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October 5, 2012                                                       www.nacone.org   NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

NACO's 7th Annual Legislative Conference 

October 11, 2012

Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center, Kearney

 

NWCA Fall Training

October 16-17, 2012

Central Community College, Hastings

 

NACO's 118th Annual Conference

December 12-14, 2012

Younes Conference Center, Kearney

 

 

To view all upcoming events click here.

 

 

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AssocMembersAssociate and Sustaining Members

NACO Associate and Sustaining Members enable NACO to enhance its continuing education programs for county officials across the state. Visit NACO's complete associate and sustaining membership list here.

 

EducationFoundationEducation Foundation Memorial Program

A gift to NACO's Education Foundation ensures that the children of county officials and county employees are eligible to apply for scholarships to continue their education at Nebraska's higher learning institutions. Whatever their passion - history, art, music, science, education, sports - the NACO Education Foundation will provide them an opportunity to fund their education beyond the K-12 level. Memorial gifts to NACO's Education Foundation are tax deductible and will be a lasting legacy in honor of your loved one's commitment to educating the children of Nebraska's county officials and employees. For more information about how to make a memorial gift, please contact Larry Dix  / 402-434-5660 ext. 226.

In This Issue

Make Plans to Attend NACO's 7th Annual Legislative Conference

Conference Matters

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

BJA Announces Indigent Defense Grant Awards

Governor Announces Kimball and Banner Counties Designated Livestock Friendly
Legal Line

Assessors Workshop Spurs Sales Tax on Sale of Copies of Public Records Question

New Cash Balance Election Period

Updated County Government Day PowerPoint CD Available

2012 Directory of County Officials

News from NACo

NACo Web Based Education

News Across the State

Legal Calendar

County Classifieds

Associate & Sustaining Members

NACO Education Foundation Memorial Program

 

 

Legislative_ConferenceMake Plans to Attend NACO's 7th Annual Legislative Conference

NACO's 7th Annual Legislative Conference will be held in Kearney on October 11, 2012. If you haven't already done so, be sure to mark this date on your calendar because you won't to miss this educational opportunity. 

 

Over five hours of educational sessions and networking have been planned for this year's conference. To view the tentative agenda for this conference, click here.

 

You may register on-line at NACO's website by clicking here. The registration fee for this conference is only $40.00. The registration fee includes two breaks, a luncheon and all handout materials. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center in Kearney. Rates for lodging are $78.95 single/double. You may contact the Holiday Inn at (308) 237-5971 for lodging. Be sure to mention that you are with the NACO Legislative Conference to receive the contracted rate.

 

At this conference you will have input into establishing NACO's platform and legislative priorities. Take a look at the tentative agenda and you'll see that this conference is a very important part of each elected and appointed county official's continuing education, not to mention your opportunity to have input into the legislation that affects county government as a whole.

 

conference_matters_2012Conference Matters 

Register Now For NACO's 118th Annual Conference

 

NACO's 118th Annual Conference will be held in Kearney, December 12-14th, 2012.  To register for this conference click here.

 

Lodging Reservation Date

 

County officials were able to begin contacting hotels for conference lodging on August 30, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time.  Reservations must be made by using the published phone numbers to receive the contracted rate for the conference.   For a list of contracted hotels, their rates and the reservation phone numbers, click here.  On August 30 or after, those officials making reservations for the conference must use the phone numbers published by NACO to receive the contracted rate.  The contracted rate will not be available with on-line reservations.

 

NACO has received several inquiries into annual conference lodging procedures.  It is hoped that this article will answer some of the questions readers may have regarding these procedures.

 

In 2004, the NACO conference was held in Omaha and NACO was not involved in the housing process for this conference.  As a result, the Holiday Inn in Omaha oversold so many rooms that approximately 80 people ended up with no rooms when they were promised a room and even had confirmation numbers for those rooms.  At that time, many county officials asked NACO to step in to make sure that this would never happen again.

 

NACO did recognize the need for some type of lodging procedure and asked the hotels to assist in setting a procedure for lodging reservations.  Several different procedures have been tried, including faxing your rooming list in and e-mailing your rooming list.  With each procedure, complaints were registered and each year NACO receives a multitude of complaints from those counties that were unable to obtain rooms on the first day they became available.

