April 3, 2015                                                            NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

Southeast District Meeting

Mahoney State Park

April 16, 2015



Save the Dates For: 


Board of Equalization Workshop

Younes Conference Center

Kearney, NE

May 14, 2015

Register Here   


County Board Workshop

Holiday Inn  

Kearney, NE

June 10-12, 2015

Register Here 


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  

Southeast District Meeting Date  

County Board Workshop to be Held in June this Year 

Department of Revenue Announces Assessor Test Date
Nebraska Juvenile Justice Conference Set for 2015
Historic Preservation Conference Planned
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 

southeastdistSoutheast District Meeting Date
The Southeast District Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 16th.  NACO has currently changed their website and agenda dates to reflect the correct date.  It was previously posted as being scheduled for April 17th.

The meeting is still being held at Mahoney State Park.

Please make arrangements to change the date of attendance if there has been an error on our part by posting the incorrect date.  We certainly apologize for all inconveniences this may have caused.

The current agenda can be accessed by clicking on the link in the left column of this issue of the E-Line.
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 may be accomplished by clicking here.
deptofreveneuDepartment of Revenue Announces Assessor Test Date

The Property Assessment Division has posted a news release to the Division's website for the County Assessor/Deputy Assessor Exam May 14, 2015.


If you have any questions, please contact the Policy/Legal Section of the Property Assessment Division.

juvenileNebraska Juvenile Justice Conference Set for 2015

The Nebraska Juvenile Justice Conference agenda, registration and conference site has been finalized for 2015.

To review the conference brochure for the agenda, click here.

To register for the conference, click here.
historicHistoric Preservation Conference Planned

The Second Biennial State Historic Preservation Conference


The Preservation: Plain & Simple Conference will provide property owners and preservation advocates practical information to solve a number of problems, including masonry cleaning and patching, wood window repair, and structural problems with the aim of maintaining the historic integrity of their buildings. In addition, we will have speakers who will address community issues, such as preserving brick streets, integrating preservation in neighborhood and community planning, and mid-century architectural materials.  Gather with others from across the state to learn from dynamic, engaging and results-oriented speakers who will provide tools people can use at home.


For more information about this valuable conference; click here  

legallineLegal Line

Nebraska Supreme Court Upholds Pursuit Decision


The Nebraska Supreme Court recently examined a city's responsibility to a third party who was injured by a stolen vehicle whose driver was being sought by police. At issue was whether a police officer's attempt to stop a stolen vehicle constituted pursuit under the terms of the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act (PSTCA). The Douglas County district court dismissed an action by the victim. It found that any pursuit had terminated prior to the accident and that the actions of the officers did not proximately cause the accident and resulting injuries. The victim appealed to the Supreme Court, which held that the issue was a question of fact. It affirmed the district court's decision, acknowledging that another trier of fact might have viewed the evidence differently. The case is Maclovi-Sierra v. City of Omaha, 290 Neb. 443, ___ N.W.2d ___ (2015) and can be found here:  


The victim relied upon section 13-911 of the PSTCA, which creates strict liability on the part of a political subdivisions when (1) a claimant suffers death, injury or property damage; (2) such death, injury, or property damage is proximately caused by the actions of a law enforcement officer employed by the political subdivision during vehicular pursuit; and (3) the claimant is an innocent third party. The court found that the first and third elements were not in dispute and focused on the second element - vehicular pursuit.


The Legislature defined vehicular pursuit in 13-911, which states, "In case of death, injury, or property damage to any innocent third party proximately caused by the action of a law enforcement officer employed by a political subdivision during vehicular pursuit, damages shall be paid to such third party by the political subdivision employing the officer."


The district court considered statements from several witnesses and participants in the day's events to reach the conclusion that the officer was not engaged in a pursuit at the time of the accident. The Supreme Court viewed the facts in the light most favorable to the city, as the standard of review requires, and concluded that the facts supported the district court's finding that any pursuit was terminated prior to the accident.


Next, it considered whether the PSTCA requires the actions of a law enforcement officer to be the sole proximate cause or merely a proximate cause of the injury. Because the question of proximate cause, in the face of conflicting evidence, is ordinarily one for the trier of fact, the district court's determination is not set aside unless it is clearly wrong. In this case, the district court found that the driver was motivated by an intent to evade other law enforcement personnel who might be looking for him. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgement of the district court because it could not say that its determination with respect to proximate cause was clearly wrong.


The injury of a third party is also the subject of pending legislation. LB188 would codify the definition of "innocent third party" in pursuit cases. It would recognize that there are other limited circumstances when a passenger in a fleeing vehicle should not be considered an innocent third party. For example, a public entity would not necessarily be strictly liable when a passenger enters into a vehicle knowing, or with a reasonable belief, that the driver is under the influence of liquor or drugs. LB188 was introduced by Senator Dan Watermeier and advanced to the floor by the Judiciary Committee.

