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Board of County Commissioners

Phone: 913-715-0430

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

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About the Board

Pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the State of Kansas and in accordance with the Home Rule Charter, the legislative powers of county government are vested in a seven-member citizen legislature known as the Board of County Commissioners. It strives to strengthen and preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the community. To that end, it has exclusive power to enact, amend, and repeal public policies; to levy and apportion taxes, make appropriations, and adopt budgets; to establish strategic plans to guide organizational performance; and to appoint the County Manager and certain offices, boards and commissions.

Elections Issues

The Board of County Commissioners is composed of seven members, each of whom is elected on a non-partisan basis to a four-year term. To ensure equitable community representation, the county is partitioned into six separate but contiguous districts of nearly equal population, with one Member elected from each district. As "citizen legislators," the six district commissioners serve in a part-time capacity in order to maintain close ties to their districts. To view a map of the six commission districts, or to locate your district, please click here.

The seventh member is elected from a district which comprises the total population and geographic boundary of the county and serves a four-year term in office as Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners and Chief Elected Official of the Johnson County Government. To learn more about the Chairman, please click here. Elections are held in November of even-numbered years, with newly elected or re-elected Members officially inducted on the second Monday of the following January. No more than half of the total seats stand for election in any single election. County Commissioners must be citizens of the United States, registered electors of the state, and residents of their district for at least one year prior to election and throughout their respective terms in office. For more information about elections, election issues, or to register to vote, please visit the Election Commissioner's website or contact that office at 913-782-3441.

Meetings

The BOCC meets every Thursday of the month at 9:30 a.m. in the hearing room on the third floor of the County Administration Building located at 111 S. Cherry Street, Olathe. The weekly session schedule includes the voting meeting as well as formal policy review and study sessions and the presentation of various reports and other matters concerning the county government. The weekly sessions are open to the public, as provided under the Kansas Open Meetings Act. As part of the business meeting each week, members of the public are welcome to address the Board of County Commissioners on subjects of concern that involve the county government and its service to the Johnson County community. For information about the weekly session schedule, please contact the Clerk of the Board at 913-715-0430 or visit the legislative management system.

Organization & Meetings

The Board of County Commissioners convenes in annual session on the second Monday in January, or within 30 days of that date, to organize its membership for the coming year. By long-standing tradition, newly elected and re-elected members are installed, or sworn-in, on the second Monday of January following election. The chief judge of the Tenth Judicial District Court presides over the ceremonies and administers the oath of office to each newly installed member of the Board of County Commissioners.

The regular sessions of the Board of County Commissioners are held each week on Thursday beginning at 9:30 a.m. The weekly session schedule includes the voting meeting as well as formal policy review and study sessions and the presentation of various reports and other matters concerning the county government. The weekly sessions are open to the public, as provided under the Kansas Open Meetings Act. As part of the business meeting each week, members of the public are welcome to address the Board of County Commissioners on subjects of concern that involve the county government and its service to the Johnson County community.

For information about the weekly session schedule, please contact the Clerk of the Board at 913-715-0430.

Overview of the Board

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is composed of seven members. Each commissioner represents one of the six districts on the map above and the chairman represents the entire county. They are elected by voters to serve a four-year term.

The BOCC has the exclusive power to enact, amend, and repeal public policies; to levy and apportion taxes, make appropriations, and adopt budgets; to establish strategic plans to guide organizational performance; and to appoint the County Manager and certain offices, boards and commissions.

Board's Strategic Priorities

The Board of County Commissioners has identified the following top priorities for 2019-2020:

1.  Complete/advance existing projects approved by voters and the Board of County Commissioners with efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Strengthen and finance the appropriate level of service to meet the needs of the county’s vulnerable populations, pursuing innovative strategies.

3. Develop a creative and innovative vision for a transit plan that is financially sustainable.

Learn more about these strategic priorities as well as other related topics.

Charter Commission

The Home Rule Charter is a legislative document that defines the structure, powers, purpose and functions of county government. The Johnson County Home Rule Charter is the first of its kind in the state of Kansas, and was enacted by a public vote during the November 2000 general election.