 

NACO researches the amount of rooms used for every conference.  NACO establishes an average for those amounts and requests this average amount in their contracts.  In every hotel contract, attrition is a possibility.  Attrition is when NACO contracts with each hotel for a certain amount of rooms.  When the amount of rooms NACO contracts for are not filled, NACO could be responsible for a certain percentage of the revenue that would have been received by filling the rooms requested in the NACO block.  The larger the amount of rooms not filled, the higher the percentage attrition is.  When counties call and request a number of rooms and then later realize that they don't need this many rooms, then cancel what they don't need, it causes a great many vacancies.  This happens a great deal the closer the cut off date for cancellations comes.  In the end, the hotels end up with vacancies and they fill those vacancies with entities outside of the NACO Conference.  Even though NACO has not requested the entire inventory of rooms each hotel has, each hotel will go beyond that inventory, honoring the rate that NACO has contracted for until their entire inventory is sold.  For example, say a hotel has 100 rooms and NACO contracts for 90 of those rooms.  When the hotel reaches the 90 rooms NACO contracted for and still receives requests, they will continue to sell rooms at the contracted rate until all 100 rooms are filled.  Again, when last minute cancellations occur, each hotel will try to fill those vacancies with whatever source is available to them, including those requests that fall outside of the NACO conference.

 

NACO has been asked why counties can't reserve their room for the next year when they check out of their rooms the previous year.  With the advancement of technology and the ability to make on-line registrations, most hotels are unable to accept reservations any earlier than fifty weeks in advance.

 

When attrition is not a serious consideration, NACO is considering stepping out of the process and leaving the conference lodging procedures in the hands of each individual hotel.  This would mean that county officials would be left to deal with the individual hotels' policies on their own, with no support from NACO.

 

Any individuals with ideas for lodging procedures or concerns should contact the NACO office.  We realize the lodging procedures are not ideal and welcome any new ideas that would make the lodging process better for all concerned. 

 

Guest or Spouse Registration

 

NACO has established a registration fee for guests or spouses.  A guest or spouse of a registered county official may register to attend the annual conference.  The advance fee for guest or spouse registration is $65.00.  After November 23 the fee increases to $80.00.  This registration only applies to a spouse or a guest of a registered county official.  This registration cannot be used by a county official or a county employee.  A spouse or guest registration will have a distinct color on the registration badge.  This badge will be provided at the registration desk once payment has been received.  A spouse or guest registration will provide the guest or spouse access to Opening Session, vendor display areas, Delegation Breakfast, Friday's boxed lunch and all conference registration material.  This registration will not provide access to any food and beverage functions that require a ticket or invitation from a vendor in order to attend.

 

If you are a registered county official and would like to register your spouse or a guest, contact the NACO office at (402) 434-5660 or click here to send an e-mail requesting the Guest/Spouse registration form.

 

County Official of the Year

 

Do you know of an elected or appointed county official who you feel serves as the embodiment of a true dedicated public official?  If so, nominate that individual for the annual County Official of the Year Award.  The Nebraska Association of County Officials will present its highest honor to one county official at the conclusion of the December 14th business meeting.

 

The County Official of the Year Award was created as a means of honoring one individual each year for his or her leadership abilities, high standard of public service and outstanding contributions made to the medium of county government and that person's community.

 

The official nomination form can be found on NACO's website or by clicking here.  To nominate someone you know, print the form, complete it and return it to the NACO office by November 9, along with any supplemental materials you feel would provide additional insight into why this person is deserving of the award.  Supporting material may include testimonial letters from peers or other printed matter that highlight his or her record of service.  Each of the 2012 nominees will be introduced and recognized during the conference.  The announcement will be made as to who has been chosen by a special selection committee following the NACO Business Meeting on Friday, December 14.  The 2012 recipient will join an elite list of county officials who have previously received this award and will receive a handsomely engraved plaque befitting of this prestigious honor.

