17346 Midland Dr
Shawnee, KS 66217
|
(913) 400-2509

Government

From the days of wagon trains pushing west to an entrepreneur pushing to open a new business. From settlers searching for their own land to college graduates looking to land a first job. People have always looked for a place in which to start fresh — an open territory where limitless ideas are embraced. Shawnee has always been just such a place.

Centuries ago, settlers saw this land as an area of new beginnings. It became the site of the first territorial legislature. Farmers nurtured young crops in the fertile soil. Leadership for the entire state emerged. And people put down roots that would last for centuries. In a word, opportunity flowed freely from this center of activity.

Today's Shawnee is no different. Businesses start to flourish. Children get a head-start on life. Families (who may have thought it out of reach before) are able to begin enjoying the good life. Recreational opportunities start people down paths of health and enjoyment. Fun starts at any number of attractions around town. And good fortune still flows freely from this center of activity.

Wherever you are in life. Whatever your dreams. Whether you're starting a family or raising a business; hitting your first home run or running off to your next adventure, everything you need is right here - in a place where life takes off and great things begin. Shawnee, Kansas - Good Starts Here.

The City of Shawnee is a city of the 1st class. As such, it has the authority of home rule, which allows cities to determine many policy issues on their own. Shawnee's charter form of government is the Mayor-Council-Manager form, which vests the policy making authority in the City Council with veto power given to the Mayor. The City Manager makes all administrative and personnel decisions regarding the implementation of council policy. The role of the manager is to provide professional knowledge of all areas of municipal government and advice on accepted public administration practices.

The Mayor is the titular head of the city and presides at all council meetings. He or she signs all ordinances and resolutions passed by the council and can veto any ordinance or resolution except for charter ordinances. An ordinance or resolution vetoed by the Mayor may be overridden by a 3/4 vote of the council. The Mayor also signs all contracts authorized by the governing body before the city is liable. The Mayor represents the governing body at official city functions. The Mayor may make recommendations to the council concerning city policies, practices, or activities, but can not make a motion. After every regular city election, the council elects one of its members as Council president, who in the absence or disability of the Mayor, becomes acting Mayor. When there is a vacancy in the office of Mayor, the Council president becomes Mayor until a Mayor has been elected for an unexpired or full term.

The role of the councilmember encompasses a broad range of activities with the level of participation being established individually by each councilmember. Some councilmembers view their role as that of ombudsmen and focus primarily on constituency services, acting as a conduit between their constituency and the city administration. Other councilmembers view their role as that of a community leader who promotes the welfare and development of Shawnee. The Municipal Code charges all councilmembers with the role of policy maker. Collectively, the council determines what the city is or wants to be and determines the direction to take to achieve a constantly redefined goal. Formal policies include city ordinances and resolutions as well as written administrative policies. Most city ordinances are codified into a Municipal Code, with some exceptions, most notably zoning and franchise ordinances. If a vacancy in the office of a councilmember occurs, that position is filled by a temporary replacement nominated by a councilmember and approved by a majority of the remaining councilmembers. The interim councilmember holds office until the next election. If the council fails to fill a vacancy within 60 days, a special election is called.

The City Manager is responsible for the administration of the city's affairs. He or she has the power to appoint and remove all department heads and officers. The City Manager is charged with seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced. He also makes recommendations to the governing body in all matters concerning the welfare of the city and has a seat, but no vote in all the public meetings of the governing body. The City Manager is responsible for preparing and presenting the annual budget to the governing body and keeping the city council fully advised as the financial conditions and needs of the city. He or she is appointed by the governing body and holds office at the pleasure of the governing body.

Shawnee is the third fastest growing city in the State of Kansas and the Kansas City area, Shawnee nestles its more than 64,170 residents in 42 square miles of rolling hills and unspoiled countryside. Good city planning and economic development practices have carefully concentrated commercial and industrial development on major traffic arteries to protect the quiet residential areas. Shawnee's city government is well known for its sensitivity to the needs of both residents and businesses. Government is also conscientious of the city's clean environment, and is dedicated to preserving it through orderly and controlled growth.

Shawnee's city government is vigorously pursuing key industries that will add to a diversified economy and create job opportunities for its residents. Major national and international companies have already located facilities in Shawnee. The City Council has adopted a wide variety of targeted incentives to both new development and redevelopment opportunities. Nearby highways and interstates (I-35, I-435, K-7 and Shawnee Mission Parkway) give industries excellent access to their transportation needs, and allow companies to draw on a skilled labor pool of more than 1,171,520 workers.

