Class Descriptions


Annual Regional Leadership Conference Class Information


Class Name: “Culverts & Stream Crossings – The Basics”

Organization: Upper Susquehanna Coalition/Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District

Presenter(s): Mark Watts

Time: 8:00-9:00 AM

Description: An overview of the considerations in design and assessment of stream crossings and road culverts. Presentation will touch on issues of safety, hydrology and environmental impacts.


Class Name: “Managing Floodplain Development: Introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program”

Organization: Southern Tier Central Regional Planning & Development Board

Presenter(s): Janet Thigpen, CFM & Tom Skebey

Time: 8:00-10:00 AM

Description: Practical information about local enforcement of floodplain development standards established by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) including: How to read the maps. When is a floodplain development permit needed? How is it issued? What technical standards apply? How to get help!


Class Name: “Challenges and Solutions to Sustainable and Healthy Forests in the Southern Tier”

Organization: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County

Presenter(s): Brett Chedzoy

Time: 9:05-10:05 AM

Description: The Southern Tier Region is home to the world's most valuable forests. These forests support a multi-billion dollar forest industry, and benefit local communities and economies in many other ways. This session will cover some of the major current challenges to sustaining healthy woodlands in the region, and solutions to preserving their value and productivity for the future.


Class Name: “Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign”

Organization: Cornell Local Roads

Presenter(s): David P. Orr, PE

Time: 9:05-10:05 AM

Description: Good highway signs communication regulations, guidance, and information. During this session, David will show you what is needed for good highway signs and what highway agencies and boards need to know to help the public driving down the highway.


Class Name: “Travel Trends, Destination Marketing and the Economic Impact of Tourism”

Organization: Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau

Presenter(s): Kevin Costello

Time: 9:05-10:05 AM

Description: The presentation will cover current national, regional and local travel trends, describe the region's typical traveler, detail how local Tourism Promotion Agencies attract visitors, review the latest NYS tourism impact analysis and discuss what it means.


Class Name: “CDR Errors, WebDVS, and Open Arrests”

Organization: NYS Office of Court Administration

Presenter(s): Tina Richburg, OCA

Time: 9:05-10:05 AM

Description: Overview of CDR process, sealing court cases and the use of WebDVS


Class Name: “Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events”

Organization: Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office

Presenter(s): Sergeant Jeremy Zigenfus & Deputy Karl Bowers

Time: 9:05-10:25 AM

Description: The class will educate attendees on what to do in the event of an active shooter incident or other emergency situations.


Class Name: “Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM)”

Organization: NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets & The Upper Susquehanna Coalition

Presenter(s): Greg Albrecht & Emily Dekar

Time: 10:30-11:30 AM

Description: Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) is a long-running framework by which local Soil and Water Conservation Districts and other Ag conservation partners work with farm families in their pursuit to protect the environment, enhance farm viability, and grow agriculture in New York State.  In the Southern Tier, the Upper Susquehanna Coalition uses AEM's 5-Tiered, science-based process to set and achieve local Ag conservation goals, as well as those of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.


Class Name: Roads and Streets in Your Community: Myths and Realities of Complete Streets and Traffic Calming

Organization: Cornell Local Roads

Presenter(s): David P. Orr, PE

Time: 10:30-11:30 AM

Description: Roads and streets traditionally have been designed to move cars and trucks, but there is an alternative to design for use by all users including pedestrians and bicyclists: Complete Streets. However, there is a misunderstanding of what complete streets and traffic calming can actually do. David will cover what is a complete street and what traffic calming actually can do to help improve your community.


Class Name: “Residential Energy Code Plan Review”

Organization: T.Y. Lin International, P.C.

Presenter(s):  Scott Copp

Time: 10:30-11:30 AM

Description: The class will provide an overview of the minimum documentation required for submittal for a permit, the available compliance paths, developing a method for review, identifying common pitfalls and assistance available in the process.


Class Name: “Census Bureau 101”

Organization: U.S. Census Bureau

Presenter(s): Noemi Mendez

Time: 10:30-11:30 AM

Description: This session will introduce the Census Bureau and the resources that we have for government, economic and community development organizations. Also, learn about the plans for the upcoming 2020 census.


Class Name: “CourtRoom Program Tips & Shortcuts”

Organization: OCA Department of Technology

Presenter(s): Marty Maloney, SEI

Time: 10:30-11:30 AM

Description: Inform users of shortcuts and tips for enhancing their use of The CourtRoom Program


Class Name: “Creating Transformation in a Rural Community by Maximizing Grant Opportunities”

Organization: Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development

Presenter(s): Judy McKinney-Cherry CEcD

Time: 11:30 AM-12:40 PM

Description: The area in and around Watkins Glen has $118 million in investment announced or underway since 2012 with over $60 million since 2016. This discussion will focus on how the private sector and public-sector funds were leveraged to attract transformational investment and grant funding.


