Odell Concludes Successful Term as NYSAC President

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell concluded her term as president of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) in September.

“NYSAC is grateful to County Executive Odell for her leadership over the past year. She is a strong voice for counties and was always ready to share the county perspective with state and federal leaders,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario. “This was an important and challenging year for counties, and County Executive Odell provided strong and steady guidance to our membership.”

NYSAC provides representation, education and advocacy for New York’s counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.

“Counties deliver vital services to our residents, and NYSAC gives us a strong voice before the State and Federal government,” said County Executive Odell.

During her term, Odell was a strong advocate for counties, meeting with state and federal leaders regarding county concerns such as the opioid crisis, 911 funding, infrastructure needs, and foster care. Odell also oversaw the launch of the NYSAC Climate Resiliency Committee and the NYSAC Women’s Leadership Council.

“My year as President has given me broader insight into the important roles counties have in our communities and the challenges facing our local governments. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support as I worked on their behalf in Washington and Albany.”

Current NYSAC President Charles H. Nesbitt Jr., Chief Administrative Officer of Orleans County, appreciates all the effort that County Executive Odell put forth during her term.

“I extend my sincere thanks to MaryEllen Odell for her service these past 12 months as NYSAC President,” Nesbitt said. “MaryEllen provided great leadership to NYSAC even as she faced several natural disasters and adversity back home in Putnam County, where devastating storms knocked out critical infrastructure and left some communities without power for weeks. She spearheaded emergency response efforts not once, but several times in her communities over the past year. All the while she kept our association focused the state level. County Executive Odell’s leadership is a great model for us all.”

Odell has been a member of the NYSAC Board of Director since 2013. She is currently pursuing her third term as Putnam County Executive. In this role Odell has made it a priority to bring social and fiscal responsibility to county governance.

She has also served as Chairperson for the Mid-Hudson South Transportation Coordinating Committee (MHSTCC) and currently co-chairs the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC). Her knowledge and expertise on transit-oriented development projects has helped to propel Envision Brewster, a revitalization initiative designed to attract millennials to live, work, and recreate in Putnam County.

Prior to being elected County Executive in 2011, Odell served as a legislator for five years. This included two terms as the Deputy Chairperson of the Putnam County Legislature, in which role she successfully fought to identify and reduce unnecessary government spending.

Photo Caption: Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell with her fellow colleagues from NYSAC. From left to right: Steven F. McLaughlin, County Executive – Rensselaer County; Stephen J. Acquario, Executive Director – NYSAC; Cheryl Dinolfo, County Executive – Monroe County; MaryEllen Odell, County Executive – Putnam County; Charles H. Nesbitt, Jr., Chief Administrative Officer – Orleans County; Daniel P. McCoy, County Executive – Albany County.

Putnam County Golf Course Remembered Fondly by Leaving Pro

CARMEL, NY – After helping Putnam County Golf Course establish itself as a premier course in the Hudson Valley, PGA golf professional Jim Woods revealed that he is leaving his post after almost seven years.  He accepted a position the Head Golf Professional at the OMNI Bedford Springs Spa and Resort in Bedford Spring, Penn.

In a letter announcing his decision, Woods recalled just how far the course has come and how proud he was to have been a part of its success.

“Almost seven years ago I pulled into Putnam County Golf Course and the parking lot was dirt, the building needed a facelift and the course was in pretty rough shape,” said Woods. “With a lot of hard work from a lot of different people and the help of Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, we have created one of the best golf and entertainment experiences in Putnam County. I am so proud that I was able to be a part of the transition which is now Putnam County Golf Course.”

Woods hopes his legacy in Putnam County will live on through the Putnam County Amature and the County Cup against Mohansic Golf Course.

County Executive Odell is grateful for Woods’ insight and dedication through the years.

“Words cannot properly indicate how much we at the County appreciate the time Jim Woods was with us,” said Odell. “He has helped us transform a dilapidated golf course into a sustainable gateway destination. I wish him all the very best in his new adventure and we look forward to a continuing relationship between the two courses.”

