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November 5, 2012                                                       www.nacone.org   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.

 

 

 

 

   

  

  

National_Insurance  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Crime Commission Juvenile Grant Announcements

PSC Lowers 911 Surcharge

Inheritance Tax Interim Study Hearing Scheduled For November 30, 2012

MIPS Bytes

Forging Nebraska's Future Initiative

NACO Executive Director Recognized By National And State Colleagues

Voices For Children In Nebraska To Host Juvenile Justice Reform Summit

County Government Day PowerPoint Available

2012 Directory of County Officials

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.

 

Changes Or Cancellations To Lodging Reservations

 

County officials should take note that the date for changing or cancelling any reservations for the NACO conference is November 14 Any county making cancellations or changes lodging reservations after this date will be charged the first night's logding.

 

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.

 

The announcement for the availability of 2012 Federal Title II(JJ), 2013 State Juvenile Services (JS), 2013 State County Aid enhancement (EG) funds have been posted on the Crime Commission website.  To view application instructions and applications, click here.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission entered an order reducing the Wireless Enhanced 911 surcharge by ten percent (10%) for the upcoming year.  As a result, based upon an estimated 1.3 million wireless subscribers, a ten percent (10%) reduction in surcharge represents a savings of approximately $1.56 million to subscriberrs during the Commission's two-year budget cycle.  To read more, click here.
County officials are encouraged to attend a hearing of the Legislature's Revenue Committee to present ideas for alternative sources of revenue if inheritance taxes are eliminated.  The hearing is set for Friday, Nov. 30 at 10:00 in Room 1113 of the State Capitol. The hearing is part of LR 644, an interim study introduced by the Revenue Committee.   Because counties could lose $48 million or more if inheritance taxes are eliminated, all ideas for replacement revenue - large and small - are encouraged.
 
If you plan to testify at the hearing, please notify Larry Dix or Beth Ferrell at the NACO office.  If a large number of officials plan to testify, the NACO office will prepare a schedule of testifiers to help the hearing process proceed smoothly.   If you aren't able to attend but would like to submit testimony, letters and emails can be provided directly to the Revenue Committee or NACO can compile written testimony for submission.
If you would like to watch the hearing live,  NET will livestream the proceedings here.
 
Members of the Revenue Committee and contact information:
 
Sen. Abbie Cornett, Chairperson, Dist.45
402.471.261
 
Sen. Greg Adams, Dist. 24
402.471.2756
 
Sen. Lydia Brasch, Dist. 16
402.471.2728
 
Sen. Deb Fischer, Dist. 43
402.471.2628
 
Sen. Galen Hadley, Dist. 37
402.471.2726
 
Sen. LeRoy Louden, Dist. 49
402.471.2725
 
Sen. Pete Pirsch, Dist. 4
402.471.2621
 
Sen. Paul Schumacher, Dist. 22
402.471.2715
MIPS_bytesMIPS Bytes

Urban Dictionary of a Data Hoarder:  A person who collects an abnormally large amount of useless, outdated, and or trivial files (music, movies, papers, apps, etc.) that clog up their computer's memory to the point that their virtual life is impacted negatively, with the unrealistic hopes that someday the useless data will magically be useful.


Almost everyone, including myself, is guilty of hoarding data.  And, when we take a closer look at these files, a high percentage of them have not been accessed for many years.  The result is larger amounts of money and resources to maintain and expand electronic data storage and disaster recovery.


Some of the cost associated with data hoarding is hidden.  For example:  The amount of time it takes to search through the unused and unwanted information to find what you are actually looking for.  Other costs are not hidden.  For example:  The difference in price between a desktop Western Digital 500GB hard drive and a similar 1TB (1000GB) hard drive is an additional $30 or more.  I know the first thing I think about when looking at buying or upgrading a computer, is how much information can be stored on the hard drive.


