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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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BIG summer planting event
April 27, 2017

Ready to do some gardening? Mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 2 and plan to join staff members from Johnson County’s Department of Health and Environment in the community garden to plant the summer crops. They will be planting tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and cucumbers just to name a few. The garden is structured so all volunteers work communally to plant, grow and harvest food that is distributed to clients of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. 

The planting event will be May 2 from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. at the WIC Community Garden, 11875 South Sunset Drive, Olathe, Kansas.

Tools, gloves and guidance will be provided. Volunteers only need to show up ready to work, and bring a water bottle if you like. Children are always welcome. No experience necessary.

Visit the WIC Garden webpage for more information.

National Walk @ Lunch Day®
April 26, 2017

Johnson County Government employees replaced a Working lunch with a Walking lunch as the county continued its partnership with Blue KC by participating in its seventh annual 2017 for National Walk@ Lunch Day® on April 26. Employees met at three scheduled sites as well as several other county locations which formed their own walking groups to take a nice spring walk.

It can be hard to find time in your busy schedule to participate in physical activity. However, taking a walk is one of the simplest, safest and most effective forms of exercise. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies across the country sponsor the annual National Walk @ Lunch Day® – designed to encourage busy people to take a walk during their lunch break and start a healthy routine.

Tens of thousands of working Americans around the country were expected to participate in a 30-minute walk during lunch, and take the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle. National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to complement—not compete with—busy lifestyles. Created to improve personal health and decrease the costs of healthcare for both employers and employees, National Walk @ Lunch Day can be the start of a new daily walking routine, improving health step by step.

Studies have found that regular walking, particularly at a brisk pace of 3 mph, can substantially reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Additionally, simply performing 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five times a week has significant health benefits and can lower the risk of developing or dying from hypertension or type 2 diabetes, and improve the health of muscles, bones and joints.

Leadership appoints assistant to the county manager
April 25, 2017

Cindy Green has been named assistant to the county manager and chief of staff, effective May 15. In this role, Green will be responsible for the administrative and budgetary functions of the county manager’s office. She will also act as the principal strategic lead for the department’s operations, working closely with the county manager and senior leadership to develop organizational goals.

“Cindy’s extensive experience in local government will be a great asset to our leadership team as we work to implement the board’s strategic priorities for the next year,” said county manager Hannes Zacharias. “Her knowledge of Kansas politics as well as local and state government operations will be of great benefit in this role, so we’re excited to have her join the organization.”

Green will be the primary analyst and liaison for various responsibilities including new and ongoing initiatives with a number of stakeholders such as metro cities and counties, school districts and other groups. She will also be responsible for the county’s legislative affairs, coordinating and collaborating with executives and senior managers on legislative platforms.

Prior to joining Johnson County Government, Green served as deputy director of the League of Kansas Municipalities where she oversaw advocacy efforts and message development. Green served as a district representative for U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran in Olathe, collaborating with Washington, D.C., staff on policy and issues important to constituents. She has extensive experience in local government, serving on the city council of Lenexa for six years and 10 years of service on the Lenexa Planning Commission. Her previous industry experiences include vice president of Kansas governmental affairs for the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors, where she built relationships with federal, state, county and city elected officials and public managers to advocate real estate issues. She served as marketing and sales director for Overland Park-based Metcalf Bank and was an assistant vice president in commercial lending at Wichita-based Intrust Bank.

Green holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ottawa University in Kansas City.

County manager named 2017 Outstanding Public Administrator
April 25, 2017

Hannes Zacharias, county manager of Johnson County, has been named the 2017 Outstanding Public Administrator by the Kansas chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.

Zacharias has served as county manager for Johnson County since 2009, joining the county as assistant county manager in 2001 and as deputy county manager in 2005. His career in public management spans nearly 40 years, including appointments as assistant to the city manager of Lawrence, Kansas; city administrator of Boonville, Missouri; and city manager of Hays, Kansas.

“Hannes is extremely deserving of this honor,” said Ed Eilert, chairman of the Johnson County Commission. “His passion for public service, his desire to continuously improve the organization and his strong leadership abilities are evident in the work he does every day for Johnson County. I’m very pleased to see him receive this recognition.”

Zacharias will receive the award April 21 at a public service recognition luncheon in Wichita, Kansas. The award recognizes outstanding performance in the practice of public administration.

“Hannes is an inspiring leader and a dedicated public servant,” said deputy county manager Penny Postoak Ferguson. “His commitment to the Johnson County community and the county workforce is unmatched. I am proud to serve under his leadership and appreciate the sincere mentorship he has given me and others in public administration.”

“The selection committee was impressed by the deep support expressed for Hannes’ leadership as well as his many contributions to public service,” said KU associate professor Heather Getha-Taylor, who chaired the award selection committee. “The nominators collectively echoed Hannes’ enduring passion for public service, which inspires others.”

Zacharias serves as an instructor in the graduate program at the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration. He also teaches professional development courses for the KU Public Management Center.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. He is a native of Dodge City, Kansas.

JCW names new Chief Engineer
April 14, 2017

Aaron Witt has accepted the position as JCW's Chief Engineer, effective immediately. He has been with JCW since 1999 and served as the Interim Chief Engineer since last September. The Chief Engineer is responsible for JCW’s engineering activities and oversees the Asset Management and Capital Improvement Programs, as well as sewer development and the district creation process.

Witt has been the Engineering Manager for the Existing Infrastructure group since 2007, leading 13 engineering and O&M support staff members. His group oversees the planning, design and construction of capital improvement projects of up to $90 million per year, including the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility Expansion and Improvements Project.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to work with our organization and our stakeholders as we continue to look for ways to improve the achievement of JCW's mission - protecting our environment, serving our customers, and enhancing our communities," Witt said.

In addition, Witt has served in other interim roles at JCW including Asset Manager, Assistant O&M Director for Collections, and previously as Interim Chief Engineer. He also works to advance industry issues at the local, state, and national levels. Witt is one of the authors of a Water Environment Federation special publication on private property infiltration and inflow and has presented numerous papers at conferences both locally and nationally.

"Aaron’s breadth of experience and knowledge of the department makes him the perfect candidate to fulfill the responsibilities of Chief Engineer with all that is currently happening at JCW," said Susan Pekarek, JCW's general manager.

County extension office hires new director
April 11, 2017

On April 9, Johnson County K-State Research and Extension welcomed its new director, Tara Markley. In this role, she’ll provide administrative leadership for the county extension office’s educational programming, fiscal operations, personnel and marketing, and will serve as the county extension agent for the community development program.

Markley earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation, park and tourism administration from Western Illinois University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Northern Illinois University. She has most recently been a research project coordinator for the University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research. Prior to this position, she served as the 4-H youth development extension agent for Johnson County. Before joining county extension, she was director of the Heartland Program and Innovation Center for Camp Fire.

K-State Research and Extension’s mission is to encourage the adoption of research-based information to improve the quality of life for Kansans. Learn more at johnson.k-state.edu or 913-715-7000.