Trevor Cole

Integrity. Poet. Coyote.

Senior Planner and Director of Planning, Town of Plattsburgh

Hometown: Helena, NY
Age: 36
Education: BA, Anthropology (2003), and BA, Environmental Science (2006), SUNY Plattsburgh
Community Involvement: Beekmantown Planning Board Member, sometime musician, Advocate for the Adirondack Coast.

What’s your biggest professional success?

Having a voice, being heard, and contributing to real, positive outcomes for the community.

What’s your dream job?

I’ve got to say, I have a pretty good thing going. But, if I was dreaming…I’d love to make a living brainstorming all day long, coming up with ideas, solutions, concepts, and debate their merits. I’d like to work through ideas until they became something great and useful.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I try to be efficient. I like to get as much work done as I can, setting myself up to be able to enjoy my free time knowing that things are taken care of. Sometimes I fail, but you must make time to play and recharge your spirit outside of the workday. I think if you are doing it right, you get fulfillment from both parts of your life, and the balancing act gets easier.

What important lessons have you learned in your career?

There are several correct answers to most questions and you benefit from hearing them all. I’ve also learned most of our problems and challenges may be complex but the most effective solutions are exceedingly simple.

What’s the most exciting trend happening in the community right now?

Confidence, Identity, and Momentum. Our region is becoming self-aware of its assets and is learning to be proud again. There is a palpable sense of aspiration and attraction to our area. A community that enjoys itself will be enjoyed by visitors too!

What would make the North Country a more enjoyable place to live and work?

I would enjoy a bit more diversity. Interacting with people from different cultures and world perspectives challenges us and expands our ability to comprehend our environment. I’d like that challenge for myself, and I want it for my kids. On the other hand, I think we underestimate the depth and nuance of our local culture. It is special, because it’s ours.

Who is your mentor and what have you learned from him/her?

I have a pantheon of mentors. My family has a work ethic that I hope to live up to someday. The musicians and artists I’ve met have taught me that beauty is not perfect. Most of all, nature’s sophisticated relationships have informed most of my thinking around problem solving and what a good outcome looks like.

How do you contribute to the culture of your company?

I hope I offer some authenticity, humor, and a bit of creativity. We all need to do our jobs well, but I think we do them better when we are having fun, exercising our creative minds and being ourselves. Inclusivity is important to me. I want people to feel like they have a place on the team and are acknowledged for their contributions.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Not preparing well enough for a rock climb up the face of Poke-O-Moonshine, getting caught 400 feet up in the dark with no headlamps. Thankfully, a full moon was coming up and my friend Jeff was a great lead climber. We made it. Second to that, eating warm ceviche in Costa Rica.

What is something that no one would guess about you?

I absolutely cannot see the images in magic eye books.

Write a brief note to your younger self…

Trevor, don’t touch the dial. This station is really great. Stay tuned…