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Jackson County, Missouri

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Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia

Jackson County is one of 114 counties in Missouri. With a population of 674,158 in the 2010 Census, Jackson County is the second most populous of Missouri's counties, after St. Louis County.[1] Kansas City, the state's most populous city and focus city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, is partly located in Jackson County. Although Independence retains its status as the original county seat, Kansas City serves as a second county seat and the center of county government.

Website evaluation

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Transparency grading process


Last rated on March 5, 2012.

Main article: Evaluation of Missouri county websites

The good

  • Budget is available.[2]
  • County Legislature meeting schedule[3], agendas, minutes, and videos[4] are posted.
  • County Legislators are posted[5]. Individual contact information is listed under the county directory[6]
  • Contact information for administrative officials is posted on the county directory.[6]
  • Building permits[7] and building regulations[8] are posted.
  • Audits are available.[2]
  • Information on being a vendor for the county is posted[9], including current open bids[10].
  • Information on tax assessment[11] and collection[12] is posted.

The bad

Budget

Below is a trend of expenditures by fund between 2008 and 2011:[14]

Fund Title Adopted Budget
2008
Adopted Budget
2009
Adopted Budget
2010
Adopted Budget
2011
General $82,399,743 $78,782,257 $78,418,383 $83,175,728
Special Revenue 123,092,920 119,695,732 106,171,255 106,528,425
Capital Projects 511,752,364 101,597,521 101,597,521 62,653,085
Debt Service 60,127,695 61,730,696 50,106,696 64,610,695
Enterprise 4,880,479 6,407,532 6,407,532 6,560,965
TOTAL
APPROPRIATED
FUNDS
$782,253,201 $368,12,738 $342,701,387 $323,528,989

Elected officials

The County Legislature is responsible for all legislative duties in the County, including the introduction and execution of all County resolutions. They are also responsible for the introduction and execution of all County ordinances subject to the approval or veto of the County Executive. A veto by the Executive can be overridden by six votes of the Legislature.[5]

Six County Legislators are elected from six local districts of similar size, each representing about one-sixth of the County’s constituents. Three County Legislators are elected from three "at-large" districts of similar size. Every citizen in Jackson County is there-by represented by two County Legislators.[5]

Name District
Theresa Garza Ruiz 1st District At-Large
Crystal Williams 2nd District At-Large
Fred Arbanas 3rd District At-Large
Scott Burnett 1st District
James D. Tindall, Sr. 2nd District
Dennis Waits, Chairman 3rd District
Dan Tarwater II 4th District
Greg Grounds, Vice Chairman 5th District
Bob Spence 6th District

Although it does not go into actual salaries for County Legislators, the website gives a break down of their budget. In 2011, they had 29.5 full-time staff budgeted, down from 31 in 2009.[15]

Account Type 2009
Actual
2010
Budget
2010 Expenses
12/31/2010
2011
Adopted Budget
Salaries $1,697,738 $1,694,567 $1,717,475 $1,813,065
Contractual Services 263,390 592,858 375,350 570,585
Supplies 13,917 29,560 16,701 17,902
Capital Outlay - 1,920 95 4,920
$1,975,045 $2,318,905 $2,109,621 $2,406,472

Administrative officials

Key administrative officials include:[6]

Name Position
Mike Sanders County Executive
Fred Siems Chief Administrative Officer
Calvin Williford Chief, Intergovernmental Operations and Communications
Shelley Temple-Kneuvean Chief Operating Officer

Salaries

The 2012 adopted budget contains $62,512,805 in salary expenditures. This is an increase over the 2011 total of $60,244,030.[16]

Pensions

Main article: Missouri public pensions

Employees become a member of the pension plan on January 1 of the year following one year of completed service. The plan is funded by the County with no contributions required by participants. 100% vesting at completion of 5 years of service; normal retirement age is 65; early retirement is between ages 55 & 65 with 5 years of vested service and a 5% per year reduction.[17]

Normal Benefit Formula - 1.5 X Years of Service X Average Monthly Earnings. “80 & Out” entitles employee to receive unreduced Pension Benefits when employees age plus years of service totals 80 or more.[17]

County Sheriff

Sheriff’s Deputies perform the same duties as Police Officers. Sheriff Deputies primarily serve the citizens of unincorporated Jackson County. Police Officers primarily serve the citizens of incorporated cities. However, the authority of the Sheriff and his Deputies to enforce State Laws, including State Traffic Laws, extends across the entire county.[18]

The Department maintains reports issued by the Sheriff’s Office deputies and employees. These reports are an account of criminal incidents and/or activities relevant to our law enforcement function. The report may become part of an official record which is used as a basis for evaluation of what has been done or what needs to be done. They are frequently used in judicial proceedings; used to explain and demonstrate training needs; used to justify needs in manpower and equipment; reviewed by the news media to convey important information to the public; used by the department to analyze and formulate statistics; and used as a basis of performance evaluation for the individual employee. Therefore, it is imperative that each report is thoroughly completed and that every report is of the highest possible quality.[19] Unfortunately, the county requires that citizens pay for these reports and does not make them available through their website or email.

Lobbying

In 2008, Jackson County reported $70,000 spent on lobbying.[20]

Taxes

A 2011 tax levy schedule is posted here by the Collections Department.[21] The county assesses and collects both a real estate and personal property tax.

External links

References