By Nadine Cafaro
The Village of Maybrook is welcoming a brand new village justice: 28-year-old Joseph Byrne.
This comes from six write-in votes in Maybrook’s recent uncontested election. Byrne is excited to take on the role.
Byrne was born and raised in Maybrook with a history of wanting to serve his community. In 2013, when Byrne was a senior in high school, he recalled the closure of Maybrook Elementary School jumpstarting his drive to give back.
“It’s kind of when I started to enter my purpose of wanting to serve my community. I had a good role model in the mayor then, and we teamed up with a bunch of parents to try to take on the school district to put an emphasis on why we shouldn’t close our schools or our elementary school,” said Byrne.
This drive remained in Byrne, as he remained active in his community throughout his adult years. Byrne has served on the Maybrook Zoning Board of Appeals, he was secretary of the Athletic Booster Club.
“I’m also a former Valley Central Board of Education member where I was the NYSBA [New York State School Board Association] liaison. I was also the Orange County School Board Association liaison, and I served on the audit committee and the alcohol and drug committee as well,” Byrne added.
In his professional career, Byrne has taken on a few roles, but is currently a broker for traditional and alternative lending for small businesses. Byrne, alongside a few others, works out of JMB Funding, a brokerage firm he owns.
“Two weeks ago no one was on the ballot for it,” Byrne said. “I was asking some of the elected officials and then I saw the ballot on Friday and I was just like, if nobody petitioned for it, I had some interest; let me just get a few people to go write my name in.”
Though he has no judicial experience, he has an interest in law enforcement and the judicial system due to his family.
“I’ve always had an admiration for the work that law enforcement does and also the work that the judicial system does. I come from a long line of law enforcement officers stemming from my grandmother, all the way up to my father, my uncles and cousins [who were] cops,” said Byrne.
New York State has specific requirements for justices who have no past experience. So, in the third week of April, Byrne will be completing a 56-hour training course. He will also complete 16 hours of training in July, as well as 12 hours annually.
He also mentioned being close with the former judge, William Schimpf, who has offered help. Byrne also credits Maybrook Court Clerk Anna O’Donnell as a resource to him due to her experience.
“There’s a bunch of resources out there for me so I will be taking advantage of every resource that I can in order to make sure that I’m obviously compliant but also doing the best job that I can for the Village of Maybrook,” Byrne said.
Byrne will be replacing Village of Montgomery Justice Tina Fassnacht, who has been filling in since Schimpf retired last summer.