NACO_E-News_Header
March 7, 2014                                                           www.nacone.org   NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

Southeast District Meeting
March 13, 2014
Mahoney Park, I-80

Panhandle District Meeting
March 19, 2014 Bridgeport, Prairie Winds Community Center

 

West Central District Meeting

March 20, 2014

Bridgeport, Prairie Winds Community Center


Northeast District Meeting
March 21, 2014
Norfolk, Lifelong Learning Center

 

Central District Meeting
March 27, 2014
Kearney, Holiday Inn

 

NWCS Spring Training-Recertification

April 1-2, 2014

Central Community College, Hastings


Assessors Spring Workshop
May 22-23, 2014
Lincoln, Cornhusker Hotel 

 

 

 

To view all upcoming events, click here.

 


 

 

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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

NACo Cyber Symposium for Counties  

Request for Public Comments on Proposed Regulations  

NACO Budget Workshop Cancelled for 2014

Legal Line 

U.S. Communities  

Order NACO's 2014 Directory of County Officials Now  

April is National County Government Month 

County Government Day PowerPoint 

2013 County Board Handbook and Revisions  

News Across the State 

News From NACo 

NACo Web-Based Education  

Legal Calendar 

County Classifieds 

Associate & Sustaining Members 

NACO Education Foundation Memorial Program 

 

Cyber_SymposiumNACo Cyber Symposium for Counties
Protecting information and infrastructure has never been more important for counties. With the increasing prevalence of cyber-warfare, county governments need to not only understand what to do to safeguard their data but new resources at their disposal should they be attacked.

Join NACo for one and a half days of educational programming developed to meet the needs of both local elected officials as well as information technology personnel. The NACo National Cyber Symposium will include two tracks of programming with the goal of helping county leaders and IT staff understand the large human and technical networks involved in keeping counties cyber secure.

Developed in partnership with the Peter Kiewit Institute at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and with support from AT&T, Cisco and HP, the sessions will include speakers from local, state and federal governments, in addition to the private sector and academia.

The dates for the symposium are April 9-11, 2014 and the location is Embassy Suites Omaha, 555 South 10th Street.

To view a draft agenda, click here.

For registration costs and information, click here.

Request_for_public_commentsRequest for Public Comments on Proposed Regulations
The Nebraska Department of Revenue is proposing new regulations governing the Collection of Delinquent Taxes and Real Property Regulations pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-369. The Department is also proposing to repeal regulations governing the State Board of Equalization, the valuation of Educational Lands, the recapture valuation of land eligible for special valuation, and the assumption of the assessment function from counties. These proposed new regulations and repealed regulations are tentative. Any member of the public may comment on these proposed regulations and repealed regulations before they are offered for formal hearing.

Click here for more information, including the draft regulations.

The deadline for public comments is 5:00 p.m. CDT, March 31, 2014. Public comments should be sent to George Kilpatrick, Attorney, by clicking here.

Budget_WorkshopNACO Budget Workshop Cancelled for 2014
NACO's Budget Workshop,normally held every two years, and listed on the NACO 2014 Courthouse Calendar for May 8, 2014 has been cancelled due to lack of attendance.  Records show that attendance for the last two workshops has gradually declined, therefore a decision to sponsor this workshop every four years, as opposed to every two years was made recently.  Please make a note on your calendar.
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. 


Former Employee's Termination Considered


In Busch v. Civil Service Commission, 21 Neb. App. 789, --- N.W. 2d --- (2014), the Nebraska Court of Appeals considered a case where a city manager terminated the employment of a police sergeant, following his long-term absence from his job due to a non-work-related injury. The City's civil service commission (the Commission) upheld the termination, and the terminated employee sought review by the district court, which affirmed the Commission's decision. The terminated employee appealed the termination and the Commission cross-appealed the denial of its motion to tax certain costs to him. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's decision.

The court first evaluated whether the district court applied the correct standard of review. After articulating issues associated with state statute and case law, the court
determined that the issues were  appropriately reviewed by the Commission.  Although the procedural steps outlined in the ordinance were omitted in the employee's termination case, the employment termination was in accordance with procedures spelled out in the statute.  The court also cited  Cleveland Board of Education v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532, 105 S. Ct. 1487, 84 L. Ed. 2d 494 (1985), where the U.S. Supreme Court held that when a public employer deprives an employee of a property interest in continued employment, constitutional due process requires that the deprivation be preceded by (1) oral or written notice of the charges, (2) an explanation of the employer's evidence, and (3) an opportunity for the employee to present his or her side of the story.   Furthermore, the court cited provisions from Scott v. County of Richardson, 280 Neb. 694, 789 N.W.2d 44 (2010), where the Nebraska Supreme Court held that notwithstanding a person's due process rights set forth above, deficiencies in due process during pretermination proceedings may be cured if the employee is provided adequate posttermination due process.

In the present action, although the procedures outlined in the city's ordinance were not followed, the court determined that the terminated employee was well aware of the reason for his termination as a police officer. The meetings with the city manager involved extensive conversations about the terminated employee's employment status as a result of his extended leave, including his existing restrictions and the city manager's request for his medical records and at a later meeting, the city administrator had asked for the terminated employee's
resignation. Following the termination, he was provided a full hearing before the Commission which lasted 2 days. The court determined that the city administrator's failure to strictly follow the procedural rules set forth in the ordinance did not necessitate a finding that the decision to terminate the police officer's employment was arbitrary and capricious. 

