The City of Peekskill is happy to welcome Carol Samol as its new Director of Planning, succeeding Jean Friedman, who retired in December 2023 after 22 years of service in the city’s Planning Department. As the Director of Planning, Samol will implement and administer the city’s short-term and long-term development plans and goals, maintain a current assessment of the city’s growth management needs and policies, and develop and recommend strategies and policies for growth management and land use control policies.
“We are thrilled to have Carol on board as our new Director of Planning,” said Vivian McKenzie, Mayor of Peekskill. “With many of our Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects now underway along with other projects in development, Carol’s years of experience and passion for the community make her the perfect addition to our staff as we continue to move our city forward.”
“I am excited to bring my passion for communities and thoughtful city planning to Peekskill,” said Carol Samol, Director of Planning. “I appreciate Peekskill’s diversity, natural beauty, and lively downtown, and I want the best for the people who live and work here. I’ve dedicated my career to ensuring that loud and soft voices can be heard through meaningful public engagement. I want to ensure that as we balance our policy goals and local needs, we move towards an improved city. At every step of my career, I have had to bring creative responses to challenging issues, whether meeting housing needs, ensuring the streets are walkable and safe, growing small businesses and local jobs, or planning for climate change. I am incredibly excited to help lead the comprehensive plan for Peekskill to give us a helpful blueprint into the future.”
Before joining the City of Peekskill, Samol was the Chief of Economic and Strategic Planning and Deputy Commissioner for the City of New Rochelle. In this role, Samol led the transformative redesign of the New Rochelle Transit Center and Train Station and managed grant applications and implementation, which included the USDOT Raise grant for $13 million, the N.Y. Downtown Revitalization Initiative for $12 million, and the State Climate Smart Communities. Samol also updated the city’s sustainability plan and directed the innovative design of The LINC, which was a transformation of a highway into a local street and linear park.
Samol also previously worked as the Director of the Bronx Borough Office for the City of New York Department of Planning. In her role as Director, Samol set a vision for the Bronx and developed a borough work program to meet the local needs, which included affordable housing, transit-oriented development, job creation, neighborhood renewal, and sustainable communities. During her tenure, she led a Bronx Metro North station area plan by developing a compelling vision around four new stations to support jobs and population growth. She also directed a Jerome Avenue neighborhood study that resulted in $189 million in capital and program investment and $800 million in housing preservation for the creation of affordable housing, jobs, and community resources. Carol also conducted a Sheridan-Hunts Point Land Use and Transportation Study with the support of a $1.5 million Tiger II grant from the USDOT to transform a 1.25-mile highway into a boulevard and focused on coastal resilient neighborhoods to help reduce risks from flooding and coastal storms through rebuilding activities and infrastructure investment.