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INAUGURAL EDITION

THE JOHNSON COUNTY GOVERNMENT MAGAZINE

SPRING 2014

FEATURE STORY

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOHNSON COUNTY GOVERNMENT

COMMUNITY PROFILE

WESTWOOD HILLS UPCOMING EVENTS

GET READY FOR 30 DAYS OF JOCO

jocogov.org


INAUGURAL EDITION Spring 2014 • Volume 1 • Issue 1

FROM THE EDITOR

Introducing... JOCO Magazine!

A new way to inform and engage residents about Johnson County Government services

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n recent community surveys, we’ve learned a lot about you, our residents. We’ve learned, for example, that most people who live in Johnson County an impressive 90 percent - say they like living in our community, which is 20 percent higher than the national average. At the same time, however, most aren’t sure what the County does to contribute to the quality of life. When asked who delivers critical services such as emergency medical services, in-home support for seniors, or mental health, most don’t link those to the County. At the same time, we’ve learned you want to know more about what the County does on your behalf. It is, after all, your money. JOCO Magazine is one part of our plan to communicate with residents more thoroughly and transparently, an initiative the Board of County Commissioners voted to support about 18 months ago. Just as our area cities and school districts send publications direct to the home, the County will begin doing the same. We’ve also redesigned our website to make it easier to navigate (jocogov.org). We’ve substantially increased our use of social media, a free and highly effective communications tool (@jocogov and f/jocogov). We’re organizing public forums for Commissioners to discuss our upcoming budget (page 6). And in April, we’re marking County Government Month with 30 Days of JoCo, giving you a way to interact with County services every day that month (page 14). What’s more, we’ve done this cost-effectively, using existing resources and seeking sponsorships to reduce the cost of publishing this magazine. (A special thanks to Johnson County Community College, our first sponsor!) For this first issue, we’ve included a primer on the County budget so you can better understand where your money goes (page 6-7). Our main feature

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shows you the programs your property tax dollars support through a photo essay that depicts a Day in the Life of Johnson County Government. You’ll see a medic transporting an ill resident, an archivist preserving our history, law enforcement keeping a child safe and volunteers stocking County-run food pantries. JOCO Magazine will publish three times per year. In the meantime, we want to keep the conversation alive so please visit our website at jocogov.org, join us on Facebook at /jocogov, follow us on Twitter @jocogov, or send any questions and comments about this magazine to: jocomag@jocogov.org. And send us your thoughts about future stories for JOCO Magazine. What would you like to know about your County government? Ed Eilert Chairman Board of County Commissioners Hannes Zacharias County Manager

Johnson County Elected Officials Ed Eilert, Chairman C. Edward Peterson, District 1 James (Jim) P. Allen, District 2 Steven C. Klika, District 3 Jason Osterhaus, District 4 Michael Ashcraft, District 5 John Toplikar, District 6 Stephen M. Howe, District Attorney Frank Denning, Sheriff

THE JOHNSON COUNTY GOVERNMENT MAGAZINE

JOCO Magazine, a publication produced by Johnson County Government, is mailed to every resident in Johnson County, Kansas, three times per year. Mission: JOCO Magazine is dedicated to publishing information that informs residents about County services and finances, as well as issues that may impact the quality of life. Publishing advertising does not constitute agreement or endorsement by this publication or Johnson County Government. Please send general questions or comments about the magazine to jocomag@jocogov.org. Editor: Nancy Mays, 913-715-0730, nancy.mays@jocogov.org Contributing Staff: Natalie Blair Andy Graham Jody Hanson Gerald Hay Sarah Winston For information about advertising opportunities, please contact Mary Hay at 913-631-1611, or email her at mhay@sunflowerpub.com. JOCO Magazine 111 S. Cherry Street, Suite 3300 Olathe, Kansas 66061 913-715-0730 www.jocogov.org/jocomag


TABLE OF CONTENTS 4 Q4C: Question for the Commissioners 5 In case of emergency

Where do your Commissioners see economic development?

