Biographical information written by former Legislator Dan Birmingham on Putnam’s first County Executive David Bruen as it appeared in the bicentennial history book “The Collaborative History of Putnam County, New York.” Bruen died Feb. 1. He was 84.
A biography of David D. Bruen, written by former County Legislator Dan Birmingham and published in “The Collaborative History of Putnam County, New York,” records Bruen’s start in county government in 1960 when he served as county treasurer. Bruen, who worked in the insurance and real estate fields, served in that position until he was elected County Executive in 1978 besting a trio of town supervisors. Previously, Putnam had been governed by a Board of Supervisors whose six members represented the county’s towns and villages. Following a referendum to change, a charter form of government was established calling for a county executive along with a nine-member legislature.
According to Birmingham’s biography, Bruen, a Democrat, had the endorsement of the Democrats as well as the Independent Citizens party. He served two four-year terms as CountyExecutive stepping down in 1986 when Peter Alexanderson was elected.
During his first term as CountyExecutive, the county’s first bus transportation system, PART, was established. He also initiated the county’s Planning Department and established a Director of Planning to oversee its operations.
In 2003, the CountyOfficeBuilding located on Gleneida Avenue in downtown Carmel, was renamed the DavidD.BruenCountyOfficeBuilding in his honor.
Bruen remained active in county and community organizations. In 1990 and again in 2000, we was appointed to groups tasked with reviewing the county charter. He also served on the Peach Lake Environmental Committee.
Bruen, who was born on August 14, 1929, was a graduate of FordhamUniversity where he earned his Bachelor’s degree. He and his late wife, Marilyn, raised nine children and were grandparents to twenty-two.
In his honor, calling hours will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at the Historic Putnam County Courthouse which is located alongside the DavidD.BruenCountyOfficeBuilding on Gleneida Avenue in Carmel. Additional calling hours will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. at Beecher Funeral Home, 1 Putnam Avenue in Brewster.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church, 31 Prospect St., Brewster, NY. Interment will follow immediately at St. Lawrence O’Toole Cemetery on Turk Hill Road in Brewster.