 

national_cyber_security_monthNational Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Cyber security is one of NACo President Chris Rodgers' initiatives for 2012-2013. Chris has appointed Mary Ann Borgeson, Douglas County Commissioner as the chairperson of the NACo Cyber Security Task Force. NACo has teamed with the Department of Homeland Security, National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center to bring you a series of webinars each Wednesday during October (2-3 p.m. EDT) highlighting the role that county elected officials play in protecting the nation's cyber infrastructure. For more details and to register for the webinars click here.  

 
You can also find the following tools/resources to help you build awareness in your county: "What Local Governments Can Do," "Social Media Updates," "MS-ISAC Member Benefits" and "NACo Proclamation." 
 
Please send Larry Dix, NACO Executive Director, an email notifying him of any activities you held in your county so he can report back to Chris and Mary Ann.  To send him an e-mail, click here

bja_announces_grantsBJA Announces Indigent Defense Grant Awards

BJA is pleased to announce its FY 2012 grant awards that support developing capacity to improve indigent defense services. BJA announces four grants under the Answering Gideon's Call grant announcement and one grant to support the Center for Holistic Defense.
Answering Gideon's Call grants will contribute to indigent defense knowledge and practice by testing approaches to providing quality indigent defense services using the Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System developed by the American Bar Association in 2002. These grants are:

 

* Harris County Public Defender's Office (Texas) to implement the Future Appointed Counsel Training Program, which will establish a training, mentoring, and supervision program for new private lawyers based on national principles, state guidelines, and best practices from around the country.

 

* Delaware's Criminal Justice Counsel to enhance its ability to provide quality representation to indigent defendants in cases where the state's public defender office is conflicted from representing an individual.

 

* Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services and the Center for Court Innovation to implement a program to study and improve the way that data is collected and used to drive decisionmaking.

 

* Michigan State Appellate Defender Office to support a project to help individuals who are convicted of offenses who may be eligible for community-based or non-prison sentences. A multiyear effort, the goal of the project is to improve the quality of indigent defense at sentencing, while reducing recidivism.

 

To address the changing role of the public defender, BJA awarded a grant to the Bronx Defenders to create the Center for Holistic Defense to define and share best practices in holistic advocacy for the public defender, responding to a nationwide call for training and technical assistance for public defenders in the area of holistic, community-oriented advocacy based on the Bronx model. This grant will support intensive mentoring and technical assistance (TA) to three sites around the country that are implementing the holistic advocacy model. The Bronx Defenders have developed an assessment tool composed of four pillars of holistic defense to assist both small and large jurisdictions, that are not mentoring sites, implement holistic defense. They are currently producing a documentary about holistic defense that will be launched on the Internet in conjunction with live presentations, and the documentary will be integrated into their BJA TA. For more information, click here.

kimball_banner_livestock_friendlyGovernor Announces Kimball and Banner Counties Designated Livestock Friendly
 
Gov. Dave Heineman announced the official designation of Kimball and Banner Counties as Nebraska's newest Livestock Friendly Counties. With the addition of Kimball and Banner, there are now 20 counties designated as Livestock Friendly through the state program, including: Adams, Box Butte, Cuming, Dawes, Deuel, Gage, Garden, Grant, Hitchcock, Jefferson, Keith, Lincoln, Morrill, Saline, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Wayne, and Webster Counties.  To read more, click here.
Legal_Line_10_7_12Legal Line
Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This edition has been prepared by Elaine Menzel of the NACO legal staff. Legal Line is not intended to serve as legal advice. Rather, it is published to alert readers to court decisions and legal or advisory matters important to county government. For a specific opinion on how the information conatined in this article or that which will be discussed in future issues relates to your county, consult your county attorney or personal counsel.
 
County Ordinance Authority

 

Since August 2009, counties have had specific authority to regulate various subjects by ordinance.  Those subjects are identified in section 23-187 and include:

  • Parking of motor vehicles on public roads, highways, and rights-of-way as it pertains to snow removal for and access by emergency vehicles to areas within the county;
  • Motor vehicles as defined in section 60-339 that are abandoned on public or private property;
  • Low-speed vehicles as described and operated pursuant to section 60-6,380;
  • Golf car vehicles as described and operated pursuant to section 60-6,381;
  • Graffiti on public or private property;
  • False alarms from electronic security systems that result in requests for emergency response from law enforcement or other emergency responders; and
  • Violation of the public peace and good order of the county by disorderly conduct, lewd or lascivious behavior, or public nudity.

