Jun. 11—PLATTSBURGH — Courtney Meisenheimer started work at City Hall this week as Plattsburgh City's new community engagement coordinator.
Mayor Christopher Rosenquest appointed Meisenheimer with council approval last week.
"In the time I've gotten to see Courtney's work in the community, she's been actively involved in a number of very exciting and progressive projects," he told the Press-Republican.
"We're excited to have her on board and look forward to the work she'll do in improving the city's ability to engage our community."
The position has a $48,686 salary and was incorporated into the city's 2021 Budget.
It was decided at the start of the year that the individual would work out of the Mayor's Office and in coordination with the mayor's assistant and the city's Community Development Office.
The positions aids in media and business outreach, as well as the planning and promoting of city events and attractions.
The title was last held by Scott Matthews, now director of constituent services for Assemblyman D. Billy Jones, during Colin Read's mayoral term.
Matthews was the first to hold the position as it was a name change from the former promotions and special events coordinator role, a job last held by Tara Powers.
Meisenheimer's start date was Monday, June 7.
The 32-year-old mom of two moved her family to the area in summer 2019, because husband Beck is a Plattsburgh native.
Originally from Ajax, Ont. herself, Meisenheimer attended Queens University in Kingston, Ont., where she earned a B.A.H. in political science and minored in music.
Her past professional experience was based in the nonprofit sector with a focus on youth engagement, including a role at U.S.-based Mercy Corps Northwest in Portland, Ore.
"That's where I continued to work in youth engagement, but also moved into public and corporate engagement," she said. "A lot of my work involved finding creative ways to tell Mercy Corps story and educate people in how Mercy Corps worked in the different countries that it operated in."
Since making the move to Plattsburgh, Meisenheimer helped bring the community together in her role putting on events at City Well on City Hall Place.
The space, home to three businesses and envisioned by its owners as a space for community gathering, opened in July 2020 and was the site of several events over the past year, like artisan and craft fairs.
"We tried to find safe ways to bring people together during the pandemic," Meisenheimer said. "It was a great way for me to become familiar with the community here and I am thankful for that experience."
'THANKFUL FOR OPPORTUNITY'
Bringing that experience to the new city role, Meisenheimer said she is most passionate about bringing people together.
"I'm a facilitator and a trained mediator and I love seeing the energy and the synergy in a room — when we can meet in a room — of people coming together and connecting," she said, nodding to restrictions set in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I think that's why I'm really interested in this position and really thankful for the opportunity."
Meisenheimer moved to the city only months before the COVID-19 pandemic rattled popular community events, like the Fourth of July parade and Mayor's Cup Regatta.
Still, her family was able to enjoy others, like the city's Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration and Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, and said she was excited to help aid in the development of all city-run events this year.
"I'm hoping that I can reach out and work alongside people in our community, members of the public and find ways to create partnerships between people who want to make our community a great place to work and to live and to recreate, and have the city support that and bolster those folks up."
FOURTH OF JULY
First on Meisenheimer's docket, in terms of city events, is the annual Fourth of July celebration.
She issued an announcement this week of the 2021 event, which will include an "Interstellar" themed parade and a fireworks show.
Events are scheduled for Sunday, July 4 with the parade starting at 1 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Local businesses, schools and community groups looking to participate or volunteer can sign up on the city's Facebook page or website. Meisenheimer can be reached for event questions by phone at 518-536-7526 or by email at email@example.com
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