County Executive Chairs First Panel Session to Work on Putnam County Shared Service Property Tax Savings Plan

County Executive Chairs First Panel Session to Work on Putnam County
Shared Service Property Tax Savings Plan

Meeting at TOPS Center Draws Quorum of Representatives from County’s Six Municipalities

CARMEL, NY – On Thursday, May 18th, 2017 Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell initiated a county-wide planning session designed to save money for taxpayers through increased efficiencies across government services. As mandated by Governor Cuomo, Thursday’s panel included supervisors and mayors or their designated representatives from Putnam’s six towns and three villages. Representatives from the Carmel, Mahopac and Putnam Valley Central School Districts, municipal Highway Departments, and the county legislative body, were also in attendance among others at the public hearing.

County Executive Odell presented details associated with the initiative, which includes a narrow execution timeline. An initial Shared Services Plan, including certification as to the accuracy of tax savings, must be collaboratively developed with the panel and submitted to the county legislature before August 1, 2017.  Upon review, the legislature will provide an advisory report and the County Executive may modify the plan and resubmit it no later than September 15, 2017.  Also within this timeline, the panel, Putnam County Legislature and County Executive will accept input and testimony on the plan from the public via two additional public hearings, which are scheduled for June 20th and July 18th, 2017 at the Putnam County Training & Operations Center (TOPS) in Carmel, NY.

“Putnam County has the lowest portion per tax dollar of any of New York State’s 62 counties, and my administration is proud of that fact,” said Odell. “We got there through diligent fiscal responsibility, including sharing services wherever possible. I am optimistic that by working together toward a shared objective that Putnam County will continue to drive innovative cost-saving strategies that reduce duplicative services and share resources wherever practical.”

The County Executive opened the meeting by asking the municipality representatives if they were already implementing shared services strategies.  The overwhelming majority of panel members raised their hands in the affirmative.

Odell raised the issue of school taxes, which comprise 0.71cents of every tax dollar paid by Putnam County residents.  “As co-chair of the New York State Association of Counties, our goal is the reduction of property taxes in New York State, but in order for a realistic discussion to take place, school taxes and how public education is funded must be part of the discussion,” said Odell. “We keep chasing the small money and we need to address the areas that cost big money.”

Several current initiatives and new ideas were discussed, including the East of Hudson Watershed Corp., which is a collaboration of 19 municipalities charged with meeting storm water regulations in a cost effective and efficient manner; the Putnam County Commission for Fiscal Vision and Accountability, which has been focusing on fiscal vision for Putnam County since 2014; and Video Court Appearances, a new alternate method of arraignment that was started by the Commission for Fiscal Vision and Accountability. The county has implemented this on a limited basis successfully and has proven that it will save the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“In order to fully implement an electronic video court appearance option across the county, we need legislation from Albany,” said Odell. “We have two bills awaiting the Governor’s approval to move forward on this plan, which will significantly reduce overtime, and wear and tear on transport vehicles while ensuring safe, judicially sound, and efficient arraignments.”

A video recording of Thursday’s panel meeting and a copy of the slide presentation is available on the Putnam County website at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/. Additionally, a copy of the New York State Shared Services law is available at: https://www.dos.ny.gov/lg/countywide_services.html.

click here for presentation and more!

Senator Terrence Murphy speaking

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was joined by state Senator Terrence Murphy and other government officials for an information session about the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s County-wide Shared Services Initiative.

On Thursday, May 18, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was joined by state Senator Terrence Murphy, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne and local government and school officials for an information session about the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s County-wide Shared Services Initiative. The Initiative, included in the enacted FY 2018 Budget, requires county officials to develop localized plans that find property tax savings by coordinating and eliminating duplicative services and propose coordinated services to enhance purchasing power.

The meeting was the first of three sessions scheduled for the governor-mandated panel. The next date is Tuesday June 20 at 4 p.m. The final session will be held on July 18. All sessions are held at the Tops auditorium.

The public is invited to the meetings and is encouraged to provide Putnam County’s administration feedback and suggestions on shared services.

