year by approximately 2 percent,” Potosek wrote in an email sent to the affected employees today. “As County Manager, I will receive a reduction of 8 percent, or 4 percent on a calendar-year basis.”

The intent of this measure is to take another step toward reducing a projected 2020 County Budget deficit of as much as $20 million, due to ongoing severe losses in sales and room tax revenues. The pay reduction is estimated to save around $200,000.

“This was an extremely tough decision, and I recognize the impact this will have on you and your family,” Potosek wrote to employees. “However, please know that I have considered several other alternatives, and the choice I made is the best option at this time and will have the least impact on our employees overall. While I cannot guarantee this will entirely mitigate any future expense reductions to this group of employees, I do hope that it serves to eliminate the need for a reduction in filled positions.”

“I do believe the outcome from this measure will position us for a better financial future,” he added. “We will continue to monitor the economy and our finances monthly, and if there is a sudden turnaround, this action can and will be revisited.”

Elected officials (except for coroners) also fall under the management/confidential category as County employees, but the salary reduction is a voluntary choice for them. At least nine – Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty, Vice Chair Michael Brooks, District 4 Legislator Nicholas Salomone, District 5 Legislator George Conklin, District 9 Legislator Alan Sorensen, Sheriff Michael Schiff, Treasurer Nancy Buck, District Attorney Meagan Galligan and County Clerk Russell Reeves – have already agreed to have their pay cut at the same rate as non-elected employees.

“We stand in unity with both our employees and our residents,” Chairman Doherty stated. “As elected officials, we will bear the same burden we ask others to carry, and this Legislature will always keep the taxpayers foremost in mind.”

The Legislature is anticipated to vote on Potosek’s recommendation during tomorrow’s (June 5) special meeting, to be broadcast live at www.sullivancountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=1613.