Johnson County government consists of 15 elected officials who operate independently in carrying out the day-to-day duties of their offices.
Candidates for office run on party tickets, with winners of the August party primary elections facing each other in the November general election. Most elected officeholders serve four-year terms.
The Johnson County Courthouse, 300 N. Holden St., is the hub of most of the governmental activity, housing all offices except for the judiciary and law enforcement branches, which operate from the Johnson County Justice Center, 101 W. Market St., and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and jail, 278 S.W. 871st Road, between Holden and Centerview. The Assessor’s and Collector’s offices also moved to the County Annex, 1310 S. Maguire St., in August 2017. Courthouse, Annex and Justice Center hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The county’s web site is www.jococourthouse.com.
Johnson County Commission
The commission, the administrative arm of the county, is composed of a presiding commissioner, who is elected countywide, and one commissioner each from the eastern and western districts. Current officials are: Bill Gabel, presiding commissioner; Charles Kavanaugh, western commissioner;and John Marr, eastern commissioner.
Commissioners establish county policy. They make decisions involving county property; develop, adopt and enforce the county budget; develop ordinances for the public health, safety and welfare; supervise the building and maintaining of roads and bridges; and other administrative functions, such as making appointments to county boards.
Commissioners have three employees who they appoint: the emergency management director (Troy Armstrong), the human resources director (Lisa Shore) and the road and bridge supervisor (Gary Bell.)
Commissioners generally meet in the commission chambers at the courthouse on Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number is (660) 747-2112.
The county clerk’s primary duties are to keep the records of the commissioner’s court and to serve as the election authority for the county. The office also issues county liquor and merchants licenses and handles sales tax and fictitious name applications. Diane Thompson currently serves in the position. Phone: (660) 747-6161.
The Collector’s Office prepares and mails personal property and real estate tax bills; collects and distributes taxes for the county and the other taxing jurisdictions in the county; provides tax information to the Missouri Department of Revenue; issues merchant licenses; and conducts annual tax sales for real estate on which taxes are delinquent for three years. Ruthane Small is the current collector. Phone: (660) 747-5531.
The Assessor’s Office is responsible for assessing values of all personal property and real estate in Johnson County; transferring ownership of real estate on tax records; providing public information about property in the county; issuing certificates of non-assessment of taxes (exemptions); providing aerial maps as available; completing and updating county maps as property changes. Mark Reynolds is the current assessor. Phone: (660) 747-9822.
The Auditor’s Office maintains the general ledgers for the county; handles accounts payable; countersigns all licenses, tax statements and checks issued for the county; conducts audits on the monthly reports received from the offices; issues purchase orders; and operates as the central purchasing department. Chad Davis is the current assessor. Phone: (660) 747-2633.
Recorder of Deeds
The Recorder of Deeds Office records and maintains all documents involving real estate, with records dating back to the early 1830s. The office also is responsible for recording many types of documents, such as warranty deeds, deeds of trust, subdivision plats, surveys, tax liens, releases and assignment. The office also issues marriage licenses, stores plats and surveys and files military discharges and miscellaneous documents. Stormy Taylor will take office in January 2019 when current Recorder Jan Jones retires. Phone: (660) 747-6811.
The Treasurer’s Office receives, disburses and invests county funds; balances the financial books and ensures money is accounted for in separate funds; maintains records for grants and reimbursements held by Johnson County; ensures the correct deposit to more than 87 funds. Heather Reynolds is the current treasurer. Phone: (660) 747-7411.
The Public Administrator’s Office provides guardianship and/or conservatorship duties and reports to the court annually about the care and administration of each estate; is appointed personal representative in estates where no will has been made. Nancy Jo Jennings currently holds the office. Phone: (660) 747-5327.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office prosecutes criminal cases involving state offenses. The prosecutor also advises the county commission and other officials on civil matters relating to county government. Rob Russell currently holds the office. Phone: (660) 422-7400.
The circuit clerk maintains records for the Johnson County Circuit, Associate and Probate courts, maintains the court dockets, handles filings for civil and criminal cases, and is responsible for juror notices and procedures. Stephanie Elkins is the current circuit clerk. Phone: (660) 422-7413.
The sheriff responsible for the operations of the Sheriff’s Office and the Johnson County jail.
His duties include staffing and managing budgets for both departments. The office investigates crimes and enforces state laws outside the incorporated areas of the county; takes citizen complaints and makes incident reports; serves civil documents; provides court bailiffs; houses county prisoners and contracts with other jurisdictions to house inmates from out of county; and contracts with some smaller cities in the county to provide city marshals and police chiefs. Scott Munsterman is the current sheriff. Phone: (660) 747-5511.
The county surveyor county projects, such as road openings and extensions, for the county and “remonuments”corners at the county’s request. Sam King is current county assessor. His office is located at 425 N. Holden St. Phone: (660) 747-9512.
The county coroner orders autopsies and inquests in cases of suspicious deaths; pronounces victims dead at the scene of accidents, and other violent or suspicious deaths; issues rulings on cause of death; signs death certificates; and performs the duties of sheriff when that office is vacant. His office is at 617 N. Maguire St. Current coroner is Clark Holdren. Phone: (660) 747-9114.