January 23, 2015                                                 NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

NACO Legislative Committee Meeting
NACO Office - Lincoln
January 30, 2015

Nebraska Weed Control Association Annual Conference

Kearney, NE

February 9-11, 2015  


Clerks of the District Court Workshop

Kearney, NE

February 11-12, 2015   


National Association of Counties Legislative Conference

Washington, DC

February 21-25, 2015  


Central District Meeting

Kearney, NE

March 19, 2015


Northeast District Meeting

Norfolk, NE

March 20, 2015


Panhandle District  


Location TBD

March 25, 2015


West Central District Meeting

Curtis Ag College

March 26, 2015


Southeast District Meeting

Mahoney State Park

April, 17, 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  

Newly Elected County Officials Orientations

NACO's Legislative Committee Meeting Set for January 30 

County Board Workshop to be Held in June this Year  

2015 NACO Scholarship Applications Available

2015 NACO Institute of Excellence 

Grants Training in Omaha, NE  -  January 26-27 

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 

newlyelectedNewly Elected County Officials 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 the January and February orientations that new county officials 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 Treasurers, NACO is hosting an orientation on January 28th at the NACO conference room from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.   Current President of the Treasurer's Association and Jefferson County Treasurer, Leroy Bast; Past President, Barb Swanson and Polk County Treasurer; and Cathy Stark, Knox County Treasurer and Association Treasurer will roll out the training for sixteen new treasurers throughout the day-long training.


The Clerks of the District Court are having their spring workshop on February 11th and 12th at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Kearney.  Larry Dix will attend and provide a NACO perspective for the newly elected officials at that meeting.

The Clerks, Register of Deeds and Election Commissioners are planning a February date to have a day-long orientation for their new members at the NACO conference room in Lincoln.  The details will be released when they become available.

The Assessors have noted that the Property Assessment Division of the Nebraska Department of Revenue is hosting a "Beginning Assessors" training in Lincoln on February 10th and 11th to assist their group with continuing education.  Registration for that training can be found on the Department of Revenue Education Calendar by clicking here.

legiscommNACO's Legislative Committee Meeting Set for January 30  

NACO's Legislative Committee will meet on January 30 to review and take positions on 2015 legislation.  The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the NACO office at 1335 H Street in Lincoln. 


After brief introductory remarks, affiliate groups will meet for discussion of bills pertinent to their membership.  After the groups have met, the NACO Legislative Committee will reconvene as a whole to review and take positions on the entire list of bills.  All county officials are encouraged to attend or discuss areas of concern with their NACO Board representative prior to the meeting.


Because lunch will be provided, please notify the NACO office at (402)434-5660 or if you plan to attend.  Because the Legislature is in session, parking around the Capitol may be limited.  Public parking is not available behind the NACO office or in the MIPS lot.  A parking garage is available at The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel at 12th and L Streets.

cbrdwkshpCounty Board Workshop to be Held in June this Year
After last year's County Board Workshop in February, it was decided to move the workshop time from February to June.  A declining registration rate was determined to be the main factor in the decision.  Larry Dix, NACO Executive Director stated that, "while it is difficult to pick a time that will work for everyone, we will continue to offer the same quality of education for the workshop that has been enjoyed in the past."

This year's County Board Workshop will be held at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Kearney on June 10th through June 12th.  Registration for the event will be provided on the NACO webiste when it opens in May.
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

instofex2015 NACO Institute of Excellence

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


People elected and appointed to county office are perceived by the public as being leaders, capable of making decisions in the best interest of the people they serve. Leadership is more than just answering to the public, though. It's about listening and working with people to bring about change that ultimately leads to a better condition, place or situation.


To work with people better, leaders continuously seek opportunities to improve themselves. An opportunity for county officials is the 2015 NACO Institute of Excellence starting the first Thursday in March.


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 - whichever 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 before the end of the workday, Friday, 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." 

omahagrGrants Training in Omaha, NE  -  January 26-27, 2015

The Omaha Police Department and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Omaha, January 26-27, 2015.  This training is for grant seekers across all disciplines.  Attend this class and you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals.


Click here for full event details.


Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.


Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available.  Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment.


Tuition is $455 and includes all materials: workbook and accompanying 420MB resource CD that's packed full of tools and more than 200 sample grant proposals.  Seating is limited, online reservations are necessary.


Complete event details including learning objectives, class location, graduate testimonials and online registration are available here.




The Client Services Team
at Grant Writing USA


Sgt. Kurt Sorys
Omaha Police Department


More than 10,000 agencies across North America have turned to Grant Writing USA for grant writing and grant management training.   

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.

Supreme Court Rules Concludes Hospital A Separate Legal Entity From County


Following a patient filing a tort claim and then later suit against the county, the hospital and a physician pursuant to the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act, the court dismissed the county. See Brothers v. Kimball Cty. Hosp., 289 Neb. 879, --- N.W.2d --- (2015). Summary judgment in favor of the hospital and the physician was entered by the district court and the county was dismissed from suit. The decision was affirmed by the Nebraska Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.


Both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court concluded that as a matter of law, a county hospital is a separate and distinct political subdivision from the county.


The hospital is a county-owned hospital created under Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 23-3501 to 23-3527 (county hospital statutes). The patient asserted that the hospital was not a separate legal entity from the county, while the other parties disagreed. The Court found that the hospital is essentially the corporation, the county board comprises its "stockholders," and the hospital board of trustees operates as the hospital's "board of directors." There are a few major deci­sions that require the county board's approval. For example, if the board of trust­ees proposes to dispose of "all or substantially all of the facil­ity or property," the county board must approve such action. Additionally, county board approval is required to issue revenue bonds for which the revenue of the facility has been pledged and county board approval must be secured for an improvement or addition to the hospital that costs more than 50 percent of the hospital's replacement cost. These examples were found by the Court to be the exceptions and with the exception of these major decisions, complete control is vested in the board of trustees.


