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Randy Dunn

A rainbow of highlighters helps Dunn color code his notes and edit documents.

A resource book, "Planning in Plain English," is Dunn’s best friend on the job. "This book gives tips on how to write or speak in a way everyone will understand," he said.

Notes or reminders fill Dunn's notepad, which goes with him to City Hall and meetings with his residents.

A handful of little clips work big magic whether he’s grouping project notes or attaching maps to a display board.

Planning documents feature recommendations and guidelines Dunn follows in order to implement his ideas.

special to ink

Who he is:

Randy Dunn is a city planner for the 3rd Council District of Kansas City. He addresses the concerns of businesses and residents in the area and helps come up with viable solutions.

Realizing his dream: Growing up, Dunn dreamed of being an architect. But in college, he discovered that he wanted to make more of a connection with the community. The KC native won the prestigious HUD fellowship, which is given by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and then earned his masters in public administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The journey led him to City Hall in 2007, where he became a planner.

“I love interacting with people and getting to know them, so I really enjoy my job,” Dunn said. “The area I serve is very unique, because there is a lot of ethnic diversity and a lot of history there. It is the urban core of Kansas City.”

Not an easy job:

As much as he loves his career, Dunn admits that it’s challenging. In such a large city, it is incredibly difficult to find the resources and funds to solve every problem his residents have.

“Sometimes after a plan is completed, residents think all these magical things are going to happen,” Dunn said. “I have to help them understand it takes time — it can take years — for some projects to get done, because the city does it by priority.”

Plus, his work hours aren’t exactly 9 to 5. Dunn attends a lot of evening and weekend meetings, because those times are more convenient for the residents in his ward. He doesn’t mind, however, because he loves every minute of it.

“I just want to make a positive impact on the community,” he said. “That’s my only goal right now.”


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