County Executive MaryEllen Odell on Deaths of Four Young Men in Putnam


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

County Executive MaryEllen Odell on Deaths of Four Young Men in Putnam:

Our hearts go out to the family and friends affected by the tragic deaths of four young men in Putnam County suspected of having died from drug overdoses over the last few days. While I cannot comment on the continuing investigation by local law enforcement and medical authorities, we do know from past experience that drug overdoses are often accidental and can occur at any time.

We have many resources in Putnam County for individuals and families who want to get help in preventing substance abuse as well as resources for those who are chemically dependent. Everyone, especially Putnam’s parents, should be aware of the dangers of prescription pill abuse among young people. Evident warning signs of possible chemical dependency in our youngsters include failing in school, becoming socially withdrawn, and changes in behavior.

Putnam’s Crisis Hotline (225-1222) is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Operated by United Way’s 2-1-1 program, it can connect those in need of treatment with three local chemical dependency treatment agencies: Putnam Family and Community Services, 1808 Brewster Avenue in Carmel (845) 225-2700; Naura Slavinsky at Arms Acres on Seminary Hill Road in Carmel (845) 225-3400; and St. Christopher’s Inn at Graymoor on Route 9 in Garrison (800) 424-0027.

In addition our Communities That Care Coalition ( CTC) provides community education and information regarding alcohol and substance abuse and is a wonderful resource for children and families. CTC is located at 2 Church St. in Carmel. (845) 225- 4646.

Bells for Peace to Ring in Putnam’s New Year

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MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001
December 4, 2012

Bells for Peace to Ring in Putnam’s New Year

“The idea is to support the Wounded Warrior Project, reach out to veterans and non-veterans alike across Putnam and have everyone united in a gesture of peace as they ring in 2013,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

At precisely midnight on December 31, the ringing of 100 Bells for Peace will join the chorus of church bells as they ring out across Putnam County welcoming in the New Year.

“Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,       

The flying cloud, the frosty light;

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.”


Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

                                Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“The idea is to support the Wounded Warrior Project, reach out to veterans and non-veterans alike across Putnam and have everyone united in a gesture of peace as they ring in 2013,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

The bells, each engraved with the words “Bells for Peace 2013” were procured by Director of Tourism Libby Pataki in the hope of raising donations for the Project. Pataki will distribute bells before year’s end to various veterans’ organizations throughout Putnam.

“Our veterans are our true ambassadors for peace,” Pataki said. “Their service to our country can never be repaid but it certainly can be celebrated and honored. The bells are but a reminder that peace is uppermost in our minds, a wish we hope to ring in with the New Year as we support the Wounded Warrior Project.”

Bells for Peace may be obtained for a small donation at the Tourism Office on the 3rd Floor of the Putnam County Office Building, 40 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY. To reserve a bell, contact Libby Pataki at

Putnam County Bicentennial Veterans Day & Closing of the Time Capsule 2013


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Putnam County has been declared eligible for individual assistance


November 13, 2012

MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Executive

845 808-1001

joining Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Queens and Westchester Counties.  This designation will allow residents to seek assistance from FEMA for losses that may have sustained during Hurricane Sandy.  The County is now working with local municipalities and New York State to secure Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in Putnam County.

The role of a DRC is to allow residents to come in and speak face to face with FEMA representatives regarding numerous issues:


  • Review and clarification regarding any correspondence residents may have received from FEMA
  • Long term and short term housing assistance questions
  • SBA Program opportunities
  • Status of FEMA applications
  • General guidance questions

Residents needing assistance are encouraged to apply online at but they can also apply in person at the DRC.

“While we are truly grateful that no lives were lost during this historic storm, we are seeing that many of our residents have sustained tremendous personal property damage.  Having this designation will allow individual homeowners to apply for the federal assistance dollars to begin their recovery.”


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
Nov. 7, 2012


“An extraordinary storm brought out the best in this county and I want to thank ‘Team Putnam,’ those tireless and dedicated members of the Command Staff under Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker, who worked above and beyond to guide us through Hurricane Sandy,” said County Executive, MaryEllen Odell. “Deputy County Executive, Bruce  J. Walker, Sgt. Frank Christian and Tom Velotti of the Sheriff’s Department, Health Department Commissioner Dr. Allan Beals and Marianne Burdick, Director of Emergency Management Tom Lannon, Acting Commissioner of Emergency Service Adam Stiebeling, Pat Sheehy, Director of the Office for the Aging, Adrienne Spadaccini,  Risk Manager, all our municipal leaders, and our American Red Cross volunteers, all of whom worked  long hours day and night to get us through the worst storm this county has ever seen.”  

In her wake, Hurricane Sandy left 90 percent of Putnam residents, businesses and government offices without power and more than 200 roads closed due to the downing of utility poles and trees. Tidal flooding occurred and left portions of downtown Cold Spring and Garrison under several feet of water. 