When considering the county hospital statutes as a whole, the Court concluded that a county hospital is a separate legal entity from the county. The hospital's governing body is responsible for formulating rules to guide itself. Further, it is the board of trustees, rather than the county, that has the authority to pay claims against the hospital.


The court declined to rule on the outcome of a county that elects to serve as the board of trustees.


Another issue addressed by the Supreme Court was the filing of the claim. The patient had failed to properly meet the filing requirements within a year of the accrual of his claim under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act and therefore the Court found he did not satisfy the filing requirements. As outlined by the Court, "The filing of presentment of a claim to the appropri­ate political subdivision is a condition precedent to com­mencement of a suit under the Act."


The court determined that a county hospital is a legal entity and political subdivision separate from the county itself and that, under the facts alleged in this case, the County could have no liability as a matter of law. Additionally, it was concluded that the patient failed to comply with the notice provi­sions of the Act, because he did not file his tort claim with the statutorily designated individual. Therefore the Supreme Court affirmed the deci­sion of the Court of Appeals. 

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.
newsfromnacoNews from NACo


Press Release



CONTACT: Brian Namey, 202.942.4220


State of the Union includes key county priorities 
NACo stands ready to strengthen local, state, federal partnership


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Counties (NACo) responded to President Obama's State of the Union Address and vowed to work with the President and Congress to achieve shared priorities important to the nation's counties, including economic recovery and investing in transportation and infrastructure.  


"Many of President Obama's domestic policy goals align with priorities county governments work to achieve every day," said NACo President Riki Hokama, council member, Maui County, Hawaii.  "We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and leaders on Capitol Hill because federal decisions have a cascading effect on county governments and residents.  We stand ready to strengthen counties' intergovernmental collaboration to benefit everyday Americans."


One of the President's top priorities is making sure more Americans feel the national economic resurgence he discussed.  While the national economy has seen progress, recovery on the ground remains sluggish and uneven.  


According to NACo's County Economic Tracker 2014 released last week, 95 percent of county economies have not returned to their pre-recession employment rates and only 65 out of 3,069 county economies have recovered on the four key indicators NACo analyzed - economic output (GDP), jobs, unemployment rate and home prices.  Further, wages have declined in half of county economies, and only 40 percent of jobs created have been in industries paying more than the average wage in the county where the job is located.  


As the Administration works with states and local governments to bolster economic recovery on the ground, counties agree with President Obama that we must invest in the nation's transportation systems and infrastructure.  At the same time, county leaders expressed concern about tax and finance reforms for funding capital projects.  


NACo's Transportation Steering Committee Chair Peter McLaughlin, commissioner, Hennepin County, Minn., said, "As major owners of the nation's transportation system, we are intimately familiar with the growing need to invest.  Counties need the kind of certainty provided by a long-term reauthorization of MAP-21."


Counties own and maintain the greatest share of the nation's road miles (45 percent) and nearly 40 percent of the number of bridges.  Counties are also the stewards of more than a third of the nation's transit systems and airports.   


"At the local level, we simply cannot afford for Congress to kick the can down the road with more stopgap measures," McLaughlin said.  "No great nation has ever made lasting progress on transportation and infrastructure by setting its policy six months at a time, and the United States won't either."


Financing tools can help efforts to fund infrastructure projects, but they are only a part of the equation.  They are not a sufficient replacement for Congressional action and tax-exempt municipal bonds.  


County leaders are concerned about the future status of tax-exempt municipal bonds.  Though they have been open to considering a wide range of public financing options and additional tools, they have long opposed eliminating or reducing traditional funding and tax-exempt municipal bonds, which provide indispensable financing for major infrastructure projects.  


"Counties need more financing options, not fewer," said NACo's Executive Director Matt Chase. "One infrastructure financing tool cannot cancel another.  For more than 100 years, tax-exempt municipal bonds have been the lifeblood of the nation's public infrastructure.  Over the last decade alone, they have played a key role in financing trillions of dollars in essential projects like schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, ports, airports and other public works projects."


In addition to the legislative initiatives the President discussed, federal regulations can also have a major effect on counties' ability to provide services to residents.   Counties echoed the need for collaboration on federal environmental regulations like the Administration's "Waters of the U.S." proposal.  County leaders favor common-sense environment protections and can work with the federal government to achieve this goal without inhibiting public safety and economic development efforts.   


Chase concluded, "President Obama's address made it clear that federal policies matter to county governments and county governments matter to America.  Every level of government must work together to shape policies that improve the quality of life for all Americans. Whether it's building and maintaining infrastructure, providing essential services or fostering conditions for economic growth, counties are on the front lines serving communities. NACo stands ready to work with the Administration and Congress to make America's communities healthier, safer, and more vibrant places to live and work."




The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States.  Founded in 1935, NACo assists America's 3,069 counties in pursuing excellence in public service to produce healthy, vibrant, safe and resilient counties.  NACo promotes sound public policies, fosters county solutions and innovation, promotes intergovernmental and public-private collaboration and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. More information at:

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
Schumacher Wants Longer Terms for State Senators
Columbus Telegram  January 23, 2015

Ricketts Emphasizes Taxes, Jobs in First State of the State
Fremont Tribune  January 23, 2015

Nebraska Lawmakers Outline Steps for 2015 Prison Reform
Grand Island Independent  January 23, 2015
Kearney Hub  January 23, 2015
Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660