The Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge, the newest pedestrian and cyclist gateway to the Village of Brewster, was officially reopened on Monday after a $2.6 million renovation, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced

The Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge, the newest pedestrian and cyclist gateway to the Village of Brewster, was officially reopened on Monday after a $2.6 million renovation, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced.

“Turning this 126-year-old bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle path is a great step forward,” County Executive Odell said. “It will help make our communities more walkable, provide healthy recreation opportunities and bring people to village parks, the Metro-North train station and Brewster’s Main Street shopping district.”

Putnam County secured federal funding for the reconstruction of the bridge via the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, of which Odell is a voting member.

Officials from the county, Town of Southeast and Village of Brewster were on hand Monday to cut the ribbon and usher in a new era for the bridge, which runs from Route 22 to Railroad Avenue and crosses over the Croton River.

“This bridge will not only enable residents of the nearby Turk Hill residential neighborhood to walk safely to the train station and shops in Brewster, it will encourage some pedestrians to leave their cars at home,” Fred Pena, the Putnam County Commissioner of Highways and Facilities said. “That can encourage more train travel, reduce traffic congestion in the town and village and help improve the air quality.”

Putnam County Legislator Joseph Castellano said that turning the bridge into a pedestrian walkway rather than replacing with one that could carry vehicular traffic enabled the county to get federal funding.

The State DOT told Putnam County to close the bridge to pedestrian traffic in 2013,” Castellano said. “Our real concern since 2013 was that the bridge could collapse into the reservoir.  Putnam County had to remove the old bridge. As we examined all cost options, the Putnam County Highway Department discovered a federal grant opportunity to create a pedestrian walkway to a mass transit center, in this case the Brewster Village train station. We successfully obtained the grant, which covered 80% of the cost and saved taxpayers $2 million.”

Putnam County Legislator Paul Jonke said the bridge was worth the wait.

“It’s beautiful, you can look out over the reservoir and watch the leaves change in the fall,” Jonke said.  “I want to thank everyone involved,”

The Morningthorpe Avenue Bridge was originally built in 1894. The superstructure was replaced in 1960 and it was last rehabilitated in 1987. The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in 2006 when structural deficiencies made it unsafe.

“The bridge is a great way to bring more people into the village,” Brewster Mayor Jim Schoenig said. “Pedestrians can walk to the hiking trail, or fish off the bridge. It’s a great addition to our community.”

Kathleen Ables, President of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation, also attended the ribbon cutting.

“More pedestrian and bike traffic can only help spur the Village of Brewster’s economic development,” Abels said. “More feet on the street is always good for Main Street businesses.”

The reopening of the bridge couldn’t have come at a better time said Putnam County Director of Tourism Tracey Walsh.

“With so many people staying close to home and pursuing outdoor recreation, there is incredible demand for any safe bicycle route in Putnam County,” said the “This bridge is a welcome addition. The pathway will also provide access to the Croton River, which brings fishermen from all over to our county.”

Breakdown of positive cases by towns in Putnam County 9/4/2020


Putnam’s September 11th Candle Light Vigil

Putnam County’s Annual September 11th Candle Light Vigil will be held on Friday September 11, 2020 at the Putnam Heroes Memorial located at Cornerstone Park, Carmel. With an abundance of caution, due to the COVID 19 Pandemic and its potential health hazards, the Putnam Heroes Memorial Committee has decided to live stream this year’s ceremony on the internet. 

The Ceremony will start at 8:00pm. Cornerstone Park will be closed and only be open to those involved in the actual Ceremony and its production. It is estimated that Cornerstone Park will be closed from 6:00pm until the conclusion of the Ceremony. 

This year we will be adding one name to our Memorial; Commissioner Robert McMahon, Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services. We will also be dedicating a tree that was a seedling from the World Trade Center Survivor Tree to the healthcare workers, emergency and essential services and the volunteers who fought and kept us healthy, safe and sustained. In addition, we will also remember those who passed as a result of this pandemic. 

St. James the Apostle Church will be having its September 11th Mass of Remembrance at 7:00pm. The Mass will also be live streamed, with no congregants at the service. The site for the September Candle Light Vigil is: 

The site for the Mass of Remembrance is Youtube St James the Apostle Church Carmel NY. 

It is recommended that you sign into the sites prior to the start. 

In the event of any technical difficulties the Ceremony will be available for viewing on after the service.

It is encouraged that you watch the Mass and/or the Candle Light Vigil from the safety of your home.

