Government

Odell Declares 2017 the ‘Year of the Millennial’

6593e1bd63741c9e4f16_49270_.jpg
County Executive MaryEllen Odell declared 2017 the “year of the millennial” during her State of the County speech last week. Credits: Bob Dumas
6593e1bd63741c9e4f16_49270_.jpg

MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Putnam County must prevent a mass exodus of millennials in the coming years or suffer significant social and economic consequences, County Executive MaryEllen Odell said in her annual State of the County address last week.

Odell declared 2017 the “year of the millennial” in her speech given at the Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac, Thursday night, March 9.

Odell said the county must do what it can to prevent young people from leaving the county and said they must focus on four areas to accomplish it: real estate opportunities, leisure and travel, mobility and technology.

Sign Up for E-News

“From an economic standpoint, [millennials’] spending power is in the trillions,” Odell said.  “We love this generation, we know what motivates them; we know what drives them. They are a very demanding generation. They know what they want and they want it right now. Everything is fast.”

There are 75 million Americans who make up the millennial generation and Odell said Putnam County needs them to maintain its fiscal health.

“In February I said that the recruitment and the retention of millennials will be the fuel for the economic engine for Putnam County,” she said. “What I should have said is it’s the fuel for the Hudson Valley, it’s the fuel for the state, it’s the fuel for the country.”

For real estate opportunities, the county executive said the area needs more transit-orientated development (TOD) projects.

“[Millennials] are going to spend millions of dollars and I want them to spend it here in Putnam County,” she said. “We need those TOD projects.”’

She cited the revitalization of the Village of Brewster as a shining example. That plan includes mixed-use buildings of 290 apartments and 32,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, as well as a shared subsurface parking structure for up to 550 cars. It’s in close proximity to the Harlem Line train station. Construction is expected to begin in late 2018.

For leisure and travel, Odell held up the Putnam County Golf Course as a drawing card for millennials.

“We want to make sure there are things that are here for them to do,” she said. “We put so much focus on this golf course because we want it to be an entertainment destination. It is a place we are very proud of.”

Odell also pointed to the presence of Airbnb in the county and the role it can play in boosting the economy and inspiring millennials to stay.

 “Why are we attracted to Airbnb? We still don’t have a leisure hotel in Putnam County,” she said. “But Airbnb has been quietly here.  It can transport Putnam County from a vacation county to a staycation county.”

She also cited the recently renovated Tilly Foster Farm and Educational Institute as another facet of the county plan to maintain its millenial generation.

“[Tilly Foster] wants to be part of this incredible destination,” she said. “Kids are taking culinary arts classes there. BOCES is excited, Putnam County is excited. They’ve increased programs and now comes the dining experience. We are bringing organic farming and farm-to-table [dining] to Tilly Foster. It’s an economic driver. The opportunities are truly endless.”

For mobility, Odell noted that more and more millennials are turning away from owning their own automobiles and seeking alternative transportation.

“How do millennials want to move? Most millennials don’t want a car but they want to keep moving,” she noted.

Odell pointed out that Albany is considering legislation to allow ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft to come upstate.

“It could be very helpful to the local economy,” she said.

Odell said the county is taking a closer look at all its forms of transportation, from rail lines to the bus transportation system and taxis and limousines.

“And, of course, the use of the personal vehicle and how we can make better changes to keep everyone moving in Putnam County,” she said.

The fourth tenet of her plan—technology—is key when it comes to millennials, she said.

“In order to have that technology, you have to have that backbone,” Odell said. “We all know the world moves virtually and in Putnam County, we have to stay ahead of it.”

She praised the county’s newspapers for their efforts to go digital and create internet platforms to disseminate local news.

“Our papers have moved from the shelves to the web brilliantly to get to your smart phones and your tablets and we are grateful because it will keep them here and it will keep the public informed,” she said.

She also noted of the county’s plan to improve cell service. She said that 911 answered 10,000 calls last year that came from a landline; however, 26,000 came from a wireless phone.

“[The key] is interoperability and we have to focus on infrastructure–not only to meet the needs of our future generation, but we have to do it for our first responders,” Odell said. “We can’t have them go dark. We are going to make sure we have 100 percent coverage in Putnam County to make sure our community is safe during an emergency.”

Odell said Putnam County needs to keep moving forward and remain proactive, setting examples and becoming the template for others to follow.

“[We need] to continue to make Putnam County that shining beacon on the hill, the place where freedom rings, where hopes and family are so important, the place where we are there for each other,” she said. “Putnam County is the jewel of the great State of New York. America should watch Putnam County because we are in prime time.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

I Do Not Make Stuff Up!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in my column, “Watergate analogies apply to Obama, not Trump,” that President Obama’s Justice Department planted a spy in the Trump campaign. I said I used the term “spy” because this was a counter-intelligence operation, not a criminal investigation, where the term informant would have been proper.

That statement has been brought ...

Here's What You Missed Last Week

Last week, the Daily News ran a headline, “When is our father coming home?” This dealt with a person here illegally, married to an American woman with a family, who was arrested at an Army base while delivering pizza. You are supposed to think that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under Trump, is tearing families apart. As usual, it was a crock of cow pies. It was ...

Reagan on Trump

The party of “Honest Abe” has now become the party of Dishonest Don, and what follows are some disturbing displays of a Republican Party that has become devoid of conscience:

• More than 4,600 American citizens dead in Puerto Rico—a postscript to the government’s abysmal response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Maria; 
• The underhanded ...

The Rich Get Richer, and We’re Paying For It

According to a Harvard University study published late last year, most Americans believe that the richest 20 percent of Americans own just half of the nation’s wealth. Wrong! The top 20 percent own 93 percent of the nation’s wealth, and the top 1 percent own 40 percent of that wealth. Additionally, the top 10 percent of earners in 2017 took home more than half the nation’s ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Competing—Against Yourself

This is the time of year when students are recognized at public ceremonies for notable achievements in their studies, their sports and in their extracurricular pursuits.

Where we live, there are awards in various sports that are named for our son, who also is memorialized by town ballfield Harrison Apar Field of Dreams and a charitable foundation of the same name.

Due to a rare dwarfism, ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_b4cc78dd32adbbf57c97_2018_hiv_testing_day_eng

Wed, June 27, 9:00 AM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

PCDOH Free HIV Testing Day

Health & Wellness