How the County prepares for natural disasters and other emergencies

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Breaking down the County budget

A look at what it costs to run Johnson County and how we compare to other Counties

SPECIAL FEATURE: A day in the life of JoCo

Catch a glimpse of how Johnson County Government impacts residents’ daily lives

12 Preserving the character of a community 13 Sprouting up in unexpected places 14 30 Days of JoCo

Historic designation helps Westwood Hills preserve its character and charm

Community garden plots produce more than fruits and vegetables

Celebrate County Government Month in April with these great activities

ON THE COVER: The Johnson County

Administration Building’s clock tower stands high above Cherry Street in downtown Olathe. The County has 175 buildings totaling more than 2.5 million square feet. In addition to these buildings, County property includes shelters, pump stations, and other structures with unique uses, like those at the fairgrounds.

PAGE 3: Johnson County Building Official

Jerry Mallory reviews plans at a 326,650 square foot building under construction at Edgerton’s Logistics Park Kansas City, the future distribution center for DEMDACO, distributor of gift décor products. The Planning, Development and Codes Department performed 5,700 building inspections in 2013.

INAUGURAL EDITION Spring 2014 • Volume 1 • Issue 1

Ways to engage with JoCo Online Visit the newly redesigned jocogov.org to: • Find your County Commissioner • Get answers to your questions • Learn about the more than 450 services Johnson County provides to residents Social Media Twitter: @jocogov Facebook: facebook.com/jocogov Pinterest: pinterest.com/jocogov By Phone Call Center: 913-715-5000 TDD: 800-766-3777 In Person Attend a weekly Board of County Commissioners meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Thursdays on the third floor of the Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry St., Olathe. By Email Find department directory at www.jocogov.org/departments Send questions about this publication to: jocomag@jocogov.org

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Q4C

Question for Commissioners: We ask the Board of County Commissioners their thoughts on key issues and current events

What is currently the key economic development project in your district? Doing business in Johnson County is always good business, resulting in a low jobless rate, and providing a highlydedicated workforce as our economic momentum continues to grow. Opportunity lives here!

A shout-out to the City of Merriam for landing IKEA Merriam, which created 500 construction jobs and will bring 300 permanent retail jobs.

First District Commissioner C. EDWARD PETERSON

Chairman ED EILERT

Teva Neuroscience opened a state-of-the-art headquarters in Overland Park that accommodates more than 400 employees.

Fourth District Commissioner JASON OSTERHAUS

WEB EXTRA 4

WestLink Business Center, the first spec building in Shawnee since 2000 and part of an 80-acre master planned business park.

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Second District Commissioner JAMES P. ALLEN

Olathe’s new Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, with plans for 200 hotel rooms and a ballroom that will hold 1,000 people.

Fifth District Commissioner MICHAEL ASHCRAFT

Prairiefire, a mixed use development in southern Overland Park that will include shops, restaurants, luxury apartments, a museum, and more.

Third District Commissioner STEVEN C. KLIKA

The Intermodal & Logistics Park Kansas City, creating more than 13,000 jobs and $72 million annually which could help fund schools, libraries, and parks.

Sixth District Commissioner JOHN TOPLIKAR

Do you know which Commissioner represents your district? Find your Commissioner and his contact information online at www.jocogov.org/jocomag. And while you’re there, check out a video of the Commissioners discussing these economic development projects and more.


SAFE COMMUNITY

In case of emergency

Johnson County is ready for the unimaginable

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5 level tornadoes. Railway chemical spills. Deadly flu outbreaks. Flash floods. Even anthrax. Five people in the basement of the Administration Building in Olathe spend their days imagining worst-case scenarios. The goal? To ensure that Johnson County is ready to manage threats to residents, infrastructure, or economic viability. The County’s Emergency Management team is in a perpetual state of preparedness: assessing risk, developing plans, running drills then starting all over again. “Our job is to focus on creating a more prepared, resilient community,” said Emergency Management Deputy Director Dan Robeson. “It’s a strange job in that you spend a lot of time training for situations you hope never occur. But it’s important to practice and plan.” In an emergency, the team would play a critical role in overseeing the County’s response and coordinating efforts among all local jurisdictions, from cities to law enforcement. The Emergency Management team also makes sure support functions are trained and ready to manage their specialty areas in an emergency. There are support teams for search and rescue, mass care, and energy and utilities. Other teams would focus on damage assessment, animal welfare or mental health. When an event happens, Robeson and his team have the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) ready to go. Johnson County was one of 20 jurisdictions selected from a pool of 400 to receive a $250,000 Department of Homeland Security grant to remodel and update the EOC, featuring break-out meeting rooms and communications systems. The room includes eight 7’x5’ screens to monitor information coming in from cities, the weather service or media, as well as enough

Sign up for real-time alerts from NotifyJoCo NotifyJoCo is designed to keep Johnson County residents, businesses, and others informed of emergencies, including weather warnings, water main breaks, public safety alerts, and natural disasters. Local authorities at Johnson County, WaterOne, and participating cities use NotifyJoCo to alert you and keep you informed through real-time messages.

