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County Manager's Office

Phone: 913-715-0725

111 S Cherry, Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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Acting Assistant County Manager: Aaron Otto

Aaron OttoAaron Otto began serving as acting assistant county manager in January 2018. Prior to that, he was named executive director of Johnson County Airport Commission in January 2017. Before this appointment, he served as interim airport executive director and as assistant to the county manager for Johnson County.

As airport executive director, Otto is responsible for working with county leadership and airport commissioners to oversee flight, railroad, water and business park operations at two of the busiest airports in Kansas — New Century AirCenter and Executive Airport.

Prior to joining Johnson County Government in 2015, Otto was the second-ever city administrator of Roeland Park, Kansas, where he oversaw day-to-day operations and coordinated management of all city departments.

Otto formerly served the state of Kansas as assistant state treasurer and deputy assistant state treasurer as well as on the senior staffs of two governors and two lieutenant governors. He served at the Pentagon and on sea rotations, both in and outside the Navy, and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During his time in Washington, D.C., he served as special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense, on the staff of the commander of the Atlantic Fleet, in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy and as the shipbuilding section head for the Chief of Naval Operations.

Otto is a native of Manhattan, Kansas. He attended the London School of Economics, earned a diploma from the Naval War College, a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University. 

He is a member of the International City/County Management Association, Kansas Association of City/County Management and the American Society of Public Administration.  

Assistant County Manager: Joe Waters


Joe Waters joined the County Manager’s Office in 2013 as assistant county manager responsible for general government services. He previously served as Johnson County director of facilities for 19 years.

A School of Architecture graduate from the University of Kansas, Waters has a decade of private sector executive experience in consulting and facilities management nationwide. His extensive public service began in 1982-86 as an architect and assistant Director in the Facilities Planning Office at the University of Kansas. He served Johnson County as director of facilities for two periods beginning in 1990. He left for a director position in the Raytheon Inc. organization in 1995, returning to the county in 1998.

Waters has served on numerous community boards, including Sunflower House Child Abuse Prevention Center, Olathe Economic Development Corp., and the Arts Council of Johnson County, as well as committee work with Mid-America Regional Council, American Institute of Architecture, Public Technology Institute and the National Association of Counties.

He and his wife, Nancy, are metropolitan natives; they have two sons, Ryan and Sean, and reside in Leawood.

County Leadership

The county manager is the chief administrative officer of Johnson County Government and is responsible for its executive functions:

  • Interim county mgr, acting deputy and assistant manager, and assistant managerDaily administrative functions of Johnson County Government;
  • Direct and supervise the organizational structure of all offices, the appointed officers and employees, except as otherwise provided by law or as provided in the Charter;
  • Implement the policies of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) through the functional divisions and departments of administration;
  • Prepare and submit a recommended annual budget to the BOCC for final adoption and administer the budget after its effective date;
  • Report to, confer with, assist and advise the Chair of the BOCC and make recommendations on all matters concerning the welfare of Johnson County government;
  • Ensure that all ordinances, resolutions, codes, regulations, rules, policies, directions and actions of the BOCC are faithfully enforced, administered, and executed;
  • Attend, or provide appropriate staff to attend, all official BOCC meetings, except those where the continued employment of the County Manager is under consideration;
  • Assist the Chair and the BOCC in the preparation of meeting agendas, resolutions, rules, regulations, policies, and all such other matters as may be requested by the BOCC;
  • Submit to the BOCC and make available to the public periodic annual reports of the financial administrative affairs of Johnson County Government and keep the BOCC advised of the financial conditions and needs of Johnson County Government; and
  • Prepare and submit to the BOCC, annually before May 1, recommendations for a capital improvement and financing program for Johnson County.

All agencies and departments within the organization maintain either a direct or a functional reporting relationship with the County Manager’s Office.

County Manager: Penny Postoak Ferguson

Penny Postoak Ferguson

Roles/accomplishments with Johnson County Government

Penny Postoak Ferguson was appointed County Manager effective July 15, 2018. She served as as interim county manager for Johnson County from Jan. 1 through July 15, 2018. Previously, she served as deputy county manager from August 2012 through the end of 2017. Between June 2010 and August 2012 she was assistant county manager.

