Management in Action: Wynndee Lee, Director of Community Development for Ottawa, Kansas

What does city/county management mean to you?

In Kansas, we are blessed to have a number of professionals who network, support, and collaborate for the benefit of our citizens.  These relationships enable better professional lives, better results to common issues, or at least a range of responses that can be managed to fit the situation, community, or time.  I know I believe we have a great professional organization and that these relationships are part of what makes Kansas local government management fabulous.

What does a successful improvement or project look like?

A successful project is one that the vision is shared between citizens and elected officials, is sound fiscally, delivered successfully, and improves the community.

What is one improvement (operational, policy or physical) that you are most proud of in your current city/county?

In Ottawa, we are blessed to have been a Play City (via KaBOOM!) for almost ten years which has improved not only our Play amenities, but our team approach, health and welfare, and has galvanized other citizens and groups to partner to make their visions realities.  A big part of this is realizing that the local tax funds simply cannot do it all.  The fundraising has been great, but the ownership event better!

If you could share one piece of career related wisdom to a colleague, what would it be?

Figure out how to get people from all walks to work together on just something small maybe and build on its success.  And be prepared to have your skin toughened and heart alternatively rejoicing (projects completed) or broken (citizen or staff member crisis, yet develop a sincere and strong desire to keep in there working for as long as it takes.

Wynndee Lee​

Director of Community Development
Ottawa, Kansas