Putnam County Foreclosure tax foreclosure auction WILL ONLY BE ONLINE starting August 31, 2020


Putnam County Foreclosure tax foreclosure auction WILL ONLY BE ONLINE starting August 31, 2020

Due to NYS COVID-19 Mandates Related to Mass Gathering Restrictions, the Putnam County Tax Auction will be converted to STRICTLY ONLINE BIDDING ONLY.

The Putnam County Commissioner of Finance said, “this is the safest method for Putnam County to proceed with its tax foreclosure auction process and remain in compliance with New York State mandates.”

All registrations will be completed online. We are requiring ALL BIDDERS, EVEN IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED ONLINE FOR THE LIVE AUCTION ALREADY to Fully Complete and Return the “ONLINE BIDDER REGISTRATION PACKET” to the office of Collar City Auctions Realty & Mgmt, Inc. as soon as possible via online forms or we suggest overnight delivery with tracking. Unfortunately, bidders are not eligible for bidding approval until your completed bid packet is received and you will then be manually approved and provided with bidding privileges.

For further information please contact: Please visit site at to register and complete the “Online Bidder Registration Packet”. Please complete Online Bidder Registration Packages to send via USPS, Overnight or via Courier to: Collar City Auctions Realty & Mgmt, Inc. 9423 Western Tpke Delanson, NY 12053-2105 Questions: Please email or call our office Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (EST) 518-895-8150

Preparedness 2020: Masks, sanitizers and thermometers are added to supply kits and back-to school lists

BREWSTER, NY—Being prepared is a long-established mantra for emergency readiness advocates everywhere. Each September FEMA, as the Federal Emergency Management Administration is more commonly known, creates an annual theme for National Preparedness Month. For 2020 it is “Disasters don’t wait, make your plan today.” In the age of COVID, being prepared takes on new considerations and potential consequences as additional items, such as extra masks, hand sanitizers and thermometers, should be added to supply lists. 

“There were some amazing stories of neighbors helping neighbors with our recent tropical storm Isaias and the Putnam County agencies pulled together, going above and beyond, as they always do,” said MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Executive. “For individual residents and families, discussing how to best communicate during times of emergencies or disaster, and having a primary plan and a back-up is the best advice.”

Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, agreed, adding “This has been a year like no other, and as September approaches and families prepare to send their children back to school, they are adding masks, sanitizers and now thermometers to not only their preparedness kits, but also to their back-to school routines. Having a thermometer and a back-up thermometer, and creating a routine to ensure you are able to assess the health of your family is especially important as we make plans to reopen our schools safely.”

Preparedness kits or disaster kits are sometimes also called “go kits,” especially when they are assembled in a duffle bag or other easy-to-carry sack or backpack that may be necessary if authorities are urging evacuation. FEMA’s website has a handy list of basic supplies to include in your emergency kit, along with more specific suggestions, and how to maintain your kit. also has tips for creating an emergency plan and lists the disasters or emergency situations that you can prepare for in your plan. 

“We prepare by conducting numerous drills throughout the year so we are ready when an emergency or disaster happens, and we urge residents to prepare as well by having extra supplies and a communications plan” said Ken Clair, Putnam’s Commissioner of Emergency Services. “Isaias was the ninth tropical storm of the hurricane season, and there were many downed trees and power outages. An enormous amount of work needed to be done, and our team got it done.”

County Executive MaryEllen Odell also credits teamwork for the successful recovery, saying “Our county highway and local highway crews, law enforcement, fire departments, town hall staff,  as well as our senior services, social services and legislature, all rallied together and pushed to keep residents safe and complete the necessary work.”

To start or update a personal or family emergency plan, FEMA’s website is the place to start. Visit:

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, provided directly and through collaboration, 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; or visit our social media sites @PutnamHealthNY on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

the historic Putnam County Courthouse will be lit in yellow, white and purple on Wednesday, August 26 to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced that the historic Putnam County Courthouse will be lit in yellow, white and purple on Wednesday, August 26 to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

“If not for the brave women who fought long and hard for suffrage, women would have no voice in the political arena, much less the opportunity to run for and hold elective office,” County Executive Odell said. “All of the rights we, as women, hold today stem from that first battle. As Putnam’s first female county executive, I am proud to ensure that our courthouse is lit in remembrance of and gratitude for the suffragettes who led the way.”

After years of protest marches, civil disobedience and lobbying led by women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony, the 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920. It was certified on August 26, 1920 and that is the day that is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day.

“Here in Putnam County, the Suffrage Movement was led by a mighty group of women – rich and poor – who worked tirelessly, to further the equality and rights of women locally and nationwide,” said Jennifer Cassidy, of the Putnam County Historian’s Office. “They are names we still recognize today—Addison Hopkins, Edith Diehl, Helena Fish, Marjorie Addis, and so many more.”

