December 19, 2014                                                  NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

New County Board Mem-
ber Orientation
Lincoln, NE
January 17, 2015
North Platte
January 24, 2015

Nebraska Weed Control Association Annual Con- ference

Kearney, NE

February 9-11, 2015  


Clerks of the District Court Workshop

Kearney, NE

February 11-12, 2015   


National Association of Counties Legislative Con- ference

Washington, DC

February 21-25, 2015 


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  

Conference Matters
New County Board Member Orientations
2015 NACO Scholarship Applications Available
Energy Element Required for Comprehensive Plans Not Later Than January 1

2015 NACO Institute of Excellence   

Legal Line  

County Government Day PowerPoint  

2015 County Official Directory Order Form  

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 

confmattConference Matters 
Patrick Duncan COY 2014
Patrick Duncan Receives NACO's Highest Honor

Patrick Duncan, Franklin County Attorney, was honored by the Nebraska Association of County Officials as the County Official of the Year during the 120th Annual Conference in Omaha December 10-12, 2014. Duncan has served in the Franklin County Attorney's Office since 1975. Duncan is pictured receiving his award from 2014 NACO President, Terry Keebler.

Sherry Morrow 2015 Pres.
Buffalo County Commissioner Elected President of the Nebraska Association of County Officials

Buffalo County Commissioner Sherry Morrow was elected 2015 President of the Nebraska Association of County Officials during the 120th annual conference conducted in Omaha. Morrow has been a member of the Buffalo County Board since 1999. County officials also elected Robert Post, Banner County Commissioner, as NACO Vice President; William Tielke, Holt County Commissioner as NACO Second Vice President; and Earl McNutt, Red Willow County Commissioner as NACO Secretary-Treasurer for 2105.

Four Receive President's Awards

Four county officials were presented awards from the 2104 NACO President, Terry Keebler at the NACO annual conference.  Each year since 1979, the president of NACO has had an opportunity to recognize and honor county officials and employees, state officials and state agency directors,  NACO affiliate associations, and counties for exemplary achievements and contributions to the medium of county government.  President Keebler recognized four individuals during the 120th annual conference and presented each with an engraved plaque reflecting his honor.  Selected by Keebler were Marilyn Hladky, Seward County Assessor, Nancy Scheer, Madison County Clerk, Kathleen Nieveen, Johnson County Clerk and Jennifer Meyers, Merrick County Planning and Zoning Administrator.

Boone County Clerk Recipient of MIPS Client of the Year Award

Kathy Thorberg, Boone County Clerk, is the 2014 recipient of the MIPS Client of the Year Award presented by MIPS, Inc.  The award recognizes county officials who have maintained long standing use of programs and services offered by MIPS, Inc.

Recognized For 25 Years or More of Elected Service to County Government

Susan Dyer, Box Butte County Clerk of the District Court for 44 years
Dean Chase, Dixon County Sheriff for 44 years
Ruth Jackson, Franklin County Assessor for 42 years
Patrick Duncan, Franklin County Attorney for 40 years
Marvin Winkelman, Dodge County Surveyor for 38 years
Karen Riesberg, Knox County Clerk of the District Court for 36 years
Dennis Keefe, Lancaster County Public Defender for 36 years
Eloise Kampbell, Sheridan County Clerk of the District Court for 36 years
Linda May, Rock County Treasurer for 32 years
Duane Stott, Scottsbluff County Surveyor for 32 years
Mark Eurek, Sherman County Attorney for 32 years
James Marr, Nuckolls County Sheriff for 30 years
Sandra Stelling, Jefferson County Clerk for 28 years
Russell Fleury, Dixon County Commissioner for 28 years
Beverly Dodge, Red Willow County Clerk of the District Court for 28 years
Gene Mahon, Red Willow County Sheriff for 28 years
cobrdorNew County Board Member Orientations

The Objective of NACO  


The Nebraska Association of County Officials was organized in 1894 and formally incorporated in 1968. It is composed of 93 member counties and its express objective is to stimulate and contribute to the continuing improvement of county government in Nebraska through the promotion of increased efficiency and economy, the augmentation of a higher standard of public service, and the protection of the common good and general welfare of Nebraska county residents.


To ensure that its objectives are achieved, NACO regularly sponsors continuing education programs such as these January orientations that you may attend, conducts research, publishes educational materials, administers cost saving programs, and represents the interests of Nebraska counties before the state and federal governments, agencies, and courts.


Orientation Times and Locations


To further educate and provide awareness for new county board members NACO is hosting two orientations in January for them.  The first one will be held in Lincoln on Saturday, January 17th at the NACO office at 1335 H Street from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  The second orientation will be held at the Sandhills Convention Center, Quality Inn and Suites in North Platte on January 24th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. 


