NACO_E-News_Header
September 20, 2013                                                       www.nacone.org   NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

Panhandle District Meeting

September 25

Bridgeport, Community Center

 

West Central District Meeting

September 26

Ogallala, Grey Goose Lodge

 

Register of Deeds Workshop 

October 9

Kearney, Holiday Inn

 

NACO Legislative Conference

October 10

Kearney, Holiday Inn

 

NACO 119th Annual Conference

December 11-13

Omaha, CenturyLink Center 

 

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

NPZA Workshop on LB140 Airport Zoning Bill Scheduled
Register of Deeds Workshop Slated for October 9

NACO's 8th Annual Legislative Conference 

Conference Matters    

Next-Generation 911 Study Underway  

Legislature Schedules Interim Studies   

Walk for Your Life Challenge  

Tax Modernization Committee Hearings Scheduled

Legal LIne 

NACo Prescription Drug Program 

County Government Day PowerPoint 

County Directories   

2012 County Board Handbook and Revisions 

News Across the State   

Legal Calendar  

County Classifieds 

Associate & Sustaining Members 

NACO Education Foundation Memorial Program 

 

NPZANPZA Workshop on LB140 Airport Zoning Bill Scheduled
LB 140 was passed by the Nebraska Legislature in the 2013 session.  This bill affects all parties involved with zoning of public airports in Nebraska.  A one day session, scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, 2013 will provide speakers discussing the legal, planning, and zoning aspects of this bill.  A registration form for this workshop can be found by clicking here.
ROD_WorkshopRegister of Deeds Workshop Slated For October 9
The biennial Register of Deeds Workshop will be held again this year in Kearney at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center.  The workshop is scheduled the day before NACO's Legislative Conference in order to minimize travel and out of office time for those who will attend.  A tentative agenda for the workshop can be viewed by clicking here.  To register for the workshop, click here.

A block of rooms has been reserved for the workshop and reservations can be made by calling the Holiday Inn at (308) 237-5971.  The lodging rate is $82.95 per person.  When making reservations, be sure to mention you will be attending the workshop in order to obtain this rate.
Legislative_ConferenceNACO's 8th Annual Legislative Conference
NACO's 8th Annual Legislative Conference will be held in Kearney on October 10, 2013.  If you haven't already done so, be sure to mark this date on your calendar because you won't want 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.

The registration fee for this conference is only $45.00.  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 $82.95 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.

To register for the workshop, click here.

 

Conference_MattersConference Matters

Lodging

Lodging for NACO's 119th Annual Conference became available on May 10, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. CST.  The conference will be held in Omaha December 11-13 and this year you will be able to make lodging reservations electronically by visiting the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau website and clicking on NACO's microsite.  The link to the microsite is available here and is also posted on NACO's website.  Once you click on NACO's microsite, you will be able to choose the contracted  hotel of your choice along with the dates you will require for lodging.  Initially, a valid credit card will be required for securing your lodging.  Once you have secured your lodging via credit card, you will be able to access a credit application for direct billing and will be required to complete and submit a tax exempt form (all forms will be available on the microsite).

 

Planning

NACO has sent, via e-mail, planning grids and cut off dates to each affiliate group leader requesting that each group plan their sessions for the upcoming Annual Conference in December.  If you have a topic that you would like to have addressed at the conference, please contact your affiliate group president so they may consider it for the agenda.

 

Opening Session Speaker 

NACO Aaron Davishas contracted for Aaron Davis, member of Nebraska's 1994 National Champion football team, to deliver the opening session address to conference attendees at this year's conference in Omaha.

  

Aaron is not just a speaker "telling" individuals how to succeed.  He is in the trenches every day as the President of his own consulting firm, Aaron Davis Presentations, Inc., the Chief Operations Officer of The Thomas Group, and the co-founder of several other profitable business ventures.

