Community involvement and engagement
…community volunteers who always step up for us.
While we appreciate all of the hundreds of community members who volunteer for a county program or service, or sit on a board, commission or committee, one of the most active and engaged group of volunteers in 2021 was the Charter Commission. This 25-member group met throughout 2021 to learn about county operations, take feedback from the community and consider amendments to the Johnson County or and/or recommendations to the BOCC. All of the work was included in a final report presented to the BOCC in 2022, and the county thanks the Charter Commission for its hard work.
While 2021 wasn’t a year for a Presidential election, the November election still generated interest. More than 111,000 people voted in that election, which was more than a 25% voter turnout!
Voters who received a ballot by mail for the November 2021 election would have noticed he ballot envelopes have been redesigned for this year’s election. The new design provides clearer instructions and makes it easier for voters to correctly sign the envelope.
…working collaboratively on a new web site
In August 2018, the Board of County Commissioners authorized funding for a new website for our community. After several years of hard work including project scope development, the RFP process, research, and the site design/build, we launched the new jocogov. org website on November 30, 2021. Along with a vendor called Interpersonal Frequency, our team completely rebuilt the website using feedback from the community and employees. The team include a group of residents who served on External Advisory Committee, and we appreciate their assistance and feedback!
Improvements include content that is easier to use, resident-focused navigation and an improved search tool. This new version of our website will make it easier for the community to do business with the county online or find information about our programs and services.
…coming together to celebrate, honor and remember
While the events may have looked different, the community came together virtually for several events in 2021, including the swearing in ceremony for our elected officials, the opening celebration for the new Johnson County Courthouse, the State of the County and Veterans Day. The Public Information Office, the Department of Technology and Innovation, and others joined forces to make sure these events, even when held virtually, were available to the public with technology and created with meaning.
2021 marked the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11. To mark that milestone, Johnson County Government and several partners installed a temporary display of American flags on the south lawn of the county’s Administration Building in downtown Olathe, representing the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the crash of a hijacked plane in a Pennsylvania field. The flag display was dedicated on Thursday, Sept. 9. The event started at 8:03 a.m. when the United Airlines Flight 175, the second hijacked plane, hit the South Tower of the WTC. The brief program featured music and speakers from local first responder agencies.
Also in 2021, the KC Air Show flew into town and provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Johnson County’s New Century AirCenter. During the July 4 weekend, record crowds gathered to marvel at the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds…only the fourth time in history these two teams performed together. The KC Air Show, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, returns to New Century AirCenter Sept. 3-4, 2022.
Get involved in Johnson County
Serve on a board or commission
Appointed board and commissions offer residents an opportunity to take part in the affairs of their community, shape and influence public policy, and contribute their time and talents to preserve the high quality of life in Johnson County. Currently about 300 county residents volunteer their time to serve on 30 boards and commissions. Vacancies on various appointed boards and commissions open up on a regular basis.
Volunteer for us!
We could not operate many of our programs and services without our volunteers. Aging and Human Services needs volunteers for Catch-a-Ride, Home Delivered Meals and operating its food pantries. Volunteers are absolutely essential for the Election Office, and volunteers also bring enrichment and excitement to people served by Developmental Supports. If you can donate some of your time and talents, please visit jocogov.org/volunteer. There is something for everyone!