County government

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Johnson County government consists of 15 elected officials who run on party tickets, with August party primary winners facing off in the November general election.

The county building, 300 N. Holden St., is the hub of most governmental activity. The county’s web site is www.jococourthouse.com.

County Commission: The three-member commission comprise the county’s administrative arm, making decisions that include developing, adopting and enforcing the county budget; developing ordinances for the public health, safety and welfare; supervising the building and maintaining of roads and bridges. Commissioners generally meet in the commission chambers at the courthouse Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number is (660) 747-2112.

The county clerk keeps commission records and serves as the county’s election authority. The office also issues county liquor and merchants licenses and handles sales tax and fictitious name applications. Phone: (660) 747-6161.

The collector mails personal property and real estate tax bills; handles tax collection and distribution for the county and the other taxing jurisdictions; issues merchant licenses; and conducts annual tax sales. Phone: (660) 747-5531.

The assessor determines values of all personal property and real estate in Johnson County; transfers ownership of real estate on tax records; and completes and updates county maps as property changes. Phone: (660) 747-9822.

The auditor maintains the general ledgers for the county; handles accounts payable; countersigns all licenses, tax statements and checks issued for the county; and audits monthly reports from the offices. Phone: (660) 747-2633.

The recorder maintains real estate and other documents, including warranty deeds, deeds of trust, subdivision plats, surveys, tax liens, releases and assignments. The office also issues marriage licenses, stores plats and surveys, and files military discharges and miscellaneous documents. Phone: (660) 747-6811.

The treasurer disburses and invests county funds; balances the books and ensures money is accounted for in separate funds; maintains records for grants and reimbursements held by Johnson County; and ensures the correct deposit to more than 87 funds. Phone: (660) 747-7411.

The public administrator provides guardianship and/or conservatorship duties and reports to the court annually about the care and administration of each estate. Phone: (660) 747-5327.

The prosecutor prosecutes criminal cases involving state offenses. The prosecutor also advises the county officials on civil matters relating to county government. Phone: (660) 422-7400.

The circuit clerk maintains records for the circuit, associate and probate courts, maintains court dockets, handles filings for civil and criminal cases, and is responsible for juror notices and procedures. Phone: (660) 422-7413.

The sheriff is responsible for the operations of the Sheriff’s Office and the Johnson County Jail.

The surveyor surveys county projects, such as road openings, for the county and “remonuments” corners at the county’s request. His office is at 425 N. Holden St. Phone: (660) 747-9512.

The coroner does 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; and signs death certificates; and performs the duties of sheriff when the office is vacant. His office is at 617 N. Maguire Street. Phone: (660) 747-9114.

Health care well-represented in community

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Health care needs in the Johnson County community are served by several public agencies as well as private health care, dental and eye care providers.

Hospital Services

Among the public agencies serving the county is the Western Missouri Medical Center, an acute care facility, 403 Burkarth Road, Warrensburg. The nonprofit hospital provides emergency care, inpatient and outpatient, and rehabilitation services.

An elected board of five members, who serve five-year terms, determines policy and directs administrative staff in carrying out the policies. The board consists of Chairwoman Rita White, Vice Chairman Liz Fatka, Secretary Larry Purcell, Treasurer Dr. Patty Denney and the immediate past president is Greg Hassler.

Darinda Reberry is the chief executive officer. The board meets on the last Friday of each month at the hospital.

Inpatient services include an obstetrics department, medical and surgical nursing units, intensive care unit, telemetry unit and respiratory therapy.

Inpatient care is provided by a team of hospitalists, internal medical specialists who cover for local physicians on a daily basis.

Outpatient services include cardiac rehabilitation, cardiology, diabetes treatment and management, diagnostic imaging, oncology, laboratory services, neurology, pain center, physical and occupational therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, rheumatology, sleep laboratory, outpatient surgery, urology, pediatric, nephrology and wound care.

The hospital has specialists in general, bariatric and orthopedic surgery; cardiology; emergency medicine; oncology; internal medicine; neurology; obstetrics and gynecology; pain management; pathology; pulmonology; pediatrics; rheumatology; sleep medicine; sports medicine; urology and wound care.

