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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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Opioid Grant Funds Promote Efficiency at Medical Examiner’s Office
August 6, 2019

It can take up to two months for a toxicology screen to be completed following the death of an individual. Chief Medical Examiner Diane Peterson, M.D., with the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, hopes to cut that time to 10 days with new equipment that was purchased with a $155,000 grant from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Drug Overdose Crisis Funding grant, received in February and administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), is part of a nationwide push to advance understanding of the current opioid overdose epidemic. According to the CDC, more than 63,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. Of those overdose deaths, around two in three involved a prescription or illicit opioid.

Dr. Peterson says $100,000 was used to purchase a new computer software system that will allow the medical examiner’s office to quickly report autopsy data to the KDHE to better track causes of death in Johnson County. This data helps public health officials understand the extent of the opioid problem in Johnson County, focus resources where they are needed most, and evaluate the success of prevention and response efforts.

The remaining $55,000 went toward reducing the cost of a new in-house toxicology testing instrument that will detect low concentrations of illicit drugs and prescription drugs and how much of the drug(s) was in a person’s system when he/she died. The equipment will allow the Medical Examiner’s Office to complete toxicology testing in-house within days, instead of outsourcing it to another laboratory where it could take weeks to get results. Dr. Peterson says once the toxicology is done she can sign death certificates and the autopsy report, which helps law enforcement to determine if a crime occurred and the family is able to obtain death benefits from insurance.

“Lots of things are waiting on my report," Dr. Peterson said. “The faster we can issue it, the better.”

The new Medical Examiner’s Office is scheduled to open in June 2020, and is located at the Johnson County Government Campus, on Sunset Drive, in Olathe

Parents urged to vaccinate children before school starts
August 2, 2019

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment begins back-to-school immunizations.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) joins others around the metro area in urging parents to make sure their children are up-to-date on their childhood vaccines before school starts. New immunization requirements by the state of Kansas mean some students in the metro could be excluded from school if their vaccines are not up-to-date.

“As you put together your back-to-school list, put immunizations near the top of that list. Getting your children immunized is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your children’s health this coming school year,” says Nancy Tausz, RN and JCDHE’s Health Services division director. “Check with your doctor or immunization provider to find out what vaccines your child needs before school begins so your child does not miss school because they don’t have the required vaccinations.”

Starting Aug. 2, the new Kansas requirements include: two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine for children entering kindergarten or first grade; students entering seventh grade will need one dose of the meningococcal ACWY (meningitis) vaccine; students starting 11th grade will need one dose of the meningococcal ACWY (meningitis) vaccine if not vaccinated prior to their 16th birthday (they will need two doses if their first dose was before their 16th birthday). In addition to these new requirements, Kansas students in grades 7-12 are required to have one dose of Tdap before attending school.

The Johnson County Health Department’s two clinics offer walk-in hours for immunizations:

  • Olathe Clinic (11875 S. Sunset Drive) — Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Immunizations and Prenatal Appointments Only); and Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Mission Clinic (6000 Lamar Ave.) — Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If a parent does not have health insurance, or if their insurance does not cover vaccines, the Vaccines for Children (VCF) program offers vaccines at no cost to eligible children through health care providers enrolled in the program.

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule by contacting their health care provider or the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

County Manager promotes volunteerism in WIC community garden
August 2, 2019

Johnson County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson and her daughter, Peyton, spent the morning of Tuesday, July 30, volunteering in the WIC community garden. It was an opportunity to spend quality time with family and support one of the many volunteer efforts in the county that benefit low-income families.

Last fall, during the annual United Way campaign, Penny agreed to work eight hours for the team that increased its giving the most. Deputy County Manager Maury Thompson led that winning team. The team included a wide range of departments, such as Health and Environment and the Library.

Penny says she was happy to spend about an hour harvesting nutritious foods with her daughter.

“It was a learning process, but it was a great first trip,” Penny said.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities in the WIC community garden. Watch a video featuring Penny and her daughter's experience in the garden

JoCo Quarterly becomes JoCo Monthly
August 1, 2019

JoCo Quarterly, the county’s external e-newsletter is now moving to a monthly format. This change reflects feedback recently received from residents. The first edition of JoCo Monthly was distributed Wednesday, July 31. Look for future editions at the end of each month.