Putnam County Golf Course will never be far from Woods’ thoughts. Bogey, the dog that was found on the greens at golf course and was later adopted by Woods and his wife Lisa, will be joining them in Pennsylvania.

 

Cast Announced for I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change – a comedic romp at the Studio Around the Corner

Rehearsals are underway for the hilarious I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, book by Joe DiPietro, music by Jimmy Roberts. This musical journey, the second longest running Off-Broadway show, will take you through all stages of romance and relationships and will have audience members laughing, crying, and crying with laughter. The play’s tagline says it all: “Everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit.”

Under the direction of Christine DiTota and musical direction of Michael Roth, Joy Argaza, Daniel Basiletti, Brandi D. Gestri, Jack Gestri, Stephanie Schleicher, Lou Simmons, Jessica Vanacoro, Matt Vanacoro, and Beth Zucker will bring attendees along as they navigate their way through dating, weddings, long car rides with the family, breakups, and growing old. Performances will be at The Studio Around the Corner on November 3rd at 2pm and 7:30pm and November 4th at 4pm. Tickets are available at TOSCAC.booktix.com and seating is very limited, so do not wait to reserve your tickets.

Theater Around the Corner is made possible in part through the Putnam Arts Council’s Arts Link Grant Program, with public funds provided through the NY State Council on the Arts with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Legislature.

For more information on this and other Cultural Arts Coalition events, visit: www.CulturalArtsCo.com, call (845)363-8330, email info@culturalartsco.com or find us on Facebook at “Cultural Arts Coalition”.

Tilly’s Table Exceeds Putnam County’s Revenue and Profit Projections

CARMEL, NY – County Executive MaryEllen Odell is pleased to announce that Tilly’s Table, the restaurant and event venue located on the Putnam County-owned Tilly Foster Farm and Educational Institute in Brewster, has surpassed its 2018 budgeted revenue and profit expectations within the first-half of the year. Through July, Tilly’s Table, which includes the restaurant and the events, has generated a profit of $69,565. The revenue from this year expected to be $660,000, which is $380,000 higher than originally budgeted.

“Tilly’s Table is becoming the keystone to Tilly Foster Farm and Educational Institute’s sustainability,” County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “The success of Tilly’s Table has not been overnight or without a great deal of hard work from many stakeholders including multiple Putnam County Departments, Homestyle Caterers, BOCES, vendors and customers. The cooperation, patience, and perseverance of all have allowed Tilly’s Table to ‘turn the corner’ so to speak on a path to sustainability and greater heights.”

Putnam County Chairman of the Legislature Joseph Castellano agrees.

“This is great news for the people of Putnam County,” said Legislator Castellano. “We are already seeing a return from our investment in Tilly Foster Farm and Educational Institute.”

Tilly’s Table, which is run through a public-private partnership with Homestyle Caterers, has opened its doors to dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday brunch. It also hosts comedy and musical acts as well as private events. In July, Tilly’s Table hosted its first wedding.

“Tilly’s Table provides a great ambiance and a delicious menu that includes farm-to-table dishes from items grown on this farm,” said Al Ciuffetelli, owner of Homestyle Caterers. “I am excited about the success of Tilly’s Table. Every day we are meeting new customers and welcoming back returning ones who become regulars. It is a good recipe for continued growth.”

Tilly’s Table is located on Tilly Foster Farm at 100 Route 312 in Brewster. Reservations can be made by calling 845-808-1840 or by visiting: tillystablerestaurant.com.

Photo caption:  Tilly’s Table restaurant is more profitable than Putnam County projected in its 2018 budget due to the community’s willingness to let it be part of their lives, such as when Nicholas Murphy and Michelle Magaletto got engages at Tilly’s Table’s Soulmates show on Saturday, Jan. 20.

Putnam County Helps Family Decorate a WWI Veteran’s Grave

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency assisted a family in decorating their grandfather’s grave to signify he had served in the U.S. Army.

James V Christian served in the U.S. Army during World War I and was wounded in battle. He met his wife, Anna, while he was recovering at Walter Reed Hospital. They married after his release and settle in Cold Spring, where they raised two sons and had seven grandchildren. Christian died in 1968 and is buried in Cold Spring Cemetery. Nothing on his headstone indicated his status as a Veteran. His granddaughter Gail Christian Byrnes asked for help from the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency.

