FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Shop Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30

Small Business Saturday, a shop local incentive supported and advertised by American Express and held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, has become the latest way to show support for small, independently owned and operated businesses across the country. 

Although a relatively new idea, SBS has proven a worthy contender in the frenzied holiday shopping season. Launched on Nov. 27, 2010 and placed on Facebook at, SBS received 1.2 million ‘likes’ in its first month. Early the following year, the U. S. Senate officially recognized Small Business Saturday 2011 and in 2012, according to Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion on Nov. 26, 2012, that year’s SBS.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell loves the idea of promoting small businesses in this way. 

“Small Business Saturday is a wonderful way to promote our Main Street businesses. Everyone comes out ahead when consumers shop locally: the merchants, for certain and that keeps our Main Streets thriving but shopping locally also increasing our sales tax revenues which in turn helps to lower our property taxes,” she said. 

Shopping locally does give the local economy a boost. According to research firm Civic Economics, for every $100 spent at a local store, approximately $68 stays within the community. Not so if a consumer shops at a chain store ($43) or online (next to nothing). By shopping locally, consumers are actually raising money to support their schools, fire and police department, even their roads. Shopping locally also helps to create jobs which can actually help to raise real estate values.

Chairwoman Putnam County Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Jennifer Maher is completely supportive of the Small Business Saturday campaign. It’s all about being ‘local.’

“Businesses in Putnam County are in need of our support. Small Business Saturday is a way to promote buying locally which supports the local economy and local jobs,” Maher said. “Small Business Saturday will provide an opportunity for Putnam county residents to show their community spirit while putting money back into our County coffers.”

Not to mention back into their wallets.

American Express cardholders may register starting at 12 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24 for a $10 Amex statement credit for shopping small on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, this year’s SBS. Card Members must spend $10 or more in a single, in-store transaction.

To find out which small businesses in Putnam County are participating in SBS and to see a map and list of the small business names, visit

“Enjoy big shopping by shopping small – and local – this year,” said Odell.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: County Exec ‘Walks’ Through Fall Weekend


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001 

October 24, 2013

County Exec ‘Walks’ Through Fall Weekend

Putnam weather could not have been more cooperative and the turnout could not have been better at several fundraising and awareness walks held over the weekend.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell stopped by to encourage and thank walkers participating in the Saturday, Oct. 19th Walk for a Cure for Breast Cancer sponsored by Healy’s Restaurant in Kent. 

“I’m always amazed at the great, generous spirit of so many residents who give up their weekend time to raise money for so many important causes,” Odell said. “No one can say Putnam doesn’t care. We do and the sheer numbers of people out walking for their causes this weekend proves it.” 

On Sunday, Odell attended two walks. She met the Office for the Aging Senior Helpers team who held their annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. More than 300 walkers on 37 teams helped to surpass the goal of $37,800. So far, the walk has raised $38,951. Top team fundraisers for that walk were the Frogs Legs who raised almost $5,000.

Odell also was present at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walk on Sunday where the Pfc. Joseph Dwyer Veterans Peer-to-Peer Program team walked to honor Matt Oliver. Their goal, according to team member Art Hanley, was to raise $1500 and by day’s end they tallied a whopping $3610 and were ranked #2 for funds raised.

Hanley recounted some unsettling facts concerning suicides and veterans in this country and said that was why he chose to walk in Sunday’s event.

“We lose 22 veterans to suicide every day. That’s one death every 65 minutes,” Hanley said. “Someone commits suicide every 15 minutes in this country. That means 96 people a day die and 22 of them are veterans. It’s a real tragedy.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Big Band Evening Draws Crowd to Putnam County Golf Course


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001 

October 21, 2013

Big Band Evening Draws Crowd to Putnam County Golf Course
“We’ll be more than happy to have the Sonny Carroll orchestra back anytime.”
                                                       – General Manager Mike McCall

It was standing room only when band leader Sonny Carroll brought his 20-piece orchestra for a late Sunday afternoon performance of classic swing-era music to the Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac recently. The event, a partnership between the County and the Putnam Arts Council, was free and open to the public. Guests who were inclined could enjoy a $20 per person buffet dinner prepared by Home Style Caterers.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was among the more than 150 people who attended the Oct. 20 event over the course of the evening. Afterwards, Odell said she hoped there would be future appearances by the band at the club.  

