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Board of County Commissioners

Phone: 913-715-0430

111 S Cherry, Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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About the Board

Pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the State of Kansas and in accordance with the Home Rule Charter, the legislative powers of county government are vested in a seven-member citizen legislature known as the Board of County Commissioners. It strives to strengthen and preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the community. To that end, it has exclusive power to enact, amend, and repeal public policies; to levy and apportion taxes, make appropriations, and adopt budgets; to establish strategic plans to guide organizational performance; and to appoint the County Manager and certain offices, boards and commissions.

Elections Issues

The Board of County Commissioners is composed of seven members, each of whom is elected on a non-partisan basis to a four-year term. To ensure equitable community representation, the county is partitioned into six separate but contiguous districts of nearly equal population, with one Member elected from each district. As "citizen legislators," the six district commissioners serve in a part-time capacity in order to maintain close ties to their districts. To view a map of the six commission districts, or to locate your district, please click here.

The seventh member is elected from a district which comprises the total population and geographic boundary of the county and serves a four-year term in office as Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners and Chief Elected Official of the Johnson County Government. To learn more about the Chairman, please click here. Elections are held in November of even-numbered years, with newly elected or re-elected Members officially inducted on the second Monday of the following January. No more than half of the total seats stand for election in any single election. County Commissioners must be citizens of the United States, registered electors of the state, and residents of their district for at least one year prior to election and throughout their respective terms in office. For more information about elections, election issues, or to register to vote, please visit the Election Commissioner's website or contact that office at 913) 782-3441.

Meetings

The BOCC meets every Thursday of the month at 9:30 a.m. in the hearing room on the third floor of the County Administration Building located at 111 S. Cherry Street, Olathe. The weekly session schedule includes the voting meeting as well as formal policy review and study sessions and the presentation of various reports and other matters concerning the county government. The weekly sessions are open to the public, as provided under the Kansas Open Meetings Act. As part of the business meeting each week, members of the public are welcome to address the Board of County Commissioners on subjects of concern that involve the county government and its service to the Johnson County community. For information about the weekly session schedule, please contact the Clerk of the Board at (913) 715-0430 or click here for more information.

Organization & Meetings

The Board of County Commissioners convenes in annual session on the second Monday in January, or within 30 days of that date, to organize its membership for the coming year. By long-standing tradition, newly elected and re-elected members are installed, or sworn-in, on the second Monday of January following election. The chief judge of the Tenth Judicial District Court presides over the ceremonies and administers the oath of office to each newly installed member of the Board of County Commissioners.

The regular sessions of the Board of County Commissioners are held each week on Thursday beginning at 9:30 a.m. The weekly session schedule includes the voting meeting as well as formal policy review and study sessions and the presentation of various reports and other matters concerning the county government. The weekly sessions are open to the public, as provided under the Kansas Open Meetings Act. As part of the business meeting each week, members of the public are welcome to address the Board of County Commissioners on subjects of concern that involve the county government and its service to the Johnson County community.

For information about the weekly session schedule, please contact the Clerk of the Board at (913) 715-0430.

Overview of the Board

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is composed of seven members. Each commissioner represents one of the six districts on the map above and the chairman represents the entire county. They are elected by voters to serve a four-year term.

The BOCC has the exclusive power to enact, amend, and repeal public policies; to levy and apportion taxes, make appropriations, and adopt budgets; to establish strategic plans to guide organizational performance; and to appoint the County Manager and certain offices, boards and commissions.

Charter Commission

The Home Rule Charter is a legislative document that defines the structure, powers, purpose, and functions of county government. The Johnson County Home Rule Charter is the first of its kind in the State of Kansas, and was enacted by a public vote during the November 2000 general election.

Per the Home Rule Charter, a twenty-five member Johnson County Charter Commission was appointed to review the Charter and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners for revisions every ten years. Any changes to the Home Rule Charter require approval at an election.

The 2011 Charter Commission was established by the Board of County Commissioners on January 13, 2011, by Resolution No. 003-11.

