Putnam’s Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers Moves Forward

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County’s lawsuit to hold the opioid manufacturers and distributors responsible for the rampant heroin and opioid abuse and deaths in our communities can proceed after several Motions to Dismiss were rejected in State Supreme Court in Central Islip, NY, on Tuesday, June 19.

State Supreme Court Justice Jerry Garguilo denied several Motions to Dismiss filed by various manufacturers of opioid-related pharmaceuticals.  Putnam County is one of the dozens of New York counties that have filed suit against pharmaceutical companies for deceptive marketing practices, claiming these practices were meant to minimize the addiction risks of opioids. The lawsuit alleges that the Defendant manufacturers fueled statewide and community-based addiction crises through false advertising and deceptive marketing.

“Justice Garguilo’s decision let Big Pharma know that we have a credible cause for filing this lawsuit and those companies will not be able to hide from its share of responsibility and accountability for the opioid crisis behind its high-priced attorneys,” said County Executive Odell. “The opioid crisis has affected far too many Putnam County residents and I am pleased to see that courts agree that our case deserves to be heard.”

Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, who chairs the Health Committee, agreed.

“The court decision verifies that taking on the pharmaceutical companies is not just a stunt. There are triable issues of fact which should proceed before the State Supreme Court. The effects of opioid addiction and destruction are unquestionable, and have a devastating effect on society,” said Scuccimarra.

Local state representatives are also pleased with Justice Garguilo’s decision.

Senator Terrence Murphy said, “The war against heroin and opioid addiction has been fought on many fronts; in treatment centers, in homes, in schools and now in the courts. The casualties have been the individuals and families whose health and safety have been jeopardized by pharmaceutical manufacturers who care more for profits than people. It is time they were held responsible for pushing poison into our communities.”

Senator Sue Serino said, “The heroin and opioid epidemic has devastated far too many New York communities and we have a duty to ensure that we are doing all we can to stop the scourge. That includes holding those who perpetuate the problem accountable. This decision marks a positive step forward and I commend our local communities for working tirelessly to combat this pervasive problem.”

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne said, “This is great news in the continued fight to combat the opioid epidemic. Putnam County is on the front lines of this fight to hold Big Pharma accountable for its role in the marketing and distribution of these highly addictive opioid pain medications.”

The court decision was encouraging news for Susan Salomone, Executive Director of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard.

“This is definitely one important hurdle in many that we face,” Salomone said. “Our hope is that justice for all the lives lost is somehow redeemed through this Supreme Court decision. Although we cannot bring our loved ones back we can find ways to use the proceeds from this litigation to help others that are still suffering.”

In addition to the New York counties’ pending action in New York State Supreme Court in Suffolk County, there are hundreds of state and local government cases filed in federal court, consolidated in the Northern District of Ohio.

County Executive Odell has stated that any monetary award given to Putnam County will be given to the nonprofit agencies that help residents battle addictions.

Repaving Complete on First Carmel Route 6 Project

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell is thrilled to inform residents that the repaving of Route 6 in Carmel from Reed Memorial Library to Route 312 is complete. The $1.8 million project, which took less than 3 weeks to complete, minimally disrupted the traffic flow of the major throughway because crews worked during the overnights.

“The repaving of Route 6 was an important project to get done for the safety of our residents,” said County Executive Odell.  “I appreciate our state representatives Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, DOT Regional Director Lance McMillian and Paleen Construction for understanding that by moving the construction to the overnights we were able to avoid massive gridlock and keep the Carmel business corridor open.”

The support of Murphy and Byrne made the five-mile project become a DOT priority. They also secured the funding for it.

“Commuters, school buses, and local businesses rely on Route 6, which is one of the most heavily-traveled in the County,” said Senator Terrence Murphy. “Coming off a particularly harsh winter, the improvements made to Route 6 will enhance the quality of life for Putnam County residents and make the road surface safer for all motorists. I want to thank Putnam County Executive Odell, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne and the staff at DOT for working together to complete this critically needed project.”

The monies are part of more than $100 million in state funding to repave and enhance roadways impacted by the harsh weather this past winter. Funding will support 84 projects and the renewal of nearly 1,000 lane miles of pavement across the state, including at least one project in every county and New York City.