“Putnam’s Emergency Service personnel were called upon en masse and faced an enormous task,” said Odell.

However, each day saw progress being made and after a week of tireless efforts by so many, Odell announced on Monday, Nov. 5, that all Putnam County offices were open and would continue to operate during regular business hours.

By Tuesday, with the concentrated efforts of Board of Elections Commissioners Anthony Scannipiecco and Robert Bennett and their staff, all of Putnam’s polling places were open and functioning in time for Election Day voters.

“The road to recovery is well under way thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Putnam’s dedicated, selfless and capable employees,” said Odell.

Putnam Valley Highway Superintendent Larry Cobb was most appreciative of the combined efforts of numerous county and state departments during the aftermath of Sandy. In a statement released on Tuesday, Cobb thanked his town and the county highway departments as well as the County Executive’s office, the Emergency Management team, the Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police, NYSEG crews and Lewis Tree Service for [their] “great co-operation and real time communication all throughout the storm.”  

Announcing that 70 percent of the damage created by Hurricane Sandy in his town has been removed or repaired, Cobb said he is now teaming up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) representatives to recoup funding for the clean-up.

Odell and her Emergency Management team also met with FEMA officials on Tuesday. “Putnam County brought FEMA in to work with our municipalities and villages as well as our residents in their clean-up or reconstruction,” she said.  

A preliminary damage assessment for public and individual assistance is expected to be conducted on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Two teams consisting of personnel from FEMA, the State and County offices of Emergency Management, and other officials will review damage to each town and village.

 “The Emergency Operations Center remains open and staffed to further assist residents still affected by Hurricane Sandy,” said Odell late Tuesday. “We are here and ready to assist the storm weary residents of Putnam County,” said Odell.

Officials expect that by Wednesday, the remaining 38 percent of Putnam residents still without power will have it restored.

Putnam County Officials Urge County Residents To Continue To Monitor The Arrival Of A Dangerous Storm With High Winds

Issued By: Putnam County Emergency Management

Headline: UPDATE: Putnam County Officials Urge County Residents To Continue To Monitor The Arrival Of A Dangerous Storm With High Winds

This morning, in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Executive, along with County Emergency Response Officials participated in a National Weather Service briefing. Following is an overview of the current and predicted conditions.

Hurricane Sandy continues its slow path towards our region and as it does, there have been several changes. Over the last 24 hours the center of the storm continues to gain strength and organization. As it slowly gains strength it would appear that it is going to make landfall slightly north of the original prediction, now central New Jersey.

For our area the two major concerns are high wind speeds and tidal surges along the Hudson River. While rain remains a factor, the National Weather Service believes we will not see the severe impacts from water as we did in Irene. The winds for our area will begin to pick up in intensity at approximately 4:00 AM Monday October 29, 2012 reaching its peak Monday at 8:00 PM. Winds, although diminishing, will stay with us through mid-day Thursday.

Total rainfall for this event is 2″ – 6″ with localized rain bands bringing in 1″ 2″ per hour.

Sunday (10/28/12) 8:00 PM 14 MPH
Monday (10/29/12) 8:00 AM 28 MPH Gusts to 44 MPH
Monday (10/29/12) 8:00 PM 41 MPH Gusts to 62 MPH
Tuesday (10/30/12) 8:00 AM 32 MPH Gusts to 49 MPH
Tuesday (10/30/12) 8:00 PM 24 MPH Gusts to 36 MPH
Wednesday (10/31/12) 8:00 AM 11 MPH Gusts to 25 MPH
Wednesday (10/31/12) 8:00 PM 7 MPH

Putnam’s Hudson River communities need to prepare for a higher than normal tidal surge. Due to atmospheric conditions and an increasing East Fetch (sustaining winds and atmospheric pressure that do not allow normal drainage of previous high tides) it is predicted that the tidal surge will be 2’ – 4’ over the normal high tide with the National Weather Service predicting closer to the 4’ mark. In addition the longer storm duration will result in up to 3 higher than normal tidal cycles.

Temperatures will remain slightly above seasonal at the onset, but as the storm mixes with a cold front, temperatures will begin to descend into slightly lower than seasonal. By Wednesday we will see temperatures of 50 F during the day and 40 F overnight. There are no below freezing temperatures predicted.

We should be prepared for localized flooding conditions as the remaining leaf cover is removed from trees. This can create blockage for normal drainage paths such as small streams.

We advise all residents and visitors to Putnam County to prepare now.


Charge your cell phone and have a car charger available.

Have a battery powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries on hand.

Make sure you have enough medications (prescriptions and over the counter) on hand for all family members for at least one week.

Inspect your house and surrounding areas for loose items, secure anything that can move in high winds. Go to for more storm preparation tips.