Per the Home Rule Charter, a 25-member Johnson County Charter Commission was appointed to review the charter and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners for revisions every 10 years. Any changes to the Home Rule Charter require approval at an election.

The 1999 Charter Commission's final report was presented to the Board of County Commissioners on May 11, 2000.

The 2011 Charter Commission was established by the BOCC on January 13, 2011, by Resolution No. 003-11.

The 2011 Charter Commission’s final report was presented to the BOCC on Thursday, February 9, 2012, during their regularly scheduled business session meeting. More information about the meeting is available on the county’s legislative management website.

For more information about the 2011 Johnson County Charter Commission, email the clerk of the board or call 913-715-0430.

Clerk of the Board

The clerk is the clerical officer of the governing body and attends to duties necessary to ensure its proper functioning.

The clerk: Lynda Sader, Deputy County Clerk

  • Preserves the integrity of the local legislative process by issuing notices of pending matters and decisions made to assure timely public access
  • Certifies to the passage of all acts, orders and judgments made under the authority of the governing body
  • Serves as the official repository for its official records and instruments of writing, and is custodian of its seal.

The clerk of the board duties include:

Legislative Administration - Provide accurate and timely procedural, technical and administrative support so that responsible, legally-sound decisions can be made to govern the community.

  • Provides procedural and technical support in the scheduling, consideration and transaction of business to ensure conformance with all statutory and legal requirements
  • Assures an "open and accessible" process by providing public notice of forthcoming issues so those impacted by decisions or policies of the county government are able to participate
  • Tracks and coordinates the flow of all items through the legislative process, from introduction through to final disposition
  • Coordinates annual and weekly session schedules as well as the timetabling of a variety of reports, meetings, briefings and other matters
  • Prepares and publishes an agenda for each meeting listing all matters scheduled for consideration
  • Certifies to the passage of all acts, orders and judgments made by authority of the BOCC
  • Processes and maintains all records of appointments made to subordinate boards and commissions within the structure of county government or to organizations outside the county government

Management of Official Records - Provide high-quality, cost-efficient documentation of policy decisions and ensure access to the same in accordance with legal requirements.

  • Prepares and publishes official proceedings of the BOCC
  • Receives, records, catalogues, indexes and archives records which are critical to the operation of county government and which have permanent legal, administrative and historical value in accordance with state law
  • Ensures public accessibility to records in accordance with legal requirements, thereby providing direct accountability to the citizens served by the county government
  • Researches and retrieves records and information and provides general research and reference support
  • Manages the lifecycle of records with regard to legal requirements, probity, continuity and effectiveness
  • Administers, files and preserves official oaths of office

The board’s official documents, agendas, minutes and videos are available online.

Commissioner Elections

The Board of County Commissioners is composed of seven members, each of whom is elected on a non-partisan basis to a four-year term. To ensure equitable community representation, the county is partitioned into six separate but contiguous districts of nearly equal population, with one member elected from each district. As "citizen legislators," the six district commissioners serve in a part-time capacity in order to maintain close ties to their districts.

The seventh member is elected from a district which comprises the total population and geographic boundary of the county and serves a four-year term in office as chairman of the board and chief elected official of the Johnson County Government. Elections are held in November of even-numbered years, with newly elected or re-elected members officially inducted on the second Monday of the following January. No more than half of the total seats stand for election in any single election. County commissioners must be citizens of the United States, registered electors of the state and residents of their district for at least one year prior to election and throughout their respective terms in office. For more information about elections visit the Election Commissioner's website or contact that office at 913-782-3441.

The board convenes in annual session on the second Monday in January, or within 30 days of that date, to organize its membership for the coming year. By long-standing tradition, newly elected and re-elected members are installed, or sworn-in, on the second Monday of January following election. The chief judge of the Tenth Judicial District Court presides over the ceremonies and administers the oath of office to each newly installed member.

