Welcome to the Johnson County Charter Commission
The 2021 Johnson County Charter Commission is established pursuant to the Johnson County Home Rule Charter, which was approved by the Johnson County voters in 2000. The Charter Commission is charged with reviewing Johnson County government operations and presenting its findings and recommendations to the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners. The composition and appointment of the Charter Commission is specified by Kansas statute. The Charter Commission consists of 25 individuals, who have been appointed by the various authorities as provided by state law. This website provides information on the Charter Commission’s meetings and other resources regarding the Charter Commission’s activities and responsibilities.
2021 Johnson County Charter Commission Statement
September 13, 2021 – Tonight the 2021 Johnson County Charter Commission was scheduled to receive comment from Johnson County citizens regarding the County’s Home Rule Charter. The Charter Commission is a 25-member volunteer group appointed by a variety of stakeholders, including elected officials, from Johnson County.
A Charter Commission is required to be appointed every ten years and is charged with reviewing the County’s Home Rule Charter and the Commission may propose amendments to the Charter which would then be placed on the general election ballot the following November.
The 2021 Charter Commission initially met in March 2021 and has met 10 times since then. All meetings have been and are required to be open to the public for viewing and listening.
The Home Rule Charter requires the Charter Commission to hold at least one public hearing. The 2021 Commission committed in early meetings to hold two public hearings. The first public hearing was to occur tonight.
The public hearing was scheduled to be held at the KU Edwards campus. The public hearing notice clearly stated that all persons attending the public hearing would be required to wear masks. The public hearing notice included a link to the requirements applicable to all KU facilities.
Numerous members of the audience chose not to comply with the capacity limits of the room and the requirement of wearing a mask. Prior to the start of the meeting, Charter Commission chair Greg Musil asked the assembled crowd to comply and advised that if the policies of the venue were not complied with the public hearing could not occur.
The meeting was called to order at approximately 5:30 p.m. pursuant to the public notice. After roll call and introductory remarks regarding the purpose of the Charter Commission, Chair Musil again asked the assembled audience to comply with the previously announced requirements. Vocal portions of the crowd refused, leading to the adjournment of the meeting.
“Unfortunately, although we had 24 of the 25 Charter Commission members ready, willing and able to listen to public comment, and there were members of the public signed up to speak, many members of the audience made a choice to protest the meeting and disrupt the opportunity for the public to be heard tonight,” Musil noted. “It is disappointing because the Commission wants to hear from the public, and we will reschedule the public hearing,” Musil concluded.
Citizens may follow the Commission at www.charter.jocogov.org
History of the Charter Commission
The Johnson County Charter Commission was formed in 1999 to study the structure of Johnson County Government and to make recommendations for improvements. In May 2000, the Charter Commission submitted its report and proposed Home Rule Charter for Johnson County with three questions for voters:
- Appointment of a county manager and elimination of three elected officers – county treasurer, county clerk and register of deeds – with the positions to be appointed by the county manager.
- Increase the number of the Board of County Commissioners from five to seven members, including a publicly elected, at-large chairman.
- Non-partisan elections for county commissioners.
On November 7, 2000, the voters of Johnson County approved and adopted the new charter and all three questions. The Home Rule Charter became effective on January 11, 2001.
The Home Rule Charter requires a new Charter Commission be convened every ten years. In 2011, a Charter Commission was established and delivered its final report to the Board of County Commissioners. There were no amendments proposed to the Home Rule Charter in the 2011 final report.