Tony Williams Named Commissioner of Parks and Recreation

Published on August 10, 2023

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Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh appointed Tony Williams as the new Commissioner of Parks Recreation and Youth Programs for the City of Syracuse. Williams brings 12 years of facilities management and capital planning in government and non-profit recreation. He starts as commissioner Aug. 30. 

Williams assumes leadership of a city department that oversees 1,000 acres of parks, playgrounds, and open spaces and nearly 50 facilities in neighborhoods across the city. Parks Recreation and Youth Programs is comprised of 12 bureaus that also manage and support programs, activities and events for youth, seniors and people of all ages. The department has nearly 640 full time and seasonal employees. 

Williams was associate vice president of facilities and capital planning for the YMCA of Central New York since 2021 where he was responsible for building systems and maintenance and capital projects management for the Y’s seven major locations in Onondaga County. Prior to the YMCA, Williams worked for the Onondaga County Public Library System since 2011. He was building maintenance supervisor where he led capital, maintenance, grounds, security and fleet management for 11 county library locations. Williams has a passion for health and fitness and worked previously as a personal trainer. 

“We found the right candidate to build on our progress in Parks Recreation and Youth Programs in our own city. Tony Williams brings the knowledge and experience we need and a passion for how multi-site, community-based organizations can enrich people’s lives and make neighborhoods stronger,” said Mayor Walsh. “Tony understands the importance of community spaces and the positive impact they can have, especially our youth and seniors. We look forward to having Tony lead our Parks Recreation and Youth Programs team.” 


Williams attended Onondaga Community College and completed the Syracuse Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. He is a certified Facility Management Professional by the International Facilities Management Association.  

Williams is a martial arts parent volunteer and coach and volunteers at the Syracuse Academy of Science. He participated this year as a project coordinator and workforce volunteer for the Syracuse Build Pathways to Apprenticeships construction careers programs.  

Williams lives in the Outer Comstock neighborhood in Syracuse.