2016 Fall Training School for City & Village Officials


Helping You Navigate Through the Local Government Maze

September 12-16, 2016 • Hilton, Saratoga Springs

NYCOM and the Office of the State Comptroller collaborate each year to create an exciting program known as the Fall Training School.  Approximately 400 city and village officials from across the state gather together to attend a variety of innovative training sessions specializing in municipal law, government operations, and local finance issues.

The Fall Training School also hosts the annual business meetings for the NYS Association of City and Village Clerks and the NYS Society of Municipal Finance Officers.  These business meetings also serve as their installation banquet for new officers.


On-line registration is now closed (you may now register on-site).  The meeting registration fee includes participation in all sessions, the trade show, breaks, dinner Monday evening and the reception Wednesday evening.  All other meals and functions are included in the hotel rate if you stay at one of the host hotels (Hilton or Courtyard Marriott). Otherwise meal tickets must be purchased.

REGISTRATION RATES Member City/Village Non-Member (Municipality) NYCOM Network
Other Company/Organization
FULL Program
(after 8/12/16)
$285 ($295) $475 ($495) $395 ($405) $535 ($555)
(after 8/12/16)
$185 ($195) $205 ($225) $195 (205) $325 ($345)


The Department of State will administer the exam for Notary Public on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 2015 at 10:45 a.m. There must be a minimum of 20 applicants. A payment of $15.00 can be made by check, money order, or Mastercard or Visa. Please make all checks payable to the Department of State. ALL FEES MUST BE PAID TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AT THE EXAM. You must register prior to the school so that NYCOM and the Department of State may plan accordingly. Please bring a picture identification. Study booklets are available from the Department of State by calling (518) 474-4429. Time subject to change.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits

NYS Conference of Mayors will be offering CLE credit for relevant sessions at the 2016 Fall Training School. Attorneys wishing to take advantage of this opportunity MUST PRE-REGISTER for both the Fall Training School AND CLE credits. All NYCOM CLE courses offered at this school contain new content for 2016, and are not “repeat” courses for purposes of the NYS CLE Board's “no repeat” rule.

For a copy of NYCOM's CLE Financial Hardship Policy, contact Wade Beltramo at (518) 463-1185. Note that 21 CLE classes are tentatively scheduled, offering attendees the option of receiving up to 18 hours of CLE credit in the Area of Professional Practice. One session will be qualify for 1.5 hours of Ethics and Professionalism credit.

Fall Training School APP

NYCOM has designed a Fall Training School App to assist attendees with the ins and outs of the Fall Training School. Find the app HERE and get started. If you do not know how to add the app to your homescreen on your phone or tablet, please follow these directions.  The app includes session details, speaker information, listings of expo participants, getting around Saratoga and a "GO NYCOM" interactive game with prizes.  Create a log-in and profile (top right corner of the homepage) NOW and get in the game.  


This TENTATIVE AGENDA is updated regularly and is subject to change


HILTON SOLD OUT  $297.00  $213.50 (per person)  $297.00 + $130.00 HILTON
COURTYARD MARRIOTT  $297.00  $213.50 (per person)  $297.00 + $ 130.00 COURTYARD

The Saratoga Hilton is the meeting headquarters for the 2016 Fall Training School. All sessions and meals, including breakfast for Courtyard guests, will be at the Saratoga Hilton.  Hotel reservations can be made directly with the Saratoga Hilton at (888) 866-3596.  The Hilton Hotel is sold out, please contact the Courtyard Marriott for room reservations at  (866) 210-9325 or (518) 226-0538 for a single room reservation. Double room reservations, should call (518) 226-0064. Please identify yourself as NYS Conference of Mayors. Our room block will be released on August 19, 2016, so please register early.

* Meals:  Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Hilton Hotel are all incuded if you are staying at either the Hilton Hotel or Courtyard Marriott.

