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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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Citizen satisfaction levels continue to go up
May 18, 2017

Each year, we ask for input on how we're doing as a county government through a community survey. Our residents gave Johnson County a 97 percent satisfaction rating as a place to live, a 96 percent satisfaction rating as a place to raise children and a 90 percent satisfaction rating as a place to work.

All of these numbers are up from last year. In fact, they are well above the ratings of similar size communities across the nation and well above the national average.

The survey, conducted by ETC Institute in Olathe, selected random households by mail and phone. A total of 1,644 men and women of all ages from across the county responded.

Surveyed residents gave the county a 95 percent satisfaction level for quality of life, 95 percent for overall image of the county, 92 percent for public safety and 86 percent for overall quality of county service, the latter of which represents a 2 percent increase from 2016 and is 41 percent above the satisfaction level of counties in similar size communities in the U.S. Ninety-one percent of those surveyed indicated an overall feeling of safety in the county.

For more survey results including information on specific county departments, check out the online report.

Help protect yourself from unscrupulous contractors
May 17, 2017

Unprofessional professionals are beginning to pop up in Johnson County as residents turn to around-the-house projects that occupy their free time and weekends.

Certainly a little help wouldn’t hurt, but homeowners should be careful whom they hire. Too often, they are left with shoddy home repairs, incomplete work, poor cleanup after the project is done or higher bills for unneeded or more expensive materials.

The Johnson County Contractor Licensing program of the Department of Planning, Development, and Codes provides up-to-date contractor listings. One of the many reasons the program was established was to protect public welfare by assuring that those undertaking the construction, alteration, repair or demolition of structures are licensed to perform such services in Johnson County.

The program is responsible for issuing and tracking 10 types of construction contractor licenses. In doing so, it establishes and maintains minimum standards for licensing contractors and provides quality continuing education to enhance contractor knowledge of building codes. The program teaches contractors local, national and international building codes.

The Contractor Licensing program provides a list of contractors by their license type, including electrical, mechanical, plumbing, roofing, framing, swimming pools/spas and other residential home improvements. The list only includes licensed contractors with an “active license.”

Licensed contractors must provide evidence of insurance to obtain and maintain a license to do work in Johnson County. They must keep in force a policy of general liability insurance, including completed operations coverage.

Some home improvements require a building permit from the local city or county jurisdiction. A building permit ensures an independent, third-party construction expert working for residents by periodically inspecting their project. If a permit is required, residents should require that the contractor gets the permit. They should not hire contractors who suggest it will save time or money to avoid the permit and inspection process.

Our Contractor Licensing program offers two ways to check a Johnson County contractor’s license status. One is by calling 913-715-2233. Although staff cannot recommend contractors, they will be happy to verify the status of any license.

The other way to check a contractor’s license status is using the licensed contractor search feature on the program’s webpage that’s accessible through the county’s website at jocogov.org.

In selecting a contractor, Consumer Reports offers a few tips for getting the right deal regarding home improvements:

  • Homeowners are encouraged to get multiple estimates for their projects. If bids vary wildly, find out why — don’t assume the lowest price is the best deal.
  • Homeowners should also check references, which the contractor should provide.
  • A written contract is a must, noting every detail about the job, including materials, cleanup details, warranties and a payment schedule.
  • Never pay in cash or pay up front for work to be done and be sure to get a signed receipt.
  • Don’t make the final payment or sign a final release until you are completely satisfied with the work; delay the final payment until the building permit has final inspection approval.
  • Finally, homeowners should know their rights. The Federal Trade Commission has established a rule for a cooling-off period for canceling some home improvement contracts. The rule and state laws may allow homeowners to cancel a contract within a certain amount of time (usually three business days) after contract approval by giving written notice to the contractor or lender. Such laws also usually require that a written notice of these rights and a cancellation form be given by the contractor to the property owner at the time of agreement.

Any suspicious activity involving possible scams or home repair fraud should be reported to the Johnson County District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division at 913-715-3003. Valuable information is accessible at da.jocogov.org.

Library breaks ground on new Shawnee branch
May 15, 2017

On May 10, Johnson County Library launched construction of the Monticello Library in Shawnee with a ceremonial groundbreaking that included Chairman Ed Eilert. 

The $18.1 million, two-story, 33,548 square-foot building will feature floor-to-ceiling glass along three sides designed for natural light, visible to those driving by on Shawnee Mission Parkway.

The first-floor plan will feature shelves for new books and materials, a large area for children's materials and programming, cozy seating available along the windows, two private study rooms, an area for DVDs, magazines and other media, and a large meeting room to seat up to 100 people.

The second-floor plan will host the adult fiction and nonfiction areas, teen materials, two collaborative technology rooms, public computers, two smaller public meeting rooms and three additional study rooms. An ecologically sensitive green roof adjoins a roof-top terrace.