Even though $30 (as stated above) may not sound like much, consider the cost of trying to get your life back after your computer has been attacked by hackers or thieves.  Hackers and thieves can't take what you don't have.  The best protection against someone stealing your personal information is to dispose of data as soon as it is no longer needed for business purposes or legal matters.


Even if a company has no obligation to keep unused data (county government does have an obligation to keep certain information), if a legal situation were to arise, the company now has an obligation to preserve and produce relevant information regarding the situation.  Imagine how many hours it would take for attorneys to sift through all the unused and unwanted information and multiply that by the ever increasing hourly attorney fees.


Final notes:  Try to keep your personal data separate from business data.  Leave your personal data at home where it belongs.  Once you bring that information into the office, it may be subject to the same legal obligation (as stated above).  Check with your county attorney about records retention policies before deleting information from county owned equipment.

Forging_Nebraskas_FutureForging Nebraska's Future Initiative
Last November, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry launched their new Forging Nebraska's Future Initiative, which is a statewide planning effort focused on making Nebraska even better for the NExt Generation.  Special emphasis is being placed on creating jobs and wealth, as well as increasing the state's population.

On September 8-9, Forging Nebraska's Future released the 2012 Nebraska Progress Report which looks at eighty factors related to Nebraska's long-term competitiveness.  More than 374,000 copies of the Progress Report were inserted into the daily newspapers across the state.  In addition, the Nebraska Chamber has hosted twenty plus local chamber and town hall meetings to review the data and to discuss plans and ideas for growing Nebraska.  A complete review of the Report's data can be found by clicking here.

More recently, Forging Nebraska launched a new website with an online tool that allows every Nebraskan to submit their suggestions for making Nebraska better for the NExt Generation.  To view this website, click here.

To date, more than 275 ideas have been submitted.  Ideas will be solicited online until December 15, 2012.  In February, the Nebraska Chamber will release the "100 Best Ideas for the NExt Generation" as part of their Annual Meeting.  From there, the Chamber will work to narrow down these ideas into 3-8 Big Ideas that will serve as a springboard for Chamber work in the coming years.  
To read more, click here.
Larry's AwardLarry Dix, Executive Director of the Nebraska Association of County Officials, was recently honored by the National Council of County Association Executives (NCCAE) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) for graduating from the Certified County Association Executive Program.
The Certified County Association Executive Program (CCAEP) is a structured continuing education curriculum for the professional development of executive directors of county state associations.  The program is structured to comprehensively train county association leaders to be fully knowledgeable of leadership and association challenges and better prepare them to find ways to address emerging issues.  The CCAEP is sponsored and credentialed by the NCCAE and Cornell University with the support of the National Association of Counties.

To read more, click here.
Juvenile_Justice_Reform_SummitVoices For Children In Nebraska To Host Juvenile Justice Reform Summit
Voices for Children in Nebraska will host a juvenile justice reform summit on December 6, 2012 specifically focusing on the relationship between counties and the state in advancing reform.  To read more, click here.
CountygovernementdaycdCounty Government Day PowerPoint Available
The PowerPoint presentation is now available electronically at no charge (sent via e-mail) 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 and can be customized by each county. CD's are also available for $10.00 each to cover processing, shipping and handling. To request the County Government Day PowerPoint electronically, please e-mail your request to larrydix@nacone.org. 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.

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

Gothenburg Times, October 26, 2012

 

Closing Rural Polling Places Slow To Take Hold

Journal Star, October 27, 2012

 

Hall County Voters To Decide On Merger Of Assessor/Register Of Deeds Office

The Independent, October 27, 2012

 

Jefferson County Considers Adding 2 Commissioners

Beatrice Daily Sun, October 30, 2012 

 

Board Holds Off On Letter About Inheritance Tax

Fremont Tribune, November 1, 2012

 

Election Officials Brace For Lots Of Voters

World Herald, November 1, 2012

 

Lancaster County Could See Record Voter Turnout

Journal Star, November 1, 2012 

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