NACO_E-News_Header
November 30, 2012                                                       www.nacone.org   NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

NACO's 118th Annual Conference

December 12-14, 2012

Younes Conference Center, Kearney

 

 

NACo's 2012 Legislative Conference

March 2-6, 2013

Washington Hilton,

Washington D.C.

 

 

 

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

Legislative Interim Studies Scheduled

Opensky Policy Institute Releases Inheritance Tax Report

Legal Line

Crime Commission Juvenile Grant Announcements

Voices For Children In Nebraska To Host Juvenile Justice Reform Summit

NACo Web-Based Education

County Government Day PowerPoint Available

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 was November 14Any county making cancellations or changes lodging reservations after this date will be charged the first night's lodging.

  

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 increased 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 Officials Should Bring County Flags For Display

Counties should bring their county flag for display to the registration desk when they register.  Flags will be hung on Wednesday and Thursday.  County officials can pick up their flag any time after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday.

 

Individual Agendas Available On NACO's Website

Agendas for individual affilate group sessions and county board sessions can be viewed on NACO's website or by clicking here.

Legislative_Interim_StudiesLegislative Interim Studies Scheduled
The Legislature will wrap up its 2012 interim hearing schedule in mid-December.  Several studies may be of interest to county officials.

Wednesday, December 5
Judiciary Committee (Room 1113)
9:00 a.m. -  LR 535 - Interim study to examine the conditions, use, and effectiveness of Nebraska's youth rehabilitation and treatment centers
11:30 a.m.  - To report on results of the grant program for CASA authorized under LB463
1:30 p.m. - Implementation of Juvenile Services Delivery Project under LB985

Friday, December 7
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee (Room 1507)
9:30 a.m. -  LR 496 - Interim study to examine the issues surrounding the adoption and promulgation of rules and regulations
-LR 502 - Interim study to examine the issues surrounding governmental transparency
-LR 486 - Interim study to examine the issues surrounding state procurement policies
-LR 512 - Interim study to examine issues under the jurisdiction of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
-LR 561 - Interim study to examine the feasibility of a merger between the Dept. of Economic Development and the Dept. of Labor, as proposed in LB971

A complete hearing schedule is available here
OpenSky_ReportOpenSky Policy Institute Releases Inheritance Tax Report

If Nebraska lawmakers follow through on a proposal to eliminate the state's inheritance tax, many counties will find it hard to keep roads safe and support businesses, and property tax increases will be highly likely in many counties, according to Feeling the Squeeze, a report from OpenSky Policy Institute.


The report can be downloaded here.

NACo_Legislative_ConferenceNational Association of Counties to Hold 2013 Legislative Conference in Washington
Don't miss your opportunity to have your voice heard by the new 113th Congress during NACo's 2013 Legislative Conference, March 2-6, at the Washington Hilton. NACo members will share vital information to help move your county forward. The Washington Post's Bob Woodward will speak at the General Session on Monday, March 4. Click here for more information.
Legal_Line_11_16_2012Legal 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 and 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 contained in this article or that which will be discussed in future issues relates to your county, consult your county attorney or personal counsel.
   
Can a county use general fund dollars to host a holiday party?
By Beth Ferrell
This type of expenditure falls generally within the Local Government Miscellaneous Expenditures Act, Neb.Rev.Stat. 13-2201 et seq.   In addition to other expenditures authorized by law, local governing bodies may approve the expenditure of public funds "(iii) Provided at one recognition dinner each year held for elected and appointed officials, employees, or volunteers of the local government. The maximum cost per person for such dinner shall be established by formal action of the governing body, but shall not exceed twenty-five dollars. An annual recognition dinner may be held separately for employees of each department or separately for volunteers, or any of them in combination, if authorized by the governing body." 13-2203

In addition, the Act  requires establishment of a uniform policy setting a dollar amount on the value of any plaques, certificates of achievement and other items of value that are awarded to elected or appointed officials, employees, or volunteers, including persons serving on local government boards or commissions. The policy cannot be altered more than once in any twelve-month period.

The Act allows governing bodies to approve a uniform policy for the reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses incurred by officials, employees, or volunteers at meetings, workshops, and other official functions, including registration costs, certain meals and lodging.
The Act also allows expenditures for nonalcoholic beverages for persons attending public meetings of the governing body.  Nonalcoholic beverages and meals may be provided for certain volunteers and emergency workers while performing or immediately after performing associated functions.
 
The payment of expenses incurred by spouses of elected or appointed officials, employees, or volunteers is prohibited unless the spouse is also an elected or appointed official, employee or volunteer of the local government.
 
Reorganization Meetings to Occur in January and New Officials to be Sworn In
(NOTE:  The deadline for swearing in is discussed in detail below and modified to some extent from the prior edition's Legal Line article to reflect the inclusion of references to additional statutory language.  See the following discussion about the statutes and related legislative history.)
By Elaine Menzel
Following the last edition of E-Line, questions have arisen about information contained in the LegalLine section on when meetings are to occur in January and when officials will be sworn in.  This article is intended to enhance and clarify the earlier article.

