Johnson County government receives high ratings for quality of life, county services in surveys before, during COVID-19 pandemic

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has changed its COVID-19 reporting from daily to Monday through Friday, the Kansas City Star reports. File photo.

Johnson County government on Tuesday announced it has received consistently high ratings from residents who are satisfied with the quality of life, work and raising children here.

The county released findings of two surveys from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, which show that residents again gave high marks for the county’s quality of life and overall satisfaction with county government.

Those were among the results in the 2020 Community Survey shared June 4 with the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, according to a news release.

The first survey, conducted in February, involved a random sample of about 1,500 Johnson County households by ETC Institute. The Olathe firm has conducted the survey each year since 2005. The second survey, conducted last month, asked follow-up questions to those in the initial survey. The second survey’s questions pertained to county services and residents’ perceptions during the pandemic.

Ed Eilert, chairman of the county board of commissioners, said he was pleased with Johnson County’s high marks.

“For another year, we got responses in the high 90 percent range for Johnson County,” Eilert said. “We strive to make Johnson County a community where residents are proud to live, work, raise their family, and enjoy and benefit from the services the county has to offer.”

This year’s survey results are actually higher overall than last year’s findings, noted County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson.

“When you compare this survey to last year’s, we had a five-point increase in our composite index which measures customer satisfaction across the board and saw increases in satisfaction with all of the major services we provide,” Postoak Fergusonsaid said. “I am so pleased with these survey results and extremely appreciative of the hard work that happens at all levels of government to achieve them. Our organization will continue to work together in serving and protecting our residents.”

Here’s a comparison of this year and last year’s survey results.

  • Quality of life in the county at 93%, a rating of 21% above the national average and 23% more than the large community average. Last year’s rating: 93%
  • Overall image of the county at 92%, a rating 31% above the national average and 29% above the large community average. Last year’s rating: 93%
  • Public safety services at 92% compared to a national average of 74% and a large community average of 64%. Last year’s rating: 90%
  • The overall quality of county services was 81% as opposed to a national average of only 48% and large community average of 42%. Last year’s rating: 80%
  • County officials noted that the overall feelings of safety in Johnson County also scored steady high marks in both surveys.

Chris Tatham, president and chief executive officer of ETC, said they noticed residents slightly shifted their rankings of overall priorities in county services between the two surveys released before and during the pandemic.

For instance, the top critical role for government in both surveys was ensuring necessary health and human services are available; that increased from 42% to 53% in four months.

Coordinating public safety and law enforcement ranked second in February and third in May, remaining unchanged at 35%.

And finally, maintaining high-quality emergency service moved from fourth place to third place, increasing from 31% to 38%.

Here are highlights of survey results on the quality of life in Johnson County compared to last year’s.

  • 97% were satisfied with Johnson County as a place to live. The national rate was 71%. The rate for large communities was 51%. Last year’s rating: 97%
  • 95% were satisfied with Johnson County as a place to raise children with a national rate of 70% and large community rate of 52%. Last year’s rating: 95%
  • 91% were satisfied with Johnson County as a place to work. The national rate was 54% and large communities’ rating was 45%. Last year’s rating: 89%
  • With an increasing county population of aging adults, 72% were satisfied in the February survey with Johnson County as a place to retire compared to a national rate of 56% and large community rate of 46%. Last year’s rating: 69%