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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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Johnson County collects $113,710 for United Way
November 21, 2019

Johnson County’s 2019 United Way campaign ended Thursday, Nov. 21, with a 6% increase in employee participation though falling short of the fund-raising goal.

Cindy Green of the County Manager’s Office, and Mary Beverly with the Department of Health and Environment, United Way co-chairs, announced the final results during the weekly business session of the Board of County Commissioners. The campaign received donations and pledges totaling $113,710.50 from 444 employees, surpassing its participation goal of 419. The campaign goal was $119,000.

Awards were presented to ambassadors representing five departments/agencies with the highest gifts per capita, highest percentage of employees participating and largest increase in total dollars.

Becky Miller, on behalf of Human Resources, received the first-place Power of Caring Award with a per capita of $490 in employee contributions. Public Works (Ryan Sims) had the second highest per capita at $242 followed by Board of County Commissioners/CMO (Rene’ Murphy) at a penny shy of $216.

BOCC/CMO (Murphy) placed first in the Power of Sharing Awards for the highest percentage of participation among employees at almost 58% followed by Human Resources (Miller) at almost 54% and JIMS (Lee Baldwin) at 52%.

The Power of Caring and Power of Sharing awards featured artwork from the Emerging Artists Program of Johnson County Developmental Supports. The art was provided by George Utter, Amanda Vahle, Brad Friedman, Dawn Farnsworth and Daniel McLean.

The Most Valuable Player Award was presented to JCDS and accepted by Kate Martinez and Melissa Reeves.

United Way is one of three designated fund-raising activities by Johnson County Government. The other campaigns are Feed the Need and Arts KC.

Author holds writing workshop for Adult Residential Center clients
November 21, 2019

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, author Joshua Mohr returned to the Johnson County Adult Residential Center to hold a writing workshop for clients.  Mohr first visited the facility in September 2018, and received great response from clients. The author has written several books, including Sirens, which is a relapse memoir. He has a special interest in working with clients in jails and drug treatment programs. 

During the Wednesday visit, Mohr worked with 20 clients from the Therapeutic Community, a six-month drug treatment program. His writing workshop focused on using writing as a healthy outlet to deal with the feelings of shame and guilt that come with getting sober.

The visit from the author was made possible by a partnership with Johnson County Library.

 

Public meeting for Johnson County Square tomorrow
November 25, 2019

How would you like to use a new County Square? Johnson County and the city of Olathe need your feedback about improvement concepts for the Johnson County Square project, located in the space where the current Johnson County Courthouse sits.

The public is invited to attend a public open house Wednesday, Nov. 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Lower Level Conference Room 0200 at the Johnson County Administrative Building (111 S. Cherry St.) in Olathe.

During the public open house, the public will be able to review detailed exhibits for improvement concepts for the new Square. No formal presentation will be given. The public is welcome to stop by anytime during the meeting’s timeframe. County staff and the design-build and community engagement team will be present to discuss the concepts, answer questions, and gather feedback to inform the next steps of the design process.

BACKGROUND

Construction is underway on Johnson County’s new 28-courtroom courthouse located at the corner of Kansas Avenue and Santa Fe Street in Downtown Olathe. Thereafter, activities from the existing courthouse will be moved to the new building and the old courthouse will be demolished, creating a new space known as the “County Square.”

To ensure it reflects area needs and interests, the county and a new steering committee will consider public feedback and develop programming concepts that include activities the public could enjoy in the new space. Additionally, the concepts will build upon previous planning efforts, such as the Envision Olathe Downtown Plan (2003), Streetscape Master Plan and Downtown Design Guidelines (2003), Downtown Active Transportation Plan (2017), Olathe’s Bike Share Implementation Strategy (2018), and more. The outcome will be a phased approach to programming the space.

The planning process began this fall and will continue through early 2020. A design-build and community engagement team consisting of JE Dunn Construction, TreanorHL, Fentress Architects, Newmark Grubb Zimmer, Hoxie Collective, Vireo, and LandWorks is assisting with the project.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information about the new Johnson County Square, contact Dan Wehmueller, Johnson County project manager, at daniel.wehmueller@jocogov.org. You may also follow the county and city on social media and use our #JoCoSquare hashtag.  