  

Aaron Davis Presentations, Inc. received the Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Minority Owned Business award while Toastmasters International awarded him the Communications & Leadership Award.  Rotary International also presented him with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award.  In addition, his business management certification seminars for the University of Nebraska have received some of the highest ratings in the program's twenty-four year history!

 

Courage, mental toughness and the ability to change and adapt quickly are just a few characteristics that all champions possess.  As a member of the Nebraska 1994 National Championship football team (considered by some as one of the best teams ever assembled), Aaron has a keen understanding of what it takes to achieve incredible results.  In his presentation, "Perform Like a Champion" conferences attendees will learn strategies to remain mentally tough in a competitive environment; they will be encouraged to never lose the ability to laugh at themselves and to have fun; and they will learn tips on how to adapt to change quickly while still enjoying the ride.

 

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 13th 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 8, 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 2013 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 13.  The 2013 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.

 

Plan now to attend NACO's 119th Annual Conference in Omaha. You won't want to miss this opening session presentation.

 

Watch for conference registration to open on NACO's website soon.  To view a conference overview and tentative agenda, click here. 

Next_GenerationNext-Generation 911 Study Underway
A study of next-generation emergency telephone communications kicked off today with a preliminary meeting to introduce the process for the study, including a discussion of participation by public safety answering points (PSAPs), GIS and service providers. The study is being conducted pursuant to legislation enacted last spring under LB595 and is intended to gather information about current 911 service  as the state begins to transition to next-generation 911 services.  Mission Critical Partners, Inc. has been selected to conduct the study.

As part of the study, public meetings are being held throughout the state to allow individuals, local governmental officials, and any other interested parties to provide input into or to ask questions about the study or next-generation 911 service.   As part of the study, each PSAP will be contacted directly by Mission Critical Partners and will have the opportunity to provide input into the study at that time as well.

Public meetings have been scheduled at the following locations. Additional locations will be added soon. Please check the Public Service Commission's website for details. The website can be accessed by clicking here.

Chadron, Tuesday, September 24th, 3:00pm to 7:00pm, City Hall, City Council Chambers, 234 Main Street.
Valentine, Wednesday, September 25th , 2:00pm to 6:00pm,  Valentine Public Library,  324 North Main Street.
North Platte, Thursday, September 26th, 3:00pm to 7:00pm,  Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Training Room, 302 North Jeffers.

Legislature_Interim_StudiesLegislature Schedules Interim Studies
Election day voter registration, ACCESSNebraska, Medicaid expansion, and road needs are some of the issues that will be examined by the Legislature as interim studies. During the regular legislative session, senators introduce resolutions authorizing a committee to study an issue after adjournment. The study resolutions are prioritized by the assigned committee and public hearings are held on some of the issues. Some of the hearings of interest to counties are listed below. The schedule for hearings of the Tax Modernization Committee are outlined in a separate article.  Click here for the complete interim hearing schedule.

Hearings that are conducted at the State Capitol can be viewed via livestreaming by clicking here.

Friday, Oct. 25
Health and Human Services Committee
9:00 a.m., Room 1510, State Capitol
LR387 (Health and Human Services Committee) Interim study to examine how Nebraska is utilizing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds
Appropriations Committee members are invited to attend this hearing.
LR238 (Dubas) Interim study to examine the Access Nebraska system, as well as the separation of the economic assistance programs from the medicaid program

Friday, Nov. 1
Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee
9:00 a.m., Room 1525, State Capitol
LR167 (Mello) Interim study to examine issues surrounding personal identifying information collected by state and local governments and private businesses
LR223 (Mello) Interim study to examine issues surrounding open data policies
LR202 (Avery) Interim study to examine the issue of election day registration

1:30 - 3:30 p.m. (Central), Room 1525, State Capitol
LR341 (Davis) Interim study to examine the powers and duties of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency
Video Conference Sites:
Chadron State College, Old Administration Building, Rm. 031, 10th and Main Street, Chadron, NE
Ainsworth Public Library, 5th and Main Street, Ainsworth, NE

Friday, Nov. 8
Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee
9:00 a.m., Room 1507, State Capitol
LR201 (Crawford) Interim study to examine policy options available to the State of Nebraska to support military installations, military families, and veterans and their families
LR305 (Harr) Interim study to examine the governance and efficiency of the State Board of Education
LR194 (Avery) Interim study to examine issues under the jurisdiction of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and Appropriations Committee
1:30 p.m., Room 1113, State Capitol
Nebraska Department of Roads Needs Assessment Hearing
Open to the public, invited testimony only.

