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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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The Best Times showcases an American dream through naturalization
June 27, 2019

The July-August issue of The Best Times magazine is on its way in the mail with a cover story featuring the naturalization of a local elderly immigrant from India, fulfilling his dream to become an American citizen. Two Johnson County departments, other community partners and a U.S. senator helped him and his Overland Park family in that effort.

His name is Hasmukhlal Malkan, but everyone fondly called him Dada. A video about his bittersweet naturalization is viewable here.

Other articles in the next issue of The Best Times include:

  • Events/activities as Johnson County officially opens Meadowbrook Park, dedicates an inclusive playground in Shawnee Mission Park, schedules three more productions at the Theatre in the Park, prepares for the annual Johnson County Fair and celebrates Independence Day.
  • Volunteer opportunities through the Catch-a-Ride program, which is celebrating its 20th year; the Meals on Wheels program and Johnson County Developmental Supports.
  • Classes and programs to have fun with mastering card skills in playing bridge or participate in a Hand and Foot Tournament; to be physically active with yoga and Tai Chi exercises; and to travel with day trips this summer to nearby states.
  • A chapter in Johnson County history when a popular judge attracted hundreds of couples wanting to become newlyweds.
  • And, the FY 2020 Budget heads into the home stretch with final approval in August.

 

Watch for ozone alerts as summer heats up
June 25, 2019

As hot summer days become the norm in the coming weeks, you may begin to hear about “ozone alerts” on the news or see it posted on KC Scout signs on the interstate. What is an ozone alert and what should residents do to protect themselves?

What is ozone?
Ozone is a chemical gas that is both naturally occurring and a man-made byproduct of modern life. You’ve probably heard of the ozone layer in the atmosphere, where ozone reduces the amount of harmful UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. However, ozone can also be produced at the Earth’s surface, where it contributes to what we experience as “smog.”

At high enough levels, ozone can affect the quality of the air we breathe. An ozone alert day occurs when ozone levels become high enough to make breathing difficult for vulnerable populations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established health standards for ozone in order to protect human health.

Ozone is the only one of the main air pollutants that is not exhausted from a tailpipe or a smokestack. Certain chemicals, such as those in gasoline, oil-based paints or printing inks, are released to the atmosphere from their sources. These chemicals drift with the wind, react with heat and sunlight and are converted to ozone. Consequently, these chemicals may be released in Johnson County and become ozone by the time they reach downtown Kansas City or KCI.

The most likely occurrence of ozone formation is hot, sunny summer days with little to no wind, making ozone alerts far more common in the summer months. The official “ozone season” for Kansas City is March 1 through Oct. 31, but ozone alerts most often occur from June through August.

Poor air quality may be most noticed by the elderly, children, and people with lung and heart problems that can cause difficulty breathing. On ozone alert days, it is recommended that these vulnerable groups avoid strenuous outdoor activities and stay indoors as much as possible. If being outside is unavoidable, try to schedule activities before 11 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

You can help improve our air quality
The good news is that we can all do our part to reduce ozone in the summer, by small yet significant modifications to our behavior. These modifications do not cost you any money, just a personal change.  Throughout the summer months, and especially on ozone days, try these strategies to help reduce ground-level ozone in our community:

  • Drive less. Carpool, bike, walk or take public transit to work. At work, try teleconferencing instead of driving to meetings or carpool to lunch.
  • Avoid fueling on ozone alert days – simply filling your vehicle with gasoline can lead to pollution as fumes escape and react with sunlight to form ozone. If you must fill up, try to do so after dusk. And never top off your tank! Doing so forces fumes into the air.  
  • Mow later in the day. Lawn and garden equipment alone is responsible for an estimated 9% of the Kansas City metro’s ozone-forming emissions. Avoid yard work that involves power equipment until the ozone alert is over.

This summer, keep the air quality in mind when you plan your activities for hot summer days. Stay safe and do your part to keep our air clean for all residents to enjoy!

Johnson County commits to renewable energy
June 24, 2019

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners joined a list of other public entities participating in the Kansas City Power and Light’s Renewables Direct program. The county will purchase power generated by renewable sources for most of its largest energy consuming departments, including wastewater, facilities, library and park and recreation.

