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johnson county government

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is responsible for enacting legislation, levying and appropriating taxes and setting budgets, and Johnson County residents are strongly encouraged to engage with county government and have their voices heard. Weekly BOCC meetings are open to the public and streamed online. Many of our departments and agencies have advisory boards that depend on citizen participation. Johnson County residents who are registered to vote elect the BOCC members, District Attorney and Sheriff, so the more you know, the more empowered your vote. This is a great place to get educated and start engaging.

Government News

New Commissioners sworn in

Johnson County officially has a new First District representative on its Board of County Commissioners. Former Prairie Village Mayor Ron Shaffer was sworn in this morning to represent the northeast corner of the County. Today's induction ceremony also included swearing in Chairman Ed Eilert, Fourth District Commissioner Jason Osterhaus, and Fifth District Commissioner Michael Ashcraft for second terms. Chief Judge Kevin Moriarty swore in the Chairman and commissioners.

Johnson County receives "Triple Triple A" ratings

Johnson County Government earned another round of “Triple Triple-A” credit rating with an AAA grade from all three bond rating agencies, leading to a successful issuance of four bond series. Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's Investor Services each awarded Johnson County the Triple-A “stable” rating…the best rating possible.

Read the full news release here.


Weekly message from the Budget Director

It’s been quiet on the budget front the past couple of weeks but all that is set to change next week. On Monday night July 28th at 7 pm, we will hold the annual Public Hearing on the County’s budget for next year. The hearing takes place in the Board’s chambers on the third floor of the Admin building (111 S Cherry Street, Olathe).

In some years, we only have a few public comments while in others, we have several hours’ worth. This year is shaping up to be on the longer side given all the attention the budget has received thus far this summer.

For those of you have never watched or attended this meeting in past years, it really contains two basic elements: a short PowerPoint presentation on the budget followed by public comment. The meeting is designed to be informative, both to the public via the presentation and to the Board, through comments made by individual citizens. Later next week, at the Board’s regularly scheduled business meeting, the BOCC will review the public feedback and discuss any follow-up necessary as a result of the citizen comments.

After next week, the final step in the budget process is for the Board to formerly adopt the FY 2015 Budget and Capital Improvement Program, which is scheduled for August 14th this year. For the folks in the budget office, we are definitely looking forward to August 15th! I’m pretty sure we are not the only ones. Every year, the budget process involves a lot of work, a fair amount of uncertainty, and at least for the folks in our office, a sense of accomplishment mixed with a bit of fatigue by the time it is all said and done. We look forward to the process starting every year and we also look forward to its conclusion!

Scott Neufeld, Budget Director
Johnson County Government

Weekly message from the Budget Director

This past week was a busy one with four budget meetings. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) finished up its review of individual department, agency and office budgets on Thursday and Friday and then transitioned to final deliberations on Monday and Tuesday.  When the dust settled, the Board made a handful of changes.

Proposed mill levy lowered

Most significantly, the BOCC lowered the proposed mill levy from 24.061 to 23.930.  This was achieved by reducing several expenditures while making only a couple of minor increases. The adjustments that led to the mill change were:

  • using an additional $500,000 in Public Works reserves in 2015, rather than ad valorem.
  • decreasing funding for Transfers to Equipment Reserves by $500,000.
  • defunding the requested increase in HPO (High Performance Organization) funding of $150,000.

The BOCC did make a couple of additions when it decided to:

  • fund $18,622 for merit increases for Extension Council staff (who are not County employees)
  • create a new Full Time Employee(FTE) position of Election Manager at a cost of $64,716. 

The total impact of the changes to 2015 expenditures resulted in an overall reduction of over $1 million and the decrease in the proposed mill levy noted above.

Funding for 22 new deputy positions

Another key decision made by the BOCC was to include 22 new deputy positions in the Sheriff’s budget.  The fiscal impact for hiring the deputies of approximately $1.3 million was in the proposed budget, albeit in the form of addition overtime funding.  So, while this was an important decision, it did not change the overall budget dollars.

Johnson County Courthouse

The BOCC made changes that will impact future years’ budgets (but not 2015) when it removed the Courthouse First Floor Courtroom project from the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The courthouse project called for issuing debt ($2 million) in 2015 and making payments of $151,000 annually beginning in 2016.