There is no registration fee, but please register to attend so seating and materials supplied can be determined.  A free County Board Handbook will be provided for those attending.  If unable to attend a County Board Handbook may be requested at a cost to your county.  


Registration can be completed on the NACO website after creating a NACO registration ID.  If having difficulties with registration, call Ashley Vandeloo at the NACO office at 402- 454-5660 Ext. 223, or send her an email by clicking here and telling her which session is your preference.    

schapp2015 NACO Scholarship Applications Available

Nebraska high school seniors who are the children, stepchildren, or under the legal guardianship of county officials or employees are encouraged to apply for one of twelve $1,000.00 NACO scholarships.  Additional information and the application form can be found on the front page of the NACO website.  The scholarship application deadline is March 1, 2015.  To access the application from this article, click here

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.

instofex2015 NACO Institute of Excellence

The 2015 NACO Institute of Excellence Begins Soon - Enroll Today!  


Much of the time serving as an elected official and leading county government is typical of a managerial position in the business world. Officials make decisions and manage the work to best serve their constituencies. Every so often, though, issues pop up that test the abilities of even the most seasoned officials. Quickly the role of being a manager shifts to the role of being a leader. To switch roles effectively one has to understand the difference in skills and qualities required.


The NACO Institute of Excellence is a year-long program of professional development for county officials. Enrollment is now open for the 2015 Institute beginning in March. Several areas of personal leadership development will be presented including one's:

  • personality preferences and leadership behaviors,
  • leadership mission, and
  • active listening skills.

Further into the year participants will learn skills for

  • managing conflicts,
  • leading meetings, and
  • corresponding with legislators.

Topics about influencing others and innovative thinking will move officials to lead at a higher level.


The Institute training sessions start at 9:00 a.m. and will end by 3:30 p.m. Training sessions will be presented in North Platte at the University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center on the first Thursdays in March, May, July and September. The sessions will be offered again on the second Thursdays of those months in Lincoln at the University of Nebraska Extension Office in Lancaster County. Everyone comes together in December to apply what they've learned.


Participants can attend in either North Platte or Lincoln - which ever location fits into one's schedule best. For more details click on meeting locations and the program schedule here and on the NACO webpage.  To receive a Certificate of Achievement at the 2015 Annual NACO Conference next December, participants in the Institute must attend at least 4 of the 5 trainings.


The registration fee for participating in the program is $250 per official. NACO will bill the counties for the registration fees after the Institute starts. To enroll fill out the online NACO and NE Extension registration form by February 13th.  


Soon after the deadline, enrollees in the 2015 Institute of Excellence will receive additional information about the program from Nebraska Extension Educators, Carroll Welte and Phyllis Schoenholz. Their contact information follows:


Carroll Welte, Extension Educator                                          

UNL Extension Burt County: (402) 374-2929                 


Phyllis Schoenholz,  Extension Educator

UNL Extension Thayer  County: (402)768-7212                                       


To become better at shifting between manager and leader, enroll today in the NACO Institute of Excellence. According to one graduate, "...incremental change can result in big rewards." 

legllineLegal 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.

Reorganization Meetings to Occur in January and New Officials Sworn In


With elections, arise questions of swearing in dates and related issues. A repeat publication of this article is intended to provide another review, since NACO still continues to field questions of this type. 


Term of Office and January Organizational Meetings


"Unless otherwise provided by the Nebraska Constitution or by law the terms of all elected officers begin on the first Thursday after the first Tuesday in January next succeeding their election."  See Art. XVII, 5.  That date is January 8 in 2015.


In supervisor counties, the regular meetings of the county board are to be held in January and the board at its regular meeting of each year must organize by choosing one of its number as chairman, who shall preside at all meetings of the board during the year; and in case of his absence at any meeting, the members present shall choose one of their number as temporary chairman.  Sections 23-272, 23-274.  Similarly, 23-156 provides the board of county commissioners at its regular meeting in January of each year must elect a chairman of the board to serve for the ensuing year, and such chairman shall sign all warrants on the treasurer for money to be paid out of the county treasury. If the meeting occurs prior to January 8 the board would be comprised of the "old" board members. If the meeting occurs on January 8 or after, the board would include the newly elected board members.