The 2011 Charter Commission’s final report was presented to the Board of County Commissioners on Thursday, February 9, 2012 during their regularly scheduled business session meeting. More information about the meeting is available at http://lims.jocogov.org.

For more information about the 2011 Johnson County Charter Commission, contact the Clerk of the Board at (913) 715-0430 or by email.

Clerk of the Board

The current Clerk of the Board is Linda Barnes.

The Clerk is the clerical officer of the governing body and attends to duties necessary to ensure its proper functioning. The Clerk preserves the integrity of the local legislative process by issuing notices of pending matters and decisions made to assure timely public access; certifies to the passage of all acts, orders, and judgments made under the authority of the governing body; serves as the official repository for its official records and instruments of writing; and is custodian of its seal. The Clerk is assisted in the performance of his duties by a team of deputies who coordinate the myriad responsibilities related to the operation of the Board of County Commissioners.

 

The Clerk of the Board duties include:

Legislative Administration - Provide accurate and timely procedural, technical, and administrative support so that responsible, legally-sound decisions can be made to govern the community.

  • Provides procedural and technical support in the scheduling, consideration, and transaction of business to ensure conformance with all statutory and legal requirements;
  • Assures an "open and accessible" process by providing public notice of forthcoming issues so those impacted by decisions or policies of the County Government are able to participate;
  • Tracks and coordinated the flow of all items through the legislative process, from introduction through to final disposition;
  • Coordinated annual and weekly session schedules as well as the timetabling of a variety of reports, meetings, briefings, and other matters;
  • Prepares and publishes an agenda for each meeting listing all matters scheduled for consideration;
  • Certifies to the passage of all acts, orders, and judgments made by authority of the Board of County Commissioners; and,
  • Processes and maintains all records of appointments made to subordinate boards and commissions within the structure of County Government or to organizations outside the County Government.

Management of Official Records - Provide high-quality, cost-efficient documentation of policy decisions and ensure access to the same in accordance with legal requirements.

  • Prepares and publishes official proceedings of the Board of County Commissioners;
  • Receives, records, catalogues, indexes, and archives records which are critical to the operation of County Government and which have permanent legal, administrative, and historical value in accordance with state law;
  • Ensures public accessibility to records in accordance with legal requirements, thereby providing direct accountability to the citizens served by the County Government;
  • Researches and retrieves records and information, and provides general research and reference support; and
  • Manages the lifecycle of records with regard to legal requirements, probity, continuity, and effectiveness; and
  • Administers, files, and preserves official oaths of office.

The Legislative Information Management System houses all the official Board of County Commissioner's documents, agendas, minutes, and videos.

Frequent Questions

About the Board:

What are the duties of the Board of County Commissioners?

The Board of County Commissioners is the legislative branch of Johnson County Government and is responsible, among other things, for:

  • Enacting local legislation to protect, promote, and preserve the general public health, safety and welfare.
  • Representing the community's interests at local, state, regional, and national levels.
  • Adopting a strategic plan establishing a future vision of the community.Adopting an annual operating budget and capital improvements plan.
  • Establishing and enforcing land use regulations and codes.
  • Establishing policies to govern County Government operations and service delivery.

How are the Chairman and County Commissioners elected?

All County Commissioners, including the Chairman, are elected on non-partisan ballots. The Chairman of the Board is elected at-large from a district comprising the total population and geographic territory of the county; the other six Commissioners are elected from specific districts that, in accordance with state law, are as equal in size and population as possible. All County Commissioners serve staggered, four-year terms of office.

Are the Board's meetings open to the public, and how can I participate in the meetings?

Pursuant to the Kansas Open Meetings Act, all of the meetings of the Board of County Commissioners are open to the public, unless specifically closed under provisions authorized under state law. The Board welcomes public participation, and provides a specific portion of its regular meeting agenda for public comments.

The Board’s weekly business meetings begin at 9:30 a.m. each Thursday. Members of the public are welcome to attend these meetings and to observe the proceedings. Under the Order of Business for Public Comments, the Chairman calls for any general comments by members of the public pertaining to the operation of county government. Members of the public are welcome to use this time to address the Board on matters that relate to the services and programs of county government and issues of community concern.

