CARMEL, NY - On December 30th, 2022, at Carmel High School’s Casey Hall, Kevin Byrne was sworn-in as Putnam County Executive. He took the Oath of Office among hundreds of attendees from the community, surrounded by family. A lifelong county resident, and graduate of Carmel High School, Byrne comes to the office after 3 terms of service as the county’s New York State Assemblyman.
“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 County Executive Byrne. “I remain grateful to all those who served, and continue to serve, in county government who have led with a desire to better this community so it may continue to prosper. Together, we will continue to promote opportunity, freedom, and respect for one another.”
The oath of office was administered by former Dutchess County Executive and current Congressman Marc Molinaro following a presentation of the colors by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Cadets, Carmel Troop 1 Boy Scouts (where Byrne earn the rank of Eagle Scout as a high school student), and the Putnam County Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol. They were escorted in 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 (US Army, Ret), James Burpoe (US Army, Ret), and County Executive Byrne’s brother Christopher Byrne (US Air Force). The national anthem was sung by Putnam County Sheriff’s Cadet Veronika Bilinski, an invocation was given by Reverend Casey Carbone of First Presbyterian Church of Mahopac, and the benediction was given by Rabbi Sarah Freidson of Temple Beth Shalom of Mahopac.
FULL TEXT OF SPEECH BELOW
I want to begin by expressing my gratitude to all of you in attendance and to all those who helped make this moment possible, especially the people of Putnam County who have placed their trust in me to be your County Executive for the next four years.
Thank you to my friend, outgoing Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, or should I just say “Congressman”, for administering the oath of office. It means so much to me that you’re here today. I first met Marc years before I first ran for elected office and he’s been a model public servant in village, state and county government. He’s done tremendous work for the people of Dutchess, just as I know we will do tremendous work for the people of Putnam.
So many people, near and dear to my heart, worked tirelessly to get us to this point. I simply cannot name them all, but at the core, as always, is family. I must acknowledge my partner on this journey: my beautiful, hard-working, patient wife Briana and our wonderful 2 ½ year old son Braeden. My parents, Dan & Patty Byrne, my in-laws Vinny & Karin Messina, my 96 year-old grandmother Jane Byrne, my brother and sister Chris and Trishia and their wonderful families, and so many others. Thank you, Thank you Thank you.
I also want to thank our transition team, the committee that put this ceremony together, as well as our hosts: the great staff at the Carmel Central School District for opening their doors to us today. Superintendent Mary-Margaret Zehr, Building Head Brian Ward, and of course Braeden’s Godfather who spent lots of time with me at this school over 20 years ago, Chris Stone. Conducting this ceremony in a place I grew up, where I called home and graduated from makes this moment truly special. Thank you.
Other individuals whose work, advice and council had a profound impact on my life, and who I believe were here throughout our challenges in spirit, were Jim O’Neill, Jack Gress, Jack Hufnagel, Pat Perry, Dennis Sant and to the extent he could have been legally as a former county court judge, Jimmy Reitz. We miss them all dearly.
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 & Westchester counties. As your County Executive, I look forward to maintaining and building on those relationships I have acquired to make Putnam County’s representation even stronger with our newly elected and re-elected state representatives.
And I know Putnam County’s voice will be heard loud & clear at the federal level thanks to our new Congressman, my former Assembly colleague, Mike Lawler. It also helps that I have Mike’s & Marc’s cell phone number.
Unlike many other speeches you may hear from me and other elected officials this is not a campaign speech, it’s not a press conference, a state of the county or a budget presentation.
This is a special occasion to mark a new beginning with a new administration led by a new generation of leadership. This is a moment to show gratitude, to provide vision, instill confidence and lead.