The Court of Appeals concluded that none of the terminated employee's assignments of error had merit. The record reflected that the Commission acted within its jurisdiction in affirming his termination from his job, and its decision was supported by sufficient, relevant evidence. Additionally, it found that the Commission's cross-appeal was also without merit.


Supreme Court Considers Legislation Impacting Juveniles

The Supreme Court considered In re Interest of Marcella G.,  287 Neb. 566, --- N.W.2d --- (2014), a case related to the transitional responsibilities of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Juvenile Services (OJS) to probation under provisions of LB 561 enacted by the Legislature in 2013.  That year, the Legislature transferred treatment supervision in most cases involving juvenile law violations from the OJS to probation.  Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247.02  allocated transitional responsibilities, including those regarding a youth rehabilitation and treatment center (YRTC). In this appeal, a juvenile was committed to OJS for community-based services before July 1, 2013, but after that date, OJS sought to transfer the juvenile to a YRTC. The court decided whether the juvenile court erred in making the transfer without doing so as a condition of intensive supervised probation (ISP). The lower court's decision was affirmed by the court because it was determined the plain language of the statute allocated this transitional responsibility to OJS.  The court also commented that the application of the disposition of this appeal was driven by transitional statutory provisions, which will soon no longer be applicable except for a limited number of offenders committed before July 1, 2013 and remaining under OJS' supervision.


In re Interest of Quincy J., 287 Neb. 576, --- N.W.2d ---, some of  the same issues  discussed In re Interest of Marcella G., 287 Neb. 566, --- N.W.2d --- (2014) were considered and decided on the same day. The juvenile court committed Quincy J. to the custody of the OJS for treatment at a level less restrictive than a youth rehabilitation and treatment center prior to July 1, 2013, and, after July 1, sustained a motion to transfer him to a youth rehabilitation and treatment center. For the same reasons set forth in In re Interest of Marcella G., the court affirmed the decision of the juvenile court.  

US_CommunitiesU.S. Communities
NACO_DirectoryOrder NACO's 2014 Directory of County Officials Now
NACO's 2014 Directory of County Officials is a valuable resource that not only gives you names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses of every county official in the state, but includes a listing of county board meeting days, NACO districts, county seats, NACO officers and directors, affiliate officers and NACO staff.  County clerks for each county will receive one complimentary copy of the directory intended for use by all offices in their courthouse.  For additional copies, click here for the order form.
County_Government_MonthApril is National County Government Month
National County Government Month (NCGM) is celebrated each April by the nation's counties to raise public awareness and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of county government.  This year's theme is "Ready and Resilient Counties:  Prepare. Respond. Thrive."

For additional information and to get useful tools to utilize in promoting this year's NCGW, click here.
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.
County_Board_Handbook_20122013 County Board  Handbook and Revisions
The 2013 County Board Handbook and related revisions are available. The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2013 session, is $80.00/book plus $17.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2013 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 Ashley Vandeloo by clicking here or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 223.
News_Across_The_StateNews Across the State                             
News_From_NACoNews From NACo
NACo Report Shines Light on U.S. Transportation Funding Challenges, Role of Counties
Federal and state funding and financing for county-owned transportation infrastructure is increasingly inadequate, according to a new report released by the National Association of Counties (NACo).  The Road Ahead:  County Transportation Funding and Financing provides an analysis of county transportation funding sources, challenges and solutions across the 48 states with county governments.  The report focuses on roads and bridges owned and maintained by the nation's counties and provides three case studies that allow a more in-depth view of the issues facing counties in funding safe and reliable transportation systems.

To read more, click here.

2014 NACo Annual Conference and Exposition Registration is now OPEN!
Register today for NACo's Annual conference and exposition taking place July 11-14, 2014 in Orleans Parish/New Orleans, Louisiana.  NACo's Annual Conference and Exposition is THE conference to attend for county officials and county staff nationwide.

Innovation, networking and education are reasons why you need to attend.  Click here for details.  After Friday, May 30th, registration fees increase so register now to get the best price on the best investment you can make for your county!
NACo_Web_Based_EducationNACo Web-Based Education
The Road Ahead:  County Transportation Funding and Financing
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM Eastern Time 
NACo recently released The Road Ahead: County Transportation Funding and Financing, a study assessing the role of counties in transportation (roads and bridges), challenges and solutions to the funding and financing of their transportation systems. Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the federal surface transportation funding legislation, expires in September 2014, with discussions surrounding reauthorization already started. Join NACo to learn more about county transportation funding and challenges, as well as learn how to navigate and use the companion tools of the study, including the web interactive and state level profiles.

To register, click here.

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps:  What's New in 2014?
Thursday, March 20, 2014
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM  Eastern Time
The 2014 County Health Rankings will be released on March 26. Do you know where your county will be ranked? Join the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to learn the rationale behind the Rankings model and new measures and action tools for 2014. You will also learn about the updated communications toolkit and strategies to inform and develop a community health improvement approach in your county. Participants will get access to the embargoed data before its national release.

To register, click here. 
 
To view NACo's entire web-based education listing, click here.
Nebraska Association of County Officials
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