As specific items on the agenda are considered, the Board provides an opportunity for the public to comment on the items, usually following a staff presentation that provides a review of the particular item.

Members of the public wishing to address the Board must register their name and address with the Clerk of the Board as part of the official record of the meeting. Also, members of the public may submit documents and other papers as part of the record by providing a minimum of ten copies to the Clerk. For questions about public participation in Board meetings, please contact the Clerk of the Board at (913) 715-0430.

When and where does the Board of County Commissioners meet?

The Board of County Commissioners meets in regular session every Thursday beginning at 9:30 a.m. Meetings are conducted in the Board's hearing room which is located on the third floor of the County Administration Building on the County Square at 111 South Cherry Street in downtown Olathe.

To facilitate the transaction of business, the Board of County Commissioners follows a set session schedule which is divided into separate morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session includes the formal business meeting, at which time the Board considers and acts upon various matters. The afternoon session is reserved for meetings of the Committee of the Whole, which is the “working committee” of the Board for the review and consideration of policy proposals and presentation of staff reports on operational matters. An agenda is published and made available on Tuesdays outlining those issues to be presented during the meeting. Copies of the agenda are posted to the Internet. You can register your email address to receive weekly copies of the business agenda quickly and conveniently.

Boards and Commissions:

How can I get more information about board and commission meetings?

Contact the County Manager's Office for meeting details and related information by calling (913) 715-0430 or by e-mail. Information about each board and commission is located on the Legislative Information Management System (LIMS) website.

How can I serve on an appointed board or commission?

Vacancies on the various appointed boards and commissions occur on a regular basis, so you are encouraged to check the status of these terms frequently in order to stay informed.

To apply for membership on an appointed board or commission, please mail a completed application form to the following address:

Office of the Board of County Commissioners
Attn: Appointments Clerk
111 South Cherry Street, Suite 3300
Olathe, Kansas 66061-3486

If you are unable to download the application form, you may contact the Board’s Office at (913) 715-0430, or simply submit a letter of interest along with a current copy of your resume or curriculum vitae to the address listed above. Information about each board and commission is located on the Legislative Information Mangement System (LIMS) website.

What do the appointed boards and commissions do?

The appointed boards and commissions perform a wide variety of functions, depending on the type of body that is created. For example, a few are policy-setting governing bodies and are responsible for overseeing the operations of key County agencies, others are regulatory bodies, and still others provide advice on various issues.

There are five agency governing bodies that exercise general control over the operation of specific county agencies. These agencies include the Airport Commission, the Parks & Recreation District Commission, the Library Board of Directors, the Mental Health Center Board of Directors, and the Developmental Supports Agency Board of Directors. These agency bodies select and evaluate the agency’s executive director, establish administrative policies, recommend appropriations for the consideration of the Board of County Commissioners, and act as community liaisons.

Numerous advisory panels, committees, and task forces are also appointed to provide advice and recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on a variety of subjects which pertain to County Government or are of interest to the Johnson County community. A full listing of all appointed boards and commissions is available by clicking here.

More than 300 volunteers give of their time and talents to serve as members of the various appointed boards and commissions. Their efforts help to save taxpayer dollars, and the county government benefits from their active participation by taking advantage of the rich and varied backgrounds, abilities, and experiences they bring to the table. You can share in the future of Johnson County be becoming a member of an appointed board or commission.

What are Johnson County's appointed boards and commissions?

The Board of County Commissioners appoints a number of subordinate boards and commissions to help support and guide the delivery of County Government’s services and programs. These appointed boards and commissions provide a mechanism for citizens to have a direct voice in the operation of their local county government.

More than 300 volunteers give of their time and talents to serve as members of the various appointed boards and commissions. Their efforts help to save taxpayer dollars, and the county government benefits from their active participation by taking advantage of the rich and varied backgrounds, abilities, and experiences they bring to the table. You can share in the future of Johnson County be becoming a member of an appointed board or commission.

Visit the Legislative Information Management System website for more information and details on submitting your application.