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Mission

As the primary policy-determining body of Johnson County Government, the Board of County Commissioners translates public will into public policy.

The mission of the board is:

  • Public service.
  • Public value.
  • Public leadership.

The board has identified the following strategic goals for the organization of Johnson County Government:

  1. To be responsible stewards of taxpayers’ money.
  2. To provide the best possible mandatory and discretionary services.
  3. To build a Community of Choice where people want to live and work.
  4. To empower employee innovation and productivity.

Other Capacities

Pursuant to certain statutory provisions and requirements, and under the county charter resolution, the Board of County Commissioners - in addition to its role as the legislative and policy-determinant body of the County Government - is designated to act and perform in a variety of other capacities; specifically, as the:

Board of Directors of the Wastewater Districts

Pursuant to Article I, Section 4, of Charter Resolution No. 029-92, the Board of County Commissioners serves as the governing body of any and all sewer districts created within Johnson County. The Wastewater Board of Directors does not meet outside the regular session schedule established for the Board of County Commissioners. Instead, the Board of Directors meets concurrently with the Board of County Commissioners, and agenda items are taken up and considered on a single agenda. Policy enactments are executed in the name of the Board of County Commissioners. Records of actions or decisions by the Board of Directors are filed with those of the Board of County Commissioners.

Board of Election Canvassers

Pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 25-3101, et seq., the Board of County Commissioners is, ex officio, the Board of Election Canvassers. The Board of Election Canvassers is required to review (canvass) and certify the results of the following elections conducted in the county; to-wit:

  • Primary and general national and state elections;
  • Primary and general county elections;
  • Primary and general township elections;
  • Primary and general city elections;
  • Primary and general school district elections;
  • Any ballot question submitted affecting the state, the county, or any township;
  • Any ballot question submitted affecting any city in the county;
  • Any ballot question submitted affecting a school district within the county; or,
  • Any election where the law provides that the Board of County Commissioners shall be the Board of Canvassers.

The Election Commissioner is the recording officer of the Board of Election Canvassers and is responsible for maintaining permanent records of its proceedings and its orders and judgments.

Alternates are routinely selected from among staff to serve in the absence of any Member of the Board of Canvassers; Provided, the selected alternate must be a resident of Johnson County who is qualified to vote. The Board, at its discretion, may designate alternates to serve in the absence of any Member.

All canvasses are conducted at the Office of the Election Commissioner and are held on the Monday immediately following the election, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., but most typically at 9 a.m.

Board of Fence Viewers

Pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 209-201, et seq., the Board of County Commissioners serves as the Board of Fence Viewers, and performs those duties required by law. When judgments are required, a separate session is scheduled, typically following the regular, weekly meeting of the Board of County Commissioners. The proceedings of the Board of Fence Viewers are kept separate from those of the Board of County Commissioners.

Board of Public Health

Pursuant to the provision of K.S.A. 65-201, et seq., the Board of County Commissioners is charged with ensuring the general health of the public and broad welfare of the community. The Board of Health is required to appoint a person who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery, with a preference for those with training in public health, to serve in an advisory capacity as the local health officer. The local health officer is housed in the Johnson County Department of Public Health.

The Board of Public Health typically does not meet outside the regular session schedule established for the Board of County Commissioners. Instead, the Board of Public Health meets concurrently with the Board of County Commissioners, and agenda items are taken up and considered on a single agenda. Policy enactments are executed in the name of the Board of County Commissioners. Records of the Board of Public Health are filed with those of the Board of County Commissioners.

Public Building Commission

Pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-1757, et seq., and in accordance with Resolution No. 047-90, the Board of County Commissioners sits in a separate legal capacity as the Public Building Commission of Johnson County, Kansas, which is recognized as being a municipal corporation. The Public Building Commission has authority to do all things that are necessary or incidental to construct, acquire, or enlarge; furnish and equip; and operate and maintain buildings for governmental use.

Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Public Building Commission has the power and authority to:

  • Negotiate leases for buildings which are proposed to be acquired or constructed with the County, or with one or more additional public bodies;
  • Issue and refund revenue bonds, in accordance with state law;
  • Establish and collect rents, fees, and charges for use of public facilities it owns in amounts sufficient to pay the maintenance and operation costs, the principal and interest on revenue bonds, and to make all payments to any accounts created by any bond resolution;
  • Rent all or any part of its buildings or other facilities to any federal, state, or local government agency, any municipal corporation or quasi-municipal corporation, a political subdivision, or boy politic, or an agency thereof; and,
  • Acquire fee simple title to real property, including easements and reversionary interests in the streets, alleys, and other public spaces, and any personal property required for its purposes.

Under its bylaws, the Public Building Commission meets in regular session each year on the first Thursday in the months of February and August. Special meetings may be called in addition to these two regular meetings. The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners serve, ex officio, as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Public Building Commission. At its first regular meeting each year, the Public Building Commission also elects from among its membership a Secretary, who typically serves a single-year term, and is responsible for authenticating orders made by the Public Building Commission and attesting the signature of its Chairman when required, under the corporate seal of the Public Building Commission. The Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners serves, ex officio, as recording secretary and preserves official records of its proceedings.

Powers & Duties

Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 19 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated and in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, and under the authority of the Home Rule Charter of Johnson County, the legislative and policy-determinant powers of the county government are vested in the seven-member Board of County Commissioners.

The board has exclusive power to:

  • Enact, amend and repeal local legislation within the jurisdiction of the county.
  • Levy and apportion taxes, to make appropriations and to adopt budgets.
  • Establish strategic plans that guide organizational development and performance.
  • Appoint certain offices, boards and commissions.

Administration Oversight

The BOCC monitors the execution and implementation of its policies and directives through the various county agencies and departments.

Oversight refers to the function of reviewing, monitoring and supervising organizational performance by and through the county manager and the agencies and departments within the administrative structure of county government. It is the mechanism through which the board:

  •  Monitors the execution and implementation of its policies and directives
  • Ascertains that budgeted funds are used according to established policy
  • Provides direction in accordance with its strategic plan

As an outgrowth of this function, the board:

  • Improves the efficiency, economy and effectiveness of governmental operations
  • Reviews policy proposals affecting the services and programs of Johnson County Government
  • Checks the administration by monitoring and evaluating the performance of agencies and departments and ensuring compliance with original legislative or policy intent
  • Informs the general public about available services and ensures that administrative policies reflect the interests of the community
  • Conducts studies or undertakes investigations deemed to be in the best interests of the community

Citizen Representation

First and foremost, county commissioners are elected representatives of the community; in particular, the residents of their districts. Consequently, members spend a great deal of time and energy responding to the myriad requests they receive for assistance or information.

Interacting with citizens, soliciting public opinion on various issues, attending community meetings, facilitating access to government agencies and departments -- this is just a small sample of the types of activities that members undertake on behalf of their constituents. These types of activities are generally referred to as "constituent services," a generic term that is used to encompass a wide range activities intended to assist citizens with their interactions with and connection to county government.

Members are supported in these efforts by the constituent services team, which is charged with providing convenient, timely and accurate responses to all citizen inquiries or requests so that people receive the information or services they need in a timely and professional manner.

Citizen Services

Citizen Services receives and responds to public requests for information or assistance and facilitates access to community resources through timely referrals to appropriate service providers. It also networks with social services agencies, businesses and private sector interests, nonprofit agencies and civic groups to promote civic engagement initiatives. The goal of citizen services is to ensure that county government remains accessible and responsive to all citizens.

Legislative Authority

Johnson County is a body created and existing under the constitution and laws of the State of Kansas, and is endowed with the rights and powers of a municipal government. As a municipality, Johnson County possesses the right of self-government through the exercise of home rule authority and, except as expressly limited by state statute, the Board of County Commissioners has and exercises the powers, authorities and duties provided under K.S.A. 19-101, 19-101a and 19-212, and other statutory provisions.

