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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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New Century military hangar dedicated
August 26, 2021

The World War II era Olathe Naval Air Station hangar, which now is home to a squad of Chinook helicopters piloted and maintained by Army Reservists, was renamed in memory of Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Nichols. 

On the night of August 5, 2011, Nichols as a pilot and four other crew members of Extortion 17 were tasked to transport a platoon of U.S. Army Rangers into the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province in Afghanistan to neutralize a known Taliban leader. U.S. forces quickly became engaged with enemy forces shortly after the insertion. During the operation, a small group of insurgents was observed leaving the area. A SEAL Team Quick Reaction Force was dispatched to intercept the insurgents and determine whether the Taliban leader was among the group. Despite the high threat level and presence of enemy force, Nichols and his crew stepped forward to transport the Quick Reaction Force to the Tangi Valley. As Extortion 17 approached the landing zone, a series of rocket-propelled grenades were fired at the aircraft. One of the RPGs struck the aft rotor system, causing the Chinook helicopter to spin and crash in a dry riverbed. The aircraft exploded on impact, killing all 33 passengers and all five crew members, making it the single deadliest day of the loss of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. This was the same airframe on which Specialist Spencer Duncan lost his life. 

As referenced above, for nearly 10 years, Spencer Duncan’s family and many others have worked to organize a 5K event to both as a way to remember Spencer as well as raise funds for a number of efforts that support veteran needs. The Airport Commission has been a hosting partner of this event since its first race.

BOCC authorizes resolution to reduce stray gunfire
August 26, 2021

On Thursday, Aug. 26, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners, authorized a resolution to regulate the discharge of a firearm across property boundaries in Johnson County, Kansas’ unincorporated area. Firearm discharge complaints will be investigated by the Sheriff’s Office with violations prosecuted in Johnson County District Court in the County Codes division. Fines will range from $500 to $1,000.

“Due to an increase of incidents involving stray bullets in the unincorporated areas of Johnson County, our Board, in collaboration with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, adopted a resolution last September officially urging and promoting the safe and responsible use and discharge of firearms in the unincorporated areas,” said Chairman Ed Eilert. “The Sheriff’s Office engaged in a safety and educational program to emphasize the importance of the safe discharge of firearms, but unfortunately, we did not see a significant decrease of incidents. This resolution is an important step in protecting the safety of people and property from stray gunfire.”

Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden recommended that the BOCC exercise its home rule authority to regulate the discharge of firearms that results in gunfire leaving one property and entering another where permission or consent to do so has not been granted by a property owner, even if that gunfire does not strike a neighbor’s home, car, tree or other property.

“This new county code is narrowly tailored for instances when someone does not follow the rules for the safe discharge of a firearm, with the result being a bullet entering someone else’s property,” said Sheriff Hayden. “While my office will continue to educate on the proper safety precautions to take when firing a weapon, this will now allow us to cite individuals on a non-criminal basis when they are careless.” 

What the new resolution does NOT do:

  • Prohibit the use of firearms
  • Prohibit hunting, sport shooting or target shooting on one’s own property or on a property where permission has been granted
  • Replace existing state statute relating to criminal discharge of firearms
  • Create a code violation if stray gunfire occurs during the discharge of a firearm in lawful defense of life

More information is available in this briefing sheet, presentation with map and FAQ.
 

Johnson County celebrating its 166th birthday
August 25, 2021

Johnson County celebrated its 166th birthday on Wednesday, Aug. 25, as one of the first 33 counties in the Territory of Kansas.

Once part of the Shawnee Indian reservation, the county, along with the territory, were opened to settlement with the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Johnson County was created on Aug. 25, 1855 by the Kansas Territorial Legislature and named after the Reverend Thomas Johnson, founder of the Shawnee Methodist Mission.

Johnson County Government was organized on Sept. 7, 1857 with three county commissioners meeting in Gum Springs, now the city of Shawnee.

The county population in the 1860 Census was 4,364. The population in the Territory of Kansas was 107,206. A year later, Kansas became the 34th state in the Union on Jan. 29, 1861.

166 years later, with 609,863 residents, Johnson County remains the most populous county in Kansas. The county population increased 12.1% in the past decade and census data indicates one in five Kansans now call Johnson County home.

Johnson County Wastewater receives national recognition
August 25, 2021

Providing exemplary customer care while also ensuring the best quality wastewater service are central to Johnson County Wastewater’s (JCW) mission. The department’s hard work has been recognized by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). The organization awarded 2021 Peak Performance Awards to JCW for the 2020 permit compliance year to the following:

  • Platinum Peak Performance Awards include Blue River Main, Douglas L. Smith Middle Basin and New Century Air Center  
  • Gold Peak Performance, for Mill Creek
  • Silver peak Performance, for Nelson

“Our staff members work hard everyday to promote efficient and effective methods of wastewater treatment,” JCW General Manager Susan Pekarek said. “We’re pleased to be recognized for our efforts and look forward to continuing to make a positive impact in our community. It takes everyone from our plant operators to the line folks, to our customer services folks, to the engineers to our finance and accounting staff. It all works together, and it’s why we continue to be recognized as leaders in wastewater.”

Platinum Awards recognized 100% compliance with permits over a consecutive five-year period. JCW received a 15-year Platinum award this year at its Blue River Main facility.

The awards were featured during a virtual awards ceremony on July 21. NACWA represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide. The association ensures members have the tools necessary to provide affordable and sustainable clean water for all.

Learn more about Johnson County Wastewater.

Presentation on possible renaming of Negro Creek
August 26, 2021

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners, as a Committee of a Whole, received a presentation on Thursday, Aug. 26, at the Johnson County Administration Building, Board of County Commissioners hearing room, third floor, Olathe, from county staff and members of the Negro Creek Renaming Committee on a grassroots campaign to possibly change the name of Negro Creek in east-central Johnson County.

The informational presentation provided historical background and research behind the name of the creek, dating back to the 1850s. The county has established an email link for questions/inquiries/name suggestions regarding Negro Creek and a web page, jocogov.org/creek, that includes historical information and research about the creek, maps and photographs and the renaming process. 

Watch the meeting online on the Johnson County website, or on Facebook @jocogov.org.

Background: Negro Creek spans approximately 6.5 miles through the cities of Overland Park and Leawood. It is one of six geographic places in five Kansas counties, including Johnson County, and 757 sites in the nation with Negro or a related term in their names. Johnson County is the first jurisdiction in the state to launch a program to provide details about a creek with Negro in its name and explain the lengthy and complicated renaming process. 

Changing the name requires community input and public support for the new name, community organizations, city councils in Overland Park and Leawood, the BOCC and state agencies. If a new name is chosen locally, it must be approved by the state of Kansas and then submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, a federal agency. 

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names has the final say on standardizing geographic names in the nation and typically changes a name only if local support for the change is strong. Once an application for a new name has been submitted, the process can take up to six months for a decision by the federal board.

FY 2022 Budget adoption set for Sept. 2
August 26, 2021

Formal adoption of the FY 2022 Budget is scheduled for Sept. 2, during the regular Board of County Commissioners business session that begins at 9:30 a.m. Following the public hearing, the budget cannot be increased but it can be reduced when the final budget is adopted on Sept. 2. By state law, Kansas counties must adopt and file their FY 2022 budget by Oct. 1, with the county clerk, which in Johnson County is the Department of Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles. The county’s fiscal year begins Jan. 1, 2022.

For more information about the proposed FY 2022 Budget, visit the Johnson County website

 

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