logo for the League of Women Voters of Johnson County

Spotlight on BOCC Candidates

What’s BOCC? What does it do? Who’s on it?

For too many Johnson County residents, our nonpartisan Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is a mystery but it shouldn’t be. These seven elected officials run a big business: They approved a $1.097 billion budget for 2019 and oversee nearly 4,000 employees in over 40 departments and agencies. Scroll down to view the list.

This year, four of the seven seats are up for election — districts 1, 4 and 5 and the position of chair. Normally, these races have low visibility. But not in 2018. Lengthy delays in tallying the August 7 Primary Election votes prompted local, state and even national media attention. Just weeks earlier, the BOCC unanimously approved a new $10 million voting system.

We want to help voters find out how the incumbents and challengers plan to address voting and other countywide issues. Spread the word to friends and family about three candidate forums. Each will include candidates running for one of the district seats as well as candidates running for chair (a countywide seat).

To find your district, you can enter your address on the Johnson County website.

District 1 includes Merriam, Mission, north Overland Park, Roeland Park, Westwood, Westwood Hills, Mission Woods, Fairway, Mission Hills, Prairie Village, and a significant part of Leawood.

District 4 is situated entirely within Overland Park.

District 5 covers Olathe, Lenexa, and a bit of Overland Park.

Save the Dates: BOCC Candidate Forums

Saturday, October 13: District 4

10 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

Matt Ross Community Center, Overland Park

District 4 candidates: Jason Osterhaus and Janeé Hanzlick

BOCC chair candidates: Ed Eilert and Trinette Waldrup

Moderator: Ellen Miller, LWVJoCo president


Sunday, October 14:  District 5

2 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Olathe Public Library

District 5 candidates: Michael Ashcraft and LeEtta Felter

BOCC chair candidates: Ed Eilert and Trinette Waldrup

Moderator: Ellen Miller, LWVJoCo president


Saturday, October 20:  District 1

3:30 – 5 p.m.

Matt Ross Community Center, Overland Park

District 1 candidates: Ron Shaffer and Becky Fast

BOCC chair candidates: Ed Eilert and Trinette Waldrup

Moderator: Sandra Sanchez, LWVJoCo member

What does the Johnson County Government do?

Johnson County employs more than 3,800 people and has full jurisdiction over the unincorporated areas of the county and limited jurisdiction within 20 municipalities. The County also operates five agencies and 34 departments. They include:


What does League do?

We educate citizens about issues, legislation, and candidates.
We sponsor candidate forums or “Meet and Greet” events

Candidates can impact your local community or the direction of the nation. To move beyond the candidate’s style and image to the substance of what they stand for, here are some tips to guide you as you decide which candidate you want to support with your vote.

Visit Vote411.org to view profiles of the candidates on your ballot.

How to Judge a Candidate