Johnson County Commission Chairman Ed Eilert hit a lot of the right highlights recently in his State of the County address.
The county’s population is up 60,000 people since 2006, he noted, and the county accounts for 25 percent of the total sales tax revenue in Kansas.
He also trotted out the usual praise for top-flight education provided at Johnson County Community College and the county’s K-12 school districts.
True, these kinds of speeches are always upbeat affairs.
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But Eilert did put a few challenges before his audience in talking about what kind of future he hopes the county can achieve.
One centers on the future of the county’s library system. The library board is reviewing its master plan, Eilert said, “to make sure that facilities and programs will meet the needs of a growing community and technology innovations.”
It would have been good for Eilert to add that, if the library board suggests extra money is needed to improve the system, he will fully support it.
The county chairman added that the Park and Recreation Board is doing a similar overview of its needs in maintaining current parks and opening parkland “currently unavailable for public access.”
It’s quite likely the park board will need more funds to provide that access to Johnson Countians.
As Eilert noted in his address, county residents for decades have invested in amenities that provide a high quality of living.
Pouring extra funds into better parks and libraries may need to be one of the next steps taken in the county.