Since it's the holiday season, it's always a good idea to focus on positive things, as it is supposed to be a happy time of year. It is also a time of reflection. With all that in mind, here are some …
Since it's the holiday season, it's always a good idea to focus on positive things, as it is supposed to be a happy time of year. It is also a time of reflection. With all that in mind, here are some individuals and organizations we feel deserve our praise.
The first are retiring County Clerk Dan Briggs and retiring Sullivan County Court Judge Frank LaBuda.
County Clerk Briggs is retiring today after four decades of public service to the County of Sullivan. His service to our county and state includes working in the DA's office, Monticello Village Judge, Thompson Councilman, Sullivan County Treasurer, Deputy Commissioner of the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal and Sullivan County Clerk as well as the appointed position of County Manager. We thank Daniel L. Briggs for his many, many years of dedicated public service and wish him and his family well on his retirement.
Judge LaBuda was recently honored by the Sullivan County Bar Association as he is retiring from the bench at year's end after 23 years of service as a Sullivan County Court Judge. Prior to his time on the bench, LaBuda served as a captain in the United States Army from 1975 to 1978. Also, he was a litigator and trial attorney in public and private practice for 20 years. He served as Chief Assistant District Attorney of Sullivan County for over ten years, prosecuting thousands of criminal cases in that time.
We thank Judge LaBuda for his years of public service here in Sullivan County, as well as his military service. He will be missed on the bench, but we're certain we haven't seen the last of him. As he stated at the event, retirement is not in his blood.
The second cheer goes to the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association (SCVA). While there may be mixed opinions on the idea of spending millions of dollars on a visitors center, one thing that isn't debatable is the value of tourism in our county. In 2018, traveler spending was $515 million, a nearly 15 percent increase from the year before. Tourism currently generated 18 percent of all labor income in Sullivan County. Also in 2018, tourism generated $61,936,000 in local and state taxes, as well as a tax savings of $2,238 per household. The SCVA staff, led by President/CEO Roberta Byron-Lockwood, are doing a great job. They, and all county agencies and partners deserve praise for the success of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock celebrated earlier this year, as well as the historically low unemployment rates.
One of the coolest SCVA projects was the Dove Trail. Check out the story on the latest dove contest, this time with a holiday theme, on today's front page.
Our last cheer goes to County Manager Josh Potosek. We are thrilled that he's making the rounds to our local municipalities' meetings to present about the 2020 County Budget and field any questions they may have. Maybe we are a bit biased as a company based on communication and information, but we feel the more these discussions are had, the better the end result will be. And transparency from government is very important.
Potosek continues to be a valuable asset to our county, and has shown great fiscal responsibility with our taxpayers' monies, one way of which is by being a proponent of shared services. We hope he continues to be appreciated and utilized by the incoming crop of legislators for the next four years.
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