Construction will continue on the project until mid-2018 and the library is expected to open in the fall of 2018. To keep up on the project, visit the Monticello project webpage.

Netflix series raises questions about mental health, suicide
May 15, 2017

The Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" has raised questions about the mental health and safety of children in schools. The show depicts scenes of teens being bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted, and a graphic suicide death. The graphic nature of the show and the narrative of hopelessness around suicide and bullying have many in the suicide prevention community concerned. 

The Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center shares concerns about the series and feels it is important to provide parents and other concerned adults some guidance in having conversations with their teens about the show. If they are going to watch it, we need to talk with them about it. The JED Foundation and SAVE developed a discussion guide soon after the premiere of the show. 

Suicide and mental health resources

  • Sexual assault services are available through The Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center in Lawrence and MOCSA in Kansas City. They believe people and offer help if they have been a victim. 24-hour crisis line in Kansas: 913-642-0233; 24-hour crisis line in Missouri: 816-531-0233
  • If you are concerned about your teen it is best to ask about suicide as directly as possible, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” This will not put an idea in their head that wasn’t already there, but if the answer is yes, it is the best way to start having an important conversation about safety.
  • Help for those thinking about suicide is available 24/7 calling 1-800-273-TALK or clicking “Chat Now” on NSPL.ORG. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is staffed by caring, highly trained individuals.
  • Anxiety and depression are treatable. Primary care doctors and the local community mental health center are good places to start asking for help.
  • Suicide is preventable when we ask, listen and talk about what is going on with each other.

The Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition is providing an opportunity for our community to join together to ask questions and learn of the resources available in our community surrounding these topics during a community discussion May 18 at the Central Resource Library on Thursday, May 18 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Department budgets presented to BOCC
May 12, 2017

Thursday, the Board of County Commissioners heard the proposed budget for Johnson County's transit system and for those departments that report to the County Manager's Office.

Officials with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and CMO provided updates on the changes in the bus system (formerly The JO in Johnson County), RideKC. The new and expanded services are getting positive public feedback and new ridership. Increased usage is expected as more people become aware of the new routes. The taxi voucher ridership program's popularity is also increasing and usage continues to grow.

Also, County Manager Hannes Zacharias presented the BOCC with requests for additional resources for 2018. The funds, if approved by the commission, will allow the county to increase efficiencies and improve services.
 
The proposed resources would enhance cyber security efforts with additional employee training, ensure HIPAA compliance, add staff to support critical county projects and support existing Human Services staff who were previously funded by the State of Kansas. Resources were also requested to transition Overland Park medical services to Johnson County Med-Act and fund needs within Emergency Management and Communications, Human Resources, Mental Health, Planning, Public Works, and support our community partner, United Community Services.
 
Next week, the BOCC will hear the budget proposals for the following county offices, departments and districts: Sheriff's Office, Wastewater, Elections, Library, and Park and Recreation District.
 
The budget meetings are broadcast on the county's website and more information about the proposed FY 2018 budget is available online.

 

Fall 2017 Citizens Academy is complete
May 11, 2017

Congratulations to the 25 below-listed individuals for completing Johnson County Government’s third Citizens Academy program. The Board of County Commissioners recognized and thanked the graduates during the May 4 Board of County Commissioners meeting.

  • Barbara Adamson
  • Tracey Anderson
  • Steve Aulgur
  • Alexandra Billinger
  • Steve Capell
  • Lee Duong
  • Nancy Ellis
  • Adalia Gall
  • Syed Hasan
  • Logan Heley
  • Marcia Higginson
  • Joyce Householder
  • Karen Johnson
  • Lynn Kring
  • Thomas Madigan
  • Lauren Parker
  • Janell Pollom
  • Caron Roberts
  • Joyce Savage
  • Ryan Showalter
  • Allison Staroski
  • Barbara Weiner
  • Blake Williams
  • Matt Woehrle
  • Brandon Woodard

The Citizens Academy participants met for three hours one evening per week for ten weeks this spring to learn about the roles, responsibilities and day-to-day operations of county government. During sessions, the group heard presentations from staff and took tours of various county departments and agencies, including Public Works, Human Services, Libraries, Developmental Supports, Park and Recreation, the Sheriff’s Office and others.

Quotes from spring 2017 session participants:

  • “The speakers were excellent. They presented the material very well and taught aspects of how it works at a high level; made it easy to understand and makes me want to learn more.”
  • “I loved the enthusiasm of the Human Services Team and how they were very passionate about their job and helping others in need!”
  • “This series has made me realize how truly fortunate I am to live in Johnson County. I've always thought this was a great community, but didn't understand what a professional, progressive county we lived in.”

Interested in participating in a future session? The application deadline for the fall session is Aug. 1. More information and an application form can be found on jocogov.org.

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