The colors of the Suffrage Movement were yellow, white and purple.

Putnam County’s Office for Senior Resources Over 3,000 Food Bank Grocery Bags Delivered to Seniors

This past Thursday marked the 3,000th grocery bag delivered by the Office for Senior Resources staff to the seniors of Putnam County. In addition to the daily home delivered meals and program materials transported to homebound seniors, OSR’s drivers bring a special package every Thursday. Those seniors who come to one of OSR’s 4 Friendship Centers to pick up a Grab n’ Go lunch during this pandemic also share in the bounty and receive a weekly grocery bag.

This bounty is courtesy of the United Way of Putnam and Westchester and the Food Bank of Hudson Valley under the direction of Food Drive Coordinator Faith Butcher. Each week the bag is different, and it might contain pieces of fruit, vegetables, onions (lots of onions!), yogurt, snacks, coffee, tea, a beverage, canned goods, eggs, bread, cheese and other items. Each Thursday morning, dozens of volunteers from the United Way, local food banks, other community organizations and local government come together to sort and bag truckloads of goods. The response of the Putnam County community to those in need during this coronavirus pandemic has been extraordinary and it is most appreciated by our seniors who look forward to each weekly surprise.

Our seniors are most at risk to dangers of the coronavirus, and the daily Home Delivered Meals, daily Grab n’ Go lunches, and the weekly United Way Food Bank Grocery Bag programs all work to help minimize the amount of shopping and the subsequent public exposure risk to our seniors. OSR has focused not only on the nutritional needs of Putnam County’s seniors during this crisis which has forced the temporary closure of its senior Friendship Centers but also on combating the dangers of loneliness and social isolation through a variety of telephone and internet video programs: Coffee and Conversation, Brain Fitness, Virtual Bingo, Zoom Dancing, Book Club Chats, Caregiver Support Groups, Online Exercise Classes and is working on more creative resources. 50 classes a week are offered! Any seniors interested in finding out more are invited to call the Office for Senior Resources at (845) 808-1700.

DiPippo Settlement Response to D.A. Tendy’s Press Release August 17, 2020

I, along with members of the Legislature who approved this settlement, am deeply disappointed in D.A. Tendy and the direction he took in Friday’s Press Release regarding the settlement of the DiPippo case. It is clearly an emotional response in a case where two prior District Attorneys obtained convictions, but he was unable to do so. Mr. Tendy does not alone own the grief for this horrific tragedy. Many members of the County administration and the Legislature actually lived here in Carmel all, if not most, of our lives. We recall vividly the days and months following the discovery of the victims’ body, and we watched closely each time a trial was convened to ensure that justice was served for her, each time hoping that closure would be achieved for her and her family. Unfortunately, that was not ultimately to be and we are now simply making the most advantageous decision possible to put this horrible tragedy behind us so that the community and the victims’ family can finally begin to heal.

Mr. Tendy, however, is clearly taking a business decision as a personal affront to him and feels as though it is a comment on his shortcomings and inability to convict Mr. DiPippo. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Rather, it was a decision that was made in an effort to ensure that the County taxpayers would not be liable for a significantly larger verdict after a trial took place in this case.

Mr. Tendy is not even remotely familiar with the specific facts of the federal civil rights case which was commenced by Mr. DiPippo. He could not even begin to describe the conflicting and troublesome evidence that had been discovered thus far in this case which had been litigated for over 2 years by the County’s insurance defense counsel and its insurance coverage counsel. All of the witnesses relevant to whether or not a civil rights violation had been committed by the County had been deposed. Mr. DiPippo’s testimony, on the other hand, would not have been dispositive as to whether or not the County had violated his civil rights. Clearly, Mr. Tendy should concern himself with the business of the District Attorney’s Office and leave the federal litigation to those with greater expertise and knowledge of evidentiary standards.

It is truly unfortunate that Mr. Tendy immediately reacted emotionally in a case where he did not understand any of the facts. This settlement was reviewed and considered by the County’s insurer, insurance defense counsel, two separate insurance coverage counsels and a federal

mediator, all of whom were intimately aware of the facts of this case and all of whom were independent third parties whose only interests in this matter were to vigorously defend the County of Putnam. Every one of these attorneys strongly recommended that the settlement be approved, as it was overwhelmingly in the best interests of the County of Putnam. The fact that Mr. Tendy believes that, with no knowledge of the facts of this case, he knows better than four attorneys and a mediator how the litigation should have been handled is both arrogant and egotistical.

