For Immediate Release: Putnam County Initiates Mentoring Day for Those with Disabilities

October 16, 2012


MaryEllen Odell

Putnam County Executive

(845) 808-1001

Putnam County Initiates Mentoring Day for Those with Disabilities

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, in collaboration with CAREERS for People with Disabilities, Inc., and the Putnam County Coordinating Council for People with Disabilities, has added another history making milestone to an already historic year for the county by declaring Wednesday, Oct. 17 as Disability Mentoring Day in Putnam County. On this day, 26 disabled individuals will have the opportunity to spend part of a work day observing County employees on their jobs.

“I can’t think of anything recently that has given me more pleasure than working with these dedicated organizations to initiate a program such as this in our county,” said Odell.

A resolution was introduced at the State of the County Address which promoted job “opportunities for students and job seekers with disabilities.”  As part of Resolution 95, which passed unanimously,, a Mentoring Day program within the county was endorsed.

“This Administration is committed to working with those with disabilities to assist them in experiencing what it could be like if they were given the opportunity to work within county government or a similar workplace environment,” said Odell. 

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?”

Having Putnam County workplace doors opened to the disabled as a teaching tool has long been a goal for CAREERS Executive Director Tina Cornish-Lauria.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for people with disabilities to explore various jobs in the community and learn how they can acquire the skills necessary to perform those jobs. We appreciate the County working with us to make this day possible for so many,” she said.

Domestic Violence Awareness Event: October 17th, 1:00pm on the steps of the Historical Putnam County Courthouse


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive

As part of her administration’s ongoing support in recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and approximately 100 county employees will be gathering on the steps of the Historical Putnam County Courthouse on Wednesday, October 17 at 1 p.m. Each will be wearing a purple T-shirt, the color symbolic with bringing domestic violence to the forefront of public attention.

Employees purchased the shirts, which were designed by Brian Austin who works in the county’s IT department.

All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Women’s Resource Center.

MaryEllen Odell applauds Carmel Revitalization Sidewalk Project in Carmel


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive

County Executive Maryellen Odell stated “I would like to take this opportunity to applaud all involved in the construction and management of the new Carmel Revitalization sidewalk project in the town of Carmel.   Odell further expressed, “I appreciate the patience of the traveling public and local business while the hard work of completing this project was accomplished.”

Highway and Facilities Commissioner, Fred Pena, found working together with partners from the Town of Carmel, the NYSDOT and our general contractor were vital to completing the project within the budget provided and in a timely fashion.  Commissioner Pena stated, “The challenges of a tight work zone through the Route 6/52 intersection and numerous utility interferences presented several challenges, but we managed through them efficiently and effectively to deliver this important infrastructure improvement.”

Construction crews were also at times frustrated as they faced unexpected impediments caused by existing utilities along the thoroughfare.

“Despite our struggles with existing utilities and heavy traffic flow through the area, we are very proud of the finished product we were able to deliver to the residents of Putnam County,” said Fred Todd, vice-president of Brennan Construction Company.

On Tuesday, October 16 at noon, County Executive MaryEllen Odell will host a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the completion of the Carmel Sidewalk Project. The ribbon-cutting is scheduled to take place in front of Reed Memorial Library, 1733 Route 6 in the Hamlet of Carmel.

Joining the County Executive will be Legislator Carl Albano whose District 5 incorporates the portion of Carmel where the sidewalks were built.

“I am pleased with the outcome of the Carmel Sidewalk Project” Albano said. “The new and replaced sidewalks are a major improvement to one of the fastest growing areas in Putnam County.”

Expected to be present for the ribbon-cutting are Carmel Town Supervisor Ken Schmitt, Putnam County Highway Commissioner Fred Pena, Leg. Albano, Frank DelCampo from CMRRI, and Jim Brennan of Brennan Construction Company.

County Executive and Budget Team hand Deliver 2013 Budget

Putnam County Executive, MaryEllen Odell, Deputy County Executive, Bruce J. Walker, along with Commissioner, William Carlin hand delivered 2013 Putnam County Budget to Diane Schonfeld at the Legislative office.

Unveiling of an exhibit of the 1962 Sesquicentennial Time Capsule


MaryEllen Odell

Putnam County Executive


On Monday Sept 17th Putnam County Executive, MaryEllen Odell will be holding a press conference at 34 Gleneida Avenue, Putnam County Clerk Office.  MaryEllen will be announcing the unveiling of an exhibit of the 1962 Sesquicentennial Time Capsule and its contents for the rest of this Bicentennial year.

On November 11, 1962, the time capsule was entombed in front of Putnam County’s Historic Court House for the 150th anniversary of Putnam’s separation from Dutchess County.  On June 12th of this year, Putnam’s 200th birthday, the capsule was opened at the Historic Court House and the contents brought to the office of the County Historian to be inventoried, preserved and ultimately brought to 34 Gleneida Avenue for display to the public. The display frames and cases that house the artifacts have been covered with a layer of clear ultraviolet film to protect them from ambient light.

County Officials First in Line for Flu Shots

The Department of Health was very busy as the 2012 influenza clinic season kicked off. Executive MaryEllen Odell received her flu shot from Allen Beals, MD, Commissioner of Health, and Legislators Carl L. Albano, District 5, and Vincent Tamagna, District 1, received theirs from public health nurse Jeanette Baldanza, RN, immunization coordinator.

Commissioner Beals encourages everyone six months of age and older to get a flu vaccine. “There is nothing trivial about contracting the flu,” said Dr. Beals. “Besides being sick in bed for a number of days at minimum, the flu can be severe or even deadly, particularly for those with chronic medical conditions or those who are elderly or very young.”