On Tuesday, Aug. 28, the day after the 120th anniversary of Christian’s birth, a brief ceremony was held at his grave with family members, fellow veterans and Odell in attendance. On his headstone was a newly installed Bronze Medallion indicating his status as a Veteran of the United States Army.  The medallion was acquired from the National Cemetery Administration through the efforts of agency Deputy Director Art Hanley who also installed it with guidance and help from Don Hustis, Doug Logan and Jack Duncan.

“Those men and women who risk it all to protect our freedoms deserve their service to be remembered for generations, Odell said during the ceremony.  “Mr. Christian sounds like his life was something that only the movies are telling these days—a love story after a war and then a life well lived with a family who loved and remembers him.”

The ceremony concluded with agency Director Karl Rohde reciting a verse from the Bible, followed by the playing of TAPS by Joseph Baldanza as the Veterans present rendered salutes.

The Putnam County Shared Services Panel Meeting Notice on September 6, 2018

will be holding a public meeting on September 6, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at The Putnam County Training & Operations Building (TOPS), 112 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY 10512, at which the 2018 County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan will be considered by the Panel.

The 2018 County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan for Putnam County can be found in its entirety on the Putnam County Executive’s page by clicking here!

The Putnam County Shared Services Panel will be conducting three public hearings at which the 2018 County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan will be Presented

The Putnam County Shared Services Panel will be conducting three public hearings at which the 2018 County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan will be Presented

  1. Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 2 pm Town of Southeast Town Offices 1360 Route 22, Brewster, NY
  2. Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 10 am Putnam County Training & Operations Building 112 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY
  3. Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 7 pm Town of Philipstown Town Hall 238 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY

The purpose of these public hearings is to present and explain the proposals contained in the County-Wide Shared Services Plan and to obtain public input of said Plan.

The 2018 County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan for Putnam County can be found in its entirety on the Putnam County Executive’s page of the Putnam County web site located at: www.putnamcountyny.gov

 

National Purple Heart Day

Today is National Purple Heart Day and I invite all of you to attend a special ceremony being held this evening from 7 to 8 p.m. by the New York Riders at the Purple Heart Monument in Putnam County Veteran’s Memorial Park.

On this day, we take the time to honor all Purple Heart recipients, past and present and to remember that all gave some, and some gave all. We have any number of veterans residing within our borders who have received this distinguished medal, the military award ‘sought by none but respected by all.

I am proud that in 2013, Putnam County was the first county in New York State to become a Purple Heart County. I was approached by the late Denis Castelli, who was then County Historian, and William “Willy” Nazario, the Judge Advocate and the Legislative Officer – Dept. of NY of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 21 respectively, to proclaim the recognition. The designation was approved by the national, state and local organizations of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and by the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council.

The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in present use. It was initially created by Gen. George Washington in 1782 as the Badge of Military Merit. It is awarded to any member of the Unites States Armed Services wounded or killed in combat with a declared enemy of the United States.

To further honor our Purple Heart recipients, the Putnam County Historic Courthouse will be lit purple for the remainder of the week.

Metro-North Railroad on-track to meet federal deadlines

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was assured by Metro-North Railroad officials Monday, July 30, that the company will meet the federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) compliance deadline. Railroads have until December 31, 2018, to complete the installation phase of the PTC tasks.

Positive Train Control is a set of highly advanced technologies designed to make rail transportation safer by automatically stopping a train before certain types of accidents occur.

“Putnam County is fortunate to have two Metro-North railroad lines and seven train stations within its borders and many of our residents use them to commute back and forth to work,” said County Executive Odell, who served two terms as the president of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council. “Railroad safety is important, and residents should be informed about the status of the Positive Train Control implementation.”

The four criteria that must be met Metro-North in accordance with the federal mandate are: 1) All hardware installed. 2)All radio spectrum acquired. 3) Over 50% of PTC territory or route miles implemented. 4) All required employee training completed.