Furthermore, a civil rights violation was never an issue that was litigated in Mr. DiPippo’s prior court cases. Rather, any violations of civil rights alleged to have occurred in this case are now being litigated in the context of a Section 1983 action in federal court. Therefore, Mr. Tendy’s assertion that there had never been a single finding by any court of a civil rights abuse or any police wrongdoing is inconsequential. The facts that gave rise to the civil rights claim of malicious prosecution did not even occur until he was acquitted at his third trial. What matters now is whether or not a federal jury would determine that a civil rights violation had in fact occurred.

Moreover, Mr. Tendy has forgotten that “where you stand depends on where you sit”. He himself admitted on two separate occasions that if he were sitting in the seat of County Executive or Legislator that he would make the same decision. In fact, he mentioned in a telephone call to the me that he would approve the settlement as well if he were still the Supervisor of the Town of Putnam Valley, and he reiterated this statement in a meeting with the myself, the Deputy Chair of the Legislature, the County Attorney and the Commissioner of Finance. Here, Mr. Tendy sits in the role of prosecutor so it is not surprising that he is opposed to settling a civil case pertaining to a criminal prosecution that his office could not win.

No one, regardless of their years of practice or areas of expertise, can predict with any certainty what the outcome of litigation will be. There remained a significant risk in this case that, regardless of how Mr.Tendy believed the case would be decided, a federal jury would find the County liable and would award Mr. DiPippo significantly more money. Eight of the nine members of the Legislature and I simply could not gamble with taxpayer funds like that and therefore approved this settlement, effectively capping the cost to the County taxpayer at $200,000.

Finally, Mr. Tendy is correct in one sentence of his press release where he asserts that the settlement was about one thing: money. The County Executive and the Legislature are collectively responsible for safeguarding the financial stability of the County government and for managing the County’s risk. Mr. Tendy’s job is to put criminals behind bars. Where Mr. Tendy failed to do his job effectively, he cannot then blame myself or the Legislature for doing ours.

Putnam County Police Policy Review Panel on Aug 13, 2020 Presentation

The Re-scheduled Organizational Meeting of the Putnam County Police Policy Review Panel was held on August 13, 2020 at 10 a.m.

Below are the pdf presentation as well as the audio of the meeting so that you can listen in.

Response to Tropical Storm Isaias

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell praised the coordinated state, county and local response to Tropical Storm Isaias, which kept Putnam County residents safe during Tropical Storm Isaias and its aftermath.

“Once again, our county and local first responders made us proud,” County Executive Odell said. “The quick and sustained response of the members of the Incident Command Staff including Deputy County Executive Thomas Feighery, Bureau of Emergency Services Commissioner Ken Clair, Putnam County Highway Commissioner Fred Pena and the many municipal highway crews and fire and police departments that made sure our roads were cleared and our residents safe.  I also want to thank the volunteers like the Knights of Columbus, Ace Endico and the Paladin Center. They didn’t hesitate to step up and offer help to our residents. It’s that community spirit that makes Putnam County such a special place to live.”

Odell also thanked the state officials who were embedded at the Incident Command Center and provided invaluable assistance, including Michael Kopy, Director of Emergency Management, Dylan Miyoshi, Hudson Valley Representative in the Office of Regional Affairs, Tom Scaglione, Hudson Valley Representative of the state Department of Labor and Tom Cogdon, Executive Deputy of the Department of Public Service.

Ken Clair Jr., the commissioner of the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services said every town in the county had significant damage, with fallen trees blocking roads everywhere and bringing down utility poles and transmission lines.

“This storm was comparable to the 2018 tornado in terms of damage,” Commissioner Clair said. “Luckily, we have a really good team in the county. The Legislature, senior services, social services, county highway and local highway crews, the police, the fire departments, everyone knows their job in a storm. We push through and we get it done.”

County Executive Odell declared a State of Emergency on August 5 and called in the New York National Guard, who distributed water and ice to each municipality for its residents.

Odell said she wished she could say the same about the response by the public utilities that our residents pay for every month. While power has been restored throughout the county, it took far too long, Odell said.

“I’m totally disappointed in NYSEG and Central Hudson,” Odell said. “The utilities were not prepared and that is just not acceptable. Not having access to a reliable power source is more than an inconvenience, for many it is a matter of life and death.”

At the height of the August 3 storm, 90 percent of NYSEG’s 39,000 customers in Putnam County lost power. Central Hudson said 36,000 of its customers in Putnam County lost power. The utilities said that damage in Putnam was even worse than the county suffered in Superstorm Sandy in 2012. NYSEG reported 1,300 downed wires and 161 broken poles in our region.