The repairing and resurfacing of Route 6, from the turn on Willow Road located at the Putnam Trailway hub, and continuing to the intersection of Route 301 in the Hamlet of Carmel, is expected to begin in the late summer/early fall, according to the NYS DOT. It is anticipated that crews will do a majority of the work of the $1.7 million project during the overnight hours as well.

Photo Caption: A before (left side) and after view of Route 6 paving project in Carmel by the Putnam Trailway overpass.

Putnam County Awarded $100,000 for Airport Park Drainage

CARMEL, NY – County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced that Putnam County will receive a $100,000 grant through New York’s State and Municipal Facilities Program to conduct drainage improvements to Airport Park in Mahopac. Airport Park is a county-owned property that was leased to the Town of Carmel in 2005 for 99-years. The drainage improvements will, among other things, improve water quality to downstream wetlands and surrounding water bodies, rectify water runoff issues, reducing phosphorous in runoff at Lake McGregor which abuts Airport Park.

“When different layers of government can work together the taxpayers win,” said County Executive Odell. “The Town of Carmel will be doing a major transformation of Airport Park to better serve its residents. Putnam County was able to apply for a state grant that provides a better foundation for the project. By working together, we are able to conduct needed upgrades to the property with funding help from New York State.”

The $100,000 grant will be administered through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

County Executive Odell and Sheriff Langely celebrate Flag Day with St James’ students

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Sheriff Robert Langely Jr. and Director of Veterans Services, Karl Rohde, honored Flag Day on Tuesday, June 14 by hosting a small ceremony at the Row of Honor in Carmel with students from St. James School.

“It is great to be out here along the shores of Lake Gleneida with the students of St. James School, which truly represent our future,” said County Executive Odell. “We teach our children to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance, but on Flag Day we take a moment and focus on what the flag itself stands for. It stands for unity, freedom, democracy and the hope for a better tomorrow.”

In the VFW ritual we say at memorial ceremonies:  “lets us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor”. Said Director of Veterans services, Karl Rohde, When I see our dear old flag this quote comes to mind as I remember my comrades who gave their lives so that we may be free.  Always stand and honor our dear old flag.

Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.


**Pictured John Duncan, Art Hanley, County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Sheriff Robert Langley, Karl Rohde.

Putnam County-Wide Shared Services Panel Meets to Increase Inter-governmental Cooperation

A Putnam County-wide Shared Services Panel, that includes every Mayor and Supervisor located within the County, has been convened earlier this year by Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell to develop a County-wide Shared Services Plan to find ways to increase government efficiency and reduce spending. The Panel also includes members from the County’s Fiscal Vision and Accountability Committee to leverage that longstanding group’s progress to date. This is part of a state-wide initiative on sharing services that the New York Governor established.

The Putnam County-wide Shared Services Panel met for the second time yesterday to continue their work to identify opportunities for reducing government costs and improving service delivery.

County Executive Odell said, “This is a great opportunity to get everyone at the table to explore ways to save money by partnering together”

The County hired a municipal planning and consulting firm, the Laberge Group, to facilitate the Panel meetings and assist with drafting the County-wide Shared Services Plan. The Panel is exploring opportunities, both county-wide and between particular local municipalities, where it might make sense to partner and share equipment and resources.

Yesterday’s meeting included specific roundtable discussions focusing on Public Works, Personnel Services, Dog Control and Shelters, Information Technology, and Tax Assessment. These discussions included the school district and local public works administrators, and focused on ways to increase inter-governmental cooperation throughout the County.

The County Executive is grateful to the Chief Elected Leaders, and the school, municipal and highways administrators that participated in these productive discussions.

The County-wide Shared Service Panel expects to draft a County-wide Shared Services Plan by August, which will then be reviewed by the County Legislature and the public, through a public hearing process that will be announced separately.

For additional information on the Putnam County-wide Shared Services Initiative, please contact the County Executive’s office at 845-808-1001.

Road Repairs Begin Along Route 6

CARMEL, NY –  County Executive MaryEllen Odell is pleased to report that the milling and repaving of Route 6 in Carmel has begun. Paleen Construction of Somers has started on the New York State Department of Transportation project, which is expected to be done in two phases. The first phase of the project will repair Route 6 from Reed Library to Route 312. The second phase will repair Route 6 Route 6 at Willow Road to Route 52 (Gleneida Avenue) at Route 301.

