Johnson County names interim manager after commissioners again reject contact for Zacharias

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Johnson County commissioners named an interim county manager Thursday after again confirming earlier in the day that they would not renew the current manager's contract.

Penny Postoak Ferguson, who currently serves as deputy county manager, has been named interim county manager, the county announced Thursday.

Ferguson has served as deputy manager since 2012. Before that, she was the county's assistant manager.

Penny Postoak Ferguson

"I have every confidence that she will be able to bring the continuity and leadership that will maintain our community as a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Chairman Ed Eilert said in a statement from the county.

Earlier Thursday, Johnson County Commissioners again rejected a motion to offer a new contract to current county manager Hannes Zacharias.

Zacharias is widely credited for helping Johnson County services rank at the top in citizen satisfaction surveys.

About 20 people, many of them Johnson County employees, told county commissioners Thursday they made a mistake in terminating Zacharias' contract.

After about 90 minutes of testimony, a motion to extend the manager a new contract failed in a 4-3 vote.

Postoak Ferguson will move to her new position effective Jan. 1.