Tilly’s Table Marks Fresh Start at Tilly Foster Farm

BREWSTER, N.Y. –  The opening of the Tilly’s Table, a farm-to-table restaurant and catering venue, at Tilly Foster Farm begins a new chapter at the Putnam County-owned property. ­­ Tilly’s Table, which is the latest public-private partnership for Putnam County, showcases local culinary talents and features ingredients grown in the Hudson Valley. It celebrated its grand opening the weekend of June 2.

“Based on the success we have had at Putnam County Golf Course, having a public-private partnership at Tilly Foster Farm with Homestyle Catering is a fiscally sound decision that allows the county to also be social responsible,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Chef Sandra Marinelli is working with Chef Christopher Devine, the corporate chef of Ace Endico, both of whom are Putnam residents to develop delicious menus that make Tilly’s Table be a culinary destination in the Hudson Valley.”

Marinelli of Mahopac, who is heading up the restaurant’s kitchen, has been trained at Marymount College, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and The Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan. She carved a niche for herself, nourishing and cooking for others as she does for her family. Her belief in the healing power of food and its ability to nourish not just physically but emotionally is based on the Ayurvedic principles of what you put into your body creates who you are, inside and out.  This holistic approach will be incorporated into all she creates at Tilly’s Table.

Devine, a Brewster resident, attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and has over 30 years of experience as a leader and pioneer in the culinary world.  Recently, he has held the role of executive chef and general manager at Trump Tower, where he directed numerous events and catering services for 15 years. During his tenure with the Trump Organization, Devine also opened and operated six restaurant divisions including The Trump Grille, Trump Café, Trump Bar, Trump Store and the Trump Ice Cream Parlor. As an esteemed colleague for the Trump Organization, he recently had the honor of working directly with White House staff to ensure a smooth transition of all culinary services and amenities. Following his respected career with the Trump Organization, Devine is currently the corporate chef and product specialist for Ace Endico, a Brewster-based fine foods distributor.

“I have been driving past the farm watching all the progress the county has made on the property and when they announced that they were opening Tilly’s Table I knew I wanted to be part of it,” said Devine. “Tilly’s Table will be a go-to destination in the Hudson Valley.”

Tilly’s Table opening manifests Putnam County’s vision to turn the deteriorated property into a treasured resource that all the people of Putnam can enjoy.

“Three years ago, we embarked on the journey of making Tilly Foster Farm an economically viable county asset,” said Odell. “After listening long and hard to the public about they wanted to have happen at the farm, we developed the farm’s mission, which is that the farm fosters financial, environmental, social and historical stewardship through a variety of program offerings by means of public-private partnerships.”

Putnam County purchased the 199-acre Tilly Foster Farm in 2002. The county took over management of the property in 2014. Odell and the Putnam County Legislature had the county utilized the strengths and talents within its own workforce to repair, modernize and rebuild the property.

“First, we brought the chicks back, then the pigs and the other animals,” said Odell.  We invested in our infrastructure because we understood that we needed a sound foundation if we were going to reach for the stars. Plus, we formed a partnership with BOCES and now have vocational training now being taught at the farm.”

Odell credits the Putnam County Highway and Facilities Department for most of the physical labor and craftsmanship that has done throughout the farm, especially in the rehabilitation of the lodge.

“Look at the flooring and chimney work in Tilly’s Table,” said Odell. “The creativity and skills of the highway department workers can be seen throughout the venue. It leaves a lasting impression. Generations from now will still talk about the craftsmanship and work that was put into this place.”

Fred Pena, P.E., commissioner of Putnam’s highway and facilities department is proud of his team as well. In addition to making the property achieve code compliance and have general safety and usability, the department had to enhance or replace things associated with the water supply, power supply and septic system.

“We found strength through every obstacle and grew from it,” said Pena. “We strategically outsourced and effectively used our resources to an extremely effective result.”

Legislator Ginny Nacerino, chair of the Putnam County Legislature, believes that the rejuvenation of Tilly Foster Farm is one of the government’s most significant accomplishments since she has been on the Legislature.

“The revitalization of Tilly Foster Farm is a true testament of what can be done when we work together toward a common goal,” said Nacerino. “I know that Tilly Foster farm will prove to be the jewel of Putnam County For generations to come. We affectionately call Tilly Foster Farm the people’s farm because indeed it is.”

Odell agrees.

“The success of Tilly Foster Farm does not belong to one person, but to all the people of Putnam County,” said Odell. “Together, we have been able to revitalize this property and make it a destination for everyone in the Hudson Valley to enjoy.  We have saved this historical icon of Putnam’s farming heritage, while making it an economically viable county asset.”

Tilly Foster Farm is located at 100 Route 312 in Brewster. The farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tilly’s Table is open for- Sunday brunch and private events. For reservations or for more information about Tilly’s Table, call 845-808-1840.

 

Row of Honor Stays through July 4th Weekend in Commemoration of Flag Day

CARMEL, N.Y. – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today that the Row of Honor will stay in place through Independence Day weekend in honor of Flag Day. The United States flag was adopted on June 14th, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Now in its fourth year, the Row of Honor is an installation of over 200 American flags on Lake Gleneida, which honors the men and women who served, or continue to serve, protect, and defend our freedom. Emblazoned with the names of veterans, law enforcement officers and first responders, The Row of Honor is on display twice a year in observance of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

“The United States flag is a portrait of our country’s historical past and symbol of freedom around the world,” said Odell. “Continuing to display the Row of Honor through Independence Day appropriately commemorates our history, our freedom and our service men and women who guard our freedom and uphold our democracy.”

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!

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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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

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.

