Tilly Foster Night Pic

Country Fair Welcomed Folks to Tilly Foster Farm

In spite of the wet weather on the 4th of July, crowds drove to Tilly Foster Farm in Southeast in the evening when the skies dried to enjoy the carnival, the band and watch the Town of Southeast fireworks show. Then, with the sun shining bright all day Saturday and Sunday, the carnival was THE place to be in Putnam County. Rides, games, a petting zoo, good food, a live band, and fun were had by all who came to the Tilly Foster Country Fair.


Tim Fletcher, Mickaela Fletcher and Keri Churchill, all of Mahopac, enjoy a round of Hit the Mole. Michaela won!


Emma, Matthew, Lauren and Kayla Westcott of Mahopac had a blast in one of the funhouses at the Tilly Foster County Fair.


Kicks 105.5 Morning Show host Mr. Morning and his interns were giving away tickets to see Brad Paisley at the Tilly Foster Country Fair.


Brian and Tommy Menton of Mahopac share a father-son moment on the Merry-Go-Round.


Lucas and Grace Dela of Bethel, Conn. Beat the heat with some snow cones.


See how many you can fit in the Spinning Dragons.


Sisters Jamie, Jenna, Jessica Iannacchino of Unionvale loved the thrill of going down the Super Slide.


Olivia and Madeline Bucci of Carmel could not wait to use those tickets to go on rides.


The band Slick Trixie rocked the stage on Sunday during the Tilly Foster County Fair.


Stephen Brett of Carmel took the wheel and imagined he was driving out on the open road.


Overview of the Tilly Foster Country Fair


Overview of the Tilly Foster Country Fair


Historic Courthouse Turns 200 in Carmel

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

June 13, 2014

Historic Courthouse Turns 200 in Carmel 

A 200th birthday is certainly a milestone and last night the Historic Courthouse in Carmel was filled with invited guests and history buffs as County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the Putnam Legislature hosted an evening celebration commemorating the event. A special unveiling of new outdoor lighting donated by Entergy replaced the traditional blowing out of birthday candles at the conclusion of the hour long festivities.

Odell, who was away attending a NYSAC Board Meeting sent her regrets in a message read by Legislative Chairman Carl Albano.

“The evening of June 12th will be a history lesson for all of us and a salute to Denis Castelli whose love of history and talent as a photographer will be greatly missed. Thank you to the staff and volunteers at the Historian’s office,” she said.

Albano, who filled in for Odell, welcomed the judicial dignitaries who included District Administrative Judge Hon. Alan D. Scheinkman, New York Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, Hon. John W. Sweeny, Jr., Putnam’s Supreme Court Justice Hon. Victor Grossman, Putnam County Court Justice Hon. James F. Reitz and James T. Rooney and Kent Town Justice J. Peter Collins.

Once again members of the Mahopac Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5491 served as the Color Guard for the ceremony. Albano presented the group with a proclamation thanking them for their service and volunteerism.

“There is nothing more moving than watching a well-trained color guard and the volunteer members of VFW Post 5491 add a solemn and dignified display to any occasion,” he said.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance led by Sweeny, Albano introduced Deputy County Historian Sallie Sypher who gave a condensed but enlightening history of the Historic Courthouse whose construction costs in 1814 was $6,000.

“The courthouse was a 30 x 40 unadorned rectangle until the 1840’s when it was gussied up some,” she said referring to the addition of the Corinthian columns that still stand today and to other decorative measures that were made. Sypher recounted the 1924 fire at Smalley’s Inn when sparks of fire ignited the courthouse roof and the 4-to-2 vote by the supervisors to rebuild the charred structure. In the 1970s and ‘80s New York State officials declared the courthouse unsuitable and the county was instructed “to build a new one.”  In 1988, preservationist, notably Brewster’s Eleanor Beach Fitchen, banded together and eventually won their battle to have the original courthouse restored.

Christina Micciolo, a clerk in the Historian’s office, gave a brief talk on the many trials of Henry Warren whose stagnant and foul smelling dykes on Constitution Island were blamed for numerous cases of malaria in the village of Cold Spring.

Albano thanked the staff of the Historian’s Office, Archivist Reginald White, clerk/researchers Catherine Wargas and Tim Crawford, along with volunteers Elizabeth Allison, Joseph Gyscek and Fred M. Sturzenbecher for their efforts in preparing the evening’s program and historical displays.

Richard Shankowitz, a longtime friend and fishing buddy of the late County Historian Denis Castelli, paid tribute to “the smart kid” his father predicted would be a great success. Shankowitz noted that Castelli, who passed away unexpectedly in April, “enjoyed a second career of public service” and “doing many random acts of kindness” following his retirement as a computer analyst in 2000. Castelli’s widow, Athena Arvan, was also present in the audience.

