Celebrating milestones and achievements from 2022

An empty time capsule and old documents on a table

2022 included many momentous achievements as highlighted throughout this report. Working alongside our residents and community partners, Johnson County Government made progress on board priorities, served as good stewards of taxpayer dollars, supported economic development, used innovation and efficiency, collaborated and came together as a community. We also celebrated some important milestones and earned several prestigious awards and distinctions in 2022.

Paul Benson opens a copper time capsule and uses pincers to pick up a business card

Celebrating our history 

We opened a 71-year old time capsule. The copper box, measuring 13-by-10½ inches and 5 inches in height, was stored in a wall cavity of the courthouse on May 7, 1951. Crews discovered it when razing the former Johnson County Courthouse.

An estimated 700-800 people joined in celebrating the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Olathe Naval Air Station and 55th anniversary of the Johnson County Airport Commission.

2022 marked the 60th anniversary of Johnson County Mental Health Center. This article covers the origin and growth of mental health services in Johnson County and brings you up to date on the behavioral health care they provide for our community today.

Johnson County Developmental Supports celebrated 50 years of serving those with an intellectual or developmental disabilityView these videos that tell the story of how JCDS grew into the largest provider of IDD services in the county as well as the perspectives of people served and staff on what JCDS means to them.

JCDS: 50 Years of Service

What JCDS Means to Me

In ETC's "Leading the Way" award, Johnson County's composite rating was 211, which is 35 points above the average composite score for all communities in the United States

Earning awards and recognitions

Johnson County won ETC Institute's "Leading the Way Award". The award recognizes local governments that rank in the top 10% of all communities in the United States with regard to resident satisfaction with the overall quality of local governmental services, customer service, and the value provided for local taxes/fees.

JCPRD was recognized on the national stage at the National Recreation and Park Association Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., as a finalist for the prestigious National Gold Medal Award. The award recognizes excellence in park and recreation services.  Only four Class I agencies in the country (those with populations greater than 400,000) are recognized as finalists for the award each year. Learn more about JCPRD in this video.

Johnson County Museum staff pose with a physical certificate of accreditation with a museum display in the background

A JCPRD department, the Johnson County Museum celebrated its first-ever national accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums. This is the highest national recognition museums can earn, with only 3% of museums nationwide earning accreditation  and only two in the Greater Kansas City area. Tens of thousands of people visited the Museum’s REDLINED: CITIES, SUBURBS, SEGREGATION exhibit in 2022, which took visitors on a deep dive into the history of redlining and how it both shaped and was shaped by Johnson County and the region. 

Our two airports soared to higher FAA designations. Increases in the number of based aircraft and annual flight operations prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to elevate Johnson County Government’s two airport’s classifications. Johnson County Executive Airport changed classification from a local airport to regional airport, and New Century AirCenter changed from a regional airport to national airport.

Johnson County Mental Health Center and #ZeroReasonsWhy were recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties. Now in its fifth year, #ZeroReasonsWhy is a grassroots, teen-led storytelling and community mobilization campaign working to prevent teen suicide and encourage productive conversations to remove the stigma around mental health challenges.

Johnson County continued to be ranked as the healthiest county in Kansas according to the annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. In addition, Johnson County ranked in the top 20 among the nation's healthiest communities according to the latest U.S. News & World Report's Healthiest Communities rankings.

Johnson County MED-ACT was awarded the GOLD-PLUS recognition from American Heart Association for excellence in heart attack care. AHA’s Lifeline EMS recognition is a program designed to showcase prehospital agencies nationwide for excellence in heart attack and stroke care.

Micro Transit in Johnson County and the regional RideKC system received an award for outstanding public transportation system from the American Public Transportation Association. This is one of the highest awards a transit agency can receive.

The New Century Railroad earned a Jake Safety Award with Distinction for zero incidents in 2021. The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association presents these annual awards to recognize and bring greater visibility to the nation’s short line and regional railroads.

A year after being launched, the new jocogov.org earned several national recognitions:

  • National Association of Government Web Professionals, 2022 Pinnacle Award
  • Best in Show Sponsor’s Award
  • City/County High Population Group
  • City/County High Population Group – Members Choice

The national Web Marketing Association recognized jocogov.org as the 2022 Government Standard of Excellence Award recipient. Additionally, the county was named a finalist for the 2022 Government Experience Award, from the Center for Digital Government.