The facility provides off-site services through two family practice clinics, Western Missouri Family Healthcare in Holden and Knob Noster; an orthopedic practice, Western Missouri Bone & Joint; Building Blocks Pediatrics and an internal medicine and pulmonology clinic at Western Missouri Internal Medicine. Central Family Medicine will be the third family practice clinic joining the hospital this year. A second internal medicine practice expands services to patients. The Express Care clinic in the Innes I building on the hospital campus provides immediate care for patients with low-level ailments who are unable to get a doctor’s appointment.

For details, call (660) 747-2500 or visit www.wmmc.com.

Public Health Johnson County Community Health Services, 723 PCA Road, established in 1975, is a county-owned, public health agency that provides home health, public health and hospice services to county residents.

The elected board consists of Chairman Alex Wales, Secretary Corky Burgin, Treasurer Kay Stauffer, members Gaynal Taylor and Rick Edwards. The board meets at 10 a.m. every fourth Thursday at the agency. The director is Anthony Arton.

The public health function focuses on preventing disease and injury by promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Services offered include immunizations; health screenings; testing for sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis; pregnancy tests; health education; CPR/AED and First Aid classes; child care provider support; car seat safety; lead testing; and animal bite case management.

The agency also serves as the local registrar for birth and death records and operates the Women, Infants and Children supplemental food program.

Environmental Public Health includes services and resources relating to sanitation and safety inspections of food establishments, child care facilities and lodging establishments. The agency offers free food safety training classes for food handlers and managers. Training covers all aspects of safe food handling. The ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification Course and Examination, a nationally accredited course, is required by many restaurants for those in manager positions.

The agency administers regulations for the design, construction and major modification of all on-site wastewater treatment systems to protect and promote public health and to prevent the entrance and emergence of infectious, contagious, communicable or dangerous diseases, and offers technical assistance for all environmental public health concerns.

Home health care provides nursing assistance to home-bound people recovering from surgery or those who have conditions requiring regular medical care so they can remain at home. The agency has credentialed and trained teams of nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, certified nurse aides and a medical social worker who work with physicians to develop a personalized home health plan. Hospice care for terminally ill patients focuses on meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families. A trained team of nurses, physicians, medical director, nurse aides, social worker, chaplain and volunteers provide compassionate end-of-life care with a focus on managing pain and symptoms.

The agency collaborates with other agencies and groups to address health care needs in the community and improve the quality of life for area residents.

For more information, call (660) 747-6121 or visit www.Johnsoncountyhealth.org.

Ambulance Service

The Johnson County Ambulance District is a tax-supported entity formed in 2002 to provide emergency medical services and ambulance transport in the county.

The district is governed by a board of directors elected from six sub-districts in the county. Board members are Chairman Ray Patrick, Secretary Mary Kidd and Mike Wakeman, Violet Corbett, Alice Greife and Juanita Moore.

The board meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at district headquarters.

The district has grown to five ambulance houses located around the county to provide faster service to people experiencing medical emergencies.

Two ambulance houses are in Warrensburg, including the headquarters at 263 S.E. Business 13. Other houses are in Holden, Knob Noster and Pittsville in western Johnson County.

Ambulances are staffed by licensed emergency medical technicians and paramedics under the supervision of a medical director.

Chief Shane Lockard is in charge of the day-to-day district operations with the assistance of an operation and training division chief and battalion chiefs who supervise three shifts of ambulance personnel daily.

The agency also provides a variety of training courses for district staff and personnel from outside agencies. Courses include basic EMT training and refresher training, first aid, CPR, advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support.

To contact the agency, call (660) 747-5735 or visit jocoamb.com.

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Utility contacts phone call away

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When moving into a community, utility and service hookups are vital to everyday life.

This is a list of where to call to plug into the basics...

Electric: To contact Kansas City Power and Light, also called KCP&L, phone: (877) 288-5309 for customer service.

Water; Missouri American Water Co., 1705 Montserrat Park Road. Phone: (866) 430-0820.

Sewer: Warrensburg City Hall, 102 S. Holden St., provides sewer service for community members. Telephone: (660) 747-9131.

Gas Service: Missouri Gas Energy. Phone: (800) 582-1234.

Telephone, Internet, TV: Charter Communications provides cable TV, phone and Internet. Phone: (888) 619-5114.

CenturyLink, 210 E. Market St., Warrensburg, offers phone, Internet and satellite television service. Phone: (660) 429-6808.