Wednesday, Dec. 8
Health and Human Services Committee
1:30 p.m., Room 1510, State Capitol
LR241 (Campbell) Interim study to examine the financial impact of, and financing options for, Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for medical assistance for newly eligible individuals

Walk_For_Your_LifeWalk for Your Life Challenge
The Walk for Your Life Challenge began on June 3 and ended on September 1, 2013.  Over the 3 month period a total of 485 participants from 26 counties and NACO logged over 71,000 miles, jogging, running, bicycling and swimming (often in very hot and humid conditions).

Wayne County had the highest overall average and Thurston County had the second highest overall average.

Results were e-mailed to participating counties on September 18, 2013.
.
Tax_ModTax Modernization Committee Hearings Scheduled

The Legislature's Tax Modernization Committee will hold a series of public hearings across the state to take input from the public on possible revisions to Nebraska's property, income and sales tax systems. The committee has prepared a list of issues and options to facilitate the discussion here.

 

The background information and reports reviewed by the committee are available here.

 

Following are the hearing dates and locations:

 

Monday, September 23 - Harms Advanced Technology Center, Western Nebraska Community

College, Scottsbluff, 4:00 - 7:00 pm. (Mountain Time)

 

Tuesday, September 24 - Mid Plains Community College, North Platte, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm.

 

Thursday, September 26 - Northeast Nebraska Community College, Lifelong Learning Center,

Norfolk, 1:30 - 4:30 pm.

 

Thursday, October 17 - Metro Community College, South Omaha Campus, Omaha, 1:30 - 4:30

pm.

 

Friday, October 18 - State Capitol Building, Room 1113, Lincoln, 10:00 - 1:00 pm

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 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. 

  

County Elected Officials Salaries to be Set by January 15, 2014 

 

The Nebraska Constitution provides that the compensation of any public officer may not be increased or diminished during his or her term of office except that, when there are members elected or appointed to the Legislature or officers elected or appointed to a court, board, or commission having more than one member and the terms of one or more members commence and end at different times, the compensation of all members of the Legislature or of such court, board, or commission may be increased or diminished at the beginning of the full term of any member. Nothing in this section shall prevent local governing bodies from reviewing and adjusting vested pension benefits periodically as prescribed by ordinance. Neb. Const. art. III, 19.  The courts and the Attorney General's office have interpreted this to mean that any change in compensation during the term of office must be based on a formula stated in the board resolution setting the salary for the term of office.  For example, the board can grant a cost of living increase by stating that the salary shall be adjusted annually in accordance with the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  See (1)Shepoka v. Knopik, 201 Neb. 780, 272 N.W.2d 364 (1978), where a resolution of a county board fixing the salaries of elected county officers at an amount plus an annual adjustment for changes in the cost of living as determined by an independent federal agency, does not violate this Article and section of the Nebraska Constitution; and (2) Hamilton v. Foster, 155 Neb. 89, 50 N.W.2d 542 (1951) where the court found an increase or decrease in compensation resulting from a change in population was not prohibited by this section. The Court held in Hamilton that the change in population is a factual and not a legislative change.

