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County Manager's Office

Phone: 913-715-0725

111 S. Cherry St., Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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county manager's office

The County Manager's Office is responsible to the Board of County Commissioners and the residents of Johnson County for the effective and efficient delivery of programs and services, using sound management and financial principles while emphasizing high ethical values, innovation, and continuous improvement.

Department News

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MLK events around the county, JoCo offices closed Monday
January 18, 2019

There are plenty of events throughout the county scheduled to highlight the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK). Although Mother Nature has put a hold the Jan. 19 event at Johnson County Community College, that was to feature Dr. Alveda King, niece of MLK, and Johnson County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson, other planned events will continue.

• The Kansas City Boys & Girls Club choirs will perform in the musical production “We Shall Overcome” in honor of MLK. The performance begins at 7 p.m., Feb. 10, in Yardley Hall, at the Carlsen Center, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park.
• Speakers will celebrate MLK from 3 to 5 p.m., on Jan. 20, MidAmerica Nazarene University, 2020 E Sheridan, Olathe. A reception will include student art and music.
• An educational exhibit is available on MLK’s life from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 18-21, at the Gardner City Hall Council Chambers, 120 E. Main St.

Johnson County Board of County Commissioners, on Thursday, Jan. 17, signed a proclamation to designate Monday, Jan. 21 as Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

As Jan. 21 is a holiday, Johnson County offices will be closed that day. Critical services will continue to be provided. The MLK event at Johnson County Community College has been rescheduled for 5 p.m., Saturday, March 9, in Yardley Hall.

Have your home tested for Radon
January 17, 2019

The state of Kansas and Johnson County are recognizing the importance of detecting and getting rid of radon in our homes. On Thursday, Jan. 17, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners designated January as Radon Awareness Month. Last month, then Governor Jeff Colyer also signed a proclamation for the same.

Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can have serious health consequences, including lung cancer, when excess levels are present in your home. Johnson County K-State Extension Agent Denise Dias says radon is prevalent in our county, so it’s important that everyone test their residence.

“The average radon test coming back is 5.3, which is over the action level for radon, so, because of that it’s really important to encourage people to test,” Dias said. “And we have a lot of older homes in our county, and even new homes being built should be tested for radon.”

The Extension Office has already distributed an estimated 600 radon kits, and they’ve ordered more to keep up with the demand. Cost is $8 per kit. They can be purchased at 11811 S. Sunset Dr., Olathe. Kits will be available throughout the year.
 
 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event Postponed
January 18, 2019

Building the Beloved Community: Love is the Only Way will be the keynote at this year’s Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, delivered by Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Originally scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, the event was postponed due to impending winter weather. It is rescheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, March 9, in Yardley Hall at the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park. The event will be free and open to the public.

Dr. Alveda King is a civil rights activist, former college professor, author, and stage and screen actress, as well as a Georgia State legislator and presidential appointee. Her message will be the story of her role as guardian of the King family legacy.

Having appeared on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, King’s global mission is to enhance the lives of people spiritually, economically, intellectually and socially.

The program will also include guest appearances and performances by:

  • Penny Postoak Ferguson, Johnson County manager
  • Dr. Cynthia K. Johnson, creative director of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
  • Kansas City Boys and Girls Choirs
  • LyLena Estabine, author of On the Bridge and winner of Olathe’s Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest
  • Darryl Burton, founder, Miracle of Innocence
  • The Ethnic Enrichment Commission of Kansas City
County honors employees, retirees, LIA recipients at reception
January 16, 2019

Five hundred and thirty-two Johnson County employees and 85 retirees, collectively representing more than eight millenniums of public service, were honored Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the county’s 2019 Annual Employee Recognition Reception at the Doubletree Hotel, Overland Park.

The honorees included current and former employees who celebrated a milestone anniversary and/or retired in 2018.

The program featured comments from Ed Eilert, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners; County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson and Assistant County Manager Joe Waters.

Collectively, the public service from the current employees totaled 6,740 years with milestones, ranging from five to 40 years in five-year categories. The 85 retirees represented 2,024 years of public service, spanning from 10 to 46 years individually, with 16 of them also celebrating service milestones.

In addition, 39 employees were recognized with the county’s debut of an annual Leadership in Action (LIA) award to recognize/reward outstanding contributions by selected employees. Fifty-seven employees were nominated to receive LIA recognition. County leadership, including the managers and department and agency directors, selected the 39 award recipients.

The LIA program is designed to recognize employee efforts in six key areas, including personal innovations to substantially save taxpayer dollars. The six LIA recipients represented a total savings of $684,200.

The remaining LIA honorees were cited for creating efficiencies or improvements to save substantial time; assuming additional work or responsibility; demonstrating additional leadership, expertise, training or advice; and taking extraordinary steps to improve the life or service to clients or residents.

Pictures from the reception are accessible on the county's Flickr page.

County hires 1st chief medical examiner to open facility
January 17, 2019

In addition to being the Johnson County Coroner, Dr. Diane C. Peterson is the county’s first chief medical examiner.  She notes that this designation was something that drew her to the position.

“The attraction to the job and Johnson County was the opportunity to be directly involved in a historical event—changing the coroner system to a medical examiner system. Not many currently working forensic pathologists can say that they have been involved in building an ME system from scratch,” Peterson said.

She noted that medical examiners (MEs) nationwide would be envious of the situation.

“Many medical examiners push for the eventual replacement of the coroner system. Although to accomplish this country-wide is many years in the future, Johnson County has started the process now. This is wonderful, and I’m excited to be a part.”

Peterson’s goal is to provide high-quality death investigations to Johnson County.

Kansas statute requires boards of county commissioners to appoint a county coroner, so she now performs dual duty with the recent expiration of the appointment of the former county coroner, Dr. Robert Prosser.

“Dr. Robert Prosser has worked tirelessly for many years as coroner for Johnson County. He has done very well for the people he has served,” Peterson said. “I thank him for helping me with the transition.”

Peterson is excited about the possibility of opening a brand new facility down the road that includes features such as a great deal of natural light. The versatility of the building with a classroom-style conference room is another plus.

 

Johnson County swears in commissioners, chairman
January 23, 2019

Across Kansas, it was swearing-in day for state and county officials elected in the 2018 general election. In Johnson County, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) hearing room was standing room only with an overflow crowd as four commissioners, two newly elected and two re-elected, took the oath of office from the Hon. Thomas Kelly Ryan.

Video: Induction Ceremony

Freshmen commissioners, Becky Fast and Janeé Hanzlick represent the 1st and 4th Districts, respectively. Commissioner Fast has a long history of public service and commitment to the county, including serving two terms on the Roeland Park City Council where she was elected unanimously to serve as council president. Hanzlick is the former CEO of SAFEHOME, Johnson County’s domestic violence agency, where she spent 20 years working for a safer, stronger community. She was a leader in implementing the Johnson County Lethality Assessment Program (LAP), a collaboration between the District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement and SAFEHOME, that significantly reduced domestic homicides in our county.

Voters re-elected Chairman Ed Eilert and 5th District Commissioner Michael Ashcraft in November 2018. Eilert was re-elected to a third term in November 2018. Prior to serving as Chairman, he served as the 4th District BOCC representative for four years. Chairman Eilert’s career in public service also includes 24 years as the mayor of Overland Park and four years as an Overland Park City Councilman. Commissioner Ashcraft was sworn in for a third term. His Board and Committee assignments include the Library Board, Investment Review Group, Stormwater Management Advisory Council, Audit Committee, MARC – 911 Committee and the Metropolitan Culture Commission.

Johnson County swears in commissioners, chairman

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