In addition, take time now to review your Personal Storm Emergency Plan and:

Have an Emergency GO Kit (everything you need if you have to leave your house)

Establish a Family Communication Plan (how will you communicate with your family during and after the event?)
Know your surroundings; is your property flood prone? Take protective action now!
If you have a generator, be sure it has been installed by a qualified electrician. You MUST have a transfer switch installed to prevent dangerous electricity from injuring utility crews as they repair damaged lines

For more information on storm preparation go to

To track the storm or for up to date weather information go to or (the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center)

To report an outage or to review current outages for NYSEG go to

To report an outage or to review current outages for Central Hudson go to

Stay informed before, during and after the event by signing up for NY-Alert at By being a NY-Alert subscriber you can receive weather advisories, road closure information and local updates from the County and your local municipality by phone, fax, email or text message, all at no charge!

NYSEG and RG&E Emergency Planners Preparing for Possible Effects of Hurricane Sandy


October 26, 2012

NYSEG and RG&E Emergency Planners Preparing for

Possible Effects of Hurricane Sandy

>> NYSEG and RG&E urge customers to stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.

>> Emergency generators can be dangerous. Carefully read, understand and follow manufacturer’s instructions when operating an emergency generator. Never run emergency generators indoors; operate them only outdoors in well-ventilated areas, away from windows and doors, and never in a garage.

>> NYSEG and RG&E remind customers to stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If a basement or home is in danger of flooding, customers should contact their utilities to turn off electricity and/or natural gas service.

>> For electricity emergencies and to report power interruptions, NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.

>> For natural gas emergencies and to report suspected natural gas odors, NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1121; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1702.

Rochester, NYNYSEG and RG&E emergency planners are closely monitoring weather forecasts and preparing for the possible effects of Hurricane Sandy. Depending on the exact track of the storm, portions of the NYSEG and RG&E service areas could experience considerable wind and significant rainfall early next week. NYSEG and RG&E are concerned with the potential impact of falling limbs and trees on power lines and also with possible flooding that could affect both electricity and natural gas facilities.

NYSEG and RG&E front line and support personnel across the state are on heightened alert, the companies’ customer relations centers are prepared and materials are on hand to repair any damage to the companies’ energy delivery systems.

NYSEG and RG&E offer customers the following storm tips:

Before a storm strikes

–     Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact their   utility right away (NYSEG: 1.800.572.1111; RG&E: 1.800.743.2110) right away. Customers   may be enrolled in a critical customer program or provided specific advice on how to prepare          for power interruptions.

–       Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio or TV and fresh batteries handy.

–       Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)

–       Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.

–       Make sure cell phone batteries are fully charged.

During a power interruption

–       Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. A loss of power may be the result of a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.

–       To report a power interruption, contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131; RG&E at 1.800.743.1701. Our telephone systems let callers report the problem, help our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide customers with power interruption updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Anyone who has access to a working computer during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at or

–       Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.

–       Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean unplugging it, turning off a circuit breaker or removing a fuse for the circuit that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” to know when power has been restored.

–       Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.

–       Never use outdoor grills or stoves inside.

–       Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.

After your power is restored

–       If a basement or home was flooded, customers should have an electrician check the home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG or RG&E to have services turned on.

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

–       Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.

# # #

About NYSEG, RG&E and Iberdrola USA: NYSEG and RG&E are subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA. NYSEG serves 878,000 electricity customers and 261,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York. RG&E serves 367,000 electricity customers and 303,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester. Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company with more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. We are a team of dedicated individuals working as one to deliver value to our customers, employees and shareholders. By providing outstanding customer service and exceptional reliability, while holding safety and the environment in high regard, we aspire to be a world-class energy company. For more information, visit, and

Follow Us on Twitter: @NYSEandG, @RGandE, @IberdrolaUSA

Media Contacts:   Clayton Ellis 607.762.7336

Dan Hucko   585.724.8825

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Property Tax Cap Not Enough and Puts Strain on County Budgets


October 17, 2012

MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Executive

845 808-1001


MOODY’S  Assigns  Aa2 Rating to Putnam County Bond Issue

County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today that Moody’s Investors Service assigned Aa2 rating to the $ 6.4 million Public Improvement Bond Issue to be sold November 1, 2012.   Odell stated, “Putnam County’s strong credit rating, developed through sound fiscal management, will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest costs over the life of the bond issue.”   Odell further noted that the proposed 2013 Budget which holds the line on spending, reduces the County’s appropriation of fund balance, and includes a true 2% property tax increase that is lower than the New York State Tax Cap, was cited as a contributing factor to the County’s favorable bond rating.

In closing, Odell stated, “Our administration understands the struggles that our real property taxpayers are going through in this economy, and we will continue to recommend and implement cost saving measures to ease this burden.  However, Putnam and all other Counties throughout New York State need meaningful mandate relief from Albany in order to achieve substantial relief for property taxpayers.”

For specific information regarding this bond issue, please contact William J. Carlin, Jr. Commissioner of Finance at 845-808-1075 EXT 49321.

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.