October 19, 2012                                                NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

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

Conference Matters

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Inheritance Tax Interim Hearing Scheduled

Grant Writing Workshop

Legal Line

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



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 at the Younes Conference Center.  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

Inheritance_tax_interim_hearing_scheduledInheritance Tax Interim Hearing Scheduled
Save the Date!  The Legislature's Revenue Committee has scheduled an interim hearing on inheritance tax replacement revenue for Friday, November 30.  The hearing on LR 644 will begin at 10:00 a.m. CST in Room 1113 of the State Capitol.  More information will be provided soon.  To read LR 644, click here.
GrantWkshpGrant Writing Workshop
The Omaha Police Department and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Omaha, November 5-6, 2012. This training is for grant seekers across all disciplines. Attend this class and you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals.

Click here for full event details.
Legal_LineLegal Line

Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This edition has been prepared by Beth Ferrell 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.


Question:  An elected county official plans to retire soon.  How is the vacancy filled?


Answer:  When a vacancy is created in an elective county office, state election laws set out the process for filling the vacancy.  Except for a vacancy on the county board itself, the county board fills the vacancy by appointment. If the vacancy is on the county board, a committee comprised of the county clerk, county treasurer and county attorney fill the vacancy. Neb.Rev.Stat. 32-567.  Because this group meets the definition of a public body under the Open Meetings Act, its proceedings are subject to open meetings laws.  In addition, 84-1410, which offers reasons for going into closed sessions, states, "Nothing in this section shall permit a closed meeting for discussion of the appointment or election of a new member to any public body."


There is no statutory requirement to advertise for applicants to fill a vacancy, but it may be beneficial in attracting a broader pool of qualified candidates.  Applicants must meet the same residency and certification criteria as the elected official, except that an attorney residing in another county may be appointed to fill a county attorney vacancy. 23-1201.01.


The vacancy must be filled within 45 days after it occurs, unless good cause is shown that this requirement imposes an undue burden.  In the interim, the function of the office is exercised by the deputy if there is one and if not, by a temporary replacement selected by the county board until a permanent successor is duly appointed.  32-563.


Appointments made by a county board to fill a vacancy must be in writing and continue for the unexpired term of the office and until a successor is elected and qualified except as otherwise provided.  The written appointment must be filed with the county clerk.  32-571.

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 President Rodgers and Secretary Vilsack Convene Regional Drought Meeting


With more than two-thirds of the nation's counties declared official drought disaster areas, NACo partnered with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to host a regional drought meeting in Douglas County (Omaha), Nebraska on October 9, 2012.  To read more, click here and here.


NACo Receives Grant to Assist Counties With Pipeline Safety


NACo has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.  The grant will enable NACo to continue to work with elected county officials, county planners and other county staff across the U.S. to manage the risks associated with transmission pipelines, to engage loca officials and the public in decision-making processes related to the placement of new pipelines, and to provide information and traingin about prudent land-use practices adjacent to transmission pipelines.  To read more, click here

NACo_Web_based_educationNACo Web-Based Education
Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining IT/Cybersecurity Talent
October 24, 2012
2:00 - 3:00 PM, EDT

The IT field is changing quickly and having the skilled staff to keep  up with it can be challenging, but NACo's Cyber Task Force and the National Intiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) are working to address those challenges.  Join NICE Task Lead Peggy Maxson to learn what steps they have put in place to build the cyber workforce for county governments.
To register, click here.

Federal Cybersecurity Briefing and Potential Impact on County Government
October 31, 2012
2:00 - 3:00 PM, EDT

Participate in the final webinar in NACo's National Cyber Security Awareness Month series to find out about Federal programs supporting county government with materials, grants and other resources.  Also hear the industry view on the future of cyber security legislation.
To register, click here.
Understanding the Changing Flood Risks: What Counties Need to Know
November 1, 2012
2:00 - 3:15 PM, EDT

Flood risks are changing. Explore tools that can help you better understand and communicate the changing flood risks and their flood insurance implications.
To register, click here.

For more information on these or other upcoming or previous webinars, visit 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.

County Board to Heineman:  Inhertiance Tax Revenue Necessary

Journal Star, October 11, 2012

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