Emergency Management Deputy Director Dan Robeson is ready to go in the County’s Emergency Operations Center.

computer stations to allow up to 37 people to collect, analyze, and share critical information. While infrastructure is important, it’s the expertise of staff that is most critical in an emergency. In fact, County emergency staff, both core and in support functions, are routinely deployed to assist in disasters around the country. County employees helped out during last year’s tornadoes in Oklahoma, as well as the 2007 Greensburg tornado, an oil spill in Coffeyville that same year, and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “It’s important that we assist other communities who are going through emergencies, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it helps us prepare in Johnson County for what to do before, during, and after possible events,” Robeson said. “Even with all of our training and planning, it’s important that residents and businesses prepare, too. Make a plan for what you and your family will do, where you will go, and how you will stay in touch during an emergency. Have family drills. Sign up for NotifyJoCo. Preparing for possible events can make an actual event less scary and stressful for the entire family.”

You can customize your locations and contact preferences to get alerts at home, at work, by phone, email, text, and more. In emergencies, local officials will notify residents and businesses in the affected area based on the contact information in the NotifyJoCo system. This includes publicly available information or information you have personally updated at NotifyJoCo. You can also set your preferences to stay informed of non-emergency events like public meetings, city sports events, local festivals, etc. How do I register? Sign up online at www.notifyjoco.org or call 913-826-5555. How does it work? In non-emergencies, such as city sporting events or local festivals, local officials will only notify the subscribers to those events or publications. Who uses NotifyJoCo? Everybody! NotifyJoCo alerts you to emergency situations and non-emergency happenings, even if you’re not a resident. Customize your preferences and contact information to stay informed about what you want, where you want.

WEB EXTRA

Visit www.jocogov.org/jocomag to explore our tornado map, find ways to prepare your family or business, and learn more about what the Emergency Management department does!

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BY THE NUMBERS

The County Budget

Budget Breakdown: What it costs 559,913

How a property tax dollar is divided

people live in Johnson County

$54.6 billion

appraised value of all real property in JoCo

While property taxes are collected by the County treasurer, the largest portion is disbursed to schools, cities, six townships, and special taxing districts, including fire services.

17.745

County taxing district mill levy, the lowest in Kansas

25.4 %

of the County’s revenue is from property taxes

$641

average annual resident property tax bill

$53.42

average monthly resident property tax bill Carryover

Johnson County’s Total Revenue: $664.6 million Misc. $50.7 million

Misc

Carryover $24.6 million

Intergovernmental $58.3 million

Property Taxes $169.8 million

Intergovernmental Property Taxes: also known as Ad Valorem taxes from the mill levy

Wastewater: self-funded Chargesenterprise for service Sales & Other Taxes: public safety, motor vehicles, etc. Transfers: interdepartmental, etc. Transfers Charges for Service: fees from Mental Health, Park and Rec, etc.

Sales & Other Taxes Intergovernmental: from municipalities, state and

Charges for Service $93 million Wastewater $89.8 million

federal governments

Wastewater Misc.: courts. Carryover: investment interest, airport fees, etc.

Transfers $81.4 million

Property Taxes Sales & Other Taxes $97 million

Get involved! Attend a Public Budget Forum DISTRICT 1 Commissioner C. Edward Peterson Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m. Shawnee Mission North High School

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DISTRICT 2 Commissioner James P. Allen Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m. Shawnee Mission Northwest High School

DISTRICT 3 Commissioner Steven C. Klika Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m. Harmony Middle School


to run Johnson County E

ach year, the task of drafting and approving the County’s annual budget is one of the most important decisions by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The budget plan articulates the County’s priorities and strategic goals, identifies the services and programs that will be provided, and sets forth the County’s spending plan for the entire year as well as the property tax required to support the budget.