Meals for commuters and those at non-host hotels: If you wish to purchase any meals and you are NOT at one of the host hotels or if you are commuting, please purchase your meals when registering online for the meeting or at the NYCOM Registration Desk during the meeting.  If you choose to have breakfast at the Hilton, breakfast tickets can be purchased for $20 per day and are interchangeable (Tuesday-Friday). If you purchase 3 tickets, then you can use them on any 3 of the 4 days that we offer breakfast. Lunch tickets cost $30 per day (Tuesday-Thursday) and are also interchangeable. If you purchase 2 tickets, then you can use them on any 2 of the 3 days that we offer lunch. The cost of dinner is $45 per day. If you wish to attend the Annual Banquet or Theme Party dinners, please make your choice while registering online for the meeting or when purchasing at the NYCOM Registration Desk. Dinner tickets are NOT interchangeable. If you purchase a ticket for the Annual Banquet, you cannot use it for the Theme Party. There will be no refunds for meals. No exceptions.


Policy on Access for the Disabled - The Conference of Mayors makes every effort to plan meetings which are accessible to the disabled. NYCOM requests advance notice by the registrant (including on-site registrants) so that we can make appropriate arrangements.
Attire - The attire for the meeting is casual, except for the Annual Banquet on Wednesday evening for which business attire is recommended.
Authority to Attend - Attendance at this training event is permitted by section 77-b of the General Municipal Law. Subdivision 2 of the section permits a city to authorize attendance by "any of its members or any officer or employee ... or other person who has been elected pursuant to law to a public office of a municipality for which the term of office has not commenced ..." You are entitled to be reimbursed for all actual and necessary costs incurred while attending this program.
Additional Policies - Refunds will be made in full for registration ONLY, if you notify NYCOM no later than September 7, 2016. 

Annual Meeting Tentative Agenda

Sunday, May 1


• Albany Update
• Navigating Rough Waters: Hot Topics in Municipal Ethics

• Village Property Owner Tax Liability: Understanding the Town-Wide/Part-Town Distinction
• Panels Everywhere! Comprehensive Zoning for Solar
• Managing Your Police Department


7:00 p.m. DINNER
• Welcoming Remarks by Mayor Joanne Yepsen, City of Saratoga Springs
• NYMIR Risk Management Award and Comp Alliance G. Jeffrey Haber Leadership Award
• Local Government Achievement Awards


Monday, May 2

• SEQRA: Why Every Local Official Needs to Understand It & It’s Less Complicated Than You Think
• Lights, Camera Action: How to Attract Filmmakers to Your Communities



This year's keynote speaker, Brian Shul, will capture you with his motivating story of perseverance and triumph over tragedy. While serving as a Foreign Air Advisor in the Vietnam War, his plane was shot down near the Cambodian border. Unable to eject from the aircraft, Brian was forced to crash land in the jungle. After he was finally found and rescued by a Special Forces team, he spent more than a year in military hospitals recovering from his burn injuries. He miraculously returned to flying fighter jets just two days after his release and continued to serve in the Air Force until he retired in 1990. Brian Shul's comeback story is truly one-of-a-kind and something you don't want to miss.


• How to Fix Your Pipes and Not Go Broke
• Interest Arbitration Know-How: Lessons Learned
• The Ins & Outs of Lease Purchase Agreements
• Comprehensive Plans & Your Bottom Line

12:30 p.m. LUNCHEON
• Annual Installation of NYCOM Officers

• FOIL & the Open Meetings Law: How to Work Under New York’s Sunshine Laws Without Getting Burned
• Effective Leadership: The Essentials of Managing People
• Innovative Approaches to Addressing the Drug Epidemic
• What Did They Say? Preventing &  Defending Free Speech & Whistleblower Claims

• Getting Your Piece of the Infrastructure, Environmental  & Economic Development Pie
• Working with HCR & Not-for-Profits to Revitalize Your Local Housing Stock
• In the Trenches: What Every Municipal CEO Needs to Know About Their DPW
• Student Showcase on Urban Blight & Not-For-Profit/Community Relations




Tuesday, May 3

• Policies & Procedures to Manage the Business of Government
• Administering a Volunteer Fire Department
• Grasping Grants: Understanding & Navigating New York's MWBE Requirements

• Doing More with Less: Strategies to Minimize Costs & Maximize Revenues
• Governing Your Governing Board


Updated: 4/26/16

Winter Legislative Meeting Presentations/Handouts

Monday, February 8, 2016

8:00 a.m.

