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97% of Johnson County residents give the county a positive rating as a place to live

(OLATHE, KANSAS – MAY 2, 2019)--In the annual Johnson County Community Survey, residents again gave high marks for the county’s quality of life, services and programs, and voiced their opinions on the services most important to them.

Results from the 2019 Community Survey were shared Thursday, May 2, with the Johnson County Board of Commissioners during a weekly study session. The survey, totaling six pages of 27 questions, was conducted in March and April by ETC Institute of Olathe.

“Johnson County continues to set the standard of service delivery compared to other large communities,” Chris Tatham, president and chief executive officer of ETC, said.

According to Tatham, overall satisfaction with county services rated 36% above the national average, public safety services rated 24% above the national average and value received for tax dollars rated 19% above the national average.

As in the previous surveys, residents were asked to rate the quality of life in Johnson County. The 2019 survey results revealed the following which were all virtually the same as the prior year:

  • 97% are satisfied with Johnson County as a place to live.
  • 95% are satisfied with Johnson County as a place to raise children.
  • 92% of respondents have an overall feeling of safety in the county.
  • 89% are satisfied with Johnson County as a place to work.
  • 69% are satisfied with Johnson County as a place to retire.

“We value the feedback we receive from our residents through this survey,” Ed Eilert, chairman of the BOCC, said. “We strive to make Johnson County a community where residents are proud to live, work, raise their family; and enjoy and benefit from the services the county has to offer.”

The 2019 survey placed the satisfaction with the value received for tax dollars at 51%, a decline from 64% in 2018. The decline correlated with an approval drop on a question about the fairness in property appraisals from a 32% approval in 2019 compared to 43% in 2018.

When asked what services the county provides are the most important the top choices were emergency services, including MED-ACT’s response to medical emergencies, Emergency Management and Communication dispatch of 911 first-responders, the Park and Recreation District, the Motor Vehicle Division, the county’s library system, Public Works and the Sheriff’s Office.

Top opportunities for improvement based on an analysis of the satisfaction with services compared to their perceived importance were services provided by the Motor Vehicle Division along with the Human Services and Public Works departments.

The county’s role in providing safety-net services to residents/families in need, the vulnerable population and low-income households received an 88% rate of importance. When asked in what areas the county should devote additional resources, mental health services topped the list and was closely followed by aging services, public health and homelessness.

“Reaching out to the community and asking about what people think of the services we are providing and what direction we should be taking is one of the tools we can use to develop strategies for the coming years,” County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson said. “All of this information is useful to us as we strive to serve our residents and meet their needs, today and in the future.”

According to the survey, the county’s top priorities for the next five years should be:

  • Personal safety, low crime
  • Public education (K-12)
  • Well-maintained roads
  • Health care access, and
  • Public safety

The survey asked why residents plan to stay in Johnson County for the next 10 years. The top reason, with a 64% response, was a sense of feeling safe and a low-crime rate. The quality of public schools was next followed by high standard of living and having family members nearby.

In looking to the future, residents were polled on what should be county government’s most critical roles in the next 10 to 20 years. The top three priorities were:

  • Ensuring the availability of necessary health and human services
  • Coordinating public safety and law enforcement within the county; and
  • Improving the county’s road systems.

The survey was mailed by ETC to a random sample of county households; approximately seven days after the surveys were mailed, residents who received a survey were contacted by phone or email. Of the households that received a survey, 1,201 respondents completed surveys, resulting in a 95 percent confidence level for the survey findings.

Full results of the 2019 Community Survey satisfaction survey are available online.

Media Contacts

Lori Sand
Senior Public Information Officer
Office: 913-715-8572
Cell: 816-560-6713

Jody Hanson
Director of Public Affairs and Communication
Office: 913-715-0730
Cell: 913-626-5482