Commissioner Information:

How do I contact the Chairman or my County Commissioners?

You may contact the Chairman or your County Commissioner by calling their office or by writing a brief letter describing your issue. When writing, please remember to provide your first and last name, a return mailing address, and a daytime telephone number where you may be reached. Correspondence may be submitted to the Chairman or any district commissioner at:

Board of County Commissioners
County Administration Building, Suite 3300
111 South Cherry Street
Olathe, Kansas 66061-3486

To schedule a meeting with the Chairman or your County Commissioner, contact the Board's Office at (913) 715-0430.

What are the duties of the Chairman of the Board?

Elected at-large by the voters of the community, the Chairman of the Board is the chief elected official of Johnson County Government and serves ex-officio as presiding officer of the Board of County Commissioners. Some of the Chairman's official duties include:

Acting as a Member of the Board of County Commissioners, with equal obligations and rights to vote on all issues presented and with all other privileges provided to County Commissioners.
Initiating and organizing community action on important issues, assisting citizens in addressing problems and concerns, and responding to requests for information.
Delivering an annual public address on the economic, physical, and social conditions of the community, as well as reporting on its accomplishments and future direction.
Serving as the ambassador and ceremonial head of Johnson County Government to promote the community and acting as the principle spokesperson for the organization.
Issuing proclamations, certificates, and special awards, recognitions, and commendations.

Who is my County Commissioner?

That depends on where you live. Johnson County is divided into six commission districts that are as compact and equal in size and population as possible, based upon census numbers. To determine your commission districtand your County Commissioner, please visit the County's main website. You may also contact the Board Office at (913) 715-0430 or the Election Commissioner's Office at (913) 782-3441.

What are the qualifications for County Commissioners?

County Commissioners must be qualified electors of the County and must reside in the district from which they are elected throughout their term in office.

Legislative Information:

Where can I obtain copies of official records of the Board?

The Internet is an excellent resource!

The agenda for the regular weekly session can be accessed through the Legislative Information Management System (LIMS) website. The electronic agenda is provided in Adobe Acrobat® portable document formatting, and is posted each Tuesday morning one week prior to the date of the business meeting. After adjournment, the annotated agenda is reposted to the website providing a summary of all actions taken or decisions made along with the attendance and recorded vote for each item. An archive of prior agendas/annotated agendas is also available on the LIMS website.

The Clerk maintains the minutes, which are the legal and definitive record of acts, orders, and judgments made by the Board of County Commissioners. The minutes provide a parliamentary chronology for every item, from introduction through final disposition. In addition, videos of each meeting are provided and posted following the meeting.

Please note, the electronic versions of records posted to the website are provided as a public service and do not constitute official records of the Board of County Commissioners. No warranty or guarantee of any kind is provided as to the accuracy of these electronic copies. To obtain a certified copy of any official record of the Board of County Commissioners, please contact the Clerk of the Board at (913) 715-0430.

What happened at the Board's meeting?

For your convenience, the Board’s Office provides a number of handy options that provide timely details about actions taken and decisions made at each meeting.

Here’s a summary of your options:

  • The Internet is a convenient resource, and the Board’s Office makes every effort to ensure information is posted there in a timely manner. An annotated agenda reflecting attendance and votes on all items is posted to the website after the adjournment of each meeting. Within 24 business hours of the conclusion of each meeting, the annotated agenda is updated with fully executed, signed copies of all official records and documents in addition to the attendance and votes.
  • A synopsis of each meeting is also posted to the Board’s website each week. The synopsis is prepared by the Public Information & Communications Division of the County Manager’s Office and provides a “snapshot” of actions taken and decisions made and is prepared in traditional journalistic style.
  • You can register your email address and receive regular updates. Simply register your email account and select from several subjects that interest you—including agenda updates, calendars and public notices, annotated agendas, and press releases—all of which will provide you with timely and convenient updates and information about the Board of County Commissioners.
  • Finally, you can always contact the Board Office directly at (913) 715-0430 for information about what transpired during a particular meeting or to receive the results on a specific item.

How can I submit something for the record at a Board meeting?

