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johnson county government

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is responsible for enacting legislation, levying and appropriating taxes and setting budgets, and Johnson County residents are strongly encouraged to engage with county government and have their voices heard. Weekly BOCC meetings are open to the public and streamed online. Many of our departments and agencies have advisory boards that depend on citizen participation. Johnson County residents who are registered to vote elect the BOCC members, District Attorney and Sheriff, so the more you know, the more empowered your vote. This is a great place to get educated and start engaging.

Government News

2016 State of the County delivered

More than 700 people gathered at the Ritz Charles in Overland Park today to hear Chairman Ed Eilert deliver the State of the County Address today. “As I begin my sixth year as County Chairman, I have never been more optimistic about our future,” said Chairman Ed Eilert, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners. “We are fortunate to live in one of the nation’s best places to raise a family, obtain an education, earn a living and build a business.”

You can read more about the Chairman's address in this news release or watch it on our YouTube channel. We also live tweeted the event @jocogov.org using #JoCoSOTC and posted photos on our Facebook page.

County announces new electronic bidding system

Early next year vendors who do business with Johnson County Government will use a new electronic bidding system called Ionwave. For the first time, potential vendors will be able to submit bids and proposals to our Purchasing Department electronically. This new solution will replace Onvia DemandStar and Public Purchase.

Beginning Jan. 4, 2016, vendors can go to jocogov.ionwave.net  to register on the new system. Vendors must register (free of charge) and indicate areas of interest to receive and respond to solicitations electronically.  Further instructions will be provided when the system is available.  Questions can be directed to Robin Lynes, Purchasing Manager, at 913-715-0596 or via email at robin.lynes@jocogov.org.

2015 United Way campaign kicks off today

Johnson County Government is a major supporter of the United Way campaign. Today Chairman Ed Eilert helped kick off the 2015 campaign, whose theme this year is “Spirit of Caring.” This year’s goal for Johnson County Government employee contributions is $125,000. The campaign runs through Oct. 17.

Last year Johnson County Government employees donated more than $117,000, and pledged more per employee than any other government entity in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The United Way network supports 320 human service programs in 170 agencies that keep our community healthy and strong. Donations to the United Way Campaign provide an important and significant portion of the funds necessary to carry out these worthy services.

Collaboration between departments solves two needs

Johnson County’s Records & Tax Administration (RTA), who among other things manages the County’s Archives, is required to perform document destruction when the retention period on County records (dictated by state statute) expires.

Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS) has a relatively new document destruction business, and is always in need of contracts to keep its workforce of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities productive and earning wages.

RTA has given JCDS its first assignment…shredding 50 pallets of documents during the month of January 2015. These pictures tell the story of this successful collaboration.

Weekly message from the Budget Director

This past week was a busy one with four budget meetings. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) finished up its review of individual department, agency and office budgets on Thursday and Friday and then transitioned to final deliberations on Monday and Tuesday.  When the dust settled, the Board made a handful of changes.

Proposed mill levy lowered

Most significantly, the BOCC lowered the proposed mill levy from 24.061 to 23.930.  This was achieved by reducing several expenditures while making only a couple of minor increases. The adjustments that led to the mill change were:

  • using an additional $500,000 in Public Works reserves in 2015, rather than ad valorem.
  • decreasing funding for Transfers to Equipment Reserves by $500,000.
  • defunding the requested increase in HPO (High Performance Organization) funding of $150,000.

The BOCC did make a couple of additions when it decided to:

  • fund $18,622 for merit increases for Extension Council staff (who are not County employees)
  • create a new Full Time Employee(FTE) position of Election Manager at a cost of $64,716. 

The total impact of the changes to 2015 expenditures resulted in an overall reduction of over $1 million and the decrease in the proposed mill levy noted above.

Funding for 22 new deputy positions

Another key decision made by the BOCC was to include 22 new deputy positions in the Sheriff’s budget.  The fiscal impact for hiring the deputies of approximately $1.3 million was in the proposed budget, albeit in the form of addition overtime funding.  So, while this was an important decision, it did not change the overall budget dollars.

Johnson County Courthouse

The BOCC made changes that will impact future years’ budgets (but not 2015) when it removed the Courthouse First Floor Courtroom project from the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The courthouse project called for issuing debt ($2 million) in 2015 and making payments of $151,000 annually beginning in 2016.

Heritage Trust Fund

The BOCC directed staff to utilize Heritage Trust Fund reserves for the Museum in future years.  The Heritage Trust Fund reserves, projected to be around $700,000 to $800,000 by 2016, had been used by the Heritage Trust Fund Review Board to provide grants throughout the community in support of historical preservation efforts.  Starting in 2016, they will be redirected towards funding a portion of the budget for the Johnson County Museum of History, which has seen its primary funding evaporate with the state’s elimination of the mortgage registration fee over the next several years.

Employee compensation and benefits

Although there was much spirited discussion about the pros and cons of decreasing employee compensation and benefits, the BOCC supported the County Manager’s proposed salary and benefit package for 2015, including a 3 percent pool for merit increases.

Next steps

The BOCC plans to formalize these decisions on Thursday and then take a bit of a break from the budget process until the Budget Public Hearing on July 28.

 

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend!

Scott Neufeld, Budget Director
Johnson County Government
Scott.Neufeld@jocogov.org

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