The passing of the Honorable James F. Reitz, Putnam County Court Judge

Today, Putnam County lost a respected leader. Our friend and colleague the Honorable James F Reitz passed away after suffering a medical emergency in the Putnam County Courthouse. Despite heroic efforts by court officers, police, EMS, fire personnel and Emergency Department, Judge Reitz died at Putnam Hospital Center.

“It hard to put into words the emotions with the passing of my lifelong friend Jim. Jim was always the person I turned to for support in good times and bad times and his advice was honest and from the heart”, said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell “He was a pillar of this community and his everlasting impact cannot be measured. My heart is heavy, and I know the entire community mourns this tragic loss.  I have lost a dear friend, and Putnam County has lost a dedicated public servant”.

Judge Reitz was a lifelong Putnam County resident graduating from Carmel High School. Judge Reitz attended Mercy College graduating in 1986 and received his J.D. from the Thomas M Cooley Law School in 1989. Judge Reitz married the love of his life Barbara and resided in Mahopac NY. His love of serving the people was only surpassed by his love for his children and grandchildren which provided him with many hours of well-deserved bragging rights.

Judge Reitz was active in community service and volunteering, giving of himself to many organizations, most notably a long time Carmel Rotarian who epitomized Service Above Oneself. Judge Reitz was an outspoken advocate for addiction recovery and second chances which is why he was a pioneer for his beloved Drug Treatment Court. His program was instrumental in saving countless lives and families in Putnam County.

Judge Reitz always held Putnam County dear and focused his career on serving the people starting as a Carmel Town Court Justice in 1996 then becoming a multi-bench judge of the Putnam County Court in 2007. Judge Reitz has also served as an Acting Supreme Court Justice.

Visiting Hours will be Monday June 17, 2019 from 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Putnam County Training & Operations Center, 112 Old Route 6, Carmel NY. A mass will be celebrated on Tuesday June 18, 2019 at 10:30 AM at St James the Apostle Church, 14 Gleneida Ave Carmel NY

World War Two Veteran Robert Graham was given a wonderful send off

There can be no heavy handed words this day. Amid a sea of hundreds of Veterans, active duty service members and good people World War Two Veteran Robert Graham was given a wonderful send off. His life and times were not in vain he will now be long remembered and honored by many. His wonderful young friend, Beth Regan, managed to struggle through a moving eulogy of Bob Graham. A eulogy that reminded the people packing the church that there are indeed good people in this world. Two of them shined on this day 27 year old Beth and 97 year old Bob. Beth made us cry with her words. Bob gave hope with his time on earth. This year when the Putnam County Row of Honor graces the shores of Lake Gleneida in Carmel there will be an American flag to honor the memory of Robert Graham at the request of County Executive MaryEllen Odell. The flag will also honor home town girl Beth Regan of Putnam Valley. Not in words but in spirit because if not for her intrepid energy and good heart Bob would be forgotten.

Beth stood in front of the church as a Marine Corps Honor Guard folded the American Flag that had graced Bob’s coffin. They folded it in clean precise folds. They inspected it and saluted our Nation’s flag. The young sergeant did a precise about face and with reverence marched to the girl with tears in her eyes and tears in her heart. There being no living relative the flag was presented to Beth. Beth in reality became at that moment in time and forever after Robert Graham’s last living relative.

Written by Karl Rohde, Director | Putnam County Veterans Service Agency

Putnam County Executive Odell Attends Putnam County Leadership Breakfast, Addresses Working Together With New York City

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the Putnam Business Council recently welcomed representatives from the New York City Department of City Planning at the Putnam County Leadership Breakfast on April 25th.

During her presentation, Carolyn Grossman Meagher of New York City Planning addressed several inequalities and the need for New York City to reach out to its neighboring communities to ensure that the entire Hudson Valley Region thrives.

Meagher is the Director of the new Regional Planning Division of New York City Planning. The Division was created with five objectives: to connect with regional governments and planning officials, to analyze, aggregate and disseminate regional data, to instill regionalism in Planning activities, to cultivate opportunities to cross-border collaboration, and to inform regional policy and capital priorities.

Odell said she was optimistic about this new Division.

“New York City has seen the most post-recession economic and job growth in our region,” Odell said. “while areas outside of New York City saw slower wage growth. I am looking forward to working with New York City Planning for the benefit of the entire Hudson Valley.”

Odell added that this partnership will be immensely valuable since there is a dramatically large population in the Hudson Valley that commute to jobs in New York City, as well as a smaller population that commute from New York City to the Hudson Valley.