Members of the public wishing to submit documents or other materials as part of the official record of a meeting should provide a minimum of ten copies of any item to the Clerk at the meeting, or in advance of the meeting if possible. If you have questions about how to submit documents, or about the types of documents you would like to submit, please contact the Clerk of the Board at (913) 715-0430.

Where can I get a copy of the Board's meeting agenda?

A copy of the printed agenda is posted to the bulletin board on the first floor of the County Administration Building, which serves as public notice of regular and special meetings. Copies of the agenda are also posted to the Internet on the Legislative Information Management System website, and are available through the Board’s Office. The Clerk offers a free registration service so that members of the public can register an email address to receive timely and convenient notice of agendas and updates each week. In addition to the agenda, members of the public can opt to receive electronic notification of the Board’s official calendar, meeting synopses, press releases, and more.

Public Records:

What are the charges for copies of official records of the Board?

Under state law, the county government may collect reasonable fees for producing copies of records. In accordance with these laws, the Office of the Board of County Commissioners charges a flat fee of 50¢ per black and white page for copies of records.

For certified copies of official records, the flat 50¢ fee per page still applies, and an additional $2 charge is added. The certification is important when using records as legal proof or evidence of a specific action; for example, certified copies are typically required for use in court proceedings.

What is Johnson County Archives?

The Johnson County Archives maintains a Research Room where the historic documents in the collection are available to the public. The division is housed under the Records & Tax Administration Department. For more information, see the department's website.

Who is the Freedom of Information Officer?

The County Manager has been designated as Johnson County's Freedom of Information Officer. You may consult the County's Freedom of Information Officer (Hannes Zacharias, County Manager) at (913) 715-0725.

How do I obtain a copy of public records in Johnson County?

To review or to receive a copy of a public record, you must first make a request to the appropriate office, agency or department that has the records you want. A request may be made verbally or in writing, although a written request can significantly help expedite the process of researching and retrieving the records you request.

Remember, the more specific and detailed your request, the easier it is to process; therefore, you should aim to be as specific and detailed in defining or describing the records that you want in your request as possible.

The Board Office has a standard request form you may use to request access to public records. This form can be mailed or faxed to the Office or delivered in person to:

Office of the Board of County Commissioners
County Administration Building, Suite 3300
111 South Cherry Street
Olathe, Kansas 60661-3486

What are public records?

Public records guard the rights of citizens, helping to ensure government accountability in its decision-making processes. The principles of the Kansas Open Records Act protects those rights by guaranteeing public access to records that are classified by law as being open to the public. Some records are not open to the public and are exempted from the Act; a complete listing of those exemptions is provided under KSA 45-221.

Citizen Inquiries:

How do I appear before the Board to express a concern or make a suggestion?

The agenda for the weekly Board of County Commissioner meetings provides the opportunity for public comment beginning at 9:30 a.m. every Thursday morning. Under the public comment portion of the agenda, you are allowed a maximum of 5 minutes to express your concern on matters not on the printed agenda for Board approval. If you have comments about a particular item, those are allowed during the public comment portion of the specific agenda item.

How do I obtain a birth certificate?

Birth certificates for the State of Kansas are obtained from the Department of Vital Statistics (www.vitalchek.com). You can go online to order a copy of contact them by phone.

How do I get a copy of a birth certificate?

For concerns in the State of KS, contact the office of vital statistics in Topeka, KS: The phone number is (785) 296-3253; the web address is at www.kdheks.gov/vital. If the need involves a name change for a juvenile, the first stop is to the department that deals with altering birth certificates. If the chld was born in the state of KS, a form VS211 must be completed and certain questions must be answered before accurate direction can be supplied by the Kansas Department of Vital Statistics. Be prepared to provided answers when you make contact.

Missouri residents should contact the office of MO vital statistics at (573)751-6378 for copies and (573) 751-6387 to request corrections.

How do I change my address for my voter's registration?