Oath of Office


Provisions for the oath of office are addressed in Neb. Rev. Stat. 11-101 et seq. The oath of office in 11-101 must be subscribed by county officers and filed in the office of the county clerk. The oath includes language related to what an individual swears to do and not do as an officeholder. Section 11-105 contains additional pertinent language and it provides in part: Official bonds, with the oath endorsed thereon, shall be filed in the proper office within the following time: Of all officers elected at any general election,not later than ten days before the first Thursday after the first Tuesday in January next succeeding the election; of all appointed officers, within thirty days after their appointment. In other words, the official bonds with the oaths endorsed thereon must be filed in the county clerk's office not later than December 29, 2014 for individuals elected at the November 2014 general election.


The ten day provisions were added by LB 534 (1976) in conjunction with provisions in 11-115 that address what is to occur if any individual elected or appointed to office fails to have his official bond executed and approved by law. Section 11-115 allows for an individual to properly file an official bond following a show cause for why he has failed to properly file such bond and why his office should not be declared vacant. The ten days provisions were added to statute for the purpose of providing notice to those elected officials required to provide a bond prior to taking office. The legislation was requested to be introduced by the Governor at the time. His basis for doing so was an event that had occurred in a county when a county board member thought he had filed a bond but he had not. The office was deemed vacant due to the failure of filing the bond. The legislation was intended to be corrective.


In Lieu of Individual Bonds


In addition to the above statutes, there are statutory provisions that provide: "In any county, in lieu of the individual bonds required to be furnished by county officers, a schedule, position, or blanket bond or undertaking may be given by county officers, or a single corporate surety fidelity, schedule, position, or blanket bond or undertaking covering all the officers, including officers required by law to furnish an individual bond or undertaking, may be furnished. The county may pay the premium for the bond. The bond shall be, at a minimum, an aggregate of the amounts fixed by law or by the person or board authorized by law to fix the amounts, and with such terms and conditions as may be required by sections 11-101 to 11-130[.]" See Section 11-119(22). In other words, the swearing in date would not necessarily be required to occur for county officials ten days prior to January 8, 2014 because not all insurance providers require the filing of an oath in conjunction with insurance coverage that is allowed in lieu of an individual bond pursuant to Section11-119(22).    


Provisions Added By LB 311 (2013)


The filing of the bond with the oath endorsed thereon does not authorize a person to take any official action prior to the beginning of his or her term of office pursuant to Article XVII, Section 5, of the Constitution of Nebraska. Section 11-105(2). Furthermore, in counties which provide a bond for county officers pursuant to subdivision (22) of Section 11-119, such county officers are not required to comply with the timing requirements of subsection (1) of this section with regard to their official bond but shall file their oaths of office in the proper offices prior to the beginning of their terms of office. Section 11-105(3).


Lastly, a provision was added to statutes so that Section 11-115 pertaining to officials who neglect to file their bonds does not apply to county officers covered pursuant to Section  11-119(22).  




So what does all of this mean? If an elected official fails to timely file official bonds with the oath by the appropriate time, the county clerk is required to immediately issue an order to such person to show cause why he has failed to properly file such bond and why his office should not be declared vacant. If such person properly files the official bond before the date for taking office for elected officials, such filing shall be deemed in compliance. Failure to file the bond before the date for taking office for elected officials, and the lack of sufficient cause being shown within that time, result in the individual's office being ipso facto vacant and shall vacancy must be immediately filled by election or appointment.


Conversely, if an elected official utilizes the provisions of 11-119, the date of January 8, 2015 could be applicable for an officials swearing in. Despite which process is used, newly elected officials take office on January 8, 2015 based on the Nebraska Constitution and the 2015 calendar.


Regardless of the option utilized by a county and county officials, it is recommended that this issue be discussed with your county attorney, your bond provider and/or your insurance provider.


Should Officials Ending Their Term Be Paid Pro Rata Salaries? Answer: No


(Reprinted and Updated article)

In a related issue, the question "Are outgoing elected county officials entitled to any pro rata salary for the seven days in January that they continue to serve in office?" is addressed below.

This is a question the NACO office has been asked several times in past years and the response has been "No."  The question seems to arise every time a term of office ends, particularly when there is a significant turnover in county board members and county officials. Various new county board members and county officials will take the oath of office in January.  This question arises because Art. XVII, 5 of the Nebraska Constitution establishes that the terms of all elected officers shall, rather than January 1, begin on the first Thursday after the first Tuesday in January immediately following their election. In 2015, that date will fall on January 8, so the terms of the outgoing county officials will continue through January 7. While it might seem unfair that there is no compensation owed to the outgoing official for this time period, and that the incoming official receives a full month's salary for January though not in office for the entire month, one must refer back to the applicable county salary resolution which governs this period and the underlying law to show why this is the result. It also must be remembered the outgoing official, or the predecessor if appointed to fill a vacancy, likely received a full month's salary for the first January of his or her term though not in office for the full month him or herself.