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.
newsnacoNews From NACo

NACo Testifies Before Senate Agriculture Committee on "Waters of the U.S." Proposed Rule

Pictured here (L to R): Lynn M. Padgett, Commissioner, Ouray County, Colo., on behalf of the National Association of Counties; Furman Brodie, Vice President, Charles Ingram Lumber Company, Effingham, S.C.; Jason Kinley, Director, Gem County Mosquito Abatement District, Idaho; and Robert "Mac" N. McLennan, President and CEO, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc., N.D.; Jeff Metz, Owner and Operator, Metz Land and Cattle Co., Neb.; Kent Peppler, President, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Colo.

Washington D.C. - On March 24, Ouray County, Colo. Commissioner Lynn Padgett testified on behalf of the National Association of Counties (NACo) at a hearing titled, "Waters of the United States: Stakeholder Perspectives on the Impacts of EPA's Proposed Rule." Padgett's testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry highlighted impacts of the "waters of the U.S." proposal on rural counties. The hearing was led by Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). 



Click above to view Commissioner Padgett's testimony (left) and to hear Commissioner Padgett discuss counties' concerns with the proposed rule (right)


Chairman Roberts stressed that the proposed rule has generated widespread concern around the country from farmers, ranchers and states and communities.


"I find it particularly troubling that despite the unanimous outcry from a broad coalition of stakeholders and industries that have voiced concern about the manner and process by which EPA advanced this proposed rule -- EPA continues to plunge ahead." Roberts said.
In April 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) jointly released a new proposed rule that would amend the definition of "waters of the U.S." within the Clean Water Act and dramatically expand the range of public safety infrastructure that falls under federal permitting authority. Since its publication, NACo has expressed concerns about the scope of the proposed rule and  called for the proposed rule to be withdrawn until further analysis and more in-depth consultation with state and local officials could be completed. 
Chairman Roberts expressed frustration over EPA's announcement that they are changing the name of the "waters of the U.S." proposed rule to the "Clean Water Act Rule."
Roberts said, "merely changing the name is not enough...change the rule. If you want to protect clean water, it is time to listen and change the rule in a manner that allows for public input and collaboration AND is effective for farmers, ranchers and rural America." 
The hearing featured two panels of witnesses comprised of state and local government representatives and other stakeholders.  The first panel was comprised of state officials who were generally critical of the proposed rule including Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, the Secretary for North Carolina's Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr. Donald van der Vaart and the Assistant Secretary for the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Susan Metzger. 
However, Josh Baldi, the Regional Director for Washington State's Department of Ecology, had a different take on the proposed rule. While the state had many concerns when the proposed rule was introduced, Baldi said EPA and the Corps have been responsive to many of the concerns raised. However, he said, "The proposed rule does not resolve all the uncertainty over what ditches are jurisdictional."


Commissioner Padgett kicked off the second panel. Padgett was joined on the panel by rancher and Morrill County, Nebraska county commissioner Jeff Metz; Gem County, Idaho's Mosquito Abatement District Director Jason Kinley; lumber executive Furman Brodie; a rural electric cooperative president Robert "Mac" N. McLennan and Colorado's Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Kent Peppler.
At the hearing, Padgett reaffirmed local concerns about the "waters of the U.S." proposed rule.
"Counties support common-sense environmental protection, and we are on the front lines of safeguarding water resources in our communities," said Padgett.  "We are concerned that the proposal's unclear language would lead to unintended, adverse consequences for counties and residents across the country." 
Padgett explained, "This proposal exacerbates problems with the current permitting process.  It would cause greater delays in critical work, public safety risks and additional financial costs without benefiting the environment."
Local governments own nearly 80 percent of all public road miles and half of the nation's bridges.  Counties also own and maintain public safety infrastructure designed to keep rising water away from people and property.   These and other systems include flood control channels, roadside ditches, green infrastructure and drinking water facilities. 
The proposed rule introduces vague definitions for terms like "tributary," "significant nexus," "adjacency," "riparian areas," "floodplains" and "neighboring."  Depending on how these terms are interpreted, additional types of public infrastructure could fall under federal jurisdiction.

The public comment period for "waters of the U.S." closed on November 14, 2014.  The agencies are currently reviewing over one million comments and plan to release a final rule by late spring or early summer of 2015.  
The focus now moves to Capitol Hill, where lawmakers plan to introduce and debate legislation to stop the proposed rule in the coming months.

For  further  information  contact:  Julie Ufner at or 202.942.4269
NACo_WebinarsNACo Web-Based Education
Webinar Date:  Apr 16, 2015 !:00 PM - 2:15 PM Central Daylight Time

This webinar will examine the customary ways in which most people think of integrity and civility. Participants will explore the terrain beyond the common place and set the stage for more thoughtful focus on the qualities of values-based leadership. Specifically, integrity and civility will be developed as interdependent learned skills, not the product of innate talent or the natural inclination of well-mannered people. Webinar attendees will begin to develop personal definitions of both integrity and civility, which will be refined as new concepts are introduced.

newsacstNews From Across the State
Fremont Tribune April 3, 2015
Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660