Clerk Spotlight: City of Olathe, KS
Behind every successful government is a clerk keeping it all together through technology and cross-department collaboration.
Located smack dab in the middle of the U.S., Olathe, Kansas, is a unique city with a unique pronunciation [ow-lay-thuh]. Of Native American origin, Olathe means lovely or beautiful and according to our featured clerk, the town got its name honestly. Olathe is home to the Garmin headquarters (GPS technology) and is the fourth-most populous city in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Brenda Long, the subject of our clerk spotlight, has been a resident of Olathe for over 30 years. She began her career with the city as the administrative assistant to the city manager. In that role, she not only supported the city manager, but she also worked closely with the mayor, city council members, and the department directors. That foundational experience primed her to become the assistant city clerk in January of 2019 before being promoted to city clerk in April of 2020—the very day City Hall decided to go virtual at the start of the pandemic. Needless to say, her onboarding process was a bit hectic. Brenda recalls feeling like a duck: cool and collected on the surface, but paddling furiously beneath the water.
In this clerk spotlight, Brenda discusses how the City of Olathe dealt with the pandemic while remaining at least partially open, physically, the entire time. The pandemic sparked the use of electronic signatures and notarizations, as well as software like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. As one of our flagship customers, the City of Olathe has incorporated govAccess for their website, govDelivery for marketing communications, govMeetings for meeting and agenda management, and govService for digital service fulfillment. In fact, their digital service offering will be expanding with the addition of an online block party permit service, formerly managed manually in Microsoft Excel. Soon, residents will be able to apply for a permit, view public records, pay bills, and access dozens of other services online. Like much of the corporate world, Olathe has settled into a mix of in-person and digital meetings and paperless processes that demonstrate a few of the ways we’ve all managed to adjust despite the disruption of a major public health emergency.
“Granicus listens to us and works with us. We trust Granicus and Granicus has trusted us.”
— Brenda Long, CMC, City Clerk, City of Olathe, KS