On Thursday, June 20, the board approved a 20-year agreement to offset 100% of the power the county purchases from KCP&L with energy from a new wind farm, which may be in operation by 2021. About 55% of the county’s energy usage is provided by KCP&L.

This agreement allows the county to lock in at a fuel price lower than historical prices for the 20-year term, avoiding the financial volatility of traditional power. As a result, the county’s estimated annual financial savings could be nearly $75,000, a total of $1.5 million over the lifetime of the agreement.

“Johnson County has a responsibility to our community to lead by example in reducing resource use and minimizing our environmental impact,” said Brian Alferman, sustainability program manager.  “Along with our energy conservation initiatives, we’re proud to commit to a local power source and a more sustainable future by purchasing renewable energy and spurring its adoption regionwide.”

Taking microtransit to the O.P. Farmer's Market
June 21, 2019

Starting in July, the county's microtransit pilot program will expand to help get people to and from the Overland Park Farmer's Market on Saturdays. The BOCC as well as the Overland Park City Council came to an agreement on the pilot program this week. Learn about the details in this news release.

 

 

Johnson County sets maximum authority for Proposed FY 2020 Budget
June 27, 2019

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners reached consensus on the Proposed FY 2020 Operating and Capital Improvement Budget on Thursday, June 20, and set the maximum expenditure authority for legal publication. 

By agreeing to this authority and publishing the proposed budget, board members established the maximum Proposed FY 2020 Budget at almost $1.26 billion with a constant mill levy of 26.013 mills. One mill equals $1 on every $1,000 of a homeowner’s assessed valuation. The board’s proposed budget included estimated expenditures of $937.1 million and anticipated reserves of $322.6 million.

On Thursday, the board authorized the budget staff to proceed with publishing the proposed taxing levies for the county’s three taxing districts – county, library, and park and recreation – and their maximum operating expenditures for next year. The county plans to publish the proposed county budget and supporting levies on July 13 in the Kansas City Star.

 “The budget as published cannot be increased, but it can go down,” Commission Chairman Ed Eilert said. “This is not the final budget vote, and we have a public hearing scheduled on Monday, July 29, at 7 p.m. in the Board’s hearing room and we welcome the public input.”

The hearing room is located on the third floor of the Johnson County Administration Building, 111 South Cherry Street, in downtown Olathe. The hearing will provide an opportunity for Johnson County citizens to learn more about the proposed budget and comment on how county services are financed.

The board is scheduled to approve the FY 2020 Budget and the estimated taxing levies on Thursday, Aug. 8, during its business session that begins at 9:30 a.m. in the hearing room. By state law, the county must adopt the budget for the next fiscal year by Aug. 25. The budget becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2020.

The final setting of the FY 2020 mill levy, however, will be established by the end of October with the latest property valuations by the Johnson County Department of Records and Tax Administration.

Learn more about the FY 2020 Proposed Budget.

 

 

Pollinator Prairie to host Wonders of Discovery event
June 18, 2019

K-State Research & Extension will host the family-friendly Wonders of Discovery event at the Pollinator Prairie Gardens (320 S Blake St., Olathe, Kansas) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Friday, June 21, in conjunction with National Pollinator Week. People of all ages are invited to learn about pollinator species through fun activities, including a caterpillar petting zoo, bat exhibit, birds of prey exhibit, arts and crafts, and much more. The event is free and open to the public.

The Pollinator Prairie, maintained by the Extension Master Naturalists, display a natural ecological habitat and serve as a public education tool. The habitat consists mostly of native plants that provide sources of food, shelter and safe breeding areas for pollinators such as bees, birds and butterflies. In the four garden beds and four native grass beds, visitors can see what a typical prairie might look like and learn ways to incorporate native plants into a landscape design for home or office.

National Pollinator Week, founded and managed by the national group Pollinator Partnership which also provides year-round support for Pollinator Prairie, offers an opportunity to learn about the importance of pollinators and the ways we can support them.

For more information, please contact the K-State Extension Office at 913-715-7000.

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