“There was a great turnout. The ballroom at Putnam County Golf Course was packed,” Odell said. “Everyone just loved the music and the dancing. There is obviously a huge Big Band following here in the Hudson Valley. We are now looking into what we can do to continue to do this at the golf course.”

The event was reminiscent of Carroll’s twice monthly Sunday appearances at Sciortino’s in Brewster where he entertained for approximately five years until the restaurant closed. 

The 92-year old bandleader, whose real name is Angelo Testerano, lives in nearby Danbury. He formed his popular band in 1973. The group is composed of 20 musicians playing trumpets, trombones, saxophones, guitar, bass and drums and two vocalists. Amazingly enough, Testerano ignores computers and writes his musicians’ scores by hand. He still takes charge of the set-up and take-down of each gig they play.

Marc Pekowsky, a Mahopac resident and Board member for the Putnam Arts Council, plays saxophone in the orchestra and was instrumental in bringing the band to the newly renovated golf course. Pekowsky, a music teacher in the Yonkers Public School District, who has known Odell for many years through their shared interest in several community projects, met the County Executive by chance at the golf course during while it was undergoing its many renovations. Pekowsky told her he thought the ballroom with its raised stage and dance floor would be the perfect setting for the Sonny Carroll Orchestra.

“I knew there were a lot of people in our area who love to dance. I felt quite sure there was an audience for this kind of quality entertainment in Carmel,” Pekowsky said. “I told her and she just said, ‘Let’s do it!’

Odell quickly introduced Pekowsky to PCGC General Manager Mike McCall and, as Pekowsky said, “Once the management of the golf course came on board, it just happened. The setting at the golf course, with its stage and dance floor, is enormously appealing to many people. The event was truly successful and beyond our wildest dreams. I hope this kind of entertainment can continue here in Carmel,” he said.

Putnam Tourism Director Libby Pataki agreed with Odell’s assertion that the Big Band sound is popular and will draw people to where the great music is being played.

“To walk into that room and hear that wonderful music was a trip down Memory Lane for me, said Pataki. “My parents fell in love to this music, danced to this music and enjoyed it so much their entire lives. To have this musical history continue to be so strong here in Putnam is a great thing.”

McCall said he was more than happy to have been brought on board and was quite enthusiastic about the number of people who attended the music and dancing event. He estimated that of the more than 150 who attended, about half took advantage of the reasonably priced buffet dinner.

“The band certainly delivered a good night for everyone who attended,” said McCall. “We’ll be more than happy to have the Sonny Carroll Orchestra back anytime.”


Full House for Sonny Carroll at PCGC

Full House: The Sonny Carroll Orchestra and its Big Band sound drew a full house at Putnam County Golf Course on Sunday, Oct. 20. Tourism Director Libby Pataki believes Big Band music fans will travel to where the great music is being played.


Room Shot: The ballroom at the newly renovated Putnam County Golf Course was filled with couples enjoying an evening out to dine and dance to the sounds of Big Band music played by The Sonny Carroll Orchestra last Sunday.


Dancing: Couples flocked to the dance floor as The Sonny Carroll Orchestra played Big Band music at the newly renovated Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac on Oct. 20th.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Putnam County’s Disability Mentoring Day


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

October 11, 2013

County Executive MaryEllen Odell would like to remind the media that County departments will be participating in this year’s Putnam County Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) which will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2013. Members of the media are cordially invited to meet with participants at Cornerstone Park at 1 p.m. 

“Disability Mentoring Day allows students and jobseekers with a disability to spend part of their day visiting a government agency to not only target career skills for improvement but to also explore possible career paths,” said Odell.

The goals of Disability mentoring Day are fourfold:

  • To enhance internship and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • To dispel employers’ fears about hiring people with disabilities
  • To promote disability as a central component of diversity recruitment for a more inclusive workforce and,
  • To increase confidence among students and job seekers with disabilities.

County agencies participating in the program include the Office of Emergency Management (IT Dept.), Consumer Affairs, County Clerk, County Executive, Health, Finance, Highways, Industrial Development, Law, Personnel, Purchasing, Sheriff, Tourism, and Youth Bureau. Also participating is the Sullivan Insurance Agency.

