The Cornwall-on-Hudson Village Board meets twice a month on Monday nights. It holds a Work Session on the second Monday of the month and a Business Meeting on the third Monday. The mayor and trustees hold two-year terms.
Cornwall-on-Hudson residents elected Brendan G. Coyne as mayor on March 15, 2011. He ran on his Cornwall-on-Hudson United party line, promising Civility, Collaboration and Consensus. Residents have re-elected him four times.
The Cornwall-on-Hudson mayor serves part time for a two-year term. The mayor oversees municipal services, including police, fire, water and public works. As chief financial officer, the mayor prepares the village’s budget.
Mayor Coyne has sought to better manage village functions. For example, he implemented monthly written department reports for superintendents, chiefs and the village clerk to more efficiently report on their activities so residents and the village board can understand their work. He meets weekly with the superintendents, chiefs and village clerk.
Mayor Coyne has made village roads a priority, allocating additional funds annually to repair and rehabilitate roads. He has focused attention on beautifying the village, especially the riverfront, Donahue Memorial Park at Cornwall Landing, and adding a hand-carved welcome sign. He has prepared budgets with tax increases under 2%.
To better serve village residents, Mayor Coyne is active in the Orange County Association of Towns, Villages and Cities, which meets monthly to share best practices; he serves on its board of directors. He uses the services of the New York Conference of Mayors to solve issues. He serves as vice chair of the Moodna Creek Intermunicipal Watershed Council, which monitors the creek that caused havoc during Hurricane Irene. With other mayors and town supervisors, he monitored Kiryas Joel annexation efforts.
Coyne also works as Communications Associate for New York State Senator James Skoufis, writing letters, citations and proclamations. He occasionally represents the senator at functions.
Coyne worked most of his professional career as public relations director at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh. He also was a reporter for the Times Herald-Record and The Cornwall Local.
He has been a community servant all of his life. He was elected three times to Cornwall Central School District Board of Education, serving for nine years, three years as president. He advocated for school property tax reform. He has been a Lion for more than three decades, and is a past president of the Newburgh and Cornwall service clubs. He has served on Cornwall Independence Day Committee for more than 30 years, 22 as chair. He coached Cornwall recreational soccer for 13 years and helped coordinate a Cornwall Cub Scout Den.
He served as a trustee of the Orange County Citizens Foundation for nine years and on boards of other community organizations, including the Greenwood Lake Gaelic Cultural Society and Sugar Loaf Community Foundation. He performed social work in Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in Alabama and on Long Island.
Coyne was born in New York City and raised on Long Island. He is the father of Kerry, Colin and Molly and has lived in Cornwall-on-Hudson since 1988. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from Niagara University and has traveled extensively in the United States and Europe, particularly Ireland. He sings and practices gratitude.
Copy to come.
Trustee David Carnright has lived most of his life in the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson. Dave attended Cornwall schools and graduated from Cornwall Central High School in 1971.
Mayor Brendan Coyne appointed Dave to fill a vacancy on the village board in 2012. Dave ran for trustee in 2013 and has served on the board for eight years.
Dave started working for Fry Copy Systems after graduating high school and remained with the company till 1980. He next worked at Nepera Chemical Company in Harriman.
In 1985, Dave went on to work for Central Hudson Gas and Electric. After 31 years, Dave retired in 2016 as chief gas mechanic.
It is here in Cornwall where Carnright met his wife, Louise. They have been married for 40 years and have raised four children. All of their children have gone through the Cornwall School system.
Dave has been an active member of the community. He served nine years on the Cornwall school board. He is president of Cornwall Youth Football and served more than 20 years on the Cornwall Little League Board. He has also served on the Cornwall Independence Day Committee.
James A. Gagliano
James A. Gagliano was elected as a Village Trustee by Cornwall-on-Hudson residents on March 19, 2019. He campaigned on a platform of consensus-building, seeking to add an additional, steady hand of competent, experienced leadership, gained from 33 years in first responder realm, to the Village Board.
James serves as a law enforcement analyst and policing methodology subject matter expert for CNN, where he provides on-air analyses of complex law enforcement and counterterror matters. An adjunct assistant professor and doctoral candidate at St. John’s University, he is a sought-after speaker on criminal justice, homeland security and organizational leadership matters, and delivers keynote addresses for corporate clients and in academic settings.
Before joining CNN, James served 25 years with the FBI. During his career with FBI, he was appointed to a variety of investigative, tactical resolution, crisis management, undercover, mid-level and senior management positions, including assignment to the FBI’s elite counterterror unit, the Hostage Rescue Team, and as the Senior Team Leader of the FBI New York Field Division’s SWAT Team.
During the Global War on Terrorism, between 2002 and 2003, he deployed to Afghanistan three times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was awarded the FBI’s second highest award for valor, the Medal of Bravery, for his SWAT Team’s actions in June of 1993. In one of his final FBI assignments, he studied Spanish at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, then served as the deputy legal attaché and acting legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in México City before retiring from government service in January 2016.
A 1987 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, he was commissioned as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer, serving as a light infantry platoon leader and company executive officer in the 2nd Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division, while stationed at Fort Benning, GA, and Fort Drum, NY, between 1988 and 1991.
James was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 and dedicated to the defense of the noble law enforcement profession and its honorable practitioners. He is also a member of the FBI Agents Association, the Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Hostage Rescue Team Association. He is an author and opinion writer, most frequently with CNN Opinion and the Washington Examiner.
James and his wife, Tiffany, Dean of the School of Business at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, have five children between them and reside in Lower Village, where their youngest, Avery, attends C-O-H Elementary School and participates in local sports, music, and drama activities. You may run into them on the sidewalks of Hudson Street, where they frequently walk their sweet, rescued pit bull, Jaxon.
Kenneth A. Schmidt
Kenneth A. Schmidt has been a resident of the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson for the past 30 years. Ken and his wife, Margaret Schmidt, were educators in the Cornwall Central School District for many years and both are now retired.
Ken has served on the village board for seven years.
Ken served as the principal of Cornwall-on-Hudson Elementary School for 20 years. During his term, he has worked in diverse areas of administration including budget, personnel, contract negotiations, education, special events, and public relations. Ken taught for 15 years on Long Island.
Ken has been active in the community. Ken has been a leader of song and a CCD teacher at St. Thomas of Canterbury Church; a coach for Cornwall Youth Soccer; a member of the ArtFest committee; a narrator for the Cornwall Independence Day Pageant; a moderator for political debates; and an actor in numerous local plays.
Ken and his wife have raised two daughters, Jessica and Jacquelyn, in this community and his family has greatly enjoyed all it has to offer.