Ex-Fairborn official named city’s planning director
Deborah McDonnell
By India Duke
Staff Writer
Trotwood has named former Fairborn city manager Deborah McDonnell as its new planning and development director.

McDonnell replaces former planning and development director Jung-Han Chen, who left the city in February for an opportunity in Texas.

McDonnell started her career as director of community development for the village of Lake Saranac in New York.

In 2007, she went on to serve as city manager of Fairborn and stayed for about 10 years. Upon leaving Fairborn, she returned to New York to work as the city administrator of Poughkeepsie for just a few months before starting a position as the village manager of Ossining in 2017.

“I’m looking forward to be able to utilize my experience and my knowledge on how to build community to help them bring in new development, redevelopment and to really emphasize the quality of community that is there so that it can be a major player in the Dayton region,” McDonnell said. “I’m excited to help Trotwood in its redevelopment phase. There’s so much opportunity there in Trotwood and I’m so excited to be part of the team.”

The Columbus native said she is passionate about redevelopment and growing communities. One of the first steps McDonnell wants to take to make redevelopment possible is to develop a strategic economic plan that puts everyone on the same page.

“There’s so many different aspects of the community that has already been planning, but it’s not all pulled together in a comprehensive fashion so what everybody is doing works towards the whole,” she said.

Trotwood City Manager Quincy Pope said McDonnell possesses extensive expertise in planning, zoning, and code enforcement.

“Debbie McDonnell is a seasoned professional that will bring extensive experience and knowledge to our leadership team. I am very proud and excited to work with Debbie,” he said.

Contact this reporter at India.Duke@coxinc.com.