“In our most recent communications survey, residents told us that e-newsletters are in their top three list of preferred ways to receive county news and information,” said Jody Hanson, director of public affairs and communication for Johnson County Government.“ Also, 99% of survey participants expressed interest in keeping informed about the county, so increasing the frequency of our e-newsletters can help us inform residents on our Board of County Commissioners policy decisions, programs and services and other county news.”

You can receive JoCo Monthly directly to your email inbox. Subscribe to JoCo Monthly.

BOCC highlights from July 2019
July 31, 2019

Here are some highlights of the Board of County Commissioners actions and activities in July 2019. More information including official minutes, votes and videos on all items is available at boccmeetings.jocogov.org.

On Monday July 29, the Board of County Commissioners and county staff welcomed the public to an evening hearing on the FY 2020 budget. The BOCC chambers were standing room only and eleven members of the public shared their feedback.  We invite you to view video of the public hearing or read about the proposed 2020 budget. The BOCC is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget at its regular business session on Thursday, Aug. 8 at 9:30 a.m.

Earlier in the month, on July 18, the Board and community attended a study session on how the county is supporting vulnerable populations. Leadership from the Department of Health and Environment, Developmental Supports, Mental Health and Human Services share information about the clients they serve, programs and services, innovations and key outcomes.

The Board took the following action in July:

  • accepted a grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) not to exceed $155,000, focused on advancing understanding of the current opioid overdose epidemic across the United States. The equipment and software purchased with these grant funds will be used in Johnson County’s Medical Examiner’s Office which is scheduled to begin operation in the second quarter of 2020.
  • authorized service agreement renewals for Mental Health for respite care services with KidsTLC, Inc. and DCCCA, Inc., and psychosocial rehabilitation and crisis intervention services with FosterAdopt Connect
  • (sitting as the governing board of Fire District Number Two) approved the District’s FY 2020 budget and authorized a property tax levy to support that budget.

Information on additional policy decisions made in July is available at boccmeetings.jocogov.org.


Johnson County Fair opens in Gardner
July 30, 2019

With a 2019 theme of “Back to our Roots,” the Johnson County Fair is underway this week through the weekend at the county fairgrounds in Gardner.

Admission to the fairgrounds is free, as is the nightly entertainment held on the Midway stage. Admission fees to the Main Event Arena vary each night. Tickets may be purchased at the Main Event Arena box office.

Fun for the whole family includes wandering the grounds, riding carnival rides and enjoying the displays of baked goods, photography, rockets, home-grown vegetables and other exhibits in the 4-H Green Building where Johnson County Extension 4-H youth’s projects will be on display. Touring the livestock barn is a sensory bonanza. Throughout the week, 4-H youth will display their showmanship skills in the livestock barn as they exhibit their cows, sheep, goats, pigs and more.

Adults of all ages and non-4-H youth can demonstrate their artistic, culinary, fiber arts, photography and horticulture skills by participating in the fair’s Open Class competitions.

Highlights of the fair include an 80th “Back to our Roots” celebration, with hot dogs and ice cream, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 30. Admission for anyone six-years-old and older is $2. Children under age six will be admitted free. Following the celebration, kids will enjoy the Night of Fun and Challenge, starting at 7 p.m. where they can test their courage by participating in the muttin’ bustin’ and greased pig chase. Country music recording artist Phil Vandel performs afterward.

Wednesday, July 31, the Open Jackpot Barrel Races begin at 8 p.m.

Two- and four-wheel amateur flat track races run Thursday, Aug. 1, with hot laps starting at 6 p.m.

On Friday, Aug. 2, a free special Chasing Memories event, starting at 5 p.m., has been organized for individuals with special needs to provide an opportunity to participate in a livestock show specifically designed for them, featuring the fair’s livestock and 4-H youth programs.

Friday’s entertainment also includes the outlaw truck and tractor pull at 7 p.m.

And of course, it wouldn’t be the Johnson County Fair without the ever-popular demolition derby, Saturday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m.

No fair is complete without a traditional parade. Saturday’s parade starts at 10 a.m. in downtown Gardner.

There is parking north of the fairgrounds on Madison Street and east of the fairgrounds in the school parking lot. There is also parking along the streets and in nearby parking lots. Handicap accessible parking can be found on the south entrance off Washington Street by the Open Class building.

For a complete listing of events, dates and times, and Open Class entry categories/judging rules, visit jocokansasfair.com.