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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 hires first chief medical examiner to open new facility
January 15, 2019

In addition to being the Johnson County Coroner, Dr. Diane C. Peterson is the county’s first chief medical examiner.  She notes that this designation was something that drew her to the position.

“The attraction to the job and Johnson County was the opportunity to be directly involved in a historical event—changing the coroner system to a medical examiner system. Not many currently working forensic pathologists can say that they have been involved in building an ME system from scratch,” Peterson said.

She noted that medical examiners (MEs) nationwide would be envious of the situation.

“Many medical examiners push for the eventual replacement of the coroner system. Although to accomplish this country-wide is many years in the future, Johnson County has started the process now. This is wonderful, and I’m excited to be a part.”

Peterson’s goal is to provide high-quality death investigations to Johnson County.

Kansas statute requires boards of county commissioners to appoint a county coroner, so she now performs dual duty with the recent expiration of the appointment of the former county coroner, Dr. Robert Prosser.

“Dr. Robert Prosser has worked tirelessly for many years as coroner for Johnson County. He has done very well for the people he has served,” Peterson said. “I thank him for helping me with the transition.”

Peterson is excited about the possibility of opening a brand new facility down the road that includes features such as a great deal of natural light. The versatility of the building with a classroom-style conference room is another plus.

 

Johnson County swears in new 1st and 4th District Commissioners
January 15, 2019

Across Kansas, it was swearing-in day for state and county officials elected in the 2018 general election. In Johnson County, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) hearing room was standing room only with an overflow crowd as four commissioners, two newly elected and two re-elected took the oath of office from the Hon. Thomas Kelly Ryan.

Video: Induction Ceremony

Freshmen commissioners, Becky Fast and Janeé Hanzlick represent the 1st and 4th Districts, respectively. Commissioner Fast has a long history of public service and commitment to the county, including serving two terms on the Roeland Park City Council where she was elected unanimously to serve as council president. Hanzlick is the former CEO of SAFEHOME, Johnson County’s domestic violence agency, where she spent 20 years working for a safer, stronger community. She was a leader in implementing the Johnson County Lethality Assessment Program (LAP), a collaboration between the District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement and SAFEHOME, that significantly reduced domestic homicides in our county.

Listen in to what the newest commissioners had to say about today’s experience:

Becky Fast 

Audio: Becky Fast
Transcript (PDF)

Janeé Hanzlick 

Audio: Janeé Hanzlick
Transcript (PDF)

Voters re-elected Chairman Ed Eilert and 5th District Commissioner Michael Ashcraft in November 2018. Eilert was re-elected to a third term in November 2018. Prior to serving as Chairman, he served as the 4th District BOCC representative for four years. Chairman Eilert’s career in public service also includes 24 years as the mayor of Overland Park and four years as an Overland Park City Councilman. Commissioner Ashcraft was sworn in for a third term. His Board and Committee assignments include the Library Board, Investment Review Group, Stormwater Management Advisory Council, Audit Committee, MARC – 911 Committee and the Metropolitan Culture Commission.

Johnson County swears in new 1st and 4th District Commissioners

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at JCCC
January 11, 2019

Building the Beloved Community: Love is the Only Way will be the keynote at this year’s Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, delivered by Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The event is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 in the Polsky Theatre, located in the Carlson Center, Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park. This community event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Alveda King is a civil rights activist, former college professor, author, and stage and screen actress, as well as a Georgia State legislator and presidential appointee. Her message will be the story of her role as guardian of the King family legacy.

Having appeared on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, King’s global mission is to enhance the lives of people spiritually, economically, intellectually and socially.

The program will also include guest appearances and performances by:

  • Penny Postoak Ferguson, Johnson County manager
  • Dr. Cynthia K. Johnson, creative director of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
  • Kansas City Boys and Girls Choirs
  • LyLena Estabine, author of On the Bridge and winner of Olathe’s Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest
  • Darryl Burton, founder, Miracle of Innocence
  • The Ethnic Enrichment Commission of Kansas City
Johnson County Named Mental Health First Aid Champion
January 9, 2019

One in five Americans struggles with mental illness. Fortunately, for those affected in Johnson County, they are increasingly being met with compassionate care from those who have participated in Johnson County Mental Health Center’s Mental First Aid (MHFA) program. The course recently received national recognition.

