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As a resident of Johnson County and Overland Park for more than five decades, it is my honor to serve as your elected chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners for a third term after serving as 4th District commissioner for four years.
It is the goal of the Board of Commissioners to diligently serve the citizens and visitors of Johnson County by addressing all issues and concerns in a timely manner. One way we do this is by continually striving to find better ways to deliver the services our residents have the right to expect and deserve. Your input concerning issues and concerns before the board is important in assisting me, as your chairman, and my fellow commissioners in making the best decisions.
This webpage and the webpages of the six district commissioners are another example of how we are reaching out to our residents and making your county government more accessible, transparent and accountable. So whether you are seeking information about public services or checking the date of the next commission meeting, we hope that you will always think to check our website first and stay informed.
Chairman's areas of focus
- Third term as chairman expires 2023
- Second term as chairman, 2015 to 2019
- First term as chairman, 2011 to 2015
- First term as commissioner for 4th district, 2007 to 2011
Board/committee assignments as chairman
- Kansas Association of Counties Board of Directors
- National Association of Counties (NACo) Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) Vice Chair
- Council of Mayors
- Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Board
- MARC - Budget & Personnel Committee
- Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAC)
- County Economic Research Institute (CERI)
- Enterprise Center of Johnson County (ECJC)
- Audit Committee
- Workforce Investment Board
Under the auspices of the Home Rule Charter, the chairman is elected by popular ballot to a four-year term of office, thereby assuming the position of highest authority in Johnson County Government as its chief elected official.
As the chief elected official, the chairman represents the entire community. Functioning in a capacity similar to that of a city mayor, the chairman is thus responsible for ensuring that all laws, policies and regulations applicable to the operation of Johnson County Government are faithfully enforced and for providing leadership in the development of a future vision for the Johnson County community. The chairman serves as a focal point for the articulation and resolution of important community issues and he communicates the community's priorities at local, regional, state and national levels.
The chairman’s duties can be divided into three broad categories, which are listed below.
- Presiding officer of the governing body: With the gavel in hand, the chairman presides over the proceedings of the Board of County Commissioners, preserving order and, more importantly, ensuring that the majority is able to transact the business of the county government while at the same time protecting the right of the minority to be heard. It is in this capacity that the chairman serves primus inter pares, or "first among equals," in a collection of dynamic elected leaders.
- Chief elected official and administrative oversight: As chief elected official, the chairman collaborates with community leaders and stakeholders to identify, prioritize and develop policy proposals aimed at enhancing and improving the quality of life enjoyed by Johnson Countians. The chairman, being elected to represent the entire community, is thus responsible for the general activity of the county government and the effectiveness of its operations.
- Ambassador of Johnson County Government: The chairman is the official representative of the Johnson County government, serving in a dual role as the organization’s principle spokesperson and as a public advocate.
About the chairman
I share a bond by calling Johnson County, and Overland Park, my home for more than 50 years. Your input concerning issues before the Board is important in assisting the commissioners in making the best decisions.
For most of my adult life, I have dedicated myself to public service at the community level, spanning 28 years as an Overland Park City Councilman (four years) and 24 years as mayor, as well as four years as Fourth District Commissioner. My commitment is to work hard and do the very best I can as your chairman to continue that opportunity, not only for those who reside here today but also for future generations.
Johnson County's excellent schools were the magnet that attracted me to come to Johnson County in 1965 when I moved to Overland Park from Emporia, Kansas, where I lived while teaching business classes at Lebo High School. I came to the county to become a business teacher at Shawnee Mission East High School. A year later, I left teaching to pursue my longtime career as a financial consultant.
Johnson County provides an excellent quality of life and remains a jewel that deserves good stewardship, wise leadership, constant respect and close attention to residents' voices on important issues that affect their lives. Public safety and criminal justice, public works, transportation, human services, taxes, cooperation between local governments and job opportunities are some of the challenging community issues that must be addressed by the Board of County Commissioners. Successfully addressing these challenges will require being accessible and responsive to my constituents and receiving their thoughts and opinions.