NACO_E-News_Header

June 30, 2014                                                                 www.nacone.org   NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

Assessors Workshop

August 25-28, 2014 

Kearney, Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center 

 

Panhandle District Meeting

September 10, 2014

Gering, Civic Center

 

West Central District Meeting

September 11, 2014

Ogallala, Quality Inn & Suites

 

Central District Meeting

September 18, 2014

Grand Island, Quality Inn & Suites

 

Northeast District Meeting

September 19, 2014

Schuyler, St. Benedict 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 Assessors Workshop

Conference Matters

PSC Hearing on Enhanced Wireless 911 Funding 

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 

 

Assessors_WorkshopRegister Now for Assessors Workshop
The Nebraska Assessors Association Board of Directors met in  May  to plan the annual Assessors Workshop. The workshop will be held in Kearney at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center.  The Workshop will begin at 1:00 p.m. (CST) on Monday, August 25 and will conclude at 10:30 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, August 28, 2014.  A tentative agenda for the workshop will be posted on NACO's website in the near future.

 

Advance registration can now be made on-line at NACO's website or by clicking here. The fee for attending the workshop will be $100.00 for registrations received on or before August 15.   After August 1, a late registration fee of $125.00 will be added.  Cancellations must be made in writing on or before August 15 to receive a full refund.  A cancellation fee of $25.00 will be assessed for any cancellations received after August 15.  

Guest rooms may be reserved by contacting the Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center at (308) 237-5971. Room rates are $79.95 single/double. When making reservations, inform hotel staff that you are attending the Assessors Workshop to receive the contracted rate.

 

Assessors are reminded that the 2014 annual dues for the County Assessors Association of Nebraska should be mailed to the association treasurer, Janet Shaul, Garden County Assessor.  Registration fees for the the workshop should be mailed directly to NACO at their new address:  1335 "H" Street, Lincoln, NE 68508.
Conference_MattersConference Matters

Lodging

Lodging for NACO's 120th Annual Conference became available in June, 2014. The conference will be held in Omaha December 10-12 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.

 

PSC_HearingPSC Hearing on Enhanced Wireless 911 Funding

As part of ongoing discussions about the next generation of 911 solutions, the Public Service Commission will hold a hearing to investigate and determine whether additional funds from the Enhanced Wireless 911 Fund should be made available to public safety answering points (PSAPs) for costs to implement text to 911. The hearing will be held at the Commission hearing room at 1200 N Street in Lincoln on July 7 at 1:30 p.m.

Legal_LineLegal Line

Supreme Court Decides Discretionary Function Case

On June 6, the Supreme Court applied Madison County's sovereign immunity under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act to find that the county was not responsible for a motor vehicle accident on a washed out vacated county road.  In Blaser v. County of Madison, 288 Neb. 306, __ N.W.2d __ (2014),  two men and their wives sued Madison County, alleging that it was negligent in making sure a road closed sign was in place. After a series of remands and appeals, the Court applied language in Neb.Rev.Stat. sec. 13-910 which exempts counties and other political subdivisions from claims based upon the exercise or performance of a discretionary duty or function and from claims arising from the malfunction, destruction, or unauthorized removal of road signs.

 

The court examined whether the district court's use of the phrase "functioning properly" equates to a malfunction in which remedial action would have prevented the accident. It concluded that the installation of traffic control devices is a discretionary function but once the decision has been made to use a traffic control device, it must conform to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

 

The Court cited other tort claims cases in its conclusion that because immunity necessarily implies that a "wrong" has occurred, some tort claims against political subdivisions will inevitably remain unremedied. While the county could have taken additional measures in this situation which might have prevented the accident, it couldn't be held legally liable under its sovereign immunity exemption. The Court affirmed the district court's decision that the county retained its sovereign immunity in this situation.

 

The full text of the case is available by clicking here

Limitations to Law Library Access Upheld

On June 13, the Supreme Court found that law library regulations generally limiting access to one hour per day did not hinder an inmate who filed legal claims regarding his sentences or conditions of confinement.  In Payne v. Nebraska Dept. of Corr. Servs., 288 Neb. 330, __ N.W.2d __ (2014), Payne filed a petition alleging that policies regulating the time inmates could use the law library at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institute were invalid and unconstitutional because they restricted his right to access to the courts. At the time, Payne had four other civil actions and two post-conviction criminal actions that he had filed or planned to file. One postconviction action was being handled by counsel but the others were pro se.

 

The primary issue of the appeal was whether Payne had suffered an actual injury sufficient to meaningfully deny him access to the courts, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. To establish a violation of this right, a prisoner must establish that the state has not provided an opportunity to litigate a claim challenging the prisoner's sentence or conditions of confinement in a court of law, which resulted in actual injury.

 

The Court reviewed Payne's pending claims and lawsuits and his testimony that his concern wasn't the adequacy of the filing itself, but rather the sufficiency of the time to litigate later. Because a U.S. Supreme Court case (citation omitted) specifically determined that a prisoner's right to access to the courts does not include the right to litigate effectively, there was no material issue of fact that Payne had suffered an actual injury.  Considering the number of grievances that Payne was able to bring to court, the Nebraska Supreme Court determined that he was really complaining about his lack of litigation success, rather than access to the courts. The Court confirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment.

 

The full text of the case can be found 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 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_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 was 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.

Congress looks to Fix Highway Trust Fund
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent projections, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is expecting shortfalls in the Highway Account as early as August, and in the Transit Account before the end of the year.

To read more, click here.

House Appropriators Maintain Level Funding for FEMA State and Local Grants; Reject National Preparedness Grant Program
On June 11, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2015 Homeland Security spending bill by voice vote.  Appropriators are calling for $39.2 billion in discretionary spending for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which is $50 million below the FY 2014 enacted levels but $888 million above the President's budget request.

To read more, click here.
NACo_Web_Based_EducationNACo Web-Based Education
State and Local Legal Center:  Supreme Court Review CLE Webinar
Friday, July 18, 2014, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time
Join Carter Phillips, Sidley Austin, who has argued more Supreme Court cases than any other layer currently in Private Practice, Collin O'Connor Udell, Jackson Lewis, who argued a public employment case before the Supreme Court this term, and Adam Lliptak, The New York Times Supreme Court correspondent, in a discussion of the most significant cases decided this term affecting state and local government.  Cases to be discussed include, among others, Michigan's affirmative action ban, warrantless searches of cell phones, speech "buffer-zones," and two Clean Air act cases. 

To register, click here.

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