(Friday, December 23, 2022) Putnam County, NY – Today, Putnam County Executive-Elect Kevin Byrne announced numerous key appointments for his incoming administration. Those appointments include Compton Spain as County Attorney, Thomas “Tommy” Feighery as Deputy Commissioner of Highway & Facilities, John Tully as Director of Purchasing, and Robert “Bob” Lipton as Interim Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services.
“Each of these individuals is well-qualified with a passion for public service” said the County Executive-Elect Byrne “I am extremely encouraged that they are going to join our administration as we work to make Putnam County a better place to live and work. The wealth of knowledge and experience these individuals bring to the table will better enable our team to deliver on what we pledged, from setting up guard rails that help us control the tax burden to providing a more affordable and accountable government. We’re setting ourselves up for success and are eager to get to work.”
Compton Spain, Esq. has been appointed County Attorney. Spain is an attorney with a deep expertise in real estate, banking, municipal law, commercial transactions, and criminal defense. Most recently he was a partner in Spain & Spain, a family law firm and served as bank counsel for Tompkins Community Bank. His municipal law experience includes time spent as Deputy County Attorney for Putnam County. He is a fourth-generation resident of Mahopac with deep roots in the community and has long been active in community organizations, including Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Mr. Spain received his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Colgate University and holds a Juris Doctorate from Pace University School of Law.
Pending his appointment as the county attorney, Mr. Spain has relinquished his interest and partnership in other organizations. He has resigned, effective January 1, 2023, as partner in Spain & Spain, choosing to be in an “of counsel” status. Additionally, he has stepped down as Secretary of the Putnam County Conservative Party and will recuse himself from any matters involving the government of Putnam County and Tompkins Community Bank. Mr. Spain presently serves as the volunteer board chairman of the Lake Mahopac Park District Advisory Board where he successfully advocated for measures to protect water quality, reduce pollution from a growing geese population, and prevent the spread of invasive weeds. Acknowledging the full-time nature of his new position, he has agreed to step back from his volunteer role on the local board and will permit his term to expire December 31st, 2022.
Thomas “Tommy” Feighery has been appointed Deputy Commissioner for Highway and Facilities where he will serve as the acting administrator of the department on an interim basis. He has an extensive background in building and construction management, having supervised commercial, residential, and tunnel construction for over thirty years in Manhattan with the Local 147 Sandhogs. More recently, Feighery served as the Deputy County Executive for Putnam County and as a project manager for the Department of Highway and Facilities. He was instrumental in the county’s COVID-19 response, spearheaded union contract negotiations, and assisted in the development of annual budgets. He also possesses valuable management experience from the private-sector from having owned and operated his own small business, Fiddler’s Green Pub, for 35 years in the hamlet of Carmel prior to its sale. Mr. Feighery holds a number of certifications in leadership and specialized training from the National Association of Counties (NACO) and other construction industry and safety regulatory agencies. Feighery is an active member of the community including serving as a coach for the Catholic Youth Organization and Westchester-Putnam Setanta Irish Football Club.
John Tully has been appointed Director of Purchasing. He has extensive experience in the public sector and brings with him a wealth of knowledge to the role. Tully has a lengthy record of service to Putnam County residents, including time as Deputy County Executive under both the Bondi and Eldridge administrations, and most recently as the previous Deputy Commissioner for Highway and Facilities. Tully has previously served in a variety of public and private capacities including as Vice President at Patterns for Progress. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Niagara University and attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Robert “Bob” Lipton has been appointed Interim Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services. He has served as Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau since 2013 where he was instrumental in revitalizing the Fire Advisory Board, developing the county’s technical rescue team, and the consolidation of the 911 Center. Administering the Bureau is not a new responsibility for Mr. Lipton. In 2015, Mr. Lipton stepped up and served as the acting commissioner of the bureau as the previous administration recruited and ultimately selected a new commissioner. Prior to his time in Putnam, he served as an adjunct professor at Mercy College, training students in Homeland Security defense strategies. His extensive private sector experience also includes time spent at IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center, Schein Pharmaceuticals and Barden Corporation. Mr. Lipton has his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Marist College and a Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College.
In addition to the above personnel who have been appointed to new roles, a large host of incumbent managers presently serving in Putnam County Government have been asked to continue their service with the new administration including: Bill Carlin as Commissioner of Finance, Dr. Michael Neisheiwat as Interim Health Commissioner, Jennifer Cassidy as Putnam County Historian, Janeen Cunningham as Director of the Youth Bureau, Michael Budzinski as Director of Consumer Affairs/Weights & Measures/Trades Licensing & Registration, Lisa Johnson as Director of Real Property Tax Services, Alex Roehner as Director of Emergency Medical Services, John O’Conner as Director of Emergency Management, Michael Cunningham as Director of the Office of Senior Resources, John Osterhout as Director of Probation, Tracey Walsh as Director of Tourism, Karl Rohde as Director and Art Hanley as Deputy Director of the Veterans Service Agency. This is in addition to a number of other senior managers who are in termed positions such as Paul Eldridge as Personnel Officer and Michael Piazza as Commissioner of Social Services and Mental Health, who will also continue to serve Putnam County.
The aforementioned appointments are the product of an extensive transition process that began in October 2022 with the support of many individuals. The transition team devoted hundreds of hours to interviewing candidates, reviewing department operations, and evaluating existing programs. Additional information about central staff appointments in the County Executive’s office will be announced prior to the County Executive-Elect assuming office.
For continued updates from County Executive-Elect Kevin Byrne and his Transition Team, follow: https://www.facebook.com/Byrne4NY/