ON THE EMPIRE STATE TRAIL
DeWitt and Syracuse planners Sam Gordon and Owen Kerney with Onondaga County’s Travis Glazier and New York State’s Ed Rodriguez offer up the latest news in the progress of the Erie Canalway through Syracuse. Learn how communities have been working together on this statewide initiative.
FOCUS Forum Presenters
Samuel Gordon, MLA
As Director of Planning and Zoning for the Town of DeWitt, Sam Gordon is responsible for the management of the development process within the town, implementation of the town’s Comprehensive Plan, and coordination of town sustainability initiatives.
Sam has more than 18 years of experience in planning and sustainability and has managed or provided expertise on projects including greenway planning, energy conservation, renewable energy deployment, neighborhood revitalization and alternative mobility. Sam developed and oversees Elevating Erie, an initiative to close the gap in the Erie Canalway Trail system within Central New York funded through the NYS Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. Sam received a Fellowship in 2005 to work with the Center for Environmental Studies in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, which was selected as the European Green Capital for 2012.
Owen Kerney is as an Assistant Director in the Syracuse – Onondaga County Planning Agency. He leads the City’s Planning Division, which focuses on urban planning and design, historic preservation, public art, and sustainability initiatives to promote and enhance the livability and prosperity of the City of Syracuse.
Owen develops and manages planning and capital projects for the City including the City’s Comprehensive Plan 2040, the ReZone Syracuse project, the Syracuse Connective Corridor, the Elevating Erie initiative, brownfield redevelopment and multiple State and Federal grant projects.
He lives in Syracuse with his wife Melanie and their three children.
Travis Glazier is Director of the Office of Environment for Onondaga County. In this role, he is responsible for policy matters related to environmental protection, rehabilitation, and preservation. The director also is the liaison in environmental matters for the county with state and federal governments and with private interests. He began his career with Onondaga County in 2010 working for the Department of Water Environment Protection (WEP). In 2011 he was chosen by the County Executive to serve as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations and in 2014 was appointed to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Facilities Management.
He is a lifelong resident of upstate New York and holds a bachelor’s degree in politics with a minor in environmental studies from SUNY Potsdam and an executive master’s degree in public administration (EMPA) from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Ed is the Assistant Design Engineer for the New York State Department of Transportation’s Syracuse office and manages the design of projects for the six county Central New York Region with both Syracuse-based designers and projects designed under contract by consultants.
Ed has been with the department for over 30 years. In addition to his participation in the Empire State Trail, along with Project Manager Cindy Bell, he also is involved with the designs for the State Fairgrounds projects, the Onondaga Lake Parkway project and numerous other regionally significant projects.
Ed and his wife received their undergraduate degrees from Cornell University, fell in love with Central New York and made it their home. They continued their education with MBAs from Syracuse University. They have two sons, one in college and one in the J-D school district.
FOCUS Greater Syracuse is a non-profit, citizen-driven organization serving Central New York that taps citizen creativity and citizen engagement to impact change in Central New York by enabling citizens, organizations, and government to work together to enhance the quality of our lives and our economic future.
FOCUS stands for Forging Our Community’s United Strength.