Go online for the Kansas Voter Registration Form (www.sos.ks.gov). Complete the form providing your new address. Submit the new registration (must be postmarked at least 21 days before an election). Be sure to respond to all questions. If the form is incomplete, it may be rejected. The instructions are included on the page with the registration application. Be sure to read them carefully as you complete the form. Should you have additional questions, contact the office of the Secretary of State at 1(800) 262-VOTE.

Is there a list of terms for Commissioners so citizens can see who is up for re-election and when?

Terms for the current commissioners are located on the BOCC website. Check the individual commissioner pages for term information. If you are looking for information regarding upcoming elections, it can be found on the Election Office website.

Mission

As the primary policy-determining body of Johnson County Government, the Board of County Commissioners translates public will into public policy.

The mission of the Board is:

  • Public Service
  • Public Value
  • Public Leadership

The Board has identified the following strategic goals for the organization of Johnson County Government:

  1. To be responsible stewards of taxpayers’ money.
  2. To provide the best possible mandatory and discretionary services.
  3. To build a Community of Choice where people want to live and work.
  4. To empower employee innovation and productivity. 

Other Capacities

Pursuant to certain statutory provisions and requirements, and under the county charter resolution, the Board of County Commissioners - in addition to its role as the legislative and policy-determinant body of the County Government - is designated to act and perform in a variety of other capacities; specifically, as the:

Board of Directors of the Wastewater Districts

Pursuant to Article I, Section 4, of Charter Resolution No. 029-92, the Board of County Commissioners serves as the governing body of any and all sewer districts created within Johnson County. The Wastewater Board of Directors does not meet outside the regular session schedule established for the Board of County Commissioners. Instead, the Board of Directors meets concurrently with the Board of County Commissioners, and agenda items are taken up and considered on a single agenda. Policy enactments are executed in the name of the Board of County Commissioners. Records of actions or decisions by the Board of Directors are filed with those of the Board of County Commissioners.

Board of Election Canvassers

Pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 25-3101, et seq., the Board of County Commissioners is, ex officio, the Board of Election Canvassers. The Board of Election Canvassers is required to review (canvass) and certify the results of the following elections conducted in the county; to-wit:

  • Primary and general national and state elections;
  • Primary and general county elections;
  • Primary and general township elections;
  • Primary and general city elections;
  • Primary and general school district elections;
  • Any ballot question submitted affecting the state, the county, or any township;
  • Any ballot question submitted affecting any city in the county;
  • Any ballot question submitted affecting a school district within the county; or,
  • Any election where the law provides that the Board of County Commissioners shall be the Board of Canvassers.

The Election Commissioner is the recording officer of the Board of Election Canvassers and is reponsible for maintaining permanent records of its proceedings and its orders and judgments.

Alternates are routinely selected from among staff to serve in the absence of any Member of the Board of Canvassers; Provided, the selected alternate must be a resident of Johnson County who is qualified to vote. The Board, at its discretion, may designate alternates to serve in the absence of any Member.

All canvasses are conducted at the Office of the Election Commissioner and are held on the Monday immediately following the election, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., but most typically at 9 a.m.

Board of Fence Viewers

Pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 209-201, et seq., the Board of County Commissioners serves as the Board of Fence Viewers, and performs those duties required by law. When judgments are required, a separate session is scheduled, typically following the regular, weekly meeting of the Board of County Commissioners. The proceedings of the Board of Fence Viewers are kept separate from those of the Board of County Commissioners.

Board of Public Health

Pursuant to the provision of K.S.A. 65-201, et seq., the Board of County Commissioners is charged with ensuring the general health of the public and braod welfare of the community. The Board of Health is required to appoint a person who is licensed to practice medicine and surgery, with a preference for those with training in public health, to serve in an advisory capacity as the local health officer. The local health officer is housed in the Johnson County Department of Public Health.

The Board of Public Health typically does not meet outside the regular session schedule established for the Board of County Commissioners. Instead, the Board of Public Health meets concurrently with the Board of County Commissioners, and agenda items are taken up and considered on a single agenda. Policy enactments are executed in the name of the Board of County Commissioners. Records of the Board of Public Health are filed with those of the Board of County Commissioners.

