May 30, 2014                                                           NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

Nebraska Association of County Engineers, Highway Superintendents, and Surveyors Summer Meeting

June 10-12, 2014

North Platte, Quality Inn & Suites Convention Center


Clerks, Election Commissioners, Register of Deeds Workshop

June 11-13, 2014

Kearney, Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center


Clerks of District Court Workshop

June 18-19, 2014

Fairbury, Main Street Center


Treasurers Workshop

June 17-19, 2014

Lincoln, Holiday Inn Downtown 


Assessors Workshop

August 25-28, 2014 

Kearney, Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference 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

Register Now for Clerks, Election Commissioners, Register of Deeds Workshop     

NACO Is Moving!  

NACO Representative to National Association of Counties 

Legal Line 

Order NACO's 2014 Directory of County Officials Now  

County Government Day PowerPoint 

2013 County Board Handbook and Revisions  

News From NACo 

NACo Web-Based Education 

News Across the State 

County Classifieds  

Legal Calendar 

Associate & Sustaining Members 

NACO Education Foundation Memorial Program 


Clerks_WorkshopRegister Now for Clerks, Election Commissioners, Register of Deeds Workshop                             
Advance registrations are now on-line at NACO's website for the County Clerks, Election Commissioners and Registers of Deeds Workshop scheduled for June 11-13, 2014, in Kearney at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center.


Officers of the Clerks, Election Commissioners and Registers of Deeds Association met in April to establish agendas for their respective organizations. A tentative agenda for the workshop can be found by clicking here. This agenda is tentative because confirmation from all speakers has not been received.


Guest rooms may be reserved by contacting the Holiday Inn at (308) 237-5971. Room rates are $86.95 single/double. When making reservations, inform hotel staff that you are attending the NACO workshop to receive the contracted rate.


To register, click here.

NACO_moveNACO Is Moving!
NACO will be moving to a new location in the very near future.  Approximately one year ago, NACO purchased a building located approximately 1/2 block from the current building.  Renovations to the new building have been made to make the building functional for NACO and MIPS Services.  The new building has one large and one smaller conference room where NACO board meetings and other meetings can be held.  In addition, NACO and MIPS Services will now be housed in the same building making daily business more efficient.

MIPS moved on May 16, 2014 and NACO is projected to move on May 30, 2014.  The address for the new location is 1335 "H" Street, Lincoln, NE 68508 and you can begin to use this mailing address effective June 1, 2014.  All phone numbers, extensions and e-mail addresses for NACO and MIPS staff will remain the same.
NACo_RepNACO Representative to National Association of Counties

The Nebraska representative to the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board of Directors is a position that the NACO Board appoints on an annual basis.  If anyone has an interest, or you know of anyone who has an interest in being considered for this position, or has  questions regarding this position, please let Larry Dix know.  Mary Ann Borgeson, our current representative has informed me of her interest to continue as the Nebraska Representative on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board of Directors if so appointed by the NACO Board.   The NACO Board will make this appointment at its annual meeting on June 20, 2014.  This will serve as notice to all elected officials of the appointment process.


The NACO bylaw referencing this position is as follows:


Section 2a.   Number, Tenure and Qualifications


The Directors shall consist of the officers enumerated in Article V of these Bylaws, hereinafter called Officers-Directors; one (1) County Commissioner or Supervisor from each county with more than one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) inhabitants, as determined according to U.S. Census data; hereinafter called Metropolitan Directors; one (1) County Commissioner or Supervisor from each of the following districts of the State; hereinafter called District Directors:  


Panhandle District, Northeast District, West Central District, Southeast District, Central District


and one (1) person from each of the following county officials' affiliate organization, hereinafter called Affiliate Directors:

       County Clerks and Register of Deeds

       Clerks of District Court

       County Treasurers

       County Assessors

       County Attorneys

       County Sheriffs

    County Surveyors serving as a County Highway Superintendent or County Engineer


"There shall also be one (1) nonvoting ex officio Director:  the county official appointed annually by the Directors to serve as the Nebraska representative on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board of Directors, hereinafter called the Ex Officio Director.  The Ex Officio Director shall be in addition to the above defined Directors, unless the person so appointed already serves as an Officer, Metropolitan, District, or Affiliate Director in which event there shall be no  Ex Officio Director." 


This position has a term limit of 8 consecutive 1 year terms.  Mary Ann is eligible to serve additional terms.  