Afterwards, Angelina Mendez sang “God Bless America” and the indoor ceremony concluded. Guests enjoyed a birthday cake and sparkling cider before going outdoors to watch as Entergy Representative Brian Vangor of Carmel led the countdown and threw the switch to illuminate the new lighting.

Indian Point Site Vice President John Ventosa sent his regards. “Entergy is pleased to celebrate with Putnam County the 200th anniversary of the historic County Courthouse. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with County Executive MaryEllen Odell and her initiative to enhance and beautify the courthouse with new lighting.”


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100+ Attend D-Day Remembrance

On June 6, 1944, 150,000 troops stormed the beaches at Normandy as a part of the D-Day invasion that changed the course of World War II. The attack brought military personnel across the English Channel, by sea and by air. Approximately 9,000 troops were killed on that day. Overall, the D-Day attack on and over water was both significant and unparalleled, with about 5,000 vessels taking on various roles.

To commemorate the importance of this event and its impact on history, County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the County Legislature hosted a 70th anniversary “Remember D-Day” event on Friday, June 6, 2014 at 6 p.m. at the Whipple-Feeley Putnam County Veterans Memorial Chapel in Kent. Approximately 100 people, most of them veterans and their family members, attended the standing-room-only event. Among the veterans were Sal Inserra who fought in the Pacific Theater and Mario Antoci who recounted his WWII experiences as a prisoner of war in the European Theater.

“I had the opportunity to be at the Normandy American Cemetery with my son one evening before it closed,” said Odell as she recalled her overseas trip in 2012. “To see the sea of crosses and Stars of David marking the fallen soldiers as we listened to “Taps” and watched the American flag being lowered as a Marine looked on and saluted, reminded us the world is free because of the sacrifices made by American soldiers in World War II.”

Rabbi Eytan Hammerman from Mahopac’s Temple Beth Shalom gave the opening invocation following the Color Guard Flag Ceremony presented by Mahopac’s VFW Post 5491 and four members of the Civil Air Patrol.

Ed Cooke, Council Representative at Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and Brian McPartland, president of the Children of the American Revolution, dedicated the chapel lectern before Director of Veterans Affairs Karl Rohde presented “The Importance of D-Day.” Following Rohde’s talk, tenor Fred Anthony Campisano sang “God Bless America” and Ray Callian, chaplain of VFW Post 5491, gave the benediction after which Joe Baldanzo played “Taps.”

For those who would like to watch the Remembering D-Day ceremony, the following links have been provided:


060614 County Exec. MaryEllen Odell with several of Putnam's eldest veterans at the D-Day Remembrance ceremony.

County Exec. MaryEllen Odell with several of Putnam’s eldest veterans at the D-Day Remembrance ceremony.

060614 MEO Welcomes Veterans at Whipple-Feeley Putnam County Veterans Memorial Chapel for D-Day Remembrance

County Executive MaryEllen Odell Welcomes Veterans at Whipple-Feeley Putnam County Veterans Memorial Chapel for D-Day Remembrance

060614 Veterans attended the special D-Day Remeberance ceremony hosted by County Exec. MaryEllen Odell and the Legislature.

Veterans attended the special D-Day Remembrance ceremony hosted by County Exec. MaryEllen Odell and the Legislature.

The Whipple-Feeley Putnam County Memorial Chapel at Veterans Memorial Park in Kent DSC_3761



Putnam is Paying for the Perks of New York City with New Energy Capacity Zone

Dear Editor,

As of May 1, residents in Putnam and the rest of the Hudson Valley will have double digit increases on their utility bills without any new benefit or service being provided to the local communities. The implementation of the new Energy Capacity Zone, which was brainchild of the New York Independent System Operator and approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, attempts to resolve the future energy shortfall caused by the consumption in New York City and Long Island by allowing energy generators to increase rates to communities in the Lower Hudson Valley now.

Residents can anticipate up to a 10 percent rate hike and business owners are expecting up to an 18 percent increase.

As the county executive for Putnam County, I know all too well how the needs of New York City and Long Island fall on the backs of the people in the Lower Hudson Valley. We are already subject to the MTA Payroll Tax and the MS4 regulations which cause extra expenses and few benefits to our communities. The new capacity zone is expected to impose a $230 million increase in energy costs for Hudson Valley residents in the coming year and almost $500 million over the next three years.

Our residents cannot afford this and they should not have to bear this burden. The only ones benefitting from the NYISO’s insistence that the zoning start now is the existing energy generating companies that already charge the highest rates in the state.

Technology has forced our society to rely on energy, but charging more will not help deliver a better product or control consumers’ usage. Instead the higher rates will force residents to have less discretionary income and could stall any growth in the region’s economy.

Alternative ways to generate and transmit energy need to be explored and a comprehensive plan should be in place before communities are forced to pay for hypothetical solutions.

