Like many Johnson Countians, Ed Eilert was raised in a small Kansas farming community. He attended Emporia State University receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Master’s degree in Business Education. Ed’s career started as a high school business teacher. He is first and foremost a family man and is the father of three children and husband to his wife Jan. His passion for others and advocacy for the disabled is an underlying current in all he does and the things he’s most passionate about.
Passionate about Education and Business
Ed knows the value of a good education and the sacrifices that are often made to get there. He champions Johnson County’s nationally acclaimed K-12 schools. He is a past educator and completed his teaching career at Shawnee Mission East High School. With his academic background in business, he went to work as a financial advisor and spent over 35 years with A. G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.
Ed is pro-business and inherently understands the importance of diverse job opportunities for our residents. Throughout the tenure of his public service, the College Boulevard corridor has developed to a first-class business route running east-west through the heart of the county. He helped negotiate the 200 acre Sprint World Headquarters Campus in Overland Park in the early 1990’s.
His leadership brought our county through the recent great recession in a sound financial position while at the same time not increasing property taxes.
Passionate about Quality of Life for Residents
During his years as mayor, Ed was instrumental in building a strong economy for the city and supporting those community amenities which help to make our county a great place to live, work and raise a family. Ed says that Johnson County provides an excellent quality of life and remains a jewel that deserves good stewardship, wise leadership, constant respect and close attention to resident’s concerns about important issues impacting our county.
Public safety and criminal justice, public works, transportation, human services, taxes, cooperation with local governments and job opportunities are some of the challenging issues that must be addressed by the Board of County Commissioners.
Successfully addressing these issues will require experienced and proactive leadership. He looks forward to continuing his service as your County Chair.
Passionate about Citizen Services
Ed Eilert has devoted much of his adult life to public service, initially on the Overland Park City Council and as Overland Park mayor for 24 years, focusing on non-glamorous but essential municipal services during a time when the city experienced phenomenal growth,
Ed brings to the office of County Commission Chairman strong leadership experience in local government, in building community and delivering value for taxpayer dollar. As a fierce advocate of citizens on a variety of issues, Ed has been willing to testify on our county’s behalf in Topeka. He will continue leading Johnson Countians on issues that matter most: mental health services, public safety, parks, libraries, transportation and social services.
One of Ed’s accomplishments was his effort to obtain commission approval for Johnson County voters to make a decision regarding a new courthouse which was approved on a November 2016 ballot. He has also shared leadership in the National Association of Counties Stepping Up Program. Stepping Up is a program designed to help those with mental illness to receive necessary treatment rather than be forced into jail. Johnson County was named as one of seven counties in the United States as an Innovator County. As such, our county is tasked with sharing innovative approaches and programs getting more of the mentally ill into proper treatment, rather than the perpetually recycling of them as inmates.
Leadership for the Cities, County and Region
Ed has worked on several regional projects, he campaigned for the first bi-state sales tax that financed the reconstruction Union Station and served as a charter member of the Bi-State Commission with oversight responsibility of the funding. He has served on the board of the Kansas City Area Economic Development Council supporting their work in bring jobs to our metro area. He serves on the board of the Mid-America Regional Council, and as ex-officio member of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and the Enterprise Center of Johnson County.
Chairman Eilert helped lead the campaign in 2008 for a one-eighth cent sales tax to create the Johnson County Education Research Triangle (JCERT) which helps support the K-State Olathe campus, KU Edwards Campus and the KU Clinical Trials Center which is focused on research to combat cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Ed served as chairman of the JCERT Authority for eight years. He helped achieve completion of the innovative public-private partnership redevelopment of the Meadowbrook Golf & Country Club resulting in the county receiving about 80 acres of that land for a new park.
His reputation is one of integrity, a thoughtful leader, a conscientious listener and a strong steward of community resources.