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.
Robert Sullivan joins task force to examine pretrial detention practices
November 15, 2018
Robert Sullivan, director of the Department of Corrections, has been tapped by the Kansas Supreme Court to serve on an ad hoc task force that will examine pretrial detention practices in Kansas district courts and report its findings and recommendations to the court within 18 months.
The 15-member task force was created by a Nov. 7 Supreme Court order signed by Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. Its membership includes judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors and court services and community corrections officers. Sullivan is the only representative from Johnson County. The first meeting will convene Dec. 13 and 14 in Topeka.
The task force is charged with examining current pretrial detention practices for criminal defendants in Kansas district courts, as well as alternatives to pretrial detention used to ensure public safety and encourage an accused to appear for court proceedings.
The task force will also compare Kansas practices to effective pretrial detention practices and detention alternatives identified by other courts. This comparison could be used to develop best practices for Kansas district courts.
Twenty-four residents graduated from the Johnson County Citizens Academy Tuesday night at the County Administration Building.
The Citizens Academy Program (CAP) allows community-minded individuals to discover what makes the high quality of life possible in Johnson County through behind-the-scene tours, hands-on activities and conversations with county commissioners, the county manager and county staff.
The program seeks to enhance citizen knowledge of county operations and services, encourage a unified community identity and increase participation in Johnson County boards, advisory councils and commissions.
Lisa Huston, a graduate from Olathe, said she shared the information she learned each week with her family, friends, neighbors and co-workers and encouraged them to apply for a future academy.
“I loved each and every presentation and the weekly speakers. I think they all did a great job,” Huston said.
Participants attended 10 three-hour weekly sessions that explored the county budget, civic engagement and volunteer opportunities.
“We had over 50 employees throughout the county who have helped contribute to make this program by either giving a presentation, guiding a tour, providing materials or offering support for the Citizens Academy throughout these 10 sessions. Without their efforts, this would not be possible,” said Johnny McFarland, the County Manager’s Office intern who facilitated the program. “We are all deeply thankful for their contributions, which included staying after hours and making sure each session was informative and fun.”
Graduates received a certificate Tuesday night and were connected to a growing network of academy alumni.
Johnson County Commission Chairman Ed Eilert spoke to the graduates about how citizen involvement made a difference throughout the community’s history. He cited the efforts of residents to integrate schools and neighborhoods, to create the county’s library district, to establish Johnson County Community College and to develop the county charter.
“Thank you for your commitment, and we’ll look forward to your future participation and your sharing of ideas for Johnson County Government,” Eilert said.
America Recycles Day event in downtown Overland Park
November 13, 2018
In celebration of America Recycles Day, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE), downtown Overland Park, ProShred and Secure e-Cycle will hold an electronics recycling and paper shredding event on Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Patrons can drop off “anything with a cord” to be properly recycled, as well as paper that will be securely shredded. All electronic items are free except TVs ($20 each) and CRT monitors ($15 each).
The event will be held in the parking lot near the Overland Park Farmers’ Market pavilion – enter and exit from Marty Street, between 79th and 80th Street. As a courtesy, Johnson County staff and volunteers will be there to unload your vehicle.
“Johnson County is pleased to partner with so many great entities to celebrate America Recycles Day,” said Julie Davis, JCDHE’s environmental programs manager. “The world’s fastest growing trash problem is electronic waste. It’s important to recycle it responsibly because so much of it contains hazardous materials.”
Vietnam Era Veterans Honored at Johnson County Celebration
November 14, 2018
Hundreds of local Vietnam War era veterans and their families and friends gathered Saturday morning at Antioch Park in Merriam to be honored for their service.
The celebration, held in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense’s ongoing 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War, took place at the Vietnam Memorial Plaza in the park.
The event marked Johnson County’s 32nd annual Veterans Day celebration. The Veterans Day program traditionally honors all local veterans from all wars with an annual focus of selecting specific veteran groups for special recognition. Korean War veterans were recognized last year, Gold Star families in 2016 and World War II veterans in 2015.
More than 400 veterans of the Vietnam War era applied to receive Vietnam War 50th Anniversary lapel pins from the U.S. Department of Defense and a Certificate of Appreciation from Johnson County.