In March, I joined Senator Charles Schumer, Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney, Chris Gibson and State Senator Terry Gipson in urging the FERC to delay the implantation of the new capacity zone until 2017 when more information would be available and other solutions considered. We need all of our local representatives to unite with us for the sake of our constituents.

I have called on Albany to take action. I am still waiting. We need our representatives in the NYS Senate and Assembly to work on putting a stop to the new capacity zoning. They need to be our voice and we are saying, “We cannot afford to pay for the needs of New York City.”

This is not a partisan issue. The issue is simple. Residents and businesses in Putnam County and the rest of the Lower Hudson Valley should not have to pay higher energy bills just because their neighbors to the south will one day use more energy than can currently be generated.

Contact your local, state and federal representatives and urge them to join the fight against the new capacity zone.


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive



Opt Out


March 26, 2014

To All Putnam County Pistol Permit Holders:

Putnam County is continuing to fight for the right to protect our citizens from an unwarranted invasion of their safety and personal privacy. Putnam County Clerk Dennis J. Sant and First Deputy Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti have one thing to say to all Putnam County Pistol Permit Holders; that is, “It’s not too late to file your opt-out form.”  RUN, don’t walk, to your Putnam County Clerk’s Office so you can help us help you.

During our latest wave of community outreach to our pistol permit holders to assist in the filing of their opt out forms, we learned that this provision in the law, more notably the 120 day moratorium period, was very confusing to the public it was designed to protect.  The wording of the law, along with its misinterpretation by certain media outlets, led to confusion by the public that once the moratorium period ended no opt out forms would be accepted.  We just want to stress to all pistol permit holders that is not the case and nothing could be further from the truth.

Again, we urge all pistol permit holders that if you have not done so already, please remit an Opt-Out form to this office as soon as possible.  Currently, the only protection you may have from disclosure is to have an approved Opt Out form in your permit file.    The sooner you get this completed form back to our office, the sooner your personal information will remain confidential.  Contact Michael Bartolotti, 1st Deputy County Clerk, at 845-808-1142 Ext. 49303 to file your opt-out forms and with any questions or concerns you may have. 


Putnam County Pistol License holder FOIL “Opt Out” Form

If you are a pistol license holder or know of somebody who is this may be of interest to you;

As you may be aware New York State has made available an “Opt Out” form for all pistol license holders who wish to exempt their name and address from disclosure. County Clerk Dennis Sant and County Executive MaryEllen Odell want to make sure all pistol license holders have the opportunity to take advantage of this new provision.

If a pistol license holder wishes to “Opt Out” of disclosure they may do the following:

  • Please download the attached form
  • Complete all relevant parts of the form
  • Sign and date the form
  • Return the completed form to the Putnam County Clerk’s Office either in person, or via U.S. mail at 40 Gleneida Avenue, Room 100, Carmel, New York 10512

Should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact us at 845-808-1142 extension 49307.



Caregiver Alert: Winter Months Pose Greater Risk for Infants

Extra blankets, warm clothing, may lead to dangerous overheating

Brewster, NY, January 14, 2014—The cold weather is here and with that comes an increased risk in SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, according to The National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you have a young baby or newborn at home, it is important to be aware of prevention tactics. Multiple layers or heavy clothing, heavy blankets and warm room temperatures may be to blame. Research has shown these factors increase SIDS risk. Infants are sensitive to extremes in temperature and cannot regulate their body temperatures well. Babies may
be at risk of overheating if they are sweating or feel hot to the touch. Experts advise dressing babies in light clothing for sleeping, keeping rooms at temperatures comfortable for adults and not using blankets. Other measures known to reduce SIDS include: 


  • Always place infants on their backs for naps and at night.
  • Use a firm, CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) approved crib mattress with fitted sheets. Avoid using blankets, fluffy bedding, bumpers, positioning devices, pillows or stuffed toys in the crib.
  • Never smoke around an infant.
  • Use pacifiers when napping or putting down to sleep.
  • Breastfeeding
  • For warmth, dress baby in one more layer than you would an adult and use a sleep sack or wearable blanket. Also, keep thermostat to 68°.
  • Do not bed share with an infant. Room sharing such as having the crib in the parent’s bedroom is recommended instead.

Since the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) began its “Back-to-Sleep” campaign, the overall SIDS rate in the U.S. has declined by more than 50 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SIDS is the third leading cause of infant death, claiming 2,063 lives in 2010.

121 MAIN STREET • BREWSTER, NEW YORK 10509 • (Ph) 845-808-1400 • (Fax) 845-808-1926 • CAC@putnamcountyny.gov


Putnam County Market Overview 2014

Putnam County Market Overview 2014

Well, what do you know? According to data from the Hudson Gateway MLS footprint of Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties, the Putnam County housing market is holding its own.

