RiverCOG, 145 Dennison Road, Essex, CT 06426      
(860) 581-8554 [email protected]


Samuel S. Gold, AICP

Executive Director
(860) 581-8554 ext.706[email protected]

Master of Urban Planning, B.S. Ecology, and B.A. Architectural History

Member of the American Institute of Certified Planning since 2006

Proficiency: Regional Planning, Public Policy, Land Use Regulation and Process, Greenways, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, Public Transportation, Transportation for the Elderly and Disabled, Long Range Transportation Planning, Economic Development Planning, Demographic and Economic Analysis

Responsibility: RiverCOG Work Program Administration, Regional and Shared Municipal Services, Legislation, Contract and Program Administration, Chief Elected Official, Legislator, and Congressional Assistance

Also serves as chair of the Connecticut Association of Councils of Governments CTCOG; a board member of Sustainable Connecticut and Elm City Internationals; and a member of the state Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

JH Torrance Downes

Deputy Director and Principal Planner
(860) 581-8554 ext.705[email protected]

B.S. & M.S. Geology

Proficiency: Zoning/Coastal Structures/Marine Land Use Planning/Model Regulations/ Village Districts/ Permitting/Riparian/NHMP/ Geology/Arts-History Planning/ CAZEO/Gateway/Legislative/Graphic Design

Responsibility: Gateway Commission, DEMHS Region 2 Fiduciary Responsibilities, Natural Hazards Mitigation, FEMA Coordination, Marine and Harbor Management, Land Use Assistance, Project Referrals, Village Districts, Zoning Assistance/CAZEO, Inter-municipal Referrals, Special Project Research, Long Island Sound Grants, Kayak and Canoe Trails, Website Responsibilities

Rob Haramut

Senior Transportation Planner
(860) 581-8554 ext.708[email protected]

B.S. & M.R.P. Regional Planning

Proficiency: Transportation /CTDOT Coordination, Transportation Safety, Planning/Technology (Trans)

Responsibility: Congestion Management, Incident Management, Freight Planning, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, Traffic Data, Title VI/EJ/LEP/ADA Compliance, Municipal STIP, CMAQ,TAP, LOTCIP, 5310 MGP, discretionary grants coordination, UZA/TMA coordination, Performance measures, MPO board/municipal transportation support

Janice Ehlemeyer

Community Resource Planner
(860) 581-8554 ext.704[email protected]

B.A. Design, Architectural Drawing, HHW Certification

Proficiency: HHW/Waste Systems/Contract Management/ Recycling/ Data Collection/ Agriculture

Responsibility: Bikeway/Pedestrian Planning, 5310 Application – Buses, Climate / Infrastructure planning, LEED Projects, Clean Fuels Program – Transit, Housing /Access (EJ- Title VI), HHW/Recycling, Regional Paper Shredding Events, Repair Cafes, Food Systems/ Freight, Utilities –Energy Planning, Physical Operations, Special Regional Projects, Demographics – Census, DESPP Administration support, Town Assistance, Staff to Regional Agriculture Council

Paula Fernald

Financial Administrator
(860) 581-8554 ext.703[email protected]

Proficiency: Business Management, Accounting, Treasurer for Nonprofits, Non Profit Management, Financial Administration, Human Resources, DEMHS Region 2 Fiduciary

Responsibility: General Financial Administration including Accounts Payable/Receivable, Payroll, DESPP Region 2 Fiduciary, Grant Funding Administration, Annual Audit, Budget Preparation, Human Resources, Insurance Management

Margot Burns

Environmental Planner
(860) 581-8554 ext.702[email protected]

M.S. – Geography/Environmental Planning

Proficiency: Open Space and Natural Resource Planning; Non-Profit and Community Outreach and Coordination; GIS; Small Business Administration

Responsibility: Recreational Trails, Greenway/Blue ways Energy conservation, Title VI Accessibility Scenic Road, View-shed, Open Space Inventories, Data Analysis, RPIP, Non Profit Coordination, Mapping, Conservation, Forestry

Megan Jouflas

Senior Planner
(860) 581-8554 ext.711[email protected]

B.A. – Political Science, Master of City Planning, Juris Doctor

Proficiency: Community Planning & Development, Sustainability Planning, Public Policy, Land Use Law, Long Range Planning, Current Planning, Zoning & Permitting, Public Outreach

Responsibility: Regional Plan of Conservation and Development, Project Referrals and Other Special Projects

Eliza LoPresti

Administrative & Financial Assistant
(860) 581-8554 ext.701[email protected]

B.A. – Psychology

Proficiency: Administrative and Financial Support Services

Responsibility: Accounts receivable/payable, Minutes, Agendas, Supply Management, Special Regional Projects, Shared Services Project Support, Support to all Staff, Communications, Town Assistance, HHW Coordination

John McDonald

Planning Intern
(860) 581-8554 ext.720[email protected]

B.A.- Psychology/Urban Studies

Proficiency: Data Collection and Analysis, Regional Plan of Conservation & Development

Kevin Armstrong

GIS Planner
(860) 581-8554 ext.710 | [email protected]

B.S. – Geomatics

Proficiency: Online & Digital Mapping, GIS Data Maintenance, Database Infrastructure, Information Technology, Web Programming & Design, Graphic Design

Responsibility: Maintenance and Organization of Regional GIS Data, Annual State Data Submissions, GIS and IT Consulting, Database Planning, Online and Cloud Resource Management, Census Geographic Updates, Town Assistance, Technical and Web Support

Ben Lovejoy

Planning Intern
(860) 581-8554 ext.709[email protected]

B.A. – Public Policy & Law, Masters Candidate Regional Planning UMass Amherst

Proficiency: Legislative process, Energy Policy, State Politics

Responsibility: Provide legislative updates, bill tracking, policy analysis and administrative duties associated with Homeland Security Grant for DEMHS Region 2.

©Copyright , Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments.