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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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JoCo's The Best Times magazine wins numerous awards
June 12, 2019

The Best Times Magazine received six writing awards Saturday, June 8, at the Kansas City Press Club’s 2019 Heart of America Awards Banquet.

The Heart of America Awards handed out annually by the KC Press Club, which is the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, recognize print (daily, non-daily and magazine) and broadcast (both TV and radio) journalists from across eastern Kansas and western Missouri.

In the trade and specialty publications category, The Best Times received one silver award for column writing and four bronze awards for editorial/commentary, profile, feature and business reporting/writing. The magazine also won an honorable mention award for profile writing. Award-winning stories included: Small Railroad Keeps Air Center on Track; Father Survived War, His Son Did Not; 911 Dispatchers Take Calls from Tragic to Quirky; Changing Lives by Teaching Welding Skills; Words Always Matter; Yes, Barbara, There’s….

The recognition comes on the heels of the 2019 Awards of Excellence Contest by the Kansas Press Association when The Best Times placed third place in the magazine category for non-daily publications and received two writing awards – second place for editorial writing and third place for seniors’ story. The magazine also won a second-place award for community service project in its promotion/support of the 2018 Veterans Day event that recognized approximately 500 veterans of the Vietnam War Era.

Johnson County Mental Health Center earns maximum accreditation
June 6, 2019

CARF International has issued a Three-Year Accreditation to Johnson County Mental Health Center (JCMHC) for several of its programs after an extensive evaluation process. JCMHC is one of only two Community Mental Health Centers in Kansas with this recognition. The accreditation recognizes that JCMHC is guided by internationally recognized service standards and best practices.

“We’re very excited about this accreditation,” said Tim DeWeese, JCMHC director. “This demonstrates that we’ve made a specific commitment to put the needs of our residents at the center of everything we do.”

The accreditation process began with an internal review of program and business practices. Then a survey team of CARF-selected expert practitioners performed an onsite visit to review these practices and collect feedback from clients, community members, staff and key stakeholders.

“The survey team specifically remarked about the positive work culture we have here,” said JCMHC Deputy Director Susan Rome. “Their written report highlighted our commitment to person-centeredness and focusing on the strengths of each and every person. This speaks to the work of staff at every level of our organization.”

The accreditation applies specifically to these services: mental health case management for children, adolescents and adults; mental health crisis stabilization for adults; mental health outpatient treatment for children, adolescents and adults; and residential alcohol and other drug treatment at the Adolescent Center for Treatment. The accreditation extends through April 30, 2022.

“One of the requirements of this accreditation,” said DeWeese, “is a commitment to continual process improvement. This means an ongoing emphasis on reducing risk, addressing safety concerns, respecting cultural and individual preferences and providing the best quality of care.”

CARF International was founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. It is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. 

JoCo program helps to protect against basement flooding
June 5, 2019

Recent heavy rain events have left some Johnson County homeowners with the frustrating challenge of basement backups caused by the surcharging of sanitary sewers.

Johnson County Wastewater (JCW) wants to help residents better protect their homes from basement backups by making them aware of the Backup Prevention Program (BUPP) – available to homeowners within the JCW service area. The program is voluntary and provides one-time funding to eligible properties for the installation of a backup prevention device, or plumbing modifications, to reduce the risk of future backups.

More information or to apply for BUPP is available here, or by calling 913-715-8554. 

Congratulations Project SEARCH graduates!
June 4, 2019

The fifth year of Project SEARCH is in the books! Twelve interns recently graduated from this program, which is facilitated each year by Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS). Friends and family attended the ceremony on June 1 at Johnson County Community College. Photos from the event are below.

Project SEARCH Graduation 2019

Johnson County Project SEARCH is an education and employment program for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 18 years of age or older who are interested in community employment. Interns spend nine months immersed in a host business site completing three unpaid internship rotations designed to teach them marketable, transferable work skills. The goal of the program is paid employment for each intern, from 16 to 40 hours per week in a competitive, integrated setting earning prevailing wage or higher. In the first year, 100% of Project SEARCH graduates secured a job.

"The Project SEARCH graduation is a time to celebrate the hard work of the men and women who have committed their time, effort and talents to this program during the past nine months," said Melissa Reeves, Community Relations Manager for JCDS. "Seeing county staff, elected officials, families, and community partners all come together to usher these graduates into the next stage of their professional development is a joy to experience. We look forward to this event each year, and we are so proud of this graduating class."

Tyler Smith, a Project SEARCH graduate from the first class (2014/2015), served as keynote speaker. He talked about being independent; he has a job and a car, and the day before the graduation had moved into his own apartment. Other speakers were Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed Eilert, JCDS Board Chairman Dale Chaffin, and Rhonda Case, owner of the Sunflower Cafe in Olathe who utilizes Project SEARCH interns and employs a graduate from the program.

Johnson County employees help nearby tornado ravaged communities
June 3, 2019

Several Johnson County employees are helping communities recover after a large and violent tornado left a path of destruction in Douglas and Leavenworth counties this week.

The EF-4 tornado hit the Kansas City Metropolitan Area at about 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28.

Winds were estimated at 170 miles per hour, which was about 90 miles an hour faster than the winds that damaged the Johnson County Executive Airport on March 6, 2017, according to Trent Pittman, assistant director of community preparedness for Johnson County Emergency Management.

Pittman told the Board of County Commissioners at their meeting Thursday that they received requests for mutual aid from Douglas and Leavenworth counties. Emergency managers coordinated with Johnson County Public Works and public works departments from the cities of Overland Park, Olathe, De Soto, Gardner, Mission, Shawnee and Lenexa. They sent five task forces to Leavenworth County on Wednesday to help clean up debris.

Two Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) were sent to Leavenworth County from Olathe and Shawnee to inform Linwood residents about how to properly sort and dispose of storm debris, Pittman said.

In addition, Jim Sherman, Contractor Licensing program manager for the Johnson County Planning Department, spent Thursday in Douglas County helping assess storm damage. He was accompanied by Jeff Finch, a county building inspector.

Sherman is the coordinator for the Kansas Heart of America Chapter of the State Association of Building Inspectors and Building Officials, a volunteer organization that helps towns recover after disasters.

“It just skimmed Lawrence,” Sherman said. “A couple hundred yards, and it would have hit two fairly full subdivisions.”

The damage assessments he and Finch conducted will be used by the state of Kansas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help determine whether there was enough damage to be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

“It’s hard to fathom unless you see it,” Finch said. “When you have a whole second floor of a house blown away and you see a single dresser with a mirror still standing, it’s haunting."

But he also said that he was amazed at how resilient those affected by the tornado were. He met people who were in good spirits even though they’d lost everything, and they were already starting to put their lives back together. They showed him an example to live by, he said.

Finch said, “You walk away from something like this with a big heart.”

Johnson County employees assisting nearby counties after tornado

New library, new museum exhibit open this weekend
May 31, 2019

The new Lenexa City Center Library will open its doors to the public on Sunday, June 2, 2019.  A ribbon cutting will open the doors at 8778 Penrose Lane promptly at 1 p.m. There will be remarks from public officials, and a recitation of a work commissioned for the occasion by the emerita Poet Laureate of Kansas, Wyatt Townley.

Activities will include tours conducted by library staff of the new building and an opportunity to see award-winning children’s book illustrator Stephen T. Johnson’s new work of public art at the site. The afternoon event takes place during what will be regular Sunday service hours, 1-5 p.m.

The new 40,000-square-foot building occupies two floors at the Lenexa City Center campus. In addition to high-quality library services, the new space features public meeting rooms, public computers, and a robust children’s programming area.

Explore “Expanding Oz” at the Johnson County Museum

Starting Saturday, June 1, you can explore “Expanding Oz,” a new exhibit at the Johnson County Museum.

The museum is in the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

Learn what you don’t know about “The Wizard of Oz,” one of the world’s most loved stories. See one-of-a-kind Oz memorabilia from original books to stage productions and pop culture. And to think, it all started with one book, written by L. Frank Baum in 1900!

The exhibit is open regular museum hours, and museum admission rates apply: $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children. As always, museum members are free!

The exhibit runs through Nov. 2.