On Thursday, August 30, NY State Senator Terrence Murphy visited Pawling as part of his Shed the Meds initiative throughout the 40th Senate District. While the Senator’s day began at Town Hall to collect unused, outdated medication, he embarked on a tour of Pawling to visit a number of projects that have received his support in recent months.
Sen. Murphy, a member of the New York State Senate Opioid and Drug Task Force, first met with local officials at Town Hall to oversee the local Shed the Meds drop off program. The program is run in conjunction with the Town of Pawling, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, and the Council on Addiction and Prevention. Many residents came out to drop off expired and unused medication and to meet with the Senator as well as with Town Supervisor James Schmitt, Councilmen Bill Johnson and Phil DeRosa, Village Trustee Dan Peters, and Pawling Fire Chief Everett White. Murphy spoke on the importance of the program, which is designed to combat the soaring number of opioid related deaths in New York State. “We do this every summer, in eight different towns,” Murphy remarked. “It’s a total team effort, and I say that in a multitude of different ways. The drug crisis in our backyard needs to be dealt with.” To date, the Shed the Meds program has been responsible for removing more than 5,000 pounds of potentially dangerous drugs from the 40th Senate District. After drop off, the drugs are safely destroyed by law enforcement.
Following the event at Town Hall, Sen. Murphy crossed the parking lot to visit American Legion Hasler-Kamp Post #215 next door. Earlier this year, the Murphy was instrumental in securing a grant to benefit veterans and seniors in the area. Funds from the grant were used toward improvements to the American Legion building’s handicapped access and facade. On hand to meet Sen. Murphy were post members Lou Musella, Jerry Christiansen, and Jay Dickinson, as well as Chris Clowry, a representative from Trademark Custom Building who recently completed work on the new sign in front of the American Legion building. “My hat goes off to our veterans,” said Murphy. “I appreciate everything that you do. These VFWs and American Legions are so important. I’ll always go over the top for our veterans.”
In response to Murphy’s support, Musella said, “I have reached out to Senator Murphy on several occasions for help and guidance for our local veterans. When he says he will do whatever he can for veterans, it’s not just a talking point. He means it.”
Following the visit to the American Legion, Murphy paid a visit to the Pawling Library. Library trustees Verna Carey and Nick Robertshaw were on hand to greet the Senator, who was then given a tour by Kate Lambert, Young Adult Program Coordinator at the library. Lambert guided Murphy to the Library Annex to showcase new laptops paid for as part of a $5,000 grant secured by Sen. Murphy. The visit ended with a trip to the library’s outdoor garden, where Murphy and Supervisor Schmitt sampled fresh tomatoes.
The Senator’s day in Pawling concluded with a visit to Whaley Lake Dam to see the reconstruction project as it nears completion, and lunch at Vinny’s Deli. “This is a tight knit community,” said Murphy. “Through communication and a relationship with the Supervisor and the Mayor, we can keep doing things like this, and keep this community strong.”
Supervisor Schmitt echoed this sentiment, stating: “Working together is the only way to win.”