Lenexa has hired Scott McCullough as the city’s new community development director.
McCullough replaces Beccy Yocham, who had served as community director since 2011 before the city council appointed her as city manager in April. Tim Green, deputy community development director, had been leading the department in the interim while city leaders looked for Yocham’s replacement.
McCullough’s first day on the job in Lenexa was Nov. 4. Yoccham introduced him to the city council Nov. 5.
“We are thrilled to have him here,” she said.
With a background in community development such as planning and zoning as well as code enforcement, McCullough has worked in the Phoenix area and in the Kansas City area, including for Johnson and Miami counties. He most recently came from Lawrence as planning and development services director for the past 12 years.
“Lenexa’s doing big things; it’s exciting to be part of that,” he said. “Where I can add value, I think, is looking at the future in terms of doing more comprehensive planning around land use, around infrastructure, and Lenexa still has a lot of growth potential.
“And much of what I do will be around seeing Lenexa realize its full potential around growth.”
While he is getting to know his department and the community, McCullough said he plans to continue the work being done in the city. That work may include the use of public finance incentives — such as tax increment financing — which may be controversial in some cities but have been met with little to no resistance in recent years in Lenexa.
“I think the whole array of public incentives should be used to get and direct the kind of growth a city wants,” he said. “And so, I’ve been a part of using public incentives such as TIF for many, many years. I think cities have to use them in order to compete and to define their own destiny in many ways.”