Postoak Ferguson oversaw the human services departments from 2010 to 2012. From 2011 through 2017 she oversaw the infrastructure and development departments. From 2013 to 2017 she served as the County Manager’s Office liaison to both the Johnson County Park and Recreation District board and the Airport Commission.

Accomplishments with Johnson County Government include:

  • Led the efforts to partner with WaterOne, cities and other key stakeholders to develop NotifyJoCo, an emergency notification system.
  • Saving Johnson County taxpayers a collective $1 million annually by leading the following restructuring efforts: Merging Emergency Management and Emergency Communications, merging the Departments of Health and Environment, merging the Johnson County Museum into the Johnson County Park and Recreation District and the management agreement with KCATA for transit.
  • Leading the change to have the Airport director report to the County Manager’s Office, which resulted in greater support and partnership with county departments.
  • Worked with key stakeholders to oversee the Fire Services study for Rural Districts.
  • Played a key role in the agreements for Meadowbrook Park between Johnson County Board of County Commissioners/Johnson County Wastewater, City of Prairie Village, developers and Johnson County Park & Recreation District.
  • Helped guide the Tomahawk Wastewater Facility planning and selection process as well as work with key stakeholders.
  • Serving as lead for the integrated planning process with Johnson County and City of Kansas City, Missouri to explore stormwater and wastewater solutions within a key watershed.
  • Paving the path for the creation of a Planning Department subcommittee to execute a much-needed review of county zoning policies.
  • Leading the negotiations for a multi-year agreement with the City for Lawrence regarding the K-10 connector.
  • Heading up efforts to stabilize the Transit Fund, impacting it positively by $3 million annually.

Prior work experience
Postoak Ferguson came to Johnson County from the City of San Antonio, Texas, where she served as assistant city manager for nearly four years. While there, she oversaw the San Antonio International Airport; the Convention, Sports and Entertainment Facilities department; Downtown Operations, the five-year $500 million Capital Improvement Management System, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and Purchasing.

Prior to her time in San Antonio, Postoak Ferguson worked for the City of Overland Park for four years, as a deputy city manager and assistant city manager. Her career also includes serving as core manager and executive director of Budget and Research (2000-02) for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, and assistant city manager (1997-2000) for the City of Hays, Kansas.

Community Involvement/Professional Associations
Postoak Ferguson serves on the boards of the United Way of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas Association of City/County Management. She is president for the Kansas University City Managers and Trainees (KUCIMAT), the KU MPA alumni organization.

She also serves on the Olathe Economic Development Council, the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences advisory board, and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Leadership Advisory Board. 

She is a member of ICMA (served as Co-Chair for the 2016 ICMA Annual Conference), Kansas Association City/County Management (KACM), and National Association of County Administrators (NACA).

She has served on the following boards: Leadership Kansas, United Community Services of Johnson County, San Antonio Sports Foundation, Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Overland Park South Rotary.

Credentials, education and family
Postoak Ferguson is an International City/County Management Association — Credentialed Manager (ICMA-CM).

A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Postoak Ferguson attended Haskell Indian Nations University, located in Lawrence, and is a member of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Kansas, also in Lawrence, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas.

She and her husband, Dwight, have a daughter, Peyton. The family lives in Johnson County.

Deputy County Manager: Maury Thompson

Maury Thompson

Maury Thompson became the deputy county manager on Aug. 26, 2018, after previously serving as the assistant county manager since January 7, 2013. He previously served as executive director of Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS) for five years.

Mr. Thompson began his career at JCDS in January 1986, serving as community living coordinator from 1993-97, and residential supports coordinator from 1997-2001 when he left to become executive director of Tri-Valley Developmental Services in Chanute, Kan. He also served as mayor of Chanute from 2006-07; was a member of the Chanute City Commission (2005-06); and served as president of the Chanute Area Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism in 2004.

He returned to Johnson County as executive director of JCDS on April 1, 2007.

Mr. Thompson received his bachelor’s degree in political science and criminal justice with a minor in business administration in 1984 from Mount Mercy College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a master’s degree in public administration from Park College Graduate School of Public Affairs, Kansas City, Mo., in 1998.

He, and his wife, Angie, have two daughters, Taylor and Morgan.