“The safety and well-being of the people of Putnam continue to be my No. 1 priority and repaving this section of Route 6 will make the roadway safe once again,” said Odell. “Legislator Carl Albano and I have been in communication with the State DOT to make sure that the project is done efficiently and effectively.”

The repaving will require a road grinder to mill the existing surface, then the company needs to pour and grade the new asphalt. The work will be done in sections and as each section is completed it will be useable right away. The first phase is expected to take two to three weeks to complete.

There is a second phase of the repaving project is expected to begin in the late summer or early fall.

Remembering a lost colleague inspires a new Row of Honor Ceremony

CARMEL, NY – In remembrance of Richard Farrell of Yorktown, who worked for the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency, County Executive MaryEllen Odell joined his family, friends, colleagues and fellow members of Mahopac VFW Post 5491 at the Row of Honor along the shores of Lake Gleneida in Carmel, NY on Wednesday, May 30. Collectively, the group purchased six American flags in Farrell’s honor.

“Today is the day that Memorial Day was recognized for 200 years, and in Putnam County, we pay homage to those soldiers we have lost on both the observed federal holiday as well as the traditional holiday,” said County Executive Odell. “Today we are honoring Richard, who was a dedicated soldier and an incredibly generous man. This ceremony has inspired us. Every year on the traditional Memorial Day, we will a remembrance service at the Row of Honor to honor every Veteran from Putnam who passed away the previous year.”

Farrell, who served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam Conflict and was a member of the New York City Fire Department with Engine Co. 80/Ladder 23, and retired as a Fire Marshall in 1989, died on Dec. 4, 2017.

“Rich was a great friend and colleague,” said Veterans Service Agency Director Karl Rohde. “He is missed by all who knew him. The flags that were dedicated to him in the Row of Honor pay tribute to his friendliness and wise counsel and will help carry on his legacy for years to come. He will not be forgotten.”

The Putnam County Veterans Service Agency will work in cooperation with the local Veterans organizations to collect the names. Residents can submit names to the agency. Each name will be read at the remembrance ceremony on May 30.

To submit a name to the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency. call 845-808-1620 or email putnamvets@putnamcountyny.gov

Photo caption: County Executive MaryEllen Odell (right) and Putnam County Veterans Service Agency Director Karl Rohde applaud Richard Farrell’s wife Eileen and their daughters after they spoke about him at the remembrance ceremony held in his honor at the Row of Honor on Wednesday, May 30.

The Public is Invited to Attend Shared Services Panel Meeting and Round Table Discussions with Consultant

Dear Mayors and Supervisors,

We invite you to attend our next County-Wide Shared Services Initiative Panel meeting on Thursday, June 7th at 6:30pm at the Putnam County Training and Operations Center located at 112 Old Route 6 in Carmel.

As you may recall, New York State has recently mandated that each County Executive convene a County-Wide Shared Services Panel that must consist of all mayors and supervisors.  This meeting will be our second Shared Services Panel meeting to ultimately draft a County-Wide Shared Services Plan for 2019 (by August).

Our meeting agenda is to discuss each of your municipality’s areas of mutual interest to share services based on your Shared Services Survey responses that you are completing for the Laberge Group.  The Laberge Group will send a meeting agenda under separate cover.

We encourage you to invite your respective municipal boards to also attend and even provide input.   Please let us know if you are interested to arrange for a town/village specific discussion with your Board on the 31st.  This would be considered a simultaneous meeting of the Shared Services Panel and your respective local government, if you had a large enough body of members attending so as to constitute a legal quorum.  Please remember to also post a legal notice for such a Village/Town Board meeting (workshop) at the above time and place if you are interested to formalize their input on the 7th.

We are also inviting representation from each of the public school districts and BOCES within the County.

AS discussed at our previous panel meeting, we will separately contact you to arrange other round table discussions with the right people on that same date, to take a “deeper dive” into specific areas based on your survey responses.  The anticipated discussion topics and times for those discussions are attached hereto.

If you have not already done so, we appreciate if you could please complete your Shared Services Survey and return to Dennis Pilla at the Laberge Group (DPilla@labergegroup.com).

You can also contact Dennis by email or phone (914-563-9978) if you have any questions about the survey or if you had trouble receiving, opening, or sending the electronic file.