  • Invasion of the Drones! Be Prepared!

1:30 p.m.

  • Municipal Restructuring Partnership: A New Approach to Funding Transformational Governance
  • Working Through Your MPO to Get Federal/State Highway Funds
  • Controlling Streetlights = Controlling Costs

3:15 p.m.

  • Help for Fixing Your Pipes: Water/Sewer Infrastructure Funding
  • Innovative Solutions to Dealing with Distressed, Vancant and Abandoned Properties
  • Contemporary Issues in Police-Community Relations

2015 Public Works School Presentations/Materials

Public Works Tentative Agenda 2015

 ** Wastewater, DOH and PDH certifications will be available.  

Sunday, OCTOBER 25, 2015

2:00 p.m.  Registration Desk Opens

  • If you ordered tickets for the Baseball Hall of Fame, you may pick them up at the NYCOM Registration Desk.  This is a self-guided tour before or after the meeting. 

6:00 p.m.   Opening Dinner 

Monday, OCTOBER 26, 2015

9:00 a.m.    Concurrent

  • Disaster Preparedness: Is Your Department Ready for the Next Big Storm?
    Over the past several years New York has been impacted by several major weather events. This session will address how communities have weathered these storms and what you as a public works professional need to do in order to be prepared for the next big weather event. Specifically, the speakers will talk about how their municipality handled preparation, response, mutual aid, and recovery from these massive storms.
  • Retirement Update
    This session will address the critical elements involved in the calculation of your pension benefits, what you can do to ensure you receive all of the benefits you are entitled to, and obtain information on how and when to contact NYSLRS to obtain specific information related to your retirement benefits.
  • Show Me the $$$ - EFC Funding
    Attendees will receive details on how to apply for loans and grants available through the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation for sewer, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure projects. EFC representatives will also summarize programmatic changes for 2016 and provide an update on the NYS Water Grants Program.

10:45 a.m.   Concurrent

  • Never Argue About Your Budget Again: Public Infrastructure Master Plans and Asset Management 
    This session will provide an overview of master plans and asset management focusing on public infrastructure. A description of the recommended content of these plans will be provided along with a discussion of the uses, benefits and value of these infrastructure management strategies. In addition, the session will include information regarding burgeoning state and federal recommendations and requirements for such plans tied to project financing.The New Petroleum Storage Regulations Update
  • The New Petroleum Bulk Storage Regulations 
    This session will review the new requirements and modifications to the Petroleum Bulk Storage regulations which were recently adopted by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. In addition, time permitting, an overview of the new federal Environmental Protection Agency Underground Storage Tank requirements (which become effective on October 13, 2015) will be covered.
  • Storm Water and Flooding Preparedness
    Stormwater Management requires an understanding of runoff and its problems and solutions to reduce the impacts from stormwater. From a watershed approach, identifying land use changes and impervious development can help identify solutions to help reduce the impacts from intense, short-term precipitation events. Using interactive i-clickers, participants will be presented with visual stormwater issues. The speaker will then facilitate a discussion as to whether or not the attendee’s observations, assessments and solutions provided an effective outcome to the issues presented.

12:00 p.m.  Lunch

1:00 p.m.   Plenary

  • Personal Protective Equipment
    This session will provide attendees with an interactive demonstration of various types of Personal Protective Equipment, along with a discussion of hazard control and injury prevention though it’s proper use.

