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In typical and challenging times, Johnson County receives high ratings

Two surveys of Johnson County residents before and during the COVID-19 pandemic produced high marks for the county’s quality of life and overall satisfaction with county government.

Those were among the results in the 2020 Community Survey shared Thursday, June 4, with the Johnson County Board of Commissioners. The first survey involved a random sample of 1,527 Johnson County households by ETC Institute. The Olathe firm has conducted the county’s community survey since 2005.

During the month of May, a second survey asked follow-up questions to those in the initial survey. The second survey was conducted to gauge any changes in ratings of county services and community perceptions in the ongoing pandemic. During the second round, respondents were asked about half of the questions and completed 577 surveys.

“We value the feedback we receive from our residents through our community surveys. This year, we surveyed the county before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am pleased to say in both time periods, we scored high marks across the board,” said Ed Eilert, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners.           

“For another year we got responses in the high 90 percent range for Johnson County. 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.”

Chris Tatham, president and chief executive officer of ETC, said 1,527 completed surveys were used to tabulate the overall findings in February on the eve of the coronavirus.

Tatham noted Johnson County continued to have a “very high” overall satisfaction rating in the 2020 Community Survey, and that “the COVID-19 pandemic did not change satisfaction with county services.”

  • Quality of life in the county at 93%, a rating of 21% above the national average and 23% more than the large community average.
  • Overall image of the county at 92%, a rating 31% above the national average and 29% above the large community average.
  • Public safety services at 92% compared to a national average of 74% and a large community average of 64%.
  • The overall quality of county services was 81% as opposed to a national average of only 48% and large community average of 42%.

“When you compare this survey to last year’s, we had a five-point increase in our composite index which measures customer satisfaction across the board and saw increases in satisfaction with all of the major services we provide, said County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson. “I am so pleased with these survey results and extremely appreciative of the hard work that happens at all levels of government to achieve them. Our organization will continue to work together in serving and protecting our residents.”                   

The overall feelings of safety in Johnson County, in neighborhoods around the clock, and in county parks scored steady high marks in both surveys.

Other major findings in the surveys cited by Tatham, include:

  • Overall satisfaction with county services is generally the same throughout Johnson County.
  • Satisfaction with county services has improved significantly in most areas over the past year.
  • “Ensuring that necessary Health and Human Services are available” is the most critical role for Johnson County.

According to Tatham, the topmost areas for Johnson County Government before (February) and during the pandemic (May) had upticks and minor shifts in rankings of overall priority.   

  • The No. 1 critical role for government in both surveys was ensuring necessary health and human services are available, increasing from 42% to 53% in four months.
  • Coordinating public safety/law enforcement in the county was ranked second in February and third in May, remaining unchanged at 35%.
  • Moving from fourth place in the first survey to third place in May was maintaining high quality emergency services, increasing from 31% to 38%.

As in the previous surveys, respondents were asked to rate the quality of life in Johnson County. Highlights from the 2020 survey included:

  • 97% were satisfied with Johnson County as a place to live. The national rate was 71%. The rate for large communities was 51%.
  • 95% were satisfied with Johnson County as a place to raise children with a national rate of 70% and large community rate of 52%.
  • 91% were satisfied with Johnson County as a place to work. The national rate was 54% and large communities’ rating was 45%.

With an increasing population of aging adults, 72% were satisfied in the February survey with Johnson County as a place to retire compared to a national rate of 56% and large community rate of 46%.

The community survey serves as part of the strategic planning process for the Board of County Commissioners and county management. The timing of the 2020 survey was planned to gather resident viewpoints regarding issues in the FY 2021 Budget deliberations, now underway, and ending with the approval of the new budget by the end of August.

Access to the 2020 Community Survey is available at jocogov.org/sites/default/files/documents/CMO/Community%20Survey%202020.pdf.

Media Contacts

Lori Sand
Senior Public Information Officer
Office: 913-715-8572
Cell: 816-377-6528

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

Media Contacts

Lori Sand
Senior Public Information Officer
Office: 913-715-8572
Cell: 816-377-6528

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