Coordinators for the day include Tina Cornish-Lauria, executive director for CAREERS for People with Disabilities (845) 222-4273; Kimberely Coleman Yedowitz from Carmel High School (845) 863-5975; Lillian Earle from PARC (845-225-5650 x 1131; and Maria Mastragiavani from Putnam Family & Community Services (845) 225-2700 x 168.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Row of Honor Flags Available for Veterans Day


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

Row of Honor Flags Available for Veterans Day

With Veterans Day approaching on Monday, November 11, County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Director of Veteran Services Karl Rohde and members of the Joint Veterans Council are reminding Putnam residents to reserve an American flag in time for the Row of Honor which will once again be on display along the shores of Lake Gleneida in the Hamlet of Carmel.

“We inaugurated the Row of Honor last year and it was so well-received that we decided to make it an annual event,” said Odell. “The flags serve as a visually striking and poignant reminder of those who have served – or died in service – to our country. That is something the rest of us should never forget. Our veterans must never be forgotten. The men and women who served in our Armed Forces and those who served in our Army and Air National Guard, are this country’s heroes, no matter what generation they belong to. The Row of Honor is our way of making sure Putnam residents – and anyone else who visits the Hamlet Carmel – are reminded of all that our veterans have done for us.”  

The Row of Honor, a colorful stretch of 100 red, white and blue American-made flags, is a fundraising collaboration by the Joint Veterans Council, Putnam Tourism and Putnam County government. Money raised through sponsorships will be used to fund various veterans’ projects. The public is invited to participate by purchasing a flag to honor a family member or friend who has served their country in the military or in any one of the protective services such as a fire or police department.

Along with the lakeside stream of stars and stripes, there will be flags representing each branch of the Armed Forces along with those of the Army and Air National Guards and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Sponsorships for the flag, which will be erected during the first full week in November, can be purchased for $100 each. Checks should be made out to the Joint Veterans Council and sent to them at Putnam County Veterans Affairs Office, Donald B. Smith Government Campus, 110 Old Route 6, Bldg. 3, Carmel, NY 10512. For further information, call Mimi at (845) 808-1620.

Adopted 2014 Budget


Here is a direct link to the Adopted 2014 budget.

Please click the button below to view this document.

Budget 2014
2014 Adopted Budget File

2014 Putnam County Budget Presentation


On October 2nd 2013, County Executive MaryEllen Odell gave her 2014 budget presentation.

Vision: To provide a transparent, effective and honest local government dedicated to meeting the needs of its citizens





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: County Residents Save $500,000-Plus with Discount Card


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

October 1, 2013

County Residents Save $500,000-Plus with Discount Card

In February 2012, Putnam County partnered with ProAct and offered their Prescription Discount Card to its residents. The program, which targets individuals who are uninsured or underinsured by providing financial relief at local participating pharmacies, is available to all residents regardless of age or income. To date, residents have filled more than 8,800 prescriptions using the free discount card and have collectively saved more than $500,000 since the program began.      

By working with ProAct, Putnam became one of a growing number of counties across the country that is able to provide their residents affordable access to prescription medications. Every prescription, including some for pet medications, receives a discount. All a cardholder is required to do to receive the price reduction is show their discount card to the pharmacist. They are then automatically given an average of 10-20 percent off any name brand medications and anywhere from 20-70 percent off generic medications. 

Bringing Putnam residents a program where they could save on their prescription medications was an easy decision for County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

“The decision to accept ProAct’s Discount Prescription Card offer made perfect economic sense to us right from the start,” said Odell. “We saw no reason not to help our residents save money on costly prescription medications. Judging by the number of times the card has been used and the amount of money that has been saved since we introduced the program, it seems the people of Putnam agree with that decision. I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of this free, money saving program,” she said. 

The ProAct Prescription Discount Card Program is free for all county residents. The card is available at several Putnam County offices including the Department of Social Services, 110 Old Route 6 in Carmel; the Health Department, 1 Geneva Road in Brewster; and the County Office Building, 40 Gleneida Avenue in Carmel. The ProAct card is also available at all participating pharmacies.  In addition, residents may print out their own card by visiting