Click here to visit the shared Initiatives Page for more information & the video presentation

Cutting Veterans’ Services – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Cutting Veterans’ Services – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

By Karl Rohde, director, Putnam County Veterans Service Agency

In 1991, Governor Mario Cuomo attempted to reduce his New York State budget by cutting services to the Veterans of Putnam County.  Today, the legacy continues as his son and current NYS Governor, Andrew Cuomo, attempts a similar strategy.

First, a bit of history — Back in 1991 the New York Division of Veterans Affairs announced that they were going to close the Putnam County office for budgetary reasons.  The closing of the office was going to save about $50,000 out of a $5 Million Budget that had to be cut by $500,000.  Fortunately, Putnam succeeded in mobilizing its Veterans and won a reprieve. As part of the new deal, the Putnam County office would remain open, but the County would foot the bill to house the NY State Division Service officer, and provide secretarial assistance for the two days the service officer was on site.  In addition, the County would also provide clerical assistance on the other three days of the week to schedule appointments, as well as providing phone service and computer access at no charge to the State.

After the State’s second attempt to close the Putnam Office in April 2015 was thwarted, I formally requested, as Director of the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency and provider of free office space, clerical support and amenities to the NYS Division of Veterans Affairs, that we receive notification when and if the Putnam Office would be closed. That following January of 2016, the Division closed the office.  Putnam Veterans Services had to reschedule an estimated 50 Veteran client appointments to other dates at a location in Castle Point, which is about 25 miles from our office in Carmel.  Again, we fought and won to reopen our office, so our Veterans, many of whom are elderly and disabled, would not have to bear the burden of inconvenient, costly and unnecessary travel to meet with a Veterans Service Officer to apply for compensation due to military service.

The punishment continued in 2016 when the Division tried to limit Putnam to one day per week with a Veterans Service Officer.  That was also stopped when we proved the need in Putnam for at least two days per week, if not more.

Now in May of 2017, just weeks before Memorial Day, and the New York State Division, at the insistence of Governor Andrew Cuomo, is keen on denying services to the Veterans of Putnam County again.

In order to save money, the Putnam Office will be closed.  This is nonsense. The Division has to save $300,000 in the current budget.  Notwithstanding that the Governor wants to cut his budget on behalf of Veterans, this closing makes little sense.  Our Veterans Service Officer, Brennan Mahoney, will still be employed 5 days per week by the Division.  He will do all those days at Castle Point alongside another fulltime service officer at the same location.  The Veterans of Putnam, Northern Westchester and Southern Dutchess will now be forced to commute to Castle Point to see Brennan even though there is a second service officer already covering the Castle Point location – and where is the cost savings?  It should also be noted that while the clerk at Castle Point is paid by the State of New York, the clerk in Putnam County still costs the State of New York nothing.

The travel expense and inconvenience to these Veterans has not been considered in the least.  The age of the Veteran or the disability that makes travel difficult has not been weighed in this decision.

Why are these statewide cuts being aimed at the very group of people that the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs is mandated to serve?  To put a fine point on it, why is the Division targeting its own clients?  There are no suggested cut backs in management headcount or salary.  No mention of trying to lower the costs in areas where they rent and or lease office buildings.  Rather than a knee jerk response, why weren’t the cuts more thoughtfully vetted?

Veterans and family members who wish to learn answers to these questions should contact Eric J. Hesse, director, New York State Division of Veterans Affairs at (518) 474-6114.

Historic Putnam County Courthouse Shines Blue in Tribute to Fallen Police Officers during Police Memorial Week

Special Dedication Hosted at Spain Cornerstone Park in Memory of
James J. O’Neill, Founder of the Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Lodge, FOP
CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today that the historic Putnam County courthouse located on Gleneida Avenue in Carmel, NY, will be lit up in blue in tribute to fallen police officers during Police Memorial Week, May15 – 21, 2017. The courthouse lighting commenced at sundown on Tuesday, May 15th following a special dedication by the Fraternal Order of Police at Spain Cornerstone Park to honor the late James (Jimmy) O’Neill. Jimmy was an icon in the police community and founding president of the Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Lodge, a chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.

“This tribute serves to honor the memory of Jimmy O’Neill and all law enforcement professionals who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said County Executive Odell. “Putnam County is the safest county in New York State and we owe that distinction to our state and local police officers who put their lives on the line everyday to protect and serve our citizens.”