According to Catherine Rinaldi, President of Metro-North Railroad, the company is progressing to meet all four criteria. In fact, Metro-North has acquired all the radio spectrum needed to run the system. It has completed 80% of the installation of the required hardware on trains, waysides and offices. Metro-North is currently training its employees on being familiar with PTC and is expected to have this task completed by November 2018. In addition, the Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) is up and running and among other things has been implemented on the Hudson Line from Tarrytown to Croton‐Harmon.

Railroads are mandated to have full PTC implementation through its network by December 31, 2020.

Blue-Green Algal Blooms Persist; County Opens Beach for Affected Community Residents

BREWSTER, NY— Blue-green algal blooms have dashed many summer plans this year. Dozens of repeated beach closures have disappointed residents who enjoy cooling off in their neighborhood lake on a hot and humid summer day. While funding is coming from New York State to research solutions for the long term, County Executive MaryEllen Odell has taken immediate steps to open the Putnam County beach in Veterans Memorial Park on Gypsy Trail Road in Kent, free of charge to those residents living in affected lake communities.

“We wanted to do something right now for our community members who are dealing with these algal blooms on a daily basis,” says County Executive Odell. “This is a difficult situation. The blooms pose a serious health problem. Swimming, and even boating, can put you at risk.”

“Our public county beach at Veterans Memorial Park has fortunately remained unaffected by the blue-green algal blooms that have plagued many other Putnam beaches,” says Christopher Ruthven, deputy commissioner of parks and recreation for Putnam County. “We’re open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. until Labor Day, and for residents affected by the harmful algal blooms in their community lakes, the usual $8 fee for a day pass is being waived.”

Odell adds, “Being able to use the beach at Veterans Memorial Park provides a silver lining to an unfortunate situation. At the park individuals and families can enjoy the swimming in the lake, relaxing on the beach, barbecuing, hiking the trails, visiting the Veterans Museum or admiring the Gold Star Mothers statue or the military helicopter and tank.”

The increasing number of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Putnam and around New York State is not completely understood. Staff at the Putnam County Department of Health have been busier than ever collecting and sending lake water samples for testing.

“We are working closely with town and beach personnel,” explains Michael Nesheiwat, MD, interim commissioner of health. “They are well-informed and able to quickly recognize these harmful algal blooms. When there is an overabundance, or bloom, of this cyanobacteria, the onsite personnel are able to shut down the beaches directly without a confirmatory visit by the health department. This is important as blooms can present a serious health hazard and these microscopic organisms are toxic to humans and animals if swallowed. At high levels, ingestion may cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, along with irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory tract.

“Needless to say, we are grateful to the County Executive who has stepped in to waive the park fee for residents in the affected communities,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat.

Toxic bacteria are naturally present in low numbers in lakes and streams. However, in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that gets a lot of sunlight, the bacteria can grow quickly and easily, creating a bloom. When this happens, floating scums on the water surface may appear, along with discolored water covering all or portions of a lake.

The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) continues to monitor the county’s 32 permitted bathing beaches, while also responding to calls from town, village and summer camp personnel. Blue-green algae can range in color from green, blue, brown, yellow, grey, or even red. Contact should be avoided with any discolored water, with or without a floating covering or unpleasant odor. When the water clears, either naturally or by treatment, follow-up water testing must be conducted. Toxins can still be present even after the bloom looks like it has passed.

“After a satisfactory result on a water test, town and beach personnel can re-open the beach,” explains associate public health sanitarian Shawn Rogan. “And we work closely with the towns to reopen as soon as possible. The problem we are seeing more and more of is that the algae can ‘re-bloom’ shortly thereafter, making it necessary to close the beach once again.”

Some towns choose to apply an algaecide, but they have the same precautions as any pesticide.  Treatment methods, if any, are strictly a town decision, and application of an algaecide requires approval by the Department of Environmental Conservation.  Prevention efforts focus on ways to control the level of nutrients the algae receive. These include reducing plant fertilizer use, promoting efficient septic systems operations, and managing storm water. These tactics are supported by the DEC, but much is still unknown about the causes of HABs.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.