Trash Pickup: Heartland Waste, 12 N.E. Highway V. Phone: (660) 429-1040 or (888) 561-5225; WCA, Sedalia. Phone: (888) 394-8722; and Vic’s Disposal: 500 S.E. 400 Road. Phone: (660) 747-2088.

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Warrensburg led by city manager

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Warrensburg city government is led by a city manager, Harold Stewart II, who answers to an elected, five-member City Council.

The city manager’s job is to oversee the city’s daily operations. City department heads – including the police and fire chiefs, public works and human relations – answer to the city manager, who in turn answers to the City Council.

Council elections are held annually, on a rotating basis, and members serve three-year terms.

A council member may serve two terms, a total of six years, and then is term-limited off the council. However, after sitting out for a term, a council member may run again, which has happened several times in Warrensburg.

In April, Bryan Jacobs became the city’s mayor. He is assisted by Mayor Pro-Tem Danielle Johnston, Councilwoman Robin Allen, Councilman Bob Watts and Councilman Casey Lund.

The position of mayor is not one the public elects directly, as occurs in many other communities. Instead, whoever sits in the mayor’s seat is elected by the members of the council, which is how Jacobs received the seat.

Under the city manager form of government, as practiced in Warrensburg, council members receive reports from the city manager, department heads and occasionally from service providers. A service provider might give a report to the city, for example, when an independent auditor completes the annual city audit, or a contractor is asked to do a specific job, such as erecting the city gateway sign that welcomes visitors to the community.

Reports provided to the council come at public meetings. Community members are welcome to attend all public meetings to hear such reports.

The public also is invited to call City Hall to have their names placed on the council’s meeting agenda. By doing so, the public can bring issues or noteworthy information that requires action to the council’s attention.

The City Council meets in regular public sessions at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month. Meetings take place at Warrensburg Municipal Center, 102 S. Holden St., across from City Hall.

For more information about Warrensburg City Council meetings, or for general information about city operations, call (660) 747-9131.

Military important part of community

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All of the great aspects of military life are represented in Warrensburg, from education, through military service and into retirement.

The University of Central Missouri offers a star-studded Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, counting four generals among graduates: Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mustion, Brig. Gen. Arnold N. Gordon-Bray, Brig. Gen. Troy D. Kok and Brig. Gen. C. David Turner.

In addition to the ROTC, UCM’s reputation as a school that serves active and retired military members is growing with the Office of Military and Veterans Services. The office offers a safe, secure and supportive environment in which to transition to college life in ways that include connections with fellow military and veteran students. Learn more about office services at ucmo.edu/vets/.

For those in the National Guard, the National Guard Armory, 343 E. Gay St., provides a training center to keep citizen soldiers ready to serve their country.

Whiteman Air Force Base, home of the B-2 stealth bomber, is 15 miles east of Warrensburg, is a world-class location for active duty and reserve personnel in the Air Force and Army.

Team Whiteman provides strategic deterrence, global power and support to combat and joint force commanders anytime, anywhere. The B-2 stealth bomber is able to leave Whiteman and fly nonstop to deliver ordinance anywhere on the planet, something demonstrated when necessary.

When troops are on the ground, the A-10 Thunderbolt II can fly low, with pilots able to distinguish who is who to take out enemy combatants.

The base, with Air Force and Army personnel, has other significant missions that individually and combined make Whiteman a gem in the national defense crown. Military and civilian employment at the base totals 7,593, with a payroll of $322.7 million annually, and an estimated regional economic impact of $690 million, based on 2014 numbers.

Whiteman also is a source for fun. Thousands will converge on the base in 2017 for the air show Wings Over Whiteman.

Base members live and participate in Warrensburg’s civic life. They join community groups and churches, and are critical to the success of many activities, from beautifying Childrens Memorial Gardens to planting flags on every veteran’s grave on Memorial Day.

Warrensburg is home to American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations. These groups offer like-minded men and women places where they can share interests, and the groups provide civic services, such as supporting youth baseball and event facilities.

Warrensburg also is home to a Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic at 702 E. Young St. The 10,000 square-foot, $2 million clinic includes an optometrist and audiologist to serve eligible veterans. For details, call (816) 861-4700, ext. 54281.

Older veterans can find an expert and caring environment at the Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg, which is recognized nationally. Learn more at mvc.dps.mo.gov/homes/warrensburg.php.

The genuine appreciation shown for military service and the amenities offered demonstrate Warrensburg is a military-friendly community not just in words, but through action and available services.