To promote the effective administration of government services, the board has the authority to:

  • Adopt resolutions, policies, directives, rules and regulations deemed necessary and advisable to provide for the effective administration of government services.
  • Provide for the administrative structure of the county government by creating, organizing, altering, merging, or abolishing offices, agencies, departments, divisions, or other functional units deemed advisable to implement and administer the policies, regulations and laws for the county.
  • Apportion and order the levying of taxes, make appropriations, adopt budgets and incur indebtedness for the purpose of carrying out the duties conferred or imposed upon county government.
  • Fix and collect charges and fees for services performed and require licenses and permits when necessary in the enforcement of regulations and fix the amount thereof.
  • Examine and settle the accounts and expenses of the county government and issue county orders for all accounts chargeable against the county.
  • Establish land use policies and zoning regulations and codes and provide for the enforcement of the same.
  • Superintend the property and facilities belonging to the county government and construct, improve and maintain the community’s infrastructure grid and various infrastructure components.
  • Provide or contract for the protection and promotion of the general public health and welfare of the community.
  • Appoint members of various subordinate boards and commissions attached to or affiliated with the agencies and departments of the county government.

Fiscal Management

The BOCC is the final authority on spending by county agencies and departments, and the budget is the centerpiece of its local policymaking authority. Through the budget, priorities are established, resources are allocated and the policy agenda for the ensuing year is determined.

Johnson County's fiscal year runs concurrent with the calendar year. Under the provisions of the Home Rule Charter, the county manager is responsible for preparing and presenting the annual operating and five-year capital budgets, which are submitted for an extensive review before final consideration by the board.

Land Use and Zoning

The BOCC guides future growth and development to ensure the most beneficial and coherent relationships among the residential, commercial and nonresidential, and public areas of the community. The board's authority includes the power to:

  • Create or adopt master plans for development
  • Review and approve specific land use issues
  • Approve requested zoning changes
  • Dispose of property owned by the county government

This authority gives the BOCC its most significant voice in the ultimate growth and development of the entire Johnson County community.

The Johnson County Planning Commission is the principal advisory body to the BOCC on issues related to growth and development. Its responsibilities include the preparation of the Rural Comprehensive Plan as well as special area plans and projects. The Rural Comprehensive Plan provides for the physical development of the county and outlines criteria under which specific master plans, development proposals and zoning regulations are considered, approved and enforced. As well, the planning commission provides recommendations for changes to the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations. The members of the Planning Commission are appointed by the BOCC and serve terms of three years.

The board is also assisted in the exercise of its land use and zoning authority by five township zoning boards. The township zoning boards provide even more local control over growth and development by incorporating the advice and recommendations of citizens from specific townships and surrounding areas.

The Township Zoning Board

These members are responsible for reviewing all applications for:

  • Zoning, land use and development within their respective jurisdictions
  • Conducting public hearings
  • Providing recommendations on each application to the BOCC

Both the planning commission and the township zoning boards serve in an advisory capacity to the BOCC. Ultimately, the BOCC must approve and authorize the implementation of the recommendations and advice provided by either the planning commission or the township zoning boards, and must also resolve any disputes between the planning commission, the township zoning boards and citizens.

Other Capacities

Pursuant to certain statutory provisions and requirements, and under the county charter resolution, the BOCC - in addition to its role as the legislative and policy-determinant body of the County Government - is designated to act and perform in a variety of other capacities; specifically, as the:

Fire District No. 2

Board of Directors of the Wastewater Districts

Pursuant to Article I, Section 4, of Charter Resolution No. 029-92, the BOCC serves as the governing body of any and all sewer districts created within Johnson County. The Wastewater Board of Directors does not meet outside the regular session schedule established for the BOCC. Instead, the board of directors meets concurrently with the BOCC, and agenda items are taken up and considered on a single agenda. Policy enactments are executed in the name of the BOCC. Records of actions or decisions by the board of directors are filed with those of the BOCC.