Putnam residents flocked to the Carmel Fire Department later in the day, Monday, September 10, for the first public flu clinic, open to all Putnam County residents, 18 years of age and older. The next clinics are scheduled for Wednesday, October 10, from 2 pm to 6:30 pm at the Garrison Fire Department, 1616 Route 9, and again at the Carmel Fire Department on Monday, October 15, 2 pm to 6:30 pm, Route 52 and Vink Drive.

MTA Payroll Tax Decision Ruling MTA Payroll Tax Unconstitutional

MTA Payroll Tax Decision Ruling MTA Payroll Tax Unconstitutional

“The MTA payroll tax was created in May of 2009 as a mechanism for the MTA to dig itself out of a projected $1.8 billion budgetary shortfall, which created an unjust and inequitable burden on the taxpayers of Putnam County. In light of this unfair treatment, Putnam County took up the cause on behalf of its taxpayers, and joined in this important piece of litigation. I am elated that the Court has now ruled in favor of Putnam County and its Metropolitan neighbors. It sends a very real message to the MTA that the taxpayers of Putnam and the surrounding counties will not allow them to cure their financial on the backs of our citizens and small business owners. Hopefully, our small business owners who are so vital to the health of Putnam’s economy will quickly realize a benefit from the repeal of this tax.”

Tappan Zee- In Another Sign Of Bi-Partisanship, Skelos Introduces Cuomo

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos left his Long Island environs today to head to Rockland County to promote the construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge, introducing Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the event.

Add it to the list of events in which Cuomo and Senate Republicans tout their relationship, which we detailed over the weekend.

The New York City suburbs are key to Skelos keeping the Senate majority after the November elections. In particular, there’s an open seat in lower Westchester for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer.

At the end of Cuomo’s Q and A with reporters, Skelos made sure to note that he and Cuomo discussed the Tappan Zee Bridge soon after they were elected into power in 2010.

“The governor mentioned about getting things done. Before he was sworn in as governor and I was sworn in as majority leader, we had a discussion about how we are going to move this state forward in a positive way and one of things the governor did bring up to me at that time was building a new Tappan Zee Bridge,” Skelos explained.

“So this is something he’s been thinking about for a long time.”

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County Executives Support TZ Bridge Because Of Mass Transit Pieces

The big holdup among county executives in the Hudson Valley and the Cuomo administration was whether the new Tappan Zee Bridge would be constructed to include mass transit.

But today, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said they support the governor’s vision and will vote for the project next month at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council.

They said in a statement that the bridge will have dedicated bus lanes and will be built to later add more transit components. They said there’s a “framework deal” with the governor:

—Dedicated bus lanes will be incorporated on the bridge from the start.—The bridge will be constructed with mass transit capacity compatible with a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and Commuter Rail Transit.—A Regional Transit Task Force will be created to study costs and options for regional transit, including commuter rail and a BRT system on the bridge and key portions of the Westchester-Rockland corridor.—The Task Force will issue recommendations in one year, with a plan for short-term steps that can be considered for immediate commencement, as well as long-term plans for transit solutions.—Incentives will be created for contractors that could be used to reinvest in regional mass transit or to moderate impact on tollpayers.

“I have been a strong supporter on the need for a new bridge but I’ve been equally strong on the need for some form of mass transit as a way to reduce congestion and pollution,” said Astorino in the statement. “Under the framework we announce today, mass transit will not be an afterthought in the building of the bridge. With plans to have mass transit as part of the new Tappan Zee Bridge we’re not waiting five years to start thinking about it, we’re moving forward now.”


Cuomo has long said that the $5 billion bridge would be mass-transit ready. But his office recently said it would have dedicated bus lanes.

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Southeast Museum Educates, Protects Area Roots

For residents of Brewster, Southeast and Putnam County at large, the Southeast Museum isn’t just somewhere to start learning about local history.

With more than 8,000 unique artifacts, it’s the place to go to gain a real sense of the area’s past. The museum is home to everything from an 1870 hand-colored, panoramic photograph of the Village of Brewster, to a 130-year-old birch bark canoe, to a cucumber that first sprouted in 1887—and now sits in a jar of alcohol.

“We can only accept artifacts that fit within our mission, which is preserving the history of the Town Southeast and Putnam County,” Director Amy Campanaro said.

The institution was established in 1962, as a way to celebrate 150 years of the county’s existence. A year later, following positive feedback and tons of support from residents, the museum became a permanent fixture.

Nowadays, the museum, which is located on Main Street in Brewster, is open five days a week, April through December. Special in-house exhibits change yearly, while nine virtual displays are available on the museum’s site.

Organizers are currently showcasing about 200 of the 8,000 artifacts.

“We have five ongoing exhibits with the basic history of Brewster and Southeast,” Campanaro said.

Many of the pieces are acquired through donations. This year, the museum received a collection of pre-historic artifacts from the Peach Lake archaeological dig. Campanaro and museum staff members follow a certain procedure whenever someone is looking to donate.

“Once an artifact is received, the donor is given a gift form — giving ownership of the item to the museum,” she said. “Once the gift form is executed, we then clean the item if it needs to be cleaned.”

The cleaning and preservation processes depend on the material of the item. Often times, as was the case with the current quilt exhibit, a special regiment is required.

“The quilts were gently vacuumed using a special filter, they are folded with archival sheets and placed in an archival/acid free box and stored on steel shelving in our climate controlled storage facility,” Campanaro said.

After the cleaning phase, the staff attempts to determine the item’s age. If staff members cannot determine the age, they enlist the help of curators from other museums. Once the age is collected, the staff and board members figure out the best fit for the item, in terms of an exhibit.

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