2:45 p.m.   Concurrent

  • NYWEA's Year of the Operator - Listening to the Voices of the Operators in New York State
    Come and listen to the voices of operators (via survey results) as we share the information we have gathered from the Operator of the Future task force survey. Hear how NYWEA is working to achieve some of these results to provide a better service to NYS Operators. Covered during the presentation will be communication skills and a brainstorming activity to help change perceptions and attract the right people into the field.
  • Work Zones! Are You Really Protected? Part I
    This session will identify requirements for establishing temporary traffic controls within your municipality based on current state and federal regulations to potential work zone liability claims.
  • Employee Discipline
    This session will explore the necessary practice of progressive discipline and how it is to work within the context and parameters of a Collective Bargaining Agreement and/or the New York State Civil Service Law. The Session will also address all aspects of progressive discipline from non-punitive counseling through termination.

4:00 p.m.   Concurrent

  • Emerald Ash Borer: What You Need to Know & Electrical Safety Requirements Around Trees
    Trees killed by EAB will cause unique and dangerous challenges for many municipalities. Some municipalities may not be aware of the potential impact that EAB could have on their budgets, streets, overhead infrastructure, buildings, parks & citizens. Similarly, working near overhead electrical conductors requires special training. Are you ready? This session will address all of these important topics.
  • Work Zones! Are You Really Protected? Part II
    This session will identify specific work zone applications necessary to protect your employees, pedestrians and motorists during construction and maintenance operations including equipment, device placement and spacing requirements.
  • Bedrock Well Rehabilitation
    The session will discuss how to identify when a bedrock supply well is in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation based on changes in well yield, water level and/or water quality. Several methods for bedrock well redevelopment and rehabilitation will be addressed, including both mechanical and chemical methods, for pros and cons and potential effectiveness.

6:00 p.m.   Dinner

Tuesday, OCTOBER 27, 2015

8:00 a.m.   Early-Riser Roundtable Discussion

Making The Public Works Training School Work For You
We want to hear from you! This gathering of fellow public works officials is an opportunity to develop and bring forward new ideas regarding the future of the Public Works School.

9:00 a.m.   Concurrent

  • Identifying and Preventing Inflow and Infiltration in Manholes
    This session will provide attendees with an overview of what is Inflow & Infiltration. In addition, the speaker will provide examples of how your municipality can prevent Inflow and Infiltration from occurring.
  • Conducting an Energy Efficiency Self Assessment
    This session will provide both Water & Wastewater Operators with a basic understanding of conducting a utility energy efficiency self-assessment using examples of the USEPA Self-Assessment Tool. Will describe what information is required, how to complete the assessment form, and provide case study examples from systems in New York State.
  • Ethics for the Public Works Official
    Municipal employees now more than ever are under the proverbial microscope. The public is watching and they demand municipal employees hold themselves to a high standard. This session will address many of the most frequently asked questions related to municipal ethics. Topics of discussion will include: Gifts; Nepotism; Use of Municipal Equipment including vehicle use, as well as the recent change to the NYS Lobby Act.

10:45 a.m.   Concurrent

  • Sewage Pollution Right-to-Know: What You Need to and Should Know About Sustainability
    This session will include a detailed review of the State’s Sewage Pollution Right to Know (SPRTK) Act. There will be a discussion of the SPRTK including registration and reporting requirements as well as the lastest updates from Department of Environmental Conservation. Sustainability as well as the DEC’s eventual asset management requirement will also be covered.
  • New Federal Drinking Water Rule
    This presentation will help water operators, engineers and public health officials, to better understand the new requirements of the Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR). Specifically, the required elements of a Level 1 and Level 2 assessment will be discussed. Participants will learn how to properly evaluate a water system and what key items that should be reviewed, following a triggered event. Developing a corrective action plan will be discussed along with who will perform Level 2 assessments. In addition participants will learn how to define a sanitary defect and the steps necessary when a sanitary defect is identified at a public water system.
  • Competitive Bidding
    This session will provide an overview of the process for purchasing goods and services through competitive bidding and also help you to know when you don’t need to competitively bid a purchase. The speaker will also provide information on the different types of ways to purchase goods and services while complying with the law.