The initial list of subjects that could be regulated by county ordinance included five subjects.  The regulation of low-speed vehicles was added by the Legislature in 2011 and golf car vehicles in 2012.  Provisions for the steps for adoption of a county ordinance are included in sections 23-188 et seq.

 

For the enforcement of county ordinances authorized by section 23-187, a county may impose fines, forfeitures, or penalties and provide for the recovery, collection, and enforcement of such fines, forfeitures, or penalties. Additionally, a county may authorize such other measures for the enforcement of ordinances as may be necessary and proper. Fines enacted pursuant to this section are not to exceed $500 for each offense. Section 23-187(2).

 

Notice must be given by the county board for the time when any county ordinance is set for consideration before the board.   The notice must appear at least once a week for two weeks in a newspaper published or of general circulation in the county.  Additionally, the notice must contain the entire wording of the ordinance and the time and place of the public hearing. The timeframe for the last publication of the notice shall be not less than five days nor more than two weeks prior to the time set for the public hearing on the adoption of the ordinance.   County boards shall not take final action on proposed ordinances until after at least one public hearing has been held by the county board at which public comment regarding the proposed ordinance was permitted.  Section 23-188.

 

The style of county ordinances shall be: "Be it ordained by the county board of the county of ...........," and all county ordinances shall, within fifteen days after they are adopted, be published in some newspaper published or of general circulation within the county. Section 23-191.

 

County ordinances adopted pursuant to sections 23-187 to 23-193 are not effective within the corporate boundaries of any incorporated city or village located in whole or in part within the county. Additionally, ordinances adopted pursuant to such sections shall be effective within the area outside of the corporate boundaries of any city or village in which such city or village has been granted and is exercising powers by ordinance on a similar subject matter. Every county ordinance must include one section defining the area of the county within which the county ordinance is effective. The ordinance shall be amended to reflect any changes in the area of the county's jurisdiction resulting from (a) annexation by a city or village, (b) action by a city or village to adopt an ordinance regarding similar subject matter to that of the county ordinance if the city or village ordinance is to be effective in areas beyond its corporate boundary, or (c) any changes in the area of jurisdiction of the city or village regarding such city or village ordinance. Section 23-192(1).

 

Additional provisions for adoption and application are found within the above referenced statutes.  Section 23-193 provides that a county attorney may sign and prosecute a complaint in the county court for a violation of an ordinance of the county in which he or she serves as county attorney. Prior to the prosecution of a complaint for a violation of an ordinance, a county must have on file with the court a current copy of the ordinances of such county. The State Court Administrator is to provide guidelines and the court shall prescribe the form in which such ordinances are to be filed.

 

General county authority is found in section 23-104, for instance counties have the power:

  1. To purchase and hold the real and personal estate necessary for the use of the county;
  2. to purchase, lease, lease with option to buy, acquire by gift or devise, and hold for the benefit of the county real estate sold by virtue of judicial proceedings in which the county is plaintiff or is interested;
  3. to hold all real estate conveyed by general warranty deed to trustees in which the county is the beneficiary, whether the real estate is situated in the county so interested or in some other county or counties of the state;
  4. to sell, convey, exchange, or lease any real or personal estate owned by the county in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as may be deemed in the best interest of the county;
  5. to enter into compacts with other counties to exercise and carry out powers possessed by or conferred by law upon each county separately; and
  6. to make all contracts and to do all other acts in relation to the property and concerns of the county necessary to the exercise of its corporate powers, except that no lease agreement for the rental of equipment shall be entered into if the consideration for all lease agreements for the fiscal year exceeds one-tenth of one percent of the total taxable value of the taxable property of the county.