How we compare Johnson County Sedgwick County Douglas County Wyandotte County Shawnee County

2013 County Mill Rate

17.745 29.377 37.152

Johnson County’s current mill levy consists of the 17.745 mills of the County’s taxing district, Library’s taxing district of 3.155 mills, and Park and Recreation’s taxing district of 2.347 mills, for a total of 23.247 mills. One mill is equal to $1 of property taxes per $1,000 of taxable value. The mill levy is only for Johnson County Government and does not include other taxing entities, such as the state, cities, and school districts. The proposed FY 2015 Budget will be presented to the BOCC on June 5. The Board will review the proposed budget, receive final funding requests from County departments and agencies, and make any necessary changes before finalizing the budget in July. The County’s next fiscal year begins Jan. 1, 2015.

Johnson County’s Total Spending: $664.6 million Records & Taxation $18.5 million Culture & Recreation $65.6 million

Debt Services $1.2 million

36.508 48.180 Median Value of Owner-Occupied Homes

$211,900 $123,000 $178,700

Debt Services

$96,000 $119,400

Records & taxation

Median Household Income Public Safety $208.3 million

Support Services $84.1 million

$75,139 Culture & Recreation $49,885 Support Services $48,395

$39,163 $47,992

Health & Human Services Infrastructure County Tax as % of Household Income

Health & Human Services $93.3 million

.58%

Public Safety

.83%

Infrastructure $193.6 million

Public Safety: district courts; MED-ACT;

corrections; Sheriff; emergency services; etc.

Health & Human Services: aging services; JCDS; health and environment; mental health; etc.

DISTRICT 4 Commissioner Jason Osterhaus Tuesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. Shawnee Mission South High School

1.03%

Support Services: BOCC; financial

1.38%

planning; human resources; etc.

Infrastructure: airports; public works; contractor Culture & Recreation: parks; libraries; licensing; transportation; wastewater; etc.

1.58%

museum; etc.

Records & Taxation: appraiser; motor vehicles; etc.

Debt Services: bond principal and interest

DISTRICT 5 Commissioner Michael Ashcraft Monday, April 14 at 7 p.m. Frontier Middle School

WEB EXTRA

Visit www.jocogov.org/jocomag to try your hand at balancing the County’s budget with our Budget Simulator and to get more detailed information about these numbers.

DISTRICT 6 Commissioner John Toplikar Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m. Wheatridge Middle School

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FEATURE

A Day in the Life

Ashley Vogelaar (left) and Andrea Reed, both Crime Scene Investigator IIs, examine a T-shirt under black light, searching for evidence. In 2013 Johnson County’s Crime Lab received 9,619 pieces of evidence for 2,977 cases.

What does County Government really do? Follow along on a day in the life of Johnson County Government

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efore dawn, Johnson County transit employees visit the Mission Transit Center to make sure buses are ready for the day’s run. Later that day, a public health nurse administers immunizations and election workers get trained to staff polling places. And in the evening, medics rush to the hospital with an ill resident who is hearing impaired, communicating with her by writing on a notepad.

divorces are filed and mental health services provided. The County assesses the value of all real property – nearly $55 billion – and oversees the budget and distribution of all property tax dollars. County staff run nine parks, two airports and a museum. Each year, 2.4 million people visit the County’s 13 libraries, more than the combined attendance at the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals games.

Welcome to Johnson County Government. Every day, hundreds of services are delivered to the County’s nearly 560,000 residents, from delivering meals to seniors and running food pantries to treating wastewater and managing jails. The County helps adults with developmental disabilities find meaningful employment and children in need of care a safe haven. County employees ensure park streams are clean, marriages and

The list goes on and on.

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The next few pages offer a look at a Day in the Life of Johnson County Government, a snapshot view of the many services provided to residents. From Courts and Corrections to Health and Human Services, County staff work around the clock to serve residents and build a stronger community.


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Phillip Mora boards a JO bus at the Mission Transit Center for an early morning ride to Olathe. The JO provided more than 635,000 rides last year.

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It only stings for a second when Department of Health and Environment (DHE) nurse Linda Hutchinson gives a school immunization to Stephanie Armenta of Olathe. DHE administered more than 13,000 immunizations for walkin clients at the Olathe and Mission health services clinics last year.

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The ability to reserve your spot online makes for shorter waits at Johnson County Motor Vehicles Olathe and Mission offices for residents like Patty Lam, who received a new license plate. The County handles vehicle tags and taxes. All drivers’ licensing is done through the State of Kansas.