Board of Election Canvassers

Pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 25-3101, et seq., the BOCC is, ex officio, the Board of Election Canvassers. The Board of Election Canvassers is required to review (canvass) and certify the results of the following elections conducted in the county; to-wit:

  • Primary and general national and state elections
  • Primary and general county elections
  • Primary and general township elections
  • Primary and general city elections
  • Primary and general school district elections
  • Any ballot question submitted affecting the state, the county, or any township
  • Any ballot question submitted affecting any city in the county
  • Any ballot question submitted affecting a school district within the county
  • Any election where the law provides that the BOCC shall be the Board of Canvassers

The Election commissioner is the recording officer of the Board of Election Canvassers and is responsible for maintaining permanent records of its proceedings and its orders and judgments.

Alternates are routinely selected from among staff to serve in the absence of any election of the board of canvassers; provided, the selected alternate must be a resident of Johnson County who is qualified to vote. The board of canvassers, at its discretion, may designate alternates to serve in the absence of any member.

All canvasses are conducted at the office of the election commissioner and are held on the Monday immediately following the election, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., but most typically at 9 a.m.

Board of Fence Viewers

Pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 209-201, et seq., the BOCC serves as the Board of Fence Viewers and performs those duties required by law. When judgments are required, a separate session is scheduled, typically following the regular, weekly meeting of the BOCC. The proceedings of the Board of Fence Viewers are kept separate from those of the BOCC.

Board of Public Health

Pursuant to the provision of K.S.A. 65-201, et seq., the BOCC is charged with ensuring the general health of the public and broad welfare of the community. The Board of Health is required to appoint a person who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery, with a preference for those with training in public health, to serve in an advisory capacity as the local health officer. The local health officer is housed in the Johnson County Department of Public Health.

The Board of Public Health typically does not meet outside the regular session schedule established for the BOCC. Instead, the Board of Public Health meets concurrently with the BOCC, and agenda items are taken up and considered on a single agenda. Policy enactments are executed in the name of the BOCC. Records of the Board of Public Health are filed with those of the BOCC.

Public Building Commission

Pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-1757, et seq., and in accordance with Resolution No. 047-90, the BOCC sits in a separate legal capacity as the Public Building Commission of Johnson County, which is recognized as being a municipal corporation. The building commission has authority to do all things that are necessary or incidental to construct, acquire or enlarge; furnish and equip; and operate and maintain buildings for governmental use.

Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the building commission has the power and authority to:

  • Negotiate leases for buildings which are proposed to be acquired or constructed with the county, or with one or more additional public bodies
  • Issue and refund revenue bonds in accordance with state law
  • Establish and collect rents, fees and charges for use of public facilities it owns in amounts sufficient to pay the maintenance and operation costs, the principal and interest on revenue bonds, and to make all payments to any accounts created by any bond resolution
  • Rent all or any part of its buildings or other facilities to any federal, state or local government agency, any municipal corporation or quasi-municipal corporation, a political subdivision, or body politic, or an agency thereof
  • Acquire fee simple title to real property, including easements and reversionary interests in the streets, alleys and other public spaces, and any personal property required for its purposes.

Under its bylaws, the building commission meets in regular session each year on the first Thursday in the months of February and August. Special meetings may be called in addition to these two regular meetings. The chairman and vice chairman of the BOCC serve, ex officio, as the chairman and vice chairman of the building commission. At its first regular meeting each year, the building commission also elects from among its membership a secretary, who typically serves a single-year term, and is responsible for authenticating orders made by the building commission and attesting the signature of its chairman when required, under the corporate seal of the building commission. The clerk of the BOCC serves, ex officio, as recording secretary and preserves official records of its proceedings.

Request Recognition

The Board of County Commissioners frequently receives requests for different types of recognitions. These recognitions include accomplishments or milestones; proclamations to commemorate special events; and certificates to recognize individuals or organizations for their outstanding achievement throughout the community. The Board of County Commissioners presents proclamations, awards and certificates during the Board meetings held every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Hearing Room of the County Administration Building located at 111 S. Cherry Street, Olathe.

 

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