The Fraternal Order of Police dedicated a bench at Spain Cornerstone Park in memory of Jimmy O’Neill.  The granite bench was installed, including an in memoriam plaque and the Irish Prayer, across from the 9/11 Monument located at the site.

“Jimmy’s legacy as a police officer, advocate for law enforcement professionals, and highly valued contributor to the community is deservedly recognized through this dedication,” said Steve Conner, board member, Stephen P. Driscoll Memorial Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police.  “We are honored to have a lasting tribute in Jimmy’s name located at a place very near and dear to his heart.”

Editor’s note: Please see photo captions for attached images.

Photo 5319 – Pictured from left: Kathy O’Neill and Jimmy O’Neill, wife and son, respectively, of James J. O’Neill

Photo 5282 – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell

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Homestyle Catering of Mahopac to Run Events, Food and Beverage Under Farm-to-Table Dining Specialist and General Manager, County Announces Grand Opening Weekend at Renovated Tilly Foster Farm — Tilly’s Table Opens as County’s First Farm-to-Table Event Venue & Eatery

Homestyle Catering of Mahopac to Run Events, Food and Beverage Under Farm-to-Table Dining Specialist and General Manager, County Announces Grand Opening Weekend at Renovated Tilly Foster Farm — Tilly’s Table Opens as County’s First Farm-to-Table Event Venue & Eatery

June 3rd and 4th Marks Celebratory Opening Extravaganza, including Live Broadcast with KICKS 105.5, Music Performances, Farmers Market, Friendly Farm Animals and More

SOUTHEAST, NY – County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today the grand opening of the renovated Tilly Foster Farm and Tilly’s Table, the county’s first farm-to-table, event-based dining experience. The gates will open to the public for the first time on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017, from 10am – 5pm.  Tilly’s Table will host the restaurant’s first public seating at 5pm with a prix fixe menu; subsequent seating options will be available at 7pm and 9pm on this date. On Sunday, June 4th from 11am – 2pm, Tilly’s Table will host the venue’s first “Farmers Sunday Brunch,” which will be a standard offering year round for visitors. Reservations are required. Diners may call 845-808-1840 to reserve.

“We are opening the gates to Tilly Foster Farm on June 3rd and they will never be closed again,” said Odell. “Tilly Foster Farm & Educational Institute offers a shining representation of Putnam’s natural beauty, assets and agricultural heritage. Tilly’s Table highlights and supports a growing wave of excitement and demand for organic locally-grown food and farm-to-table dining. Our educational component through BOCES dovetails with this movement through a culinary arts program that emphasizes these concepts and philosophy,” adds Odell.

“After several years of planning, the vision of Tilly Foster Farm has been realized.  Tilly’s Table will enhance and compliment the essence of the Farm’s purpose and principles,” said Ginny Nacerino, Chairwoman, Putnam County Legislature.  “The Legislature is not only proud, but honored to support this project, which fosters quality of life here in Putnam County.  I am confident Tilly Foster Farm will prosper and become the jewel of the County whereby residents and non-residents alike, will come to learn, enjoy, and evolve for generations to come.”

Grand Opening Weekend Attractions

In celebration of the revitalization of Tilly Foster and in honor of the farm’s agricultural heritage, visitors will enjoy a variety of attractions and entertainment, featuring the latest Country Music from local performers and a live broadcast from KICKS 105.5 radio from 12pm to 2pm.  A Farmers Market will be set up on the grounds where visitors may shop for their favorite locally-grown and harvested products from 10am – 3pm. Kids can enjoy fun in a bouncy castle and families can take a self-guided tour of Tilly’s unique collection of farm animals, including two new Nigerian Dwarf goats, Calvin and Hobbes.

Under the operation of Al and Joe Ciuffetelli of Homestyle Catering, Tilly’s Table Restaurant will officially open for dinner at 5pm on Saturday, June 3rd, with a prix fixe menu. There will be additional seating at 7 and 9pm. On Sunday, Tilly’s will hosts its first Sunday Brunch from 11am to 2pm. Diners must call 845-808-1840 to reserve for either event.

