During a first-ever virtual presentation, Chairman Ed Eilert’s message during the 2021 State of the County address focused on the measures taken by A Resilient Community during the global pandemic, and recognized some of the county’s achievements in 2020.
The event, available as a live stream on the county’s Facebook page as well viewable on the county’s webpage, was sponsored by the Johnson County Public Policy Council and hosted by the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce.
“The annual State of the County address traditionally has provided an opportunity for county government to reflect on past achievements and challenges as we look forward to a new year and beyond,” Chairman Eilert said. “The past year, however, was far from normal. Without a doubt, we will remember 2020 for a long, time and the many challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In his speech, Chairman Eilert highlighted four specific areas accompanied by videos:
• COVID-19 required quick action regarding our 2020 budget, and almost immediately we began measuring the impact. Leadership quickly, but strategically, achieved $25 million of expenditure reductions for 2020 with a hiring freeze (except for essential positions), ceasing nonessential spending, and tools such as furloughs, overtime reductions and capital project deferment. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WORK WE DID TO ADJUST OUR BUDGET.
• 2020 was a year that relied on strong partnerships and constant collaboration with partners such as Johnson County cities and other metro area jurisdictions, chambers of commerce and our business community, school districts, health care, and many community organizations. All were important partners in being a resilient community. LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR EFFORTS TO FIGHT COVID-19.
• Johnson County Government employees in all departments, agencies and offices worked tirelessly in 2020 to help protect the community from COVID-19. Some were reassigned or volunteered to work in another role, learning and performing entirely different jobs when help was needed. LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW JOHNSON COUNTY EMPLOYEES STEPPED UP TO FIGHT COVID-19.
• Despite COVID-19, we made great progress on several major capital projects. Our new Johnson County Courthouse opened up just as we moved into 2021. We opened our Medical Examiner Facility and also made progress on several Johnson County Park and Recreation District projects. GET AN UPDATE ON OUR MAJOR PROJECTS.
“Throughout the past 13 months, we have tackled many challenges, and while we’re not out of the woods just yet, we know that if we work together – we move forward together to embrace opportunity and to fortify our future,” Eilert said. “We are resilient. We will move forward.”