Term of Office and January Organizational Meetings
"Unless otherwise provided by the Nebraska Constitution or by law the terms of all elected officers begin on the first Thursday after the first Tuesday in January next succeeding their election."  See Art. XVII, 5.  In supervisor counties, the regular meetings of the county board are to be held in January and the board at its regular meeting of each year must organize by choosing one of its number as chairman, who shall preside at all meetings of the board during the year; and in case of his absence at any meeting, the members present shall choose one of their number as temporary chairman.  Sections 23-272, 23-274.  Similarly, 23-156 provides the board of county commissioners at its regular meeting in January of each year must elect a chairman of the board to serve for the ensuing year, and such chairman shall sign all warrants on the treasurer for money to be paid out of the county treasury.  If the meeting occurs prior to January 3rd the board would be comprised of the "old" board members.  If the meeting occurs on January 3rd or after, the board would include the newly elected board members.

Oath of Office
Provisions for the oath of office are addressed in Neb. Rev. Stat. 11-101 et seq.  The oath of office in 11-101 must be subscribed by county officers and filed in the office of the county clerk.  The oath includes language related to what an individual swears to do and not do as an officeholder.  Section 11-105 contains additional pertinent language and it provides in part:  Official bonds, with the oath endorsed thereon, shall be filed in the proper office within the following time: Of all officers elected at any general election, not later than ten days before the first Thursday after the first Tuesday in January next succeeding the election; of all appointed officers, within thirty days after their appointment.  In other words, the official bonds with the oaths endorsed thereon must be filed in the county clerk's office not later than December 24, 2012 for individuals elected at the November 2012 general election.  The ten day provisions were added by LB 534 (1976) in conjunction with provisions in 11-115 that addresses what is to occur if any individual elected or appointed to office fails to have his official bond executed and approved by law.  Section 11-115 allows for an individual to properly file an official bond following a show cause for why he has failed to properly file such bond and why his office should not be declared vacant.  The ten days provisions were added to statute for the purpose of providing notice to those elected officials required to provide a bond prior to taking office.  The legislation was requested to be introduced by the Governor at the time.  His basis was an event that occurred in a county when a county board member thought he had filed a bond but he had not and the office was deemed vacant due to the failure of filing the bond.  The legislation was intended to be corrective.

In Lieu of Individual Bonds
In addition to the above statutes, there are statutory provisions that provide:  "In any county, in lieu of the individual bonds required to be furnished by county officers, a schedule, position, or blanket bond or undertaking may be given by county officers, or a single corporate surety fidelity, schedule, position, or blanket bond or undertaking covering all the officers, including officers required by law to furnish an individual bond or undertaking, may be furnished. The county may pay the premium for the bond. The bond shall be, at a minimum, an aggregate of the amounts fixed by law or by the person or board authorized by law to fix the amounts, and with such terms and conditions as may be required by sections 11-101 to 11-130[.]"  See Section 11-119(22).  In other words, the swearing in date would not necessarily be required to occur for county officials ten days prior to Jan. 3 because not all insurance providers require the filing of an oath in conjunction with insurance coverage that is allowed in lieu of an individual bond pursuant to 11-119(22).

Conclusion
So what does all of this mean?  If an elected official fails to timely file official bonds with the oath by the appropriate time, the county clerk is required to immediately issue an order to such person to show cause why he has failed to properly file such bond and why his office should not be declared vacant.  If such person properly files the official bond before the date for taking office for elected officials, such filing shall be deemed in compliance.  Failure to file the bond before the date for taking office for elected officials, and the lack of sufficient cause being shown within that time, result in the individual's office being ipso facto vacant and shall vacancy must be immediately filled by election or appointment.  Conversely, if an elected official utilizes the provisions of 11-119, the date of January 3, 2013 could be applicable for an officials swearing in.  Newly elected officials take office on January 3, 2013 based on the Nebraska Constitution.

Regardless of the option utilized by a county and county officials, it is recommended that this issue be discussed with your county attorney, your bond provider and/or your insurance provider.
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.
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.
NACo_Web_Based_EducationNACo Web-Based Education

Successfully Managing and Promoting Wind Power in America's Counties
Thursday, December 06, 2012
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM  Eastern Time 

 

County leaders are working with the wind industry to responsibly develop wind energy in their communities-protecting public safety while respecting individual property rights and promoting development.  NACo and the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) recently published "County Strategies for Successfully Managing and Promoting Wind Power," which shares criteria to consider when planning for wind installation of various scales and model ordinances to guide development. Learn about this new publication and hear first-hand experiences of county planners.  To register, click here.

 

News_Across_The_StateNews Across the State
Links are to outside sources and may not be available indefinitely.
 
Lincoln Journal Star, 11/30/12
 
Nebraska Association of County Officials
625 South 14th Street Suite 200 | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660