“We are honored to have been selected as the event planner and operator at Tilly’s Table,” said Al Ciuffetelli, president, Homestyle Catering. “Similar to our operating model at the Putnam County Golf Course, our plan is to build Tilly’s Table into an event-based destination with the best farm-to-table cuisine in the Hudson Valley.  We have several events on the calendar this summer and fall to complement the kick off of our “Guest Chef” program, where local restaurateurs will be invited to prepare their signature dishes for Tilly’s Table patrons. We are excited about this concept because it provides a platform of exposure for the great chefs in our midst and adds some interesting and unexpected cuisine to our repertoire.”

“Growth and vitality occur when the business community and local government work together to chart new courses, think outside the box and invent new channels of opportunity,” said Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, Putnam County Chamber of Commerce. “The rebirth of Tilly Foster and launch of Tilly’s Table grabs hold of a movement that plays to Putnam’s strengths. We look forward to expanded business opportunities among hospitality, agriculture, and other tourism enterprises.”

Tilly Foster offers a wide array of attractions, activities, and entertainment, including visits with friendly farm animals, a hiking trail, community gardening, culinary arts education, and regularly scheduled entertainment events – and of course, the best farm-to-table dining in the Hudson Valley.

“I am very excited about the re-opening of Tilly Foster Farm,” said Bruce Conklin, director, Putnam Tourism. “It will be a great venue for our local residents and out of town guests to enjoy the hospitality and natural beauty that Putnam has to offer. Between the farm and its animals, the County’s commitment to agricultural and culinary education with the BOCES program, and its event based schedule, Tilly Foster will be more than just a farm, and will serve as a representative of Hudson Valley culture and the farm-to-table movement.”

For more information about Tilly Foster Farm and Tilly’s Table calendar of events, please visit: www.putnamtillyfoster.com.

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Disaster Exercise to Safeguard Children Conducted in Putnam County; Health Department, Emergency Services and Community Organizations Rehearse How to Serve the Needs of Youngest Residents

Disaster Exercise to Safeguard Children Conducted in Putnam County; Health Department, Emergency Services and Community Organizations Rehearse How to Serve the Needs of Youngest Residents

BREWSTER, NY—Nearly 60 percent of Putnam households believe they would be reunited with their children within several hours of a major disaster. Yet history has proven otherwise: it took an astounding seven months to reunite the last child with family after Hurricane Katrina. This reality, and the fact that each day, nearly 20,000 children in Putnam County spend the majority of their day at a childcare facility or school, are the reasons behind the disaster preparedness exercise performed by Putnam County’s Community Resilience Coalition on Wednesday, May 3. More than 50 attendees from 28 organizations and agencies participated in the event which ran from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Centennial Golf Club in Carmel.

“This exercise brings a deeper understanding of how our Putnam organizations and agencies interact during an emergency,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell.  “By providing an opportunity for our child-serving institutions to partner with local emergency responders, we improve communication and response to support and protect the children of our community.”

To better address the unique needs of children, the local Community Resilience Coalition (CRC), an official subcommittee of the longstanding Disaster Preparedness Task Force of Putnam County, conducted a discussion-based, “tabletop” exercise to test the assumptions, protocols and resources of child-serving institutions and key community stakeholders who may interact with children before, during, and after an emergency.

“The purpose of the exercise was to envision all the possibilities that could happen and then to decide how we, as community organizations, would handle it,” said Commissioner Anthony Sutton of the Bureau of Emergency Services of Putnam County. “By talking through the steps of a specified scenario, we identify where the gaps are and how best to fill them.” The scenario that was played out involved a major earthquake with direct damage in Putnam County, causing evacuation at some childcare and other essential facilities, and limiting availability of state and federal resources.

More than 65% of American households do not have an adequate emergency plan, and nearly half have none at all. Additionally, 45% of Putnam households believe help will arrive in under an hour in the event of a large-scale, unanticipated disaster, indicating a widespread sense of unrealistic expectations and false security. Furthermore in Putnam County, 41% of households are not familiar

with their child’s daycare or school evacuation and emergency plan. These statistics collectively support the notion that if disaster were to strike, many communities would be underprepared to protect children.

