Photos by Carol Montana
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY – Ira Cohen, Sullivan County Treasurer for the past eight years has passed away at the age of 69.
Ira was also the County Attorney serving from 1992 to 2003 and then on to be the elected County Treasurer from 2006 to present.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Ira over the past seven years and even more closely the past few years as the Sullivan County Manager. Ira’s extraordinary knowledge of government and his devotion and leadership to Sullivan County will always be admired. On behalf of Sullivan County I want to extend my deepest sympathy and prayers to Ira’s family.” said Joshua Potosek, Sullivan County Manager.
“Although not unexpected, the news of Ira Cohen’s passing is both shocking and very sad. He was an extraordinary man. His legacy will surely be his love, commitment, and service for and to Sullivan County. Ira served in so many capacities over the years and always with complete dedication. He will be missed.” said Scott Samuelson, Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature.
“It is with deepest sorrow that I say these words. Ira Cohen was a man of integrity that has served our county in many ways. I first had the privilege to know Ira when I became a Legislator. He was a person who would listen to concerns and mentored many. I found his honesty and integrity very important. Ira was resilient and never gave up he always offered his help while never pushing a personal agenda. I am deeply sorrowed by this loss and extend my prayer and sympathies to his family. Ira served us all and his loss is deeply felt.” said Kitty Vetter, Vice Chair of the Sullivan County Legislature.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Ira over the past 15 years, first as County Attorney and then as County Treasurer. While we didn’t always agree, I can assure you that he always had the County’s best interest at heart.” said Kathleen LaBuda, Majority Leader and District 2 Legislator.
“Ira was one of those rare public officials that you could go to for advice who would give you a straight answer, while offering his take on the situation. I will sorely miss the opportunity to seek his counsel.” said Alan Sorensen, Minority Leader and District 9 Legislator.
“It’s truly a sad day for our County. Ira was a dedicated public servant and our county was lucky to have had him dedicate so many years of service. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” said Jonathan Rouis, Legislator District 4.
“As County Treasurer, Ira freely imparted his knowledge and was an outspoken advocate for responsible spending. He believed in Sullivan County, truly loved people and dedicated his life to improving government. My loss is more personal as he was not only my mentor and best supporter but also my friend. My prayers are with his family.” said Cindy Kurpil Gieger, Legislator District 5.
“I dropped by Ira’s office many times to seek valued advice as a novice legislator, and Ira always made time to answer my questions. Apparently I was not alone in seeking his counsel, as he once showed me a pile of letters and phone messages that had come from public servants all over New York State asking his opinion on a wide range of matters. His legacy is a deep abiding love of helping others and wishing only the best for Sullivan County. We will always remember him with great love and deep respect.” said Cora Edwards, Legislator District 6.
“It is with a heavy heart that I heard of Ira’s passing, not only is it a great loss to County Government but a great loss to the entire county.” said Gene Benson, Legislator District 7.
“The County of Sullivan has lost an advocate for the taxpayer with the passing of Ira Cohen. A brilliant and dedicated County Treasurer he was always looking for ways to save the county money and make sure that we did not over spend. Under his guidance the financial rating of the county has remained strong despite the tough economy. I will miss his wit and insight.” said Ira Steingart, Legislator District 8.