Additionally, counties have authority for particular subjects granted through statutes requiring the adoptions of resolutions.  For example, zoning is permitted in section 23-114 et seq.

sales_tax_on_copiesAssessors Workshop Spurs Sales Tax on Sale of Copies of Public Records Question

Recently at the 2012 County Assessor's Workshop, the Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department) received several questions regarding the counties' responsibility to collect sales tax on the sale of copies of public records. As a result, NACO was provided information by the Department about the issue.

 

 Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-2704.42 provides that sales of copies of public records as defined under Neb. Rev. Stat. 84-712.01are exempt from sales and use tax, except for those documents developed, produced, or acquired and made available for commercial sale to the general public when the price or reproduction cost of the document is not fixed by state law, rule, or regulation. This section of the Nebraska Statutes was added in 2002.

 

 The Department stated,

 

The county assessor or other county office must collect and remit state and local sales taxes on the sale of copies of public records, such as property record cards and information, sales information, cadastral maps, Nebraska Statutes, reports of court cases, advance sheets, brand books, departmental manuals, and other similar publications. The price or reproduction cost of these documents is not fixed by state law. In addition, the gross receipts from persons using the county's copying machines are taxable. See Sales and Use Tax Regulations 1-031.02 and 1-008.03.  However, if the party requesting copies of public records provides a public official a CD and mailing supplies to enable the public official to make electronic copies of the public records, the amount charged to the requestor is not taxable.

 

While each county office that collects sales taxes can obtain its own sales tax permit, the sales tax can also be reported and remitted by another county office that holds a valid sales tax permit. However, sales taxes collected by other county offices should not be remitted on the county treasurer's Nebraska and Local Sales and Use Tax Return, Form 9. County offices that need to obtain a sales tax permit must file a Nebraska Tax Application, Form 20.

 

An example of a statutory section that does fix the price for photocopies is Neb. Rev. Stat. 33-126.05. This section provides that a county court providing photocopies is entitled to twenty-five cents per page. Therefore, sales taxes on such documents would be inapplicable.

 

Specific questions can be directed to Cliff Thomas in the Department's Policy Section at 402-471-5676, or email him by clicking here.

new_cash_balance_election_periodNew Cash Balance Election Period
The passage of LB 916 (2012) establishes a new period in which members of the County Defined Contribution retirement plans may elect to participate in the Cash Balance plan.  INDIVIDUALS ALREADY PARTICIPATING IN THE CASH BALANCE PLAN ARE NOT IMPACTED BY THIS LEGISLATION.

Defined Contribution members may make a one-time, irrevocable election to transfer to the Cash Balance plan during the election period beginning September 1, 2012, and ending October 31, 2012.

For additional information, click here to see the Nebraska Public Retirement Systems' website.
CountygovernementdaycdUpdated County Government Day PowerPoint CD Available
An updated PowerPoint presentation is available on CD for use by counties during their annual County Government Day. The PowerPoint provides a comprehensive look at county government functions in the State of Nebraska. The CD is customizable and is available for $10 to cover processing, shipping and handling. The order form is available here.

Directory2012 Directory of County Officials

The order form for the NACO 2012 Directory of County Officials is available here or on the NACO website. Each directory is $17 if tax-exempt or $18 if taxable.

 

NACoNewsNews from NACo 

NACo_Logo

NACO to Provide Cybersecurity Webinar Series

 

In support of October National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the NACo Presidential Cybersecurity Initiative, NACo has teamed up with the Deprtment of Homeland Security (DHS), National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center to bring you webinars highlighting county government's role in protecting the Nation's cyber infrastructure.  To read more, click here.

 

NACo_Web_based_educationNACo Web-Based Education
Smart Justice Practices for Counties:  Behavioral Health Interventions Thursday, October 18, 2012
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM EDT

County Correctional Systems are increasingly challenged in their efforts to meet the needs of justice-involved individuals with mental health and substance use issues.  Learn about promising and successful models for diverting mentally ill individuals into ex-offenders reentering the community after incarceration.  To register, click here.

For more information on these or other upcoming or previous webinars, visity the NACo Web-based Education page by clicking here.

News_Across_The_StateNews Across the State
Links are to outside sources and may not be available indefinitely.
 

Fremont Tribune, October 3, 2012

 

Nebraska Association of County Officials
625 South 14th Street Suite 200 | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660