 

With this constitutional and caselaw background in mind, state statute requires the salaries of all elected county officers must be fixed by the county board prior to January 15 of the year in which a general election will be held for the respective offices.  Section 23-1114.  Further, the statute provides "The salaries of all deputies in the offices of the elected officers and appointive veterans service officers of the county must be fixed by the County Board at such times as necessity may require."   Recognizing that  2014 is such an election year and that County Board members must set the salaries for the 2015-2018 term prior to January 15, 2014, the Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO) once again renewed its continued effort to promote that fair and equitable salaries and benefits be provided to all elected and appointed county officials by conducting a salary study in 2013.  Results of the study recommendations will be provided at the October 10, 2013 Legislative Conference in Kearney at the Holiday Inn. Although there are minimum statutory salaries for various county officials, those statutory provisions have not been modified since the late 1960's.  These statutes are to be interpreted for the purpose to provide, in the public interest, adequate compensation to the county officials and County Board members. Sections 23-1114.14, 23-1114.15.

 

The history of NACO's Salary Committees began in the late 1970's when several members of the Nebraska Legislature expressed concerns that the salaries of county officials did not appear to keep pace with other salaries in the state.  They then advocated that the state set salaries for county officials.  NACO has long opposed the idea of the Legislature setting salaries for elected county officials.  Recognizing that local officials would best know the salary requirements of their respective offices, NACO appointed a committee in 1981 to study county salaries and publish a report recommending minimum base salaries for elected officeholders for the 1983-1986 term.. The efforts of the 1981 committee resulted in a noticeable improvement in county salaries and benefits.  The committee's efforts also proved to the Legislature that local control was best.  Similar committees were appointed in 1985 and every four years since to study county officials' salaries and make salary recommendations prior to the January 15 general election setting deadline established in NEB. REV. STAT. 23-1114.

 

In addition to the salary report, NACO will make available the results of all 93 counties (1) salaries elected officials, (2) salaries for deputy officials, (3) salaries for appointed officials and (4) benefit information for county officials.  This information will be e-mailed to the county clerks following the release of the report on October 10.   Additionally, the information will be made available electronically to others who are interested in receiving it.

 

NACo_Prescription_Drug_ProgramNACo Prescription Drug Program
CountygovernementdaycdCounty Government Day PowerPoint
The PowerPoint presentation is 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 CD order form is available here.
The NACO 2013 Directory of County Officials is available.  The directory is an annual publication that provides names and addresses for elected and appointed county officials in the state.  A directory is available for $17.00 if non-taxable and $18.00 if taxable.  To order, click here.
County_Board_Handbook_20122012 County Board  Handbook and Revisions
The 2012 County Board Handbook and related revisions are available. The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2012 session, is $80.00/book plus $17.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2012 Supplement to the County Board Handbook is available for $20.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. The order form is available on the NACO website here. For questions, contact Wendy Kelly by clicking here or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 223.
News_Across_The_StateNews Across the State
Links are to outside sources and may not be available indefinitely.

 

Nebraska Counties Struggling to Keep up With Bridge Chores

JournalStar.com, 9/18/2013 

 

NACo Web-Based Education                             

Cyber for Counties:  National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Webinar Series

Wednesdays in October, 2013

2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

NACo has again teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) to present a webinar series highlighting county government's role in protecting the Nation's cyber infrastructure:

 

10/02  Our Shared Responsibility:  Stop, Think, Connect 

10/09  Being Mobile:  Online Safety and Security 

10/16  Cyber Workforce and the Next Generation of Leaders 

10/23  Cyber Crime 

10/30  Critical Infrastructure and Cybersecurity 

 

Click on any of the above listed webinars for registration information.

 

Is Your County Resilient to Flooding?  A county Inundation Toolkit

Thursday, October 3, 2013

2:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Whether you live in a coastal county or a flood-prone county, this webinar will prepare you with a host of resources to improve the inundation resilience of your county. You will learn how to understand what inundation is and why communities should be concerned, how to conduct risk and vulnerability assessments, become familiar with tools to help visualize inundation, and effectively communicate about the issues, concerns and values of your community.

 

Click here to register.

 

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