Neb. Rev. Stat. 23-1114 requires every County Board, prior to January 15 of each year in which a general election will be held for the respective county offices, to fix the salaries of all elected officers to be effective for the subsequent term of office. Of course, elected county officials serve four year/48 month terms. Most such salary resolutions adopted by County Boards, utilizing a format recommended by NACO, establish salaries for the various offices on a calendar year basis, which for the current term covers calendar years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. So long as the person(s) in a county office received his or her full salary for calendar years 2011, 2012 and 2013 as called for under the salary resolution, and their December 2014 paycheck represents the balance remaining on the amount that was owed under the same resolution for calendar year 2014, then that official will receive the full salary he or she is entitled to for the 48 months of the term. Payment of anything more than that is not only contrary to the salary resolution but it would also violate Art. III, 19 of the Constitution. This constitutional provision generally prohibits the compensation of any public officer, including elected county officials, from being increased or diminished during his or her term of office. Therefore, any pro rata payment which would result in the payment of a county official in excess of the amount established in the salary resolution is legally impermissible.

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 .
 coudir2015 County Official Directory Order Form
NACO's 2015 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.  In January, 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_Board_Handbook_20122014 County Board  Handbook and Revisions
The 2014 County Board Handbook and related revisions are now available. 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

Join NACo January 21-23, 2015, in Charleston County, S.C., for an educational forum on Optimizing Health, Justice and Public Safety in Your County!


As part of the NACo health, justice and public safety programming and policy areas, NACo is hosting this forum to bolster leadership in local health and justice systems and emergency management responsibilities.


The forum will feature discussions on:

  • Behavioral health interventions
  • Health coverage and the justice system
  • Collaborative partnerships
  • Emergency Management Roundtable

Through keynote presentations, panel discussions, mobile workshops and group dialogues, county leaders will learn more from national leaders and from their peers' first-hand experiences.


Who Should Attend?


This forum is aimed at elected and appointed county officials, key county staff members and local stakeholders working in health, justice, human and social services, emergency management and related fields.


Featured Speakers:


The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy, Former United States Representative, Rhode Island; Co-Founder, One Mind for Research and Founder, Kennedy Forum



Representative Patrick Kennedy served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is predominantly known as author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.  This dramatic piece of legislation provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment.

Judge Steven Leifman, Associate Administrative Judge in the Miami-Dade County Court Criminal Division and Special Advisor on Criminal Justice and Mental Health for the Supreme Court of Florida


Judge Steven Leifman is at the forefront of a public policy movement in the criminal justice system to reduce the number of people with mental illness in prison, and to develop alternative approaches that offer treatment and support for recovery.


James Bell, Founder and Executive Director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute


Mr. Bell has been successfully working to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the youth justice system in over 100 counties across the United States. He works closely with judges, law enforcement, probation, attorneys, community organizations, youth and families to engage this seemingly intractable problem.


Ian Galloway, Senior Research Associate, Community Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco


Mr. Galloway researches and presents regularly on a variety of community development topics including crowdfunding, investment tax credits, the social determinants of health, impact investing, and Pay for Success financing (Social Impact Bonds).


Dr. Altha J. Stewart, Executive Director of the Just Care Family Network in Shelby County, Tennessee


Dr. Stewart leads Shelby County's System of Care program working with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems to support children at risk of out-of-home placement. She is also the Director of Systems of Care for the Shelby County Public Defender, assisting in the development of a holistic juvenile defender unit.


How to register:


Registration is required. Register online here. 

Registration deadline: Wednesday, December 31, 2014


For more information, contact NACo Program Manager Emmanuelle St. Jean at / 202.942.4267 or NACo Program Manager Kathy Rowings at / 202.942.4279.


For registration information and questions, please contact the NACo Meetings Call Center 202.942.4292.

NACo_WebinarsNACo Web-Based Education
The Excise Tax on High-Cost Health Insurance and Your County

Feb 12, 2015

Join us to learn what the excise tax on high-cost health insurance (also known as the "Cadillac Tax") is and what it means for your county. With constrained county budgets and rising health care costs, the tax may significantly impact your county employees, budgets and taxpayers. Counties cannot afford to wait until 2018 to develop a strategic solution. The speakers will share what strategies counties can begin to take to mitigate their liability.

Click here for webinar details

To view NACo's entire web-based education listing, click here.
newsacstNews From Across the State
Aging Rural Bridges Need Billion-Dollar Fix, Group Says
Lincoln Journal Star  December 12, 2014

County Receives 'Friendly' Designation
Wahoo Newspaper  December 17, 2014

Columbus Telegram  December 17, 2014
Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660