Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne, R-Mahopac, was sworn into office Dec. 30 in a packed Casey Hall at Carmel High School that was filled with hundreds of attendees from the community, including family, friends and colleagues. The oath of office was administered by former Dutchess County Executive and current Congressman Marc Molinaro, R-Poughkeepsie.
“As county executive, I will ensure our mission is to deliver a responsible, affordable, accountable government that serves us all and continues to put the people of Putnam County first,” said Byrne.
A lifelong county resident and CHS graduate, Byrne entered the county’s top office after three terms of service as a New York State assemblyman.
“It has been an incredible honor to serve these past three terms as your state assemblyman and know that I will look fondly back on my years as a state legislator serving the people of Putnam and Westchester counties,” he said.
When thinking about what makes Putnam County a great place to plant roots, Byrne said it is not just the scenery, but the people.
“Regardless of what may make us different as individuals, it is our respect for each other as neighbors, our desire to step up and serve, to lend a hand, and leave this beautiful county better off than we found it, that makes this place so special,” he said.
In the months ahead, Byrne said his office will work with members of the County Legislature to cement administrative guard rails that will better control the growth of government spending, make county government more transparent and accessible to the average citizen, update and upgrade infrastructure – both traditional and digital – to bring government communications into the modern age, and enhance efficiencies, streamline services and identify cost savings to limit the need to raise property taxes.
“Our schools, businesses and commuters need safe roads and sound bridges to travel over,” he said. “When a medical or traumatic emergency occurs, we need a functioning 911 center to answer the call, perform and dispatch first responders. Our seniors deserve services to better enable them to age in place so they can continue to call Putnam County their home. Our military heroes – our veterans – have earned our gratitude and need a contact in the county to help them navigate the myriad of services available to them.”
As a former state legislator, Byrne said he has a strong appreciation for those who serve in any legislative branch of government, and pledged to work alongside the Putnam Legislature to best serve the community.
“The Legislature is the body that is closest to the people, who we all work for,” he said. “I’m sure we’re going to have many debates and a few disagreements over the next four years, but I know we will work well together when we make policy – not personality – the core of our debate. And despite any disagreements we may have in the future, at the heart of every spirited discussion there will be an underlying understanding that we are all standing up for what we believe is in the best interest of Putnam County and its people.”
At the swearing-in ceremony, the colors were presented by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Cadets, Carmel Troop 1 Boy Scouts (in which Byrne earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a high school student), and the Putnam County Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol.
They were escorted by a contingent of the Steven P. Driscoll Memorial Pipe Band (of which Byrne is a founding member) on the bagpipes, immediately followed by the Pledge of Allegiance lead by military veterans Karl Rhode, James Burpoe and Byrne’s brother Christopher.