Click here to see her presentation via PDF

Putnam County Clerk Michael Bartolotti and County Executive MaryEllen Odell Boost Organ Donation

Putnam County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti and County Executive MaryEllen Odell will be partnering with Donate Life NYS during Donate Life Month to increase enrollment in the New York State Donate Life Registry. Donate Life Month is a national month-long observance aimed at raising public awareness of the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donation, as nearly 9,500 New Yorkers currently wait for transplants.

“April is National Donate Life month, and we are delighted to continue working with Donate Life NYS 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 35% of adults in New York State are registered donors, compared to the national average of more than 50%. Bartolotti stated that, “While 40% of Putnam County residents are registered donors, we believe we can do better!”

During the entire month of April, the Putnam County DMV office in Brewster will be encouraging New Yorkers to learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation and the impact it has on thousands of New Yorkers. County Clerk Bartolotti will be filling the office with promotional items that urge New Yorkers to make a difference and give the gift of life by registering as donors. Enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry is a way to ensure that an individual’s wishes about donation will be known at the time of their death.

“400 New Yorkers die every year 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 Donate Life NYS to make their goal of a significantly increased registry a reality.”

Golf season has arrived!

Putnam County Golf Course would like to welcome you to the 2019 Golf Season and is excited to pass along exciting and important news to our loyal customers.
On April 1, 2019, Putnam County Golf Course will unveil an entirely new fleet of Club Car Golf Carts featuring industry leading technology- The Visage GPS Screens
The GPS systems offer yardage, course information as well as monitor pace of play which is relayed to a “home computer” so staff can continuously manage your experience.
In addition, all carts will be equipped with USB charging ports to keep you connected while enjoying your time on the golf course.

Also, we are proud to introduce your New Head Golf Professional, Jari Tompuri. Jari returns back “home” to Putnam County with 15 years of Golf experience and looks forward to a future at Putnam County GC.  See Jari’s bio below:

Jari K. Tompuri

Jari, a native of Finland, immigrated to the United States when he was 4 years old, living in Bronx, NY for 6 years before settling in Carmel New York. Jari attended George Fisher Middle School and Carmel High School where his passion for golf began as a member of the Carmel High Rams golf team. After earning a Business Degree from State University of New York College at Oswego, Jari managed and owned the Carmel Beverage Center.

Upon moving to Texas, Jari enrolled in the Professional Golfers’ Association Apprentice program and began his journey toward becoming a PGA Professional. Jari took his first Head Professional position at River Crossing Club in San Antonio, Texas, followed by the Diamante Country Club in Arkansas.
Jari is passionate about teaching the game of golf and helping players of all ages achieve their maximum potential.
Jari is married to his wife, Crystal, and has two daughters, Gracie and Haley.

Putnam County Courthouse Goes Blue for Child Abuse Prevention Month

Brewster, NY – March 22, 2019 – In recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month the Putnam County Courthouse will be lit with blue light, one of several initiatives designed to raise awareness that child abuse is preventable, said County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

“All kids deserves a great childhood that’s carefree and full of promise,” said Odell.  “Putnam County values its children and when people see the light we hope it will remind them that together as a community we can stop child abuse.”

In addition to the courthouse, the Child Advocacy Center and Prevent Child Abuse New York’s “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign are also using pinwheels to raise awareness. “Pinwheels are meant to convey that every child deserves the chance to be raised in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment,” said CAC Program Coordinator Marla Behler.

The pinwheel garden is located in front of the Sibyl Ludington Statue at Lake Gleneida on Route 6 in Carmel, across from St. James Church.

On April 3rd, Foster Parents Dale and Dolores Bettcher, who opened their home to more than 60 children, will be recognized at the third annual Champions for Children Breakfast sponsored by the Friends of Putnam CAC, Inc. and the Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County.

The breakfast gathering at the Putnam National Golf Club in Mahopac Falls will feature as its guest speaker Mark Yarbrough, whose story of burnout became the basis for his presentation, “Give ‘em the F.I.N.G.E.R!” He addresses the struggle of burnout offering powerful, practical and hilarious insights to help people understand and re-engage in their lives. The breakfast takes place from 8-10 am. Admission is $25, $30 at the door. Tickets and additional information are available at www.friendsofputnamcac.org/CHAMPIONS-FOR-CHILDREN  or by calling 808-1400.

“The CAC has long advocated that education is imperative to preventing child abuse and continues to partner with local agencies to implement innovative programs to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing of the children of Putnam County,” said Behler. “As more awareness and education programs become available, it is clear that people understand the importance of early and comprehensive prevention of abuse, not just responding to it after it occurs.”

