May 7, 2021
Dear Cornwall-on-Hudson residents, neighbors, and friends:
I am not going to pretend I have anything totally figured out yet. But I am straightening and bending downward the learning curve. Definitely helps to have such a dedicated Village Hall staff and seasoned Village employees.
Just one important item I’d like to highlight from this past week:
As promised, the “Village Mayors’ Roundtable” took place at Village Hall on Tuesday, May 4th. Blessed to have in attendance all living former mayors. Shared breakfast with our 24th mayor (Charles P. Obremski, 1977-1979), 26th (Edward C. Moulton, Jr., 1981-2007), 27th (Joseph J. Gross, 2007-2011), and its 28th (Brendan G. Coyne, 2011-2021). Was humbled and honored to be able to ask each mayor the greatest challenges of his administration and receive some sage advice on where they felt my immediate and long-term efforts should focus. God bless and keep these honorable public servants.
We have posted a photograph to commemorate the historic assemblage, as well of one of Mayor Moulton in front of his original desk; one he acquired in Poughkeepsie (as he recalls it). Every mayor since has used that desk.
Sadly, our 25th mayor (George R. Dempsey, 1979-1981), 93, passed away in Amherst, MA, on June 22, 2020, from injuries sustained after a fall. A WWII U.S. Navy veteran of the Pacific Theater (enlisting when war broke out at the ripe old age of 17), his New York Times obituary included this attribution: “He even served as mayor of a small village where his family had deep roots.”
Do not want to add anything else for fear of stepping on the somber reflection on the service of Mayor Dempsey. We continue to owe a debt of gratitude to his Greatest Generation. As Memorial Day approaches -- with parade -- let’s reflect on their service and sacrifices.
My best to all – James A. “Jimmy” Gagliano