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Jared Thomason from the Appraiser’s Office counts bedrooms and bathrooms in a home under construction to assess its property value. The Appraiser’s Office is responsible for valuing all taxable property in Johnson County to ensure fair and equitable taxation.

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David Wittman, a Johnson County Developmental Supports client, makes sure Dunkin Donuts stays clean on his watch. JCDS clients work for 24 businesses around Johnson County.

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Jonathon Jobe, director of operations at Advanced Aviation, directs a private plane from the West Coast that landed at New Century AirCenter near Gardner. Johnson County’s two airports managed 96,000 flight operations last year.

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FEATURE

A Day in the Life

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Russ Czaplewski, collection manager for Johnson County Museum looks over carefully archived pieces of JoCo history, including the former White Haven sign. The collection consists of nearly 54,000 objects and images.

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Adult Residential Center Director Tony Booker kicks off an orientation for new clients. This 398-bed Department of Corrections program reintegrates offenders into the community with programs like Work Release, Substance Abuse Counseling, and G.E.D. opportunities.

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Diandra Feist volunteers by stocking the shelves at one of the Human Services Department’s six food pantries. This service fed 12,066 Johnson County residents last year.

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Elections Commissioner Brian Newby leads a training session for new election workers. More than 2,000 people volunteer during elections to work 14hour days. They learn to use equipment and procedures for lots of special circumstances.

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Linsey Brashears, treatment crew leader for Johnson County Wastewater, tests for chemical levels. Johnson County Wastewater treats 64 million gallons per day and provides sewer service for more than half a million people.

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Probation Intake Officer April Vogel administers a court-ordered breathalyzer test on a resident. In January the courts ordered 224 drug and 20 blood alcohol tests. Nearly 35 percent of tests came back positive.

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Paramedic Kirk Riley uses a notepad to ask a patient who is deaf to rate her pain level as Jon Batenhorst looks on. MED-ACT responded to nearly 36,000 calls in 2013.

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Crystal Futrell, family and consumer sciences county extension agent with K-State Research and Extension (right front), trains Master Food Volunteers, people who are passionate about food, promoting good health and giving back to their communities.

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Central Teen Librarian Angela Dew chats with Ramya Chillapa about her contribution to elementia, a literary magazine produced for and by local teens in conjunction with Johnson County Library.

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Johnson County Park and Recreation District Field Biologist Matt Garrett and Park Police Officer Vanessa Burkholder stock Shawnee Mission Park Lake with trout. Park lakes are stocked three times a year with a total of 11,000 pounds of trout.

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Corrections staff at the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center find children a safe place when law enforcement officers, such as Olathe police officer Brent Kiger, work a Child in Need of Care case. In 2013, the District Attorney filed 594 CINC cases for children that were abused or neglected.

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WEB EXTRA

Many more Day in the Life photos and stories can be found online at www.jocogo.org/jocomag.

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Carol Roeder-Esser, clinical social worker with the Mental Health Department teaches Mental Health First Aid: how to recognize risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems and connect those in crisis to resources. Since beginning in September 2011, 545 people have completed the program.

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COMMUNITY PROFILE

Westwood Hills

Preserving the character of a community

Historic designation helps Westwood Hills maintain legacy of charm It’s the residents that maintain this idyllic pocket of the suburbs, much in the same way that they care for one another. “It’s like living in Mayberry,” said Martha Lally, a resident of 18 years. “People live here a long time and really get to know each other, but the neighborhood spans all age groups.”

T

ucked away in a 5½ block area of Northeast Johnson County, Westwood Hills has 400 residents and a unique distinction. Having been named to both the Kansas and National Register of Historic Places, it is the only municipality in Kansas to lie completely within a historic district. The city is best recognized for its elegant shops at State Line Road and 50th Street (above), but travel west through the winding roads of this J.C. Nichols-developed subdivision and the architectural significance of the houses is apparent. Established in 1923, Westwood Hills exemplifies highconcept design from the 1920s and 30s. Each home is unique. Ornate features such as steep roofs with accented high points, and English Tudor-inspired exteriors provide aesthetic continuity to the storybook setting.