We look forward to continuing our combined efforts to increase inter-municipal cooperation in Putnam County in order to reduce costs for our taxpayers.  Thank you,

Pancake Breakfast honors Armed Forces Day and kicks off Spring Row of Honor

CARMEL, NY – About 100 people recognized Armed Forces Day and celebrated the launch of the spring Row of Honor, that perched along the shores of Lake Gleneida, by participating in the annual pancake breakfast held by the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council at the Carmel VFW Hall on Sunday, May 20.

Armed Forces Day was first observed on May 20, 1950 to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army-, Navy-, Air Force-, Marine Corps- and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.

“It makes sense to start the spring Row of Honor season on Armed Forces Day,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Just like Armed Forces Day, our flags represent those who have served and those who continue to serve in our five U.S. military branches.”

She added. “There is something so special about looking out on Lake Gleneida and seeing those flags dance in the wind so freely. It makes you take a moment and remember that there was a cost to our safety and freedom. These flags are a thank you to those who sacrificed of themselves, so we could live a blessed life.”

Twice a year, for Memorial Day and Veterans Day, over 300 flags with the names of Veterans line the shore of Lake Gleneida. This historic observation has become a cherished tradition for residents and has drawn national attention to Putnam County.

“A sense of pride and sadness fills me when I see the Row of Honor,” said Veteran Karl Rohde, Director of the County’s Veterans Service Agency. “Pride because it is an obvious show of patriotism and love for our country.  It makes me sad because it reminds me of my comrades who have lost their lives serving with honor under that flag.”

With a $100 donation, the name of your loved one can appear on a flag. The proceeds will go toward Veterans Peer-to-Peer projects.

The flags will remain up through July 21, when the inaugural Medal of Honor Parade will be held pass by them. The parade, which begins at 1 p.m., will launch from Paladin Center, located at 39 Seminary Hill Road and end at the corner of Route 52 and Fair Street in Carmel.

To RSVP for the pancake breakfast or to order your flag call 845-808-1620 or visit PutnamCountyNY.gov/ROH. Checks can be made payable to the Joint Veterans Council to PC Veterans Service Agency, Donald B. Smith Government Campus, 110 Old Route 6, Bldg. 3, Carmel, N.Y. 10512.

Dry Ice & Water Available-Putnam County Offices Open-Comfort Stations Available

The Putnam County EOC remains open to coordinate the restoration efforts. The EOC continues to be staffed with key personnel including NYSEG, Central Hudson, the National Guard and Highway Departments.


NYSEG 8,457

Central Hudson Less than 500

NYSEG & Central Hudson and mutual aid crews will continue to identify and prioritize restoration efforts while ensuring the safety of the workers and public.

All Putnam County Offices are open today, Friday May 18, 2018 however some services are canceled. Due to the numerous remaining road closures, public transportation including Pre-K/Early Intervention will NOT be in operation. In addition, all friendship centers and adult day services are closed and there will be no deliveries of homebound meals. The RSVP recognition breakfast originally scheduled for today is postponed until Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

Commuters are reminded to check for delays or closings before departing. Metro North Railroad www.mta.info/mnr, NYS Transportation https://511ny.org are just a few that provide up to the minute information.

Comfort Stations will remain open today. All comfort stations have bathroom facilities and will provide an area to recharge your electronic devices.

The comfort stations for Friday May 18, 2018 are as follows:

Patterson Recreation Center    7:00 AM – 9:00 PM

65 Front St

Patterson NY

Southeast Town Hall    9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

1360 Rt 22

Brewster NY

Philipstown Recreation Center    7:00 AM – 4:00 PM

107 Glenclyffe

Garrison NY

Kent Town Hall    8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

25 Sybil’s Crossing

Kent Lakes NY

Dry ice and water are available while supplies last. Please contact your local municipality for more information.

There are still over 50 road closures in the County. Travelers are reminded to use caution when driving.

Residents that need to report a power outage or downed wires should call your local utility company;

NYSEG 800-572-1131

Central Hudson 845-452-2700

or use their apps.

Please remember to be safe when there are downed power lines. Wires that look dead may still be live and power could be restored at any time making those wires life threatening.

Stay out of flooded or damp basements or other areas if water is in contact with outlets, a furnace or any electrically operated appliance that is energized. The water or moisture may conduct electricity. Contact may cause serious or fatal injury.

You may have a lot of tree debris in your yard following a storm. Wait until power line repairs are complete before you begin your storm cleanup.

Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.

Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm

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