Public Building Commission

Pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-1757, et seq., and in accordance with Resolution No. 047-90, the Board of County Commissioners sits in a separate legal capacity as the Public Building Commission of Johnson County, Kansas, which is recognized as being a municipal corporation. The Public Building Commission has authority to do all things that are necessary or incidental to construct, acquire, or enlarge; furnish and equip; and operate and maintain buildings for governmental use.

Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Public Building Commission has the power and authority to:

  • Negotiate leases for buildings which are proposed to be acquired or constructed with the County, or with one or more additional public bodies;
  • Issue and refund revenue bonds, in accordance with state law;
  • Establish and collect rents, fees, and charges for use of public facilities it owns in amounts sufficient to pay the maintenance and operation costs, the principal and interest on revenue bonds, and to make all payments to any accounts created by any bond resolution;
  • Rent all or any part of its buildings or other facilities to any federal, state, or local government agency, any municipal corporation or quasi-municipal corporation, a political subdivision, or boy politic, or an agency thereof; and,
  • Acquire fee simple title to real property, including easements and reversionary interests in the streets, alleys, and other public spaces, and any personal property required for its purposes.

Under its bylaws, the Public Building Commission meets in regular session each year on the first Thursday in the months of February and August. Special meetings may be called in addition to these two regular meetings. The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners serve, ex officio, as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Public Building Commission. At its first regular meeting each year, the Public Building Commission also elects from among its membership a Secretary, who typically serves a single-year term, and is responsible for authenticating orders made by the Public Building Commission and attesting the signature of its Chairman when required, under the corporate seal of the Public Building Commission. The Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners serves, ex officio, as recording secretary and preserves official records of its proceedings.

Powers & Duties

Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 19 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated and in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, and under the authority of the Home Rule Charter of Johnson County, the legislative and policy-determinant powers of the county government are vested in the seven-member Board of County Commissioners. The Board has exclusive power to enact, amend, and repeal local legislation within the jurisdiction of the county; to levy and apportion taxes, to make appropriations, and to adopt budgets; to establish strategic plans that guide organizational development and performance; and to appoint certain offices, boards and commissions.

Administration Oversight

The Board of County Commissioners monitors the execution and implementation of its policies and directives through the various county agencies and departments.

Oversight refers to the function of reviewing, monitoring, and supervising organizational performance by and through the County Manager and the agencies and departments within the administrative structure of County Government. It is the mechanism through which the Board of County Commissioners monitors the execution and implementation of its policies and directives, ascertains that budgeted funds are used according to established policy, and provides direction in accordance with its strategic plan.

As an outgrowth of this function, the Board:

  • Improves the efficiency, economy, and effectiveness of governmental operations;
  • Reviews policy proposals affecting the services and programs of Johnson County Government;
  • Checks the administration by monitoring and evaluating the performance of agencies and departments and ensuring compliance with original legislative or policy intent;
  • Informs the general public about available services and ensures that administrative policies reflect the interests of the community; and
  • Conducts studies or undertakes investigations deemed to be in the best interests of the community.

Citizen Representation

First and foremost, County Commissioners are elected representatives of the community; in particular, the residents of their districts. Consequently, Members spend a great deal of time and energy responding to the myriad requests they receive for assistance or information.

Interacting with citizens, soliciting public opinion on various issues, attending community meetings, facilitating access to government agencies and departments -- this is just a small sample of the types of activities that Members undertake on behalf of their constituents. These types of activities are generally referred to as "constituent services," a generic term that is used to encompass a wide range activities intended to assist citizens with their interactions with and connection to County Government.

Members are supported in these efforts by the constituent services team, which is charged with providing convenient, timely, and accurate responses to all citizen inquiries or requests so that people receive the information or services they need in a timely and professional manner.

Citizen Services

Citizen Services receives and responds to public requests for information or assistance and facilitates access to community resources through timely referrals to appropriate service providers. It also networks with social services agencies, businesses and private sector interests, nonprofit agencies, and civic groups to promote civic engagement initiatives. The goal of citizen services is to ensure that County Government remains accessible and responsive to all citizens.