Westwood Hills is not just a wide mix of ages, the people are also economically diverse, and there is an international presence. As a Johnson County community, the people also identify as members of the midtown-Plaza District, living minutes from downtown Kansas City, Mo., the Crossroads, Westport and the Plaza. “People love living here,” said Karen Shelor Sexton, a 30-year resident and president of the Westwood Hills Historic Foundation, the group that led the charge for inclusion on both state and

WEB EXTRA

federal historic registries. “We take care of each other; there’s an atmosphere of generosity, it’s a very congenial place.” Community get-togethers are frequent in the neighborhood, like a party that commemorated the 90th year of both the city and one of its residents, Dorothy Brown. Annual traditions include one of the region’s oldest and shortest Fourth of July parades (only 2½ blocks), an Easter egg hunt, and one of the safest Halloween festivities in the region; they actually close the streets and local police officers ensure the safety of trick-ortreaters. Through its small size and block representatives, residents frequently reach out to neighbors with congratulations or to help as is usually the case whenever families bring home new babies, said Shelor Sexton. “Many of our children are cradle-tocollege kids,” she said. “Residents live here for decades and invest heavily in the preservation and restoration of their homes.” The Westwood Hills Historic Foundation has led several beautification projects, including staining fences and planting 1,900 Liriope plants along Rainbow Blvd. Next, the group plans to landscape roadway islands and take on a massive tuckpointing project to preserve the city’s stone work.

The historic designations make tax credits and grants available to preserve the architectural integrity of the community’s physical environment – old homes cost more to keep up. They also support codes that provide heightened protection from unwanted development. “We now have an additional tool to help sustain the mature development at a high-quality standard,” said Mayor Paula Schwach.

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Tell us about a Johnson County community to profile by emailing us at jocomag@jocogov.org

Westwood Hills Historic Foundation members Karen Shelor Sexton (left) and Martha Lally chat outside a home built in 1923, the first in Westwood Hills.

“We hope the tax credits will push homeowners to take bigger steps, financially, to restore their homes,” said Shelor Sexton. “Our housing stock is hitting the century mark in just a few years.”


SUSTAINABILITY

Community Gardens

Sprouting up in unexpected places

Community garden plots produce more than fruits and veggies

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he benefits of community gardens are plentiful. They inspire collaboration, build community pride, grow food cost-effectively, and enrich lives in many other ways. The County hosts a few community gardens that have sprouted up in places you might not expect.

Growing more produce for mothers and children Children popped cherry tomatoes in their mouths like candy as parents watched in amazement during one magic moment that bloomed in the first year of the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Community Garden. The County planted the WIC garden the first in Kansas - next to the Olathe Health Services Clinic last spring. Since May, volunteers have harvested more than 1,200 pounds of produce such as tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplants, and herbs and made them available for free to the more than 660 Johnson County WIC families.

While the federal stipend for fruits and vegetables is $10 per month for nursing and pregnant women (it’s only $6 a month for children), getting the recommended daily allowance of fresh produce can cost up to $2.50 a day. “One purpose of the WIC garden is to help supplement the diets of the mothers and children we serve,” said Laura Drake, Johnson County WIC program director. “Additionally, those that did volunteer seemed to enjoy the experience of gardening with their children.”

Providing for themselves and others At the County’s Adult Residential Center (ARC), two Department of Corrections employees came up with the seed of an idea in 2010 - providing an opportunity for the adult offenders to work in an on-site garden. “The goal of the garden was to give our clients a healthy outlet and to provide fresh vegetables for meals,” said Tom Tysver, ARC shift supervisor. Typically, 40-50 residents pick up gardening tools each season, getting involved in every step from tilling the soil to harvesting the crops. One resident said he pitched in because he had worked in gardens since he was a teenager. “Plus, it occupies my time,” he said.

Correctional Advisor Willie Glasper shows off a portion of the more than 3,000-pounds of produce grown in the ARC garden in 2013. More than a third of last season’s crop was donated to local food pantries.

In 2013, residents harvested more than 3,000 pounds of produce, with most going into dining hall dishes like a squash bake,

An Olathe WIC client and her son not only enjoyed fresh produce from the community garden, but they also volunteered there on a warm July day last summer.

cucumber salad and collard greens. Last year, the growers also donated 1,110 pounds of food to Johnson County charities and food pantries.

