XENIA —An excellent public servant.
A kind, good, decent person.
The right person at the right time for Greene County.
That’s how Howard Poston was described by former county commissioner Marilyn Reid during a tearful sendoff at Thursday’s commission meeting.
Poston, 60, retired as county administrator on Friday, ending an era of public servitude that spanned nearly 24 years. During that time he helped the county’s bond rating improve and worked hard to help The Greene in Beavercreek become a reality.
But when he looks back at his 10 years as administrator, there’s no doubt what will be his favorite part.
“I’ll miss the people a lot,” Poston said. “The people here are wonderful. That’s what I’ll miss. We have some really good people in the county that know their stuff.”
Poston knows his stuff too.
Under his watch the county’s bond rating went from AA4 to AA2 and is in line for another upgrade. The highest is AAA.
“We’ve saved, over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the difference of the ratings,” Poston said. “It tells an investor that the county is well run … and they don’t have to worry as much about getting the money back. We’ve worked hard to do that.”
In general Poston is happy where the county stands.
“Looking back I can leave comfortable that the county is in a good financial state and it’s in good operational shape,” he said. “The staff that’s here is excellent. Our directors are top notch.”
Poston was hired by former administrator Ralph Harper and began as the county’s safety risk coordinator. He then became safety manager and was assistant administrator under Steve Stapleton for seven years before taking over as administrator.
“I appreciate what the board of commissioners did by giving me the opportunity,” Poston said. “We have some great commissioners here. (Reid) cared sincerely about the county. The county always came first.”
Now it’s Poston who comes first. He woke up today not having to worry about work for the first time in decades.
“I’m going to take my time to do the things that I would like to do that I haven’t been able to do,” he said.
“Wide open,” Poston said.