Johnson County and nine chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) were designated Commemorative Partners by the Defense Department to present the lapel pins and other public recognition to veterans of the Vietnam War era for honorable military service from June 1, 1954, to May 15, 1975.
The event also featured the Kansas Society Sons of the American Revolution, including members from two local chapters. The color guard was dressed in Colonial attire with muskets and swords.
Featured speakers included U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kansas; Colonel Roger Murdock, chief of the joint staff at the Kansas National Guard; and Jimmie Spencer representing the U.S. Defense Department Vietnam War Commemoration.
Ed Eilert, chairman of the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners, emceed the program.
“I say to each one of you, God bless each one of you and God bless America,” Eilert told the crowd.
Denise Bullock, of Leawood, served as chaplain. She is Kansas State DAR chaplain.
Program activities included:
Patriotic music and songs by the American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City Chorus of Sweet Adelines.
Presentation of colors by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Honor Guard and the Kansas Society Sons of the American Revolution Honor Guard.
Placement of memorial wreaths.
A rifle salute by the VFW Post 7397 in Lenexa.
Playing of “Echo Taps.”
The Johnson County Park & Recreation District provided hot beverages and refreshments for veterans and their guests.
The Vietnam Memorial Plaza originally was dedicated on Veterans Day in 1974 and rededicated on Memorial Day 1998. It was the Kansas City metro area’s first public memorial to 57 Johnson County servicemen killed or missing in action from the Vietnam War. The project was designed and built by concrete artist Leon Lickteig of Greeley, Kan. Lickteig incorporated a dragon in the walkway of the memorial plaza, naming the sculpture, “The Dragon Lives,” along with images of bamboo shoots and leaves.
Open enrollment for health insurance ends mid-December
November 7, 2018
Open enrollment for health insurance marketplace coverage is now open through Dec. 15. The Johnson County Department of Health Environment (JCDHE) has partnered with El Centro this year to offer free, in-person enrollment assistance at the Olathe office location (11875 S. Sunset Dr.) or at El Centro (500 E Santa Fe, Olathe).
Those who may qualify for enrollment:
Are an eligible U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR).
Do not have job-based coverage.
Do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.
Certified navigators are ready to help residents select a health insurance plan that meets their needs and fits their budget. Call El Centro at 913-677-0100 or visit coverks.org to make an appointment.
Health insurance navigators can help one:
Navigate the health insurance marketplace.
Review eligibility for financial assistance.
Compare health insurance plans and help enroll in a plan that meets his or her needs.
Find answers to questions.
Once open enrollment closes, one will not be able to enroll again until next fall, unless there is a qualifying life changing event.
Johnson County’s Veterans Day Observance set for Saturday, Nov. 10
November 8, 2018
The 2018 Johnson County Veterans Day Observance will honor local veterans of the Vietnam War era as its special guests, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense’s ongoing 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War.
The celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10, at Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam. The observance begins at 11 a.m. and will take place at the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial located within the park complex.
The Veterans Day program traditionally honors all local veterans from all wars with an annual focus of selecting specific veteran groups for special recognition. Korean War veterans were recognized last year, Gold Star families in 2016 and World War II veterans in 2015. The event marks Johnson County’s 32nd annual Veterans Day celebration.
More than 400 veterans of the Vietnam War era have applied to receive Vietnam War 50th Anniversary lapel pins from the U.S. Department of Defense and a Certificate of Appreciation from Johnson County.
General parking for the Veterans Day event will be in the parking lot of the former Lee Apparel parking lot, 9001 West 67th St., with free shuttle buses, starting at approximately 10 a.m. and running approximately every 10 minutes, to drop off/pick up near the Vietnam Memorial Plaza. Public parking at the Lee Apparel site is strongly encouraged.
Handicapped parking will be located near the Vietnam Memorial Plaza for residents with limited mobility.
The Johnson County Park & Recreation District will provide hot beverages and refreshments for veterans and their guests in the conference room in Building A at the park.
In case of inclement weather, updates will be provided through TV news outlets, Facebook and on the county website.