This exercise is a component of the national Resilient Children/Resilient Communities Initiative (RCRC), a partnership between the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Save the Children (STC) funded by a grant from GSK. Putnam County is one of two pilot communities in the U.S. working on the RCRC Initiative.

The players in the exercise included representatives from schools, child care and after-school programs, law enforcement, public health and healthcare, emergency management and first responders, and other various government and community organizations.

“Strengthening the link between emergency management and child-serving institutions ultimately improves all emergency plans, in addition to sharpening our response and recovery action,” said interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD.

Barbara Garbarino, project liaison for the CRC, who previously worked for the Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, Inc., further explained that, “When childcare facilities are better prepared to take care of their children in an emergency, it not only frees responders to help others in need, but it also helps ensure children will recover more readily after the crisis. Children do best when their normal routines resume as quickly as possible.”

“An exercise like this better prepares local counties to anticipate and meet the unique needs of children,” said Jeff Schlegelmilch, deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. “This is one of many activities of the Community Resilience Coalition that serves as a model for other communities looking to do this kind of work.”

The exercise scenario was collaboratively developed with input, advice, and assistance from a multi-agency exercise planning team. This exercise followed the guidance set forth by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is compliant with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) protocols and standards.

To learn more about Putnam’s CRC, visit the web page: http://www.putnamcountyny.com/health/community-resilience-coalition/.

About the Resilient Children/ Resilient Communities Initiative

The Resilient Children/Resilient Communities Initiative (RCRC) is funded by a grant from GSK and is led by the National Center for Disaster Preparedness in partnership with Save the Children. Launched in 2015, the three-year RCRC initiative has brought together local stakeholders in two pilot communities in New York and Arkansas to create emergency plans that meet the substantial needs of children in disasters. It has also established a national panel of experts to link the community work with preparedness priorities of communities throughout the United States. Learn more about the initiative here: http://ncdp.columbia.edu/rcrc

About Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH)

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

About Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services (BES)

The BES mission is to keep county residents safe from harm, by providing services to all fire, EMS and related emergency management initiatives. This includes training and equipping special teams for fire investigation, police response and hazardous materials mitigation, and a credible assessment team (CAT). Additionally, BES maintains a countywide communications system and continually seeks ways to improve response to both natural and manmade disasters. For more information, please visit the Bureau of Emergency Services website at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/pcbes.

MEDIA CONTACTS: 

 

 

NYMTIC: PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD AND PUBLIC REVIEW MEETINGS FOR DRAFT PLAN 2045, CONGESTION MANAGEMENT REPORT, AND TRANSPORTATION CONFORMITY DETERMINATION

NYMTC announces an opportunity for the public to offer comments and attend various public review
meetings for the draft of its new Regional Transportation Plan (Plan 2045), related Congestion Management
Process (CMP) Status Report and the draft Transportation Conformity Determination for the Plan and the 2017-2021 Transportation Improvement Program.

The 30-day public comment period will begin on May 1, 2017 and ends at 4 p.m. on
May 30, 2017. All the documents will be available for download at www.nymtc.org.

Public review meetings will be held throughout the region:

CLICK THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD FLYER

or View Flyer Below!

Putnam County Golf Course Announces Season Opening

Putnam County Golf Course Announces Season Opening

By – Jim Woods, PGA

MAHOPAC, NY (April xx, 2017) – Putnam County announces the official start of the Golf Season at the Putnam County Golf Course. Open to golfers of all levels, the Putnam County Golf Course offers special rates to seniors and Putnam County residents, as well as  golf passes that will cover golfers’ green fees for the season.

“After the long winter, golfers need to get out in the fresh air and shake off the rust from their swing,” says Jim Woods, PGA Golf Pro. “I’ll be offering private lessons at the course or folks can register for one of our adult classes or junior summer camps. We also offer a Putnam Golf League that runs Wednesday nights at 5:00 all summer long, so please contact us if you’re interested in playing or becoming a sub.”

The Putnam County Golf course features 18 holes of championship golf, practice range and putting green, and a fully stocked golf shop. Golfers and visitors can also enjoy a beverage or meal while they refresh, relax and socialize before or after a game at The Grille at The Fairways.