A year to date comparison over 2012 indicates a 13.8% percentage increase in closed transactions and a 2.8% median sales price increase in Single Family Houses. Our inventory shows a slight decrease 0f 3.8% while neighboring Westchester boasted a 9.5 % decrease in inventory. All in all the numbers point to a market going in the direction of a steady recovery.

Breaking down the data by price ranges gives a little more insight into Putnam County’s strengthening market.

By the end of the 4th quarter, 316 homes were sold at prices ranging from $100k-300k, which means there were 316 REAL buyers. Currently, there are 227 active listings with an absorption rate of 8.63 months.

This is quite a contrast to homes in the $850k to $1million range with 34 currently active and 16 sold in 2013, which means 16 REAL buyers and an absorption rate of 25 months.

Continuing with homes in the $300k to $500k range with 231currently active and 274 sold in 2013, which means 274 REAL buyers and an absorption rate of 10 months.

And lastly homes in the $500k to $800k range with 124 currently active and 95 sold in 2013, which means 95 REAL buyers and an absorption rate of 16 months.

The contrasting numbers by price range are a reflection of the market boom in the early 2000s, where the shortage of higher end homes in Westchester caused a price hike and a new construction boom in Putnam and perhaps an oversupply of homes over $500k before the economy took its downturn.

That said, Putnam County does possess some things in its favor when it comes to attracting buyers in all price ranges.

•We have a low unemployment rate of 5.8%.

•We are an affluent community with an median household income of $92,711.

•Since 2009, Putnam County’s crime rate has decreased 34.2% making it the most improved county in New York State in this metric.

•Our home ownership rate is 83.4% which is much higher than surrounding counties.

•We are still a small, closely knit community with our population just under 100,000.

There is room for even more optimism. Our current County administration works hand in hand with our EDC/IDA, Chambers of Commerce, and Tourism and is focused on quality of life issues such as infrastructure improvements, revitalization, smart development, and transportation improvements. The county has even partnered with local Realtors to sell county owned properties. Putnam County is a place that has astutely avoided overdevelopment and over commercialization and instead is famous for its bodies of water, parks and mountains. As we well know the county still lies within a short, easy commute to Manhattan.

2014 is shaping up to be a banner year as far as sales volume is concerned. We know that the health of the housing market relies heavily on the greater economy. National political debates involving Health Care reform, the recent government shutdown, the sequester and debt ceiling surely do not help things. The fact that Putnam County shares the region’s issue with continually increasing taxes, offers less services than neighboring counties, and has a less developed infrastructure makes it a challenge to attract more buyers to the county.

Luckily, these issues are balanced by the pleasant lifestyle offered by the open, green spaces, bodies of water and privacy we have to offer. Putnam County is poised for growth. We have many revitalization and infrastructure improvements in the works such as Envision Brewster, a new sewer district in Kent, improvements in downtown Mahopac being discussed. Coupled with our beautiful surroundings and demographics we will continue on our path of housing recovery.

This is where we as the Realtor community come in. I encourage more fellow HGAR members to get involved at a local level to watch dog our municipal governments and partner with our

elected officials to slow down the tax increases, and foster sustainable improvement to the quality of life.

We can make a difference. While we face our challenges, Putnam County should enjoy a favorable real estate market in the near future, while active community leaders work together to build an even stronger community and an attractive place to live, work and play.

Jennifer Maher,

Associate Broker J. Philip Real Estate LLC

Broker/Managing Partner J.Philip Commercial Group

Chairwoman Putnam County Chambers of Commerce



MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

January 7, 2014


With the Artic freeze continuing to affect the Northeast, the Putnam County Court House experienced problems this morning.  At approximately 8:00 am a fire sprinkler head on the fourth floor east wing burst, partially flooding the 4th & 3rd floor.  Commissioner Fred Pena said “due to the quick action of the Highway staff, crews who were in the building making rounds, when the sprinkler head burst, were able to shut of the water to minimize damage”. 

Administrative Judge for the 9th Judicial District Alan D Scheinkman said “we’ve had a number of weather related issues in several of our court facilities around the district, including Putnam County.  The County Executive and her team are on the situation and we expect that it’s going to be remedied very quickly and we expect to be operational tomorrow.  All essential operations have alternative sites for the day using the County Office building and Historic Courthouse”.

As the temperatures continued to hover well below freezing, the County Executive convened the Incident Response Team in the Courthouse to evaluate the current situation and formulate a response plan.  “The situation today is that we have closed the building while we are assessing the sprinkler system” said County Executive Odell.  “We have to maintain safety as our first priority and because the fire suppression system is off line we don’t feel that occupancy at this time would be in the best interest of the safety and welfare of the employees and of course the visitors to our building.  After we have evaluated the assessment we will make a determination on what the next step will be, whether it is reopening the building or reallocating court operations and personnel to other county facilities”.