Please contact Larry Dix so that he can inform the NACO Board of your interest.

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. 

United States Supreme Court Sustains Opening Local Government Board Meetings With a Prayer

The United States Supreme Court in Town of Greece v. Galloway, --- U.S. --- (2014), held in a 5-4 decision that the town did not violate the First Amendment by opening its meetings with a prayer.

In the event a county wishes to open its meetings with a prayer, the analysis of the Court in its 80 page opinion provides a framework for boards to do so. The opinion can be viewed by clicking here.

As stated by Lisa Soronen in NACo County News, (May 19, 2014), "It is noteworthy that this decision will have the biggest impact in the 2nd Circuit (Connecticut, New York and Vermont) and the 4th Circuit (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina). The 2nd Circuit had declared Greece's prayer practice unconstitutional focusing on the Christian nature of most of the prayers. The 4th Circuit in 2011 had ruled that only nonsectarian prayer at local board meetings is constitutional."  

Eminent Domain Examined by the Supreme Court

In Hike v. State of Nebraska, 288 Neb. 60, --- N..W.2d--- (2014), through its power of eminent domain, the State of Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) took certain real property because it was needed for a highway project. The parties were unable to agree on appropriate compensation for the taking, and a jury trial was held to determine damages. After a 5-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the property owners for $53,209. The property owners filed this timely appeal, contending the trial court made various evidentiary and instructional errors which entitled them to a new trial. The Supreme Court found no error and affirmed the jury verdict.

The primary issue at trial was the property's highest and best use at the date of the taking. The nature and possible uses of the property owners' pretaking access to a highway was a critical factor in the highest and best use analysis.

The Hikes case was a condemnation proceeding involving the exercise of eminent domain by a governmental entity. The Court stated, "Eminent domain is '[t]he inherent power of a governmental entity to take privately owned property, esp[ecially] land, and convert it to public use, subject to reasonable compensation for the taking.'"  Further, it stated, "Under the Nebraska Constitution, 'The property of no person shall be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation therefor.'" It was articulated that there are two elements of damage in a condemnation action: (1) market value of the land taken or appropriated and (2) diminution in value of the land remaining, less special benefits.

The primary disputed issue at trial was the fair market value of the property immediately prior to the taking.  The underlying issue was dependent upon whether the property's highest and best use at the time was residential or commercial.

As expressed by the Court,

In Nebraska, the market value of property includes its value for any reasonable use to which it may be put. If, by reason of its surroundings, its natural advantages, its artificial improvements, or its intrinsic character, it is peculiarly adapted to some particular use, all the circumstances which make up this adaptability may be shown, and the fact of such adaptation may be taken into consideration in estimating compensation. The proper inquiry is, what is its fair market value in view of any reasonable use to which it may be applied and all the reasonable uses to which it is adapted.  The adaptability must be reasonably probable, not merely possible. And the adaptability must be reasonably expected in the immediate future.

The full text of the case can be viewed by clicking here.

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.
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 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_From_NACoNews From NACo
NACo Annual Conference and Exposition (July 11-14) Early Bird Registration Deadline is Approaching
Don't miss out on getting the lowest price on your conference registration.  The early-bird deadline is May 30.  Plan your participation now and make sure your plans include the July 14 final night event at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The entire state of Louisiana will be on display. Don't miss the  live alligators, ferris wheel and much, much more.

To read more, click here
To register, click here.

Supreme Court Upholds Prayer Opening for Local Government Board Meetings
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway provides a roadmap of warnings counties can follow to stay out of trouble when beginning County government meetings with a prayer.  To read more, click here.

Senate Legislation Would Reauthorize Major Transportation Bill
On May 12, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released legislation to reauthorize the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).  To read more, click here.

NACo_Web_Based_EducationNACo Web-Based Education
Collaborating with County Partners to Create an Employee Wellness Program
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 2-315 p.m. EST
Counties are developing and implementing various types of employee wellness programs. Are there opportunities for collaboration within your county for creating employee wellness programs that can improve the well-being of your employees while potentially reducing health care costs? This webinar will discuss some innovative approaches some counties are using to improve employee health.

To register for this webinar, click here.

To view NACo's entire web-based education listing, click
News_Across_the_StateNews Across the State
Nebraska Association of County Officials
625 South 14th Street Suite 200 | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660