JoCo on the Go: Fighting the flu
November 18, 2019

During our 16th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re addressing how to prevent and fight the flu during the winter months. Flu season can last through May, and brings many miserable symptoms, such as aches, pains and fever. Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Becky Prall, and Caitlin Kintner with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, offer advice about how and when to get the flu shot.

According to state regulations, each person with a case of influenza shall remain in home isolation for five days following onset of illness or until fever free for 24 hours without aid of medication, whichever is longer, except when seeking medical care. Learn more about the regulation. Check out the latest stats on flu in Johnson County. Learn about flu shots.

 JoCo on the Go is now available on Apple and Google Play. Just search for the podcast by name and subscribe. Learn more about this podcast and get a complete transcript of each episode.

Exercise held to simulate re-entry from incarceration
November 15, 2019

In a joint effort, Johnson and Douglas counties co-hosted a re-entry simulation on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Johnson County Administration Building, Olathe. The event was held to help staff who work closely with those involved in the justice system to develop a greater sense of some of the barriers recently released adults face as they reintegrate into society.

The event included dozens of individuals from the court to correctional systems. Participants received an identity and a set of circumstances, and asked to complete a series of tasks, such as paying rent, buying food, accessing transportation and maintaining employment.

“They’re told you can go now, and good luck,” said Rebecca Sudja, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office re-entry case manager. “This is what they face.”

The two-hour long event allowed the participants to experience several “weeks” of life after incarceration.

Johnson County bonds receive top credit ratings
November 14, 2019

Johnson County has again received a AAA/Stable credit rating from all three bond rating agencies – Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's Investor Services for its general obligation bonds. Of the more than 3,000 counties in the nation, fewer than 30 receive the top rating from all three agencies.

The agencies examined Johnson County’s diverse tax base, financial policies, debt burden and long-range plans for continued fiscal health, economic strengths and overall quality of life in establishing their ratings regarding the issuance and sale of slightly more than $22.1 million in general obligation bonds by Johnson County and almost $1.4 million in lease purchase revenue bonds by the Public Building Commission of Johnson County. The bond ratings help determine the ease with which the county can borrow money and the interest rates it pays. The better the rating, the better terms it gets on its money.

“While Johnson County has had a Triple-A rating for several years, we never take it for granted,” Ed Eilert, chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, said. “The professional review shows we remain in the top one percent of counties nationwide in developing sound fiscal policies, budgeting conservatively and finding ways to do more with less.”

County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson agreed.

“We are always pleased to receive this highest designation, Triple-A, from all three of the national rating agencies. It affirms, through independent evaluation and judgment, that Johnson County Government is meeting and exceeding the highest standards established on behalf of our citizens,” she said.

On Thursday, the Board of County Commissioners approved the issuance of $22,165,000 in G.O. bonds for wastewater improvements, totaling 20,531,727, and $2,994,600 for the Johnson County radio replacement project. The wastewater bonds will be financed over 20 years while the radio replacement bonds involved a 10-year issuance. The G.O. bonds were purchased by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC at an interest rate of 2.34%.

The Board also authorized $1,390,000 in lease purchase revenue bonds for the renovation, construction, equipping and furnishing of improvements to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Operations Building and the Adult Detention Center along with improvements to the Corrections Department’s Adult Residential Center 3. All three facilities are at the New Century AirCenter near Gardner. The Board, in its role as the Public Building Commission, approved the issuance and sale of the lease purchase revenue bonds that were sold to Robert W. Baird & Co at an interest rate of 2.55%

The Board and PBC unanimously approved all three bond transactions in separate votes.

All three agencies viewed the county’s outlook as “stable” with a “low long-term” debt burden, a “very strong” economy and well-managed” finances.

More information is available by contacting Scott Neufeld, Director of the Johnson County Department of Budget and Financial Planning, scott.neufeld@jocogov.org or Nate Blum, Management and Budget Analyst, nate.blum@jocogov.org, or they can be contacted at (913) 715-0605.

 

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