Class Name: “When and How to Pave or Depave Your Highway”

Organization: Cornell Local Roads & Steuben County Highway

Presenter(s): David P. Orr, PE & Vince Spagnoletti

Time: 12:45-2:00 PM

Description: As traffic grows, there are demands to pave gravel roads. Other highways may actually be better off with a gravel surface. David and Vince will discuss when highways should be paved (or depaved) and how to make sure it is done properly.


Class Name: “In the Weeds: FOIL and Open Meetings Law”

Organization: NYS Committee on Open Government

Presenter(s): Bob Freeman

Time: 12:45-2:00 PM

Description: Q & A regarding the Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Laws


Class Name: “Riparian Buffer Tools and Opportunities for Meeting Water Quality Needs”

Organization: Upper Susquehanna Coalition

Presenter(s): Lydia Brinkley

Time: 2:05-3:05 PM

Description: Getting riparian forest buffers planned and implemented from start to finish is not easy work. It takes understanding the land and landowner goals, patience, grit and the ability to see the future landscape for the next generations. While we know buffers are an effective practice, in concert with land management, to improve water quality and create biodiversity, practical technicians often struggle with getting landowners and managers on board. The Upper Susquehanna Coalition has developed and is employing several programs and holistic approaches to overcome programmatic and real-time barriers on the ground in reaching water quality goals throughout the watershed. This presentation will allow you to learn about the development of these programs, their application, and be part of the conversation for getting this living practice on the ground in all land use settings.


Class Name: “Minute-Taking and Other Duties of Planning Board and ZBA Secretaries”

Organization: Department of State

Presenter(s): Christopher Eastman & Patricia Burke

Time: 2:05-3:05 PM

Description: The responsibilities of secretaries of local planning boards and zoning boards of appeals range from accepting applications, to maintaining and archiving records—and everything in between, including issuing notices and transmitting communications on behalf of their boards. The more effective the board secretary at these tasks, the more efficient local development review and approval will be. In addition, the more complete the record, the better prepared the local government will be to address challenges to decisions. This course explores the essential duties of secretaries to planning boards and zoning boards of appeals, as well as best practices.


Class Name: “Drugged Driving”

Organization: Office of Justice Court Support, Office of Court Administration

Presenter(s): Thomas Carr, Esq.

Time: 2:05-3:05 PM

Description: Drugged driving gives an overview of Drugged Driving Offenses, evaluations, Sentences, nationwide trends, and relevant paperwork.

Class Name: “Land Conservation – A Partners’ Panel”

Organization: Finger Lakes Land Trust, Tompkins County Planning, Chemung County DPW, Birdsall Farms and Newell Farms

Presenter(s): Kris West, Scott Doyle, Andy Avery, Heather Birdsall & Stasia Newell

Time: 3:30-4:30 PM

Description: Communities benefit when landowners, local governments and land trusts team up to permanently conserve land that will protect agriculture, water quality and other natural resources we all depend on.  This panel includes the Senior Field Representative for the Finger Lakes Land Trust, a Schuyler County landowner who donated a conservation easement; a Cortland and Onondaga County landowner who has been awarded a NYS Farmland Protection Grant; the associate planner for Tompkins County and the Public Works Commissioner for Chemung County.  Each panelist will share their unique perspective and experience in land conservation after which the floor will be open for questions.


Class Name: “Downtown Revitalization”

Organization: Department of State

Presenter(s): Christopher Eastman & Patricia Burke

Time: 3:30-4:30 PM

Description: Nearly every vibrant downtown owes some of its success to people living in or very close to the central business district. Recent changes in New York State's Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code made it easier to rehabilitate upper floors of buildings downtown for residential use, which is good news for New York's downtowns. But challenges remain. This course touches on some of the building code changes and provides information local officials can utilize to encourage and support downtown retail through land use regulation and other resources. 

Class Name: “Ignition Interlock Device Post Sentencing Matters”

Organization: Office of Justice Court Support, Office of Court Administration

Presenter(s): Thomas Carr, Esq.

Time: 3:30-4:30 PM

Description: IID Post sentencing matters covers when an IID can (and cannot) be ordered, what a Court MUST do when ordering an IID, issues that typically arise, and what to do if the defendant is either successful or not successful.



**Information will be updated regularly.

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Phone 607.962.5092
Fax 607.962.3400
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