November 21, 2014                                                  NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

NACO Annual Conference

December 10 - 12, 2014

Century Link Center, Omaha     


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.

In This Issue  


Governor-Elect Pete Ricketts to Address Annual Conference  

Annual Conference Matters   

*Room Cancellation Deadline   

*Register Now for the Conference 

*County Official of the Year Nominations 

*Group Conference Agendas

*General Activities Page

*Keynote Speaker Matt Jones

Energy Element Required for Comprehensive Plans Not Later Than January 1

Interim Studies Continue  

Legislative Outreach   

Legal Line  

County Government Day PowerPoint 

2014 County Board Handbook and Revisions  

News From NACo  

NACo Web-Based Education 

News From Across the State 

County Classifieds    

Legal Calendar

Associate & Sustaining Members 

 peteraddGovernor-Elect Pete Ricketts to Address Annual Conference
Governor-Elect Pete Ricketts has accepted NACO's invitation to address the opening session of the annual conference in Omaha on December 10th at 2:30 p.m.

Executive Director, Larry Dix says, "It will be an excellent opportunity for county officials and the governor-elect to be able to begin the interaction with the governor's office that is so important in the legislative process for both levels of government."
Conference_MattersAnnual Conference Matters



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).

rmcanclRoom Cancellation Deadline

Conference delegates are reminded that the cut-off date for making changes or cancellations to any confirmed reservations was November 7, 2014. 


After this date, any changes or cancellations to confirmed reservations will be billed the first night's lodging rate plus any applicable taxes. Please use discretion in changing or cancelling reservations because NACO provides a guarantee of having rooms at or near the conference site by contracting with the several hotels in the area. Each of those contracts needs to have a certain number of rooms guaranteed.


If you cancel a room at one of the hotels and enter another contracted hotel at a higher room rate NACO will be forced to pay for those room nights that were cancelled because of the "attrition" clauses in the contracts that we have with each hotel.

In other words, you will pay for your room at the second hotel and NACO will then be required to pay for your cancelled hotel room. Conference registration fees are the only offset to this situation!  

regnow Register Now for the Conference

Registration for the conference is crucial in the planning and development of a successful program and its activities.  To register for the conference click here.

coynCounty Official of the Year Nominations


Do you know of an elected or appointed county official who you feel serves as the embodiment of a true dedicated public official? The Nebraska Association of County Officials will present its highest honor to one county official at the conclusion of the December 12th annual 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.


Nominations for the County Official of the Year have been received and accepted by the NACO office prior to the November 14th filing deadline.


Each of the 2014 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 12.  The 2014 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.

enereleEnergy Element Required for Comprehensive Plans Not Later Than January 1, 2015

Neb. Rev. Stat. section 23-114.02(3) provides in pertinent part:


When a new comprehensive plan or a full update to an existing comprehensive plan is developed on or after July 15, 2010, but not later than January 1, 2015, an energy element which: Assesses energy infrastructure and energy use by sector, including residential, commercial, and industrial sectors; evaluates utilization of renewable energy sources; and promotes energy conservation measures that benefit the community[.]


This subsection was added by LB 997 in 2010. Similar provisions were added for cities.

intstucontInterim Studies Continue
Interim Studies of Interest to Counties can be viewed by clicking here for more in-depth information on times and locations of the hearings.

Topics of the interim study hearings include the following:
                  Medicaid Expansion (December 2),
                  Next Generation 911 (December 5), and
                  Agland Valuation (December 9).
legoutreLegislative Outreach

Now that the election is behind us, it's time to meet the new senators and reconnect with returning legislators. All county officials are encouraged to meet with their senators before the end of the year to share legislative priorities and establish relationships for the new year. While senators are at home in their districts, it's a great time to offer tours of county facilities to explain county functions and services.


Ideas for hands-on learning could include:

  • A trip around the county to view roads and bridges in need of repair.
  • A tour of your county's jail to discuss health care costs, mental health issues, and space issues.
  • A discussion of unfunded mandates, including a tour of your courthouse to point out space provided to Probation, Health and Human Services, and other state agencies.
  • A discussion about county levies, valuations, and county fees.
legllineLegal 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 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.