The City has an outstanding relationship with the Chamber of Commerce , the Shawnee Downtown Partnership , and the Economic Development Council . In 2008, a branding project was funded jointly by these groups to promote economic stability and growth, The County's unemployment rate is a full 1.2 points below the national unemployment rate and is projected to remain below the national average.

The future holds great promise. In November 2008, voters approved a sales tax to fund an education and research triangle in the County. The research triangle has three components: world-class cancer treatment and research with a major expansion of the University of Kansas Medical Center to Johnson County creating jobs for all County residents, including residents of Shawnee; a world-class Food Safety and Animal Health Institute; and, the expansion of the University of Kansas Edwards Campus, located 15 minutes from Shawnee, which will offer new educational programs in business, engineering, science and technology with the intent to create high-paying jobs and bolster economic development by training for the 21st century.

Shawnee has once again been recognized by Money Magazine as one of the "Best Places to Live" in America! Ranked 17th on the list in 2010, Shawnee was recognized for its affordable housing, air quality index, and median commute time.

For the fourth consecutive time, Shawnee has been selected tops by a national on-line publication. BusinessWeek selected Shawnee as one of the Best Affordable Suburbs in 2006 and 2009 for its' excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, recreational opportunities, and best public safety and first rate City services. In 2008, Money Magazine identified Shawnee as one of the top 100 U.S. communities to live based on home prices, property tax, crime statistics, air quality, commute time, weather, leisure and cultural opportunities and health and education.

Wherever you are in life. Whatever your dreams. Whether you're starting a family or raising a business, hitting your first home run or running off to your next adventure, everything you need is right here - in a place where life takes off and great things begin. Shawnee, Kansas...Good Starts Here

Shawnee's roots go back to the Native American people who lived on this land just south of the Kansas River in the early 19th century. For a time in the 1850's, when the town was known as Gum Springs, it was home to the Kansas territory's first legislature and capitol, and it was the first county seat. Looted by William Quantrill during the Civil War, Shawnee was rebuilt by sturdy immigrant farmers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Throughout the City, you will see statues and monuments honoring Shawnee's history; Pioneer Crossing, the Chief Bluejacket Statute, and the Veteran's Tribute to name a few. No city in the county has a richer history or more promising future.

The City has an unrivaled sense of community. Annual events include the St. Patrick's Parade and Duck Race, Beauty and The Best, the Scarecrow Festival, Historical Hauntings, Christmas Around Town, Octoberfest, Shawnee Great Grillers Barbecue, Tour de Shawnee, and the Summer Concert Series. The biggest event of the year is Old Shawnee Days, held the first weekend in J une since 1967; it marks the start of summer for thousands of families who come to enjoy an amazing weekend long celebration. Shawnee Town 1929, the City's museum, comes to life with living history programs, events, and guided and self-guided tours focusing on Shawnee at its zenith - a prosperous, family-oriented farming community where Belgian and German immigrants sold their fruits and vegetables at Kansas City's farmer's market.

One of Shawnee's strengths and sources of pride is its outstanding parks and recreation programs. Shawnee has 629 acres of City parkland, 695 acres of subdivision open space, and 1,600 acres of County parkland in the City. Shawnee is one of two cities in Kansas to be designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the American League of Bicyclists. There are approximately 9 miles of on-street bike lanes, 41 miles of Share the Road and 26 miles of off-street bike trails. Shawnee also has two state of the art aquatic facilities: the Thomas Soetaert Aquatic Center and Splash Cove at the Jim Allen Aquatic Center. Other Shawnee attractions include its 24,000-square-foot Civic Centre, the Johnson County Museum of History, Wonderscope Children's Museum, the Ice Sports Arena indoor ice rink, the 3&2 Baseball Complex, Mid-America Sports Complex and Shawnee Mission Beach Volleyball.

Shawnee's close proximity to the heart of Kansas City allows for easy access to various indoor and outdoor shopping centers, Kansas City International Airport and downtown Kansas City. Visitors are just a few short minutes from a host of restaurants and eating venues within the community. From the new Hereford House and Paulo and Bill's all the way to Sheridan's Custard – the City has a host of eating out opportunities for families and seniors, whether it's a hometown café like Pegahs or Fogones , to the kid friendly environments o f Ruby Tuesday's or C hili's, to something more unique like Japanese or Korean cuisine – there are plenty of opportunities to grab a quick meal, or a more relaxing Friday night beer with friends in a place where kids are welcome.

Wherever you are in life. Whatever your dreams. Whether you're starting a family or raising a business, hitting your first home run or running off to your next adventure, everything you need is right here - in a place where life takes off and great things begin. Shawnee, Kansas...Good Starts Here.

.