County Executive Odell Confirmed as NYMTC Co-Chair for Second Consecutive Term

County Executive Odell Confirmed as NYMTC Co-Chair
for Second Consecutive Term

CARMEL, NY – County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today that during the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC) February 22, 2017, Annual Meeting, she was confirmed as the NYMTC Co-Chair for a second consecutive term.  NYMTC is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley, which qualifies our region to receive federal transportation funds.

As per NYMTC’s Memorandum of Understanding, the co-chair is rotated annually among the three Transportation Coordinating Committees (TCC): Mid-Hudson South TCC (which includes Putnam County), Nassau/Suffolk TCC, and New York City TCC.

“In light of my recent appointment as NYMTC’s Executive Director and to keep the continuity of the current planning process, Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell will remain the NYMTC Co-Chair for the 2018 program year,” said Jose M. Rivera, P.E., Executive Director, NYMTC.

NYMTC held its Annual Meeting at New York University – Kimmel Center, with primary focus on the theme, “Making the Case for Infrastructure Investment”.  The NYMTC members adopted its $44 million Unified Planning Work Program for State Fiscal Year 2017-2018.

“County Executive Odell brings much energy and foresight to our metropolitan planning organization and her initiatives in Putnam County, particularly in the Village of Brewster, exemplify the region’s efforts in addressing current and future transportation needs.”

“I look forward to another year of collaboration with County Executive Odell, and other NYMTC principals in making the case for additional infrastructure investments that will further enhance the region’s economic competitiveness and livability.”

NYMTC members are elected officials and heads of transportation and environmental agencies responsible for establishing and implementing transportation plans, projects and programs. Working together, Council Members develop a vision for the region, setting the direction for the organization and determining desired outcomes for their established regional goals.

County Executive Odell Co-chairs NYMTC alongside Matthew Driscoll, Co-chair and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation. Principal NYMTC voting members include Purnima Kapur, Executive Director, NYC Department of City Planning; Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner, NYC Department of Transportation; Fernando Ferrer, Acting Chairman & Veronique Hakim, Interim CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Edward Mangano, Nassau County Executive; Ed Day, Rockland County Executive; Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive; and Robert Astorino, Westchester County Executive.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell Announces All County Facilities Are Closed Wednesday March 15, 2017 To Allow Crews To Continue Snow Cleanup Efforts

County Executive MaryEllen Odell Announces All County Facilities Are Closed Wednesday March 15, 2017 To Allow Crews To Continue Snow Cleanup Efforts
While the worst of the storm is behind us, cleanup remains a major concern. “With the heavy snowfall and wind gusts our highway crews have been fighting a steady battle that began late Monday night” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell, “while our County highways are passable there is still much work that needs to be done”. Highway Commissioner Fred Pena said “County parking lots remain a concern as heavy equipment will need to be brought in to remove the snow”. To allow the Highway crews the time needed to effectively clear the County parking lots all non-essential County facilities will be closed today, Wednesday March 15, 2017.
Today’s weather conditions include mostly cloudy skies with temperatures that will remain below freezing and wind gusts of up to 25 MPH. The Putnam County Emergency Operations Center will continue to monitor this event
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your vehicle clear of snow and ice including vehicle rooftops
  • Keep your vehicle gas tank full to prevent gasoline freeze-up
  • When shoveling snow
    • Push snow rather than lifting
    • If you do lift use a smaller shovel or only partially fill the shovel
    • Lift with your legs not your back
    • Do not work to the point of exhaustion
    • Don’t shovel or do other work outside without your doctor’s permission if you have a history of heart disease
  • Cold weather can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and it can make blood clot more easily and constrict arteries, which decreases blood supply. This is true even in healthy people. Individuals over the age of 40 or who are relatively inactive should be particularly careful
  • If you feel tightness in your chest or dizziness stop immediately and call 9-1-1
  • Stay hydrated and consider taking a break every 20 or 30 minutes
  • If your snow blower jams turn it off by removing the key and do not reach into the blower assembly with your hands
  • Do not run any gas powered devices such as a snow blower or generator in an enclosed space due to carbon monoxide

Don’t forget to check on your neighbors, relatives and vulnerable friends. “If you know of someone that may need some help please take a moment and make a quick visit or call to ensure they’re okay” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

Putnam to Live Stream State of the County Address on March 9th

Putnam to Live Stream State of the County Address on March 9th

2017 Putnam State of the County to Celebrate Year of the Millennial

MAHOPAC, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today that for the first time, the Putnam County State of the County Address will be available for live viewing via the county website: http://www.putnamcountyny.com/SOC2017. News12 is also expected to cover the event. The address, which celebrates the Year of the Millennial, takes place on March 9th at 7pm at the Putnam County Golf Course, located at 187 Hill Street, Mahopac, NY. Attendees must reserve a seat via the website: http://www.putnamcountyny.com/SOC2017.

“We are excited to offer the public – for the first time — the option to remotely view the State of the County Address via live stream,” said County Executive Odell. “This presentation represents a significant summary of the work that has been accomplished on behalf of Putnam taxpayers, as well as our direction moving forward. It’s only fitting that we incorporate technology that will reach the widest network of citizens as possible,” added Odell.

Focused on the Age of Technology and its impact on the Putnam County community, the State of the County will be preceded by a Technology Marketplace from 5:30 – 7pm.

According to Odell, the generation of young people returning to Putnam County is reliant upon the internet and all forms of technology throughout their daily lives to shop, find the best restaurants and entertainment, for travel and to locate housing and employment.

“We expect to have several presentations and technology exhibits from those in our community who are focused giving millennials more reason to choose Putnam as a place to live, work and play,” said Odell.