Legislative Authority

Johnson County is a body created and existing under the Constitution and Laws of the State of Kansas, and is endowed with the rights and powers of a municipal government. As a municipality, Johnson County possesses the right of self-government through the exercise of home rule authority and, except as expressly limited by state statute, the Board of County Commissioners has and exercises the powers, authorities, and duties provided under K.S.A. 19-101, 19-101a, and 19-212, and other statutory provisions.

To promote the effective administration of government services, the Board of County Commissioners has the authority to:

  • Adopt resolutions, policies, directives, rules and regulations deemed necessary and advisable to provide for the effective administration of government services.
  • Provide for the administrative structure of the county government by creating, organizing, altering, merging, or abolishing offices, agencies, departments, divisions, or other functional units deemed advisable to implement and administer the policies, regulations, and laws for the county.
  • Apportion and order the levying of taxes, make appropriations, adopt budgets, and incur indebtedness for the purpose of carrying out the duties conferred or imposed upon county government.
  • Fix and collect charges and fees for services performed and require licenses and permits when necessary in the enforcement of regulations and fix the amount thereof.
  • Examine and settle the accounts and expenses of the county government and issue county orders for all accounts chargeable against the county.
  • Establish land use policies and zoning regulations and codes and provide for the enforcement of the same.
  • Superintend the property and facilities belonging to the county government and construct, improve, and maintain the community’s infrastructure grid and various infrastructure components.
  • Provide or contract for the protection and promotion of the general public health and welfare of the community.
  • Appoint members of various subordinate boards and commissions attached to or affiliated with the agencies and departments of the county government.

Fiscal Management

The Board of County Commissioners is the final authority on spending by county agencies and departments, and the budget is the centerpiece of its local policymaking authority. Through the budget, priorities are established, resources are allocated, and the policy agenda for the ensuing year is determined.

Johnson County's fiscal year runs concurrent with the calendar year. Under the provisions of the Home Rule Charter, the County Manager is responsible for preparing and presenting the annual operating and five-year capital budgets, which are submitted for an extensive review before final consideration by the Board of County Commissioners.

Land Use & Zoning

The Board of County Commissioners guides future growth and development to ensure the most beneficial and coherent relationships among the residential, commercial and nonresidential, and public areas of the community. The Board's authority includes the power to create or adopt master plans for development; to review and approve specific land use issues; to approve requested zoning changes; and to dispose of property owned by the county government. This authority gives the Board of County Commissioners its most significant voice in the ultimate growth and development of the entire Johnson County community.

The Johnson County Planning Commission is the principal advisory body to the Board of County Commissioners on issues related to growth and development. Its responsibilities include the preparation of the Rural Comprehensive Plan as well as special area plans and projects. The Rural Comprehensive Plan provides for the physical development of the county and outlines criteria under which specific master plans, development proposals, and zoning regulations are considered, approved, and enforced. As well, the Planning Commission provides recommendations for changes to the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations. The members of the Planning Commission are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and serve terms of three years.

The Board of County Commissioners is also assisted in the exercise of its land use and zoning authority by five township zoning boards. The township zoning boards provide even more local control over growth and development by incorporating the advice and recommendations of citizens from specific townships and surrounding areas. The township board members are responsible for reviewing all applications for zoning, land use, and development within their respective jurisdictions, for conducting public hearings, and for providing recommendations on each application to the Board of County Commissioners.

Both the Planning Commission and the township zoning boards serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of County Commissioners. Ultimately, the Board of County Commissioners must approve and authorize the implementation of the recommendations and advice provided by either the Planning Commission or the township zoning boards, and must also resolve any disputes between the Planning Commission, the township zoning boards, and citizens.

Request Recognition

The Board of County Commissioners frequently receives requests for different types of recognitions. These recognitions include accomplishments or milestones; proclamations to commemorate special events; and certificates to recognize individuals or organizations for their outstanding achievement throughout the community. The Board of County Commissioners presents proclamations, awards and certificates during the Board meetings held every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Hearing Room of the County Administration Building located at 111 S. Cherry Street, Olathe.

 

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