Golfers should book their reservations online at www.putnamcountygolfcourse.com or by calling the golf shop, 845-808-1880, ext. 2, as tee times get booked early.

 

Golf Shop Hours

  • April 15th – September 10th – 6:30 AM – 6:00 PM Daily
  • May 20th – July 30th – 6:00 AM – Weekends Only

 

First Starting Time

  • April 15th – September 10th – 7:00 AM
  • May 20th – July 30th – 6:30 AM Weekends Only

Putnam County Golf Course
187 Hill St. – Mahopac – NY – 10541

PGA Professional – Jim Woods
jimw@putnamcountygc.com

845-808-1880 X3

PUTNAM COUNTY CLERK MICHAEL BARTOLOTTI AND COUNTY EXECUTIVE MARYELLEN ODELL BOOST ORGAN DONATION

PUTNAM COUNTY CLERK MICHAEL BARTOLOTTI AND COUNTY EXECUTIVE MARYELLEN ODELL BOOST ORGAN DONATION

For Release:  Immediate (April 19, 2017)

Contact:  Michael C. Bartlotti, 845-808-1142, Extension 49301

Putnam County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti and County Executive MaryEllen Odell will be partnering with the New York Alliance for Donation (NYAD) to promote organ, eye and tissue donation in Putnam County.  This program is responsible for saving and improving the lives of thousands of New Yorkers in dire need of transplants.

“April is National Donate Life month, and we are delighted to continue working with NYAD on a countywide basis to encourage residents to become an organ or tissue donor.”  Mr. Bartolotti said, “Putnam County is proud to be one of the many counties throughout the state participating in this important program and I am pleased to partner with County Executive Odell in bringing this program to the attention of our residents.”

There are over 19 million New Yorkers; yet only 28% of adults in New York State are registered donors, compared to the national average of more than 50%.  In New York alone, the number of men, women and children waiting for a transplant is over 10,000.  While 37% of Putnam County residents are registered donors, we believe we can do better!

Mr. Bartolotti will be placing brochures and posters in the Putnam County DMV alerting customers of the donor crisis and asking them to enroll on the Life Registry.  Interested customers can also enroll by checking off the organ donor box on any license or non-driver ID card transaction (MV-44).

“21 people die every day due to the lack of available organs.  98% of New Yorkers enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry through local DMV offices which makes our efforts on this behalf even more important.”  County Executive Odell said, “We can make a significant difference in increasing the numbers of donors through our constant contact with residents, and I am happy to work alongside County Clerk Bartolotti and NYAD to make their goal of a significantly increased registry a reality.”

 

County Executive Odell Recognizes Heroism of Red Cross Volunteers in Putnam County

County Executive Odell Recognizes Heroism of Red Cross Volunteers in Putnam County

CARMEL, NY – On March 16, 2017, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell proclaimed March 2017 American Red Cross Month in Putnam County. She presented a proclamation to American Red Cross leadership and recognized the selfless life-saving volunteerism of local Red Cross volunteers, Elaine Kirkland and Greg Amato.

“We are so grateful for the partnership with Putnam County,” said Mary Young, CEO, American Red Cross Metro NY North. “Their support makes it possible for us to be there when the community needs us. Thank you to County Executive Odell for recognizing the work of our awesome Red Cross volunteers during March is Red Cross Month.”

“Putnam County is a county of first responders,” said Odell. “The efforts of our extraordinary emergency services workers and volunteers have helped to make Putnam the safest county in all of New York State. We value highly the partnership we have with the American Red Cross and the emergency services their volunteers provide in times of crisis.”

Elaine Kirkland of Patterson, NY, and Greg Amato of Mahopac, NY, are Putnam County’s most active Red Cross volunteers. They were among the volunteers who responded to the devastating fire at the Hughson Commons senior citizen housing complex last November.

“Through the efforts of our local Red Cross volunteers, more than 30 displaced seniors received the emergency services they needed, including a warm breakfast and clothes. I am pleased to have the opportunity to recognize the selfless volunteerism of Elaine Kirkland and Greg Amato who were instrumental during that crisis,” added Odell.