Heritage Trust Fund

The BOCC directed staff to utilize Heritage Trust Fund reserves for the Museum in future years.  The Heritage Trust Fund reserves, projected to be around $700,000 to $800,000 by 2016, had been used by the Heritage Trust Fund Review Board to provide grants throughout the community in support of historical preservation efforts.  Starting in 2016, they will be redirected towards funding a portion of the budget for the Johnson County Museum of History, which has seen its primary funding evaporate with the state’s elimination of the mortgage registration fee over the next several years.

Employee compensation and benefits

Although there was much spirited discussion about the pros and cons of decreasing employee compensation and benefits, the BOCC supported the County Manager’s proposed salary and benefit package for 2015, including a 3 percent pool for merit increases.

Next steps

The BOCC plans to formalize these decisions on Thursday and then take a bit of a break from the budget process until the Budget Public Hearing on July 28.


Have a fun and safe holiday weekend!

Scott Neufeld, Budget Director
Johnson County Government

Weekly message from the Budget Director

The Budget and Financial Planning Department, along with the County Manager’s Office and all of Johnson County Government’s departments, agencies and offices, have spent months crafting the proposed 2015 budget. On Thursday, June 5, Assistant Budget Director Robin Symes and I sat alongside County Manager Hannes Zacharias as he walked through the summary of the budget with the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Some good dialogue was had and I look forward to a robust and engaging process as we continue down the path towards budget approval in mid-August.

We encourage you to spend some time in the Budget and Financial Planning area of our website. There, you’ll find several key documents for this process, including a summary of the budget, a calendar of key dates in the budget cycle and a lot of detailed information about where your property tax dollars go.

The next step in the budget process is a series of sessions where the BOCC will review the proposed budgets for all of our agencies, departments and offices. The first one takes place on June 12. Like all of the BOCC business sessions, these are open to the public. You can attend them in person (111 S. Cherry Street, Olathe, third floor) or view the live broadcast. These are the budget proposals scheduled for Thursday, June 12:         


Public Works


Planning & Zoning

Johnson County Fair Board

The County Economic Research Institute, Inc. (CERI)

Johnson County Airport Commission

Johnson County Library

Johnson County Parks and Recreation District

Johnson County Museum


Fleet Management

Legal Department

Department of Technology and Innovation


We look forward to engaging with you on this important topic!

Scott Neufeld, Budget Director
Johnson County Government


Follow Johnson County's 9/11 Day of Observance and Service

The first-ever Johnson County Day of Observance and Service on September 11, 2013 was a tremendous day of action.

Hundreds of employees spent their lunch hour working on the WIC community garden, collecting trash, marking storm drains, and learning CPR. There was also an unwanted prescription medication drop-off, a place to recycle old electronics for recycling, and clothing donations for the less fortunate.

Check out how much Johnson County employees accomplished on September 11!

Johnson County Day of Service By the Numbers:

  • Over 200 people participated 
  • 107 pounds of fresh produce harvested from the WIC Community Garden 
  • 35 people trained in CPR, AED, and stroke awareness 
  • Over 700 pounds of clothing and shoes, 77 pairs of glasses, 4 boxes of purses, and 15 bikes collected 
  • Over 12 pallets of electronic waste collected 
  • 20 pounds of medication properly disposed of 
  • 40 stormdrains marked 
  • 300 pounds of food collected 
  • 21 pounds of trash picked up 
  • 21 cars tested for gas leakage 
  • 40 people took a picture with their public commitment (check out the facebook page to see if you recognize anyone) 
  • About $400 raised for Feed the Need from lunch sales 
  • 11 Opportunities to serve in the future

There are many ways to serve beyond the Johnson County Day of Service on 9/11.

Here are 11 examples of how you can make a difference in your community:

  1. Be an election worker (Elections)
  2. Deliver meals to homebound seniors (Meals on Wheels – Human Services)
  3. Mentor a Youth (Corrections)
  4. Donate your time at the book sale (Library)
  5. Lend a hand to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (JCDS)
  6. Attend the Citizen’s Academy (Sheriff Office)
  7. Be an advocate for children and families (Court Services – Supervised Visitation Program)
  8. Decorate crafts or make tray favors for homebound seniors (Human Services)
  9. Be a Golf Course Marshal (Parks and Rec)
  10. Host a food or commodity drive for one of our local food pantries (Human Services)
  11. Spend time with the elderly (Evergreen Community of Johnson County – long term care facility)

Contact Brandy Hodge for more information about how to volunteer. Brandy.Hodge@jocogov.org

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