Among the tips provided by Prevent Child Abuse New York are acknowledging that parenting is a tough job. Reassure a parent coping with a difficult situation in public. Help amuse a restless child. For your own kids, be patient and really listen when they speak to you, and make it a priority to spend time with them, undistracted by work and the other demands on your time.

For more information on child abuse prevention programs call the Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County at (845) 808-1400.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell Recognizes the Greater New York Region of the American Red Cross And Recognizes Red Cross Month

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell met with representatives from the Greater New York Region of the American Red Cross recently and recognized their valuable service. Mary Young, CEO of the Metro New York Chapter, Abilgail Adams, Regional Communications Program Manager, Greg Amato, Volunteer Leader, and Elizabeth Carson-Tompkins, Disaster Action Team Supervisor, were all in attendance for the meeting.

“The dedicated staff and volunteers of the American Red Cross provide much-needed help to our friends and neighbors when they need it most,” Odell said. “It is a pleasure to recognize their dedication not just during Red Cross Month, but year round.”

Odell presented the organization with an official Proclamation celebrating March as Red Cross Month and recognizing their valuable contributions.

The Red Cross Metro New York North Chapter, which serves Putnam County, assisted in nearly 200 local disasters in 2018. They installed 2,647 free smoke alarms and educated over 1,500 adults and children in emergency preparedness. In the Putnam County area, the Red Cross provided over 1,000 services to military members, veterans, and families in 2018. Over 9,000 units of blood were also collected by the Red Cross from generous blood donors.

Odell also reminds Putnam County residents that the need for blood is constant, and bloodmobiles are scheduled throughout the month. In addition, Red Cross Giving Day is March 27th.

All Putnam County Government Offices, with the exception of essential services will be opening on a 2 hr delay for Mon 3/4/19

After meeting with the ICS Team and evaluating the impact of the current winter storm, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has delayed the opening of all Putnam County Government Offices with the exception of essential services for 2 hours on Monday, March 4, 2019. Offices that normally open at 8:00 will open at 10:00 AM and offices that normally open at 9:00 AM will open at 11:00 AM.

“While some roads are passable it’s better to stay off the roads and let the Highway Departments continue to do their jobs”, said County Executive Odell. “We also need to let our Highway Department clear our parking lots and walkways, delaying by 2 hours gives them the time necessary”.

If you MUST travel this morning give yourself enough time and drive carefully.

Residents are reminded that to report a power outage or downed wires you should call your local utility company; NYSEG 800-572-1131. Central Hudson 845-452-2700 or use their apps.

Please call 9-1-1 if you need immediate police, fire or EMS response.

Putnam County Emergency Operations Center is currently monitoring a winter storm that will impact our area beginning at 4 – 6 PM this evening

The Putnam County Emergency Operations Center is monitoring a winter storm that is moving into our area starting around 4 – 6 PM this evening. Heaviest snowfall amounts are expected to be during the overnight hours. Accumulations are estimated between 4” – 8”. Temperatures are expected to remain at or above freezing which will cause the snow to be very wet and heavy. The above freezing temperatures may also cause the first few inches of snow to melt on contact with the ground. The snow is expected to end by 7 AM Monday morning. Winds will remain calm overnight increasing in intensity through the day Monday with wind gusts of up to 25 MPH during the late afternoon, decreasing after 6 PM.

“Late winter/early spring snow storms have the ability to dump large amounts of wet snow and this one is no exception” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Our local first responders, as always, are prepared and our highway crews stand at the ready. We will continue to monitor the storm as it comes into our area and respond to any incidents that may occur”.

Residents are reminded to report any outages to their local utility company.  NYSEG can be contacted at 800-572-1131. Central Hudson Gas & Electric can be contacted at 845-452-2700. Both companies have an app available for download to track outages

A mix of snow, sleet and rain is expected in our area that will persist through the night. At this time we are not expecting any delays or cancelations. Employees should use caution when traveling.

Snow will continue shifting through over the next few hours, continuing through 8-10pm. Afterwards, a changeover to freezing rain is anticipated as temperatures slowly warm up through the overnight/early morning hours. It is expected that there will be a changeover back to rain/snow just before dawn. Conditions are then expected to dry out after dawn. An additional 0.5 – 1.5” of snow is anticipated through this evening, then up to 0.10” of ice accumulation is possible.

At this time we do not expect any delays or cancellations in the morning however employees should continue to monitor the situation for updates. Please drive safely as you head home this evening.