Admission to Meetings under the Open Meetings Act


A recent editorial in the Lincoln Journal Star and subsequent letter from the Attorney General serve as a reminder of one of the prohibitions in the Open Meetings Act that isn't often discussed: recording the names of attendees at public meetings. Under Nebraska Revised Statutes 81-1412(3),


[n]o public body shall require members of the public to identify themselves as a condition for admission to the meeting nor shall such body require that the name of any member of the public be placed on the agenda prior to such meeting in order to speak about items on the agenda. The body may require any member of the public desiring to address the body to identify himself or herself.


The editorial pointed to several school boards that require attendees to sign in and in one instance, a school board that publishes the names of persons in attendance. It states that in addition to violating the Open Meetings Act, recording names of attendees discourages public participation and can be a form of intimidation.


The Attorney General cited the editorial in issuing a reminder to all public officials to follow the requirements of 84-1412(3) and not record the names of persons in attendance at public meetings.


Although not addressed in the editorial or Attorney General's letter, other sections of 84-1412 provide that the public has the right to attend and the right to speak at public meetings. A public body need not take public testimony at each meeting, but it cannot forbid public participation at all meetings. Meetings may be videotaped, televised, photographed, broadcast, or recorded by persons in attendance. A governing body may set reasonable rules and regulations regarding the conduct of people attending meetings. At least one current copy of the Open Meetings Act must be posted in the meeting room and the public must be notified of its location.


The Attorney General's letter may be viewed by clicking here.


The Lincoln Journal Star Editorial may viewed by clicking 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 The CD order form is available here .
County_Board_Handbook_20122014 County Board  Handbook and Revisions
The 2014 County Board Handbook and related revisions will be available in December. The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2014 session, is $80.00/book plus $18.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2014 Supplement to the County Board Handbook is available for $25.00 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
Counties Urge Immediate Congressional Action on Payment in Lieu of Taxes Program

Despite not being able to collect property taxes on federal lands, county governments still provide essential services to their residents and visitors to public lands, including solid waste disposal, law enforcement, road and bridge upkeep and emergency medical services. Without PILT funding, counties and property owners would be burdened with funding vital public services related to
federal public lands beyond the means of the local tax base.

To view NACo's News Release click here.

NACo Urges Feds to Withdraw and Clarify "Waters of the U.S." Proposal

After voicing serious concerns and pushing for clarity on the federal proposal to redefine "Waters of the United States," NACo, on Nov. 14, called for the proposal's withdrawal until further analysis has been completed.  NACo submitted its official comments to the Federal Registry summarizing more than a dozen areas of concern important to the nation's counties. 

To further review NACO's feature article on this subject, click here.

NACo Feature Article Addresses Juvenile Justice

County News takes a detailed look at juvenile justice issues. Download the special edition PDF by clicking here.
NACo_WebinarsNACo Web-Based Education
Next Generation 911: Upgrading County Emergency Communications

Wed, Dec 17, 2014 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM CST

The popularity of landline telephones is dwindling, with more than 40 percent of households in the U.S. relying only on cellular phones.  Over the last few decades, cell phones, VoIP and other methods of communications other  have become the preferred method of communication, especially among younger generations and those living in cities-nearly two-thirds of those 25-29 live in a wireless-only home. 911 technologies, however, have not kept up with the trend; though they can receive calls from cell phones and IP-based devices, call centers cannot locate where a call is coming from, and they cannot send and receive photos, text messages and videos. The seemingly ubiquitous use of cell phones in public means that a number of bystanders may call 911 after witnessing an emergency, which can overwhelm a call center. More and more counties are working to upgrade 911 call centers and infrastructure in order to become more resilient, and ensure they are capable of addressing new needs in emergency communication and response.  This webinar will provide county leaders and emergency managers with the information and strategies they need to know to modernize their 911 capabilities.

To register for this webinar, Click here.

To view NACo's entire web-based education listing, click here.
newsacstNews From Across the State
Veterans Office Supports Those Who Serve
Beatrice Daily Sun  November 20, 2014

Columbus Telegram  November 20, 2014

Local Group Concerned About State Attitude Toward Work Ethic Camp
McCook Gazette November 20, 2014 
Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660