Letter: Where is Odell?

One more thing on the COVID-19 threat: It is curious that we hear nothing from MaryEllen Odell, the Putnam county executive. Every other surrounding county — Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Westchester — has a testing site, but not Putnam. The reason is that the other counties have contracted to have sites set up.

It would seem that the county executive’s sole job at this time would be to get a testing site. How that happens is by taking action, not hoping that either the feds or the state will come in and do it for you. I have been on every Putnam County Department of Health call with officials on COVID-19 and not once has the county executive participated. We get the number of new cases, the deaths and the fact that we have no testing. There needs to be some leadership at the top and that is not happening. How is Odell spending her days?

For God’s sake, Tompkins County near Ithaca has a drive-thru testing site. Monroe County has “strike teams” deployed to do in-home testing. This is because their county executives took decisive action and coordinated with their health departments to get it done. There are resources out there; you just need to do some actual work to get them.

Richard Shea, Cold Spring
Shea is the Philipstown supervisor.

5 thoughts on “Letter: Where is Odell?

  1. Thank you Richard. She has been invisible in every way. Our neighboring counties have regular updates from their county executive as well as health officials (which I listen to). At the county level in Putnam it has been radio silence. Thank you also for your updates to the town. I also commend county Legislator Nancy Montgomery for her regular communications. Without both of you, we would be getting no local information from our elected officials.

  2. The state gives the counties the testing kits. Putnam received 100 kits and there was a drive thru last Tuesday and all were used. When they get more they will test again — Richard and Nancy knew that. The county is on a phone call every morning with Health Department. Maybe Nancy isn’t on them. The county website is updated constantly.

  3. The lack of testing in Putnam may explain why the county’s official count of COVID-19 cases remains significantly lower than surrounding counties. [via Facebook]