Johnson County’s deputy budget director takes on director role

Scott Neufeld and Robin Symes

On July 23, long-time director Scott Neufeld (left) retired and Robin Symes (right) was named new director of Budget and Financial Planning.

Deputy Budget and Financial Planning Director Robin Symes has been named director effective July 23. Symes joined Johnson County Government more than 22 years ago and has progressed from BFP senior budget analyst to assistant director, deputy director and now, director.

In May 2021, Robin was asked to take on more duties when long-time director Scott Neufeld took on a second role as interim bureau chief in the County Manager’s Office.

“Robin played a key role in overseeing our budget department during this period, collaborating with all departments and agencies, and ensuring the completion of the last three annual budgets for the organization,” said County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson. “In addition to her outstanding budgetary skills, Robin’s greatest strength is her in-depth knowledge of all departments and agencies, their operations and funding mechanisms. This proves very useful when working with key partners in the organization.”

Symes graduated from Washburn University with a B.S. in Business Administration/Finance and earned her MBA from the University of Kansas. She is a recent graduate of Leadership Shawnee, a leadership development program.

“I am excited and honored to take on the position of budget director,” said Symes. “I have been fortunate to train under the direction of Scott Neufeld to prepare me for this role and am looking forward to continuing the success of the Budget and Financial Management department.”

After nearly 30 years of service to Johnson County Government, Budget Director Scott Neufeld retired effective July 23. Neufeld began his service with Johnson County Government in 1994 as the finance manager for Johnson County Library, followed by serving as the Administration Manager for what was then called Human Services and Aging (today, Aging and Human Services.)

He joined Budget and Financial Planning in 1998 and moved up from senior management and budget analyst to assistant director, and then to director in 2004. In 2021 and 2022 as interim bureau chief in the County Manager’s Office, Neufeld oversaw infrastructure and general government departments including Budget and Financial Management; Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles; Public Works; Airports; and Wastewater.

“While Scott has contributed a vast amount of knowledge and expertise leading us through our annual budget process as well as achieving and maintaining our coveted Triple AAA bond rating, the mark he has made on this organization goes far above and beyond that,” said Postoak Ferguson. “Related to the budget, Scott played a crucial role in navigating us through very difficult economic times such as the Great Recession and the pandemic. In addition, his passion and leadership helped move the county towards adding Juneteenth as a standard fixed holiday and celebrating this important holiday with our employees and the community.”

Budget and Financial Planning
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