A sustainable partnership Johnson County Library happily teamed up with the City of Overland Park in 2011 on the city’s first community garden. Located on the lawn adjacent to the Oak Park Neighborhood Library, growers in this garden can only use organic and sustainable practices. The Library provides the earth; the nonprofit Overland Park Community Garden maintains the common areas and provides water; and gardeners pay for their plot and take it from there.

Have a green thumb? We’re here to help you kick off your gardening season. Visit www.jocogov.com/jocomag for:

WEB EXTRA

• Tips from the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardeners • Links to community gardens all over Johnson County • Information on how to volunteer at the WIC community garden

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Go on a geolocation scavenger hunt through the cities of Johnson County.

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Get away from it all at one of our nine Johnson County Parks.

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National Infant Immunization Weekthe perfect time to make sure your baby’s shots are up-to-date.

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Get a free soil test as you prep your garden.

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Celebrate National Library Week by checking out something from our eLibrary.

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Learn CPR in two minutes.

Take our Budget Simulator and look up the date of a budget public forum in your neighborhood.

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MON

Make Your House Address Visible for MED-ACT ambulance crews.

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SUN

30 Days of

Look up some interesting facts about your property.

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Happy Earth Day! We’ve got five tips on how you can help the planet.

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Find the new Johnson County logo, take a picture & tweet it to @jocogov.

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Ride the JO for free and enter our selfie contest!

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Go behind the scenes of a wastewater plant.

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15 Learn about Mental Health First Aid and find out how you can get certified.

Volunteer your time assisting homebound seniors.

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Recognize April as National Autism Month by learning how Johnson County Developmental Supports serves people with autism.

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Take notice of Monthly Siren Test Day and sign up for NotifyJoco.

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WED

Spring General Election Day: Vote in your city election or confirm your polling place for your next election.

TUES

Visit our Zoning Department online and find out which zoning board represents you.

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Pick a time for a free blood pressure screening.

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Create a calendar “Save the date” for your vehicle registration renewal deadline.

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f/jocogov @jocogov

Get social with JoCo. Are you following us yet?

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FRI

Bring the family to New Century Day…get close to planes, big rigs and more!

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Get creative and eco-friendly at Ernie Miller Nature Center’s Earth EnVi Outdoor Art event.

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Go back in time to 1954 and learn about Race in Suburbia.

Safely dispose of your Household Hazardous Waste.

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Walk, run or peddle from the Kansas River to Olathe on the Mill Creek Streamway Park trail.

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SAT

Get all of the details about these and other 30 Days of JoCo activities at www.jocogov.org/30Days and follow #Joco30Days

Attend a BOCC meeting either in-person or online.

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Look up the current appraised value of your property.

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Find out which County Commissioner represents you and send him an email.

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Seek out free assistance with your income taxes.

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THURS

Get to know Johnson County like never before! During April help us celebrate National County Government Month with 30 Days of JoCo. We’ve got at least one different way for you to engage with the County every day that month. Learn more at www.jocogov.org/30Days and use #Joco30Days to tell us what you’ve tried!


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2014 Season Sponsored By

The Theatre in the Park Is A Proud Program Of


One Community. One College. One Goal. Exceeding expectations is a driving force at Johnson County Community College. Our philosophy of excellence – excellence in meeting the needs of students and the community – constantly advances us closer to this goal. JCCC’s work in progress includes: • 84 percent of students responding to a satisfaction survey said they would enroll at JCCC again; 83 percent said they were satisfied with the JCCC experience. • 93 percent of JCCC’s career program completers find a job within six months. • 93 percent of participants in an Overland Park Chamber of Commerce Foundation study had a “favorable” opinion of JCCC; 68 percent had a “strongly favorable” opinion. • 83 percent of participants in the Chamber survey believed higher education at JCCC is critical for economic development; 85 percent believed JCCC prepares a workforce of today and in the future.

Change your life through learning. Change your life at JCCC. 12345 College Blvd. | Overland Park, KS 913-469-3803 | www.jccc.edu

Important JCCC dates to remember: Summer credit class registration Begins April 7 (8 a.m. for online, phone and in person) www.jccc.edu/admissions

Fall credit class registration Begins April 23 (9 p.m. for online) Begins April 24 (8 a.m. for phone and in person) www.jccc.edu/admissions

Continuing education registration Available anytime www.jccc.edu/ce


JOCO Magazine, Spring 2014