12:00 p.m.   Banquet Luncheon & Certificate Presentations

1:15 p.m.    Plenary Keynote

  • Overcoming Obstacles - Get Off Your Knees!
    John Robinson, Our Ability, Inc.
    Born a congenital amputee, John Robinson's inspirational story shows us what is possible and what it takes to overcome obstacles in life and business. Overcoming Obstacles in one’s life is always a challenge. In John’s keynote session, you will be transformed into a journey of self-discovery. Through stories of success, John will make your audience laugh, cry and most importantly think about who they are in today’s world of Obstacles.

2:45 p.m.   Concurrent

  • What Every Public Works Department Needs to Know About the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    This session will address key components of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Specifically, the speaker will cover regulation Do’s and Don’ts as well as highlight new rules and regulations as well as cover what you need to know in order to be in compliance with the ADA.
  • Doubling the Size of Your Facility's Capacity Without Adding Additional Tankage: It Is Not a Pipe Dream, It is a Reality
    Attendees of this training session can expect to gain knowledge and understanding of the principles of magnetite ballasted systems. Specific topics include magnetite ballasted technology, ballasted biological treatment systems and particulate removal systems. The session is formatted to be valuable for design engineers, facility operators, facility managers, and those who are interested in learning technical details of magnetite ballasted systems.
  • A Primer on Addressing Distressed and Abandoned Properties 
    Perhaps the number one quality of life complaint that local officials receive concerns run-down properties. Many buildings in New York’s cities and villages were built during the first half of the 20th Century. The age of these properties combined with the slow but persistent job and population losses our cities and villages have experienced over the past 50 years have resulted in a proliferation of vacant and abandoned properties that are blighting our communities. This session will address the importance of identifying the causes of vacancy and abandonment and the tools that are available for dealing with these vacancies and abandonment.

4:00 p.m.    Concurrent

  • Snow & Ice Control
    This session will provide innovative strategies for snow and ice control. The speaker will cover new technologies as well as address tried and true methods for tackling snow and ice.
  • Keys to Providing Effective Testimony
    This one hour presentation is designed to assist municipal officials and supervisors to effectively prepare for giving live testimony in a variety of proceedings that they may encounter. The discussion will encourage attendees to think and prepare strategically for providing live testimony so that their positions can be effectively and confidently communicated in legal proceedings. The concepts discussed will be applied to brief hypothetical case scenarios to promote comprehension and mastery of the issues presented.
  • A "How-To" Guide to Shared Services
    As municipal responsibilities become increasingly complex and demanding, municipalities can explore shared services and cooperative opportunities as a way to reduce or avoid costs, improve service delivery, and maintain services. During this session, you will learn about the benefits and challenges on “how-to” establish cooperative ventures for local government partners. We will also present recommended practices and tell you where to get help when starting the process.

5:15 p.m.          Reception

Evening     Dinner on Your Own

Wednesday, OCTOBER 28, 2015

8:00 a.m. Early-Riser Roundtable Discussion

Peer-to-Peer Q&A
An opportunity to share information and ask questions in an informal setting with members of the Public Works Training School Advisory Committee.Peer-to-Peer Q & A

9:00 a.m.   Concurrent

  • CHIPS Update
  • Dig Safely New York - Underground Utility Protection
    This educational outreach session will focus on the work habits and procedures that excavators should follow to help eliminate damage to underground facilities. Topics include the notification process, confirming utility response, respecting the marks, and digging with care
  • Minimum Wage & Overtime Essentials
    Minimum wage and overtime rules can be a complex and daunting endeavor for even the most senior municipal officials. This session will review compliance requirements for municipalities under the Fair Labor Standards Act, addressing minimum wage issues, overtime rules, exemptions, and comp-time policies. In addition, the speaker will cover President Obama’s proposal to greatly expand the number of employees potentially eligible for overtime pay.

10:30 a.m.   Plenary

  • Legal Panel 
    Attendees will have the opportunity to ask seasoned municipal attorneys their most pressing legal questions including the administering of municipal water and sewer utility systems; labor relations; municipal liability; and street and sidewalk issues.

12:00 p.m.   Lunch(conference concludes)

Updated: 10/9/15