The National Council for Behavioral Health celebrated organizations that taught five or more MHFA courses between June and September 2018. The courses educate their communities and improve the lives of people struggling with emotional and addiction issues. Nationwide, over the past 10 years, an estimated 1 million people have become certified in MHFA. The council designated Johnson County’s Mental Health Center as a Mental Health First Aid Champion.

“In Johnson County, we have found Mental Health First Aid to be integral to engaging our community in dialogue regarding mental health and the pursuit of mental wellness,” said Tim DeWeese, Mental Health Center director. “Whether it’s a first responder, veteran, teacher, student or a concerned citizen, Mental Health First Aid is an invaluable tool to help us all understand and respond to the signs of mental illness and/or substance use disorders within our community.”

In Johnson County, program participants learn a five-step action plan to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health or substance use concerns, and then offer support.

For more information, or to participate in a Mental Health First Aid training in Johnson County, visit jocogov.org/mhfa or contact 913-715-7880 or by email at JCMHCEvents@jocogov.org.  To learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA, visit MentalHealthFirstAid.org.

Community partnerships help homeless students
January 9, 2019

Johnson County residents are best served when organizations throughout the community work together to solve problems and create solutions. That’s certainly the case for students in both the Olathe and Shawnee Mission school districts who are or about to be housing insecure.

Project H.O.M.E. (Housing Opportunities Move Everyone) in the Shawnee Mission School District and Impact Olathe for the Olathe Public Schools are collaborative community programs that serve students and families who are considered homeless by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The broad definition of homelessness, according to McKinney-Vento, is children or youth who “lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” It is not just students who live on the streets or in their cars that are considered homeless, it’s also students who live with other families, in a shelter or in a hotel.

The Shawnee Mission School District has partnered with several community organizations, including Johnson County Mental Health (MNH) , to provide centralized access to a plethora of community services twice a month with Project H.O.M.E. Similarly, Olathe Public Schools brings community partners, such as Johnson County Human Services (HSD) , together on a biweekly basis.

There are a lot of barriers for families with housing insecurities, says Olathe Public Schools Community Liaison Heather Schoonover. For many families, scheduling appointments with various community resource agencies all over the county is not possible because of the lack of transportation, the inability to take time off work and other barriers for this families.

In order to remove these barriers, the school districts invite the service providers to all be in one place at the same time. Case managers from the schools schedule centralized appointments with the service providers all in one place. In Olathe, these opportunities happen weekly. In Shawnee Mission, bi-weekly.

Although the Johnson County agencies provide their own immediate services, such as help with utilities and housing options through HSD or brief mental health assessments through MNH, they also provide access and knowledge to dozens of other resources for these families, from tax-preparation to substance abuse counseling. These programs also provide help with employment and access to free breakfast and lunch for the students at school.

Both Project H.O.M.E. and Impact Olathe were recently recognized with the 2018 Excellence in Community Service Award from United Community Services of Johnson County. Other community partners for these programs include: Shawnee Community Services, New City Church, Vineyard Church, Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA, Redeemer Fellowship, United Way of Greater Kansas City, Jewish Family Services, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, Workforce Partnership, KS DCF, El Centro, KidsTLC, City of Olathe, Olathe Housing Authority, The Salvation Army, Health Partnership Clinic, reStart Inc. and Olathe Fire Department/Mobile Integrated Health.

Packet pick up available to JoCo child care providers
January 8, 2019

Kansas child care providers who are applying for or renewing a license are now legally required to submit to a comprehensive background check, which includes fingerprints for each individual residing, working or regularly volunteering in a licensed child care home, daycare or school-age program. This new requirement is intended to reduce the risk of abuse or neglect of children in out-of-home child care settings.

Johnson County child care providers are invited to visit the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, 11811 S. Sunset Dr., Olathe, at the times, on the dates below to receive a background check packet. Packets can also be picked up at the Child Care Licensing office, 11811 S. Sunset Dr., Suite 2700, during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by calling 913-477-8339 to arrange for pickup on weekdays before 8 a.m. Please bring your letter or email showing your OCA number that you receive after you submit your renewal. This is required for both home providers and facilities.

Packets are available:

  • 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 12
  • 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 14
  • 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 26
  • 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 30

For more information about items to bring and where to get your fingerprinting done, visit https://www.jocogov.org/dept/health-and-environment/health/child-care-licensing/licensing-renewals.

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