November 6, 2015                                                                        NACO E-Line Archive  

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates For:  


NACO Institute of Excellence Advanced Class
Younes Conference Center
Kearney, NE
December 8, 2015
(See Article 4 of this E-line)

121st Annual NACO Conference

Younes Conference Center  

Kearney, NE

December 9 - 11, 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  
olympicOlympic Champion Bobsledder, Curt Tomasevicz To Open Conference

Curtis Tomasevicz grew up in Shelby, Nebraska a small town of nearly 700 people located a few miles south and west of Columbus. While attending the University of Nebraska, Curt played running back and linebacker, earning most of his playing time on special teams. During his senior year in 2003, he earned first-team academic All-Big 12 honors. Curtis holds a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in electrical engineering with a minor in astrophysics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Bobsled Beginnings:
When asked about bobsledding Curtis laughs saying that he never saw a bobsled in real life until his tryout in September of 2004. He wasn't exactly convinced that it was a legitimate, professional sport, either. Fellow Cornhusker hammer thrower and friend Amanda Moreley -- now a push athlete and brakeman on the Canadian national bobsled team -- suggested he give it a try. Curtis was instantly taken with the danger and thrill the sport provided. 

Breaking The Ice:
During his first season (2004-05), Tomasevicz landed on the World Cup circuit, consistently pushing on the USA II sled. He made his Olympic debut in Torino in 2006, sliding to sixth place in four-man competition. The entire experience was a memorable one for Tomasevicz. He compared walking in the Opening Ceremony to the excitement of going through the tunnel at Memorial Stadium during his college football years. During the next few years, the U.S. bobsled program began to become an international force, winning numerous World Cup and World Championship medals. But his biggest achievement came in February at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, when he, Steve Holcomb, Justin Olsen and Steve Mesler raced the "Night Train" to the first American four-man Olympic title in 62 years.

In February of 2014, Curt participated in his 3rd Olympic games in Sochi, Russia. With a more competitive field, the Night Train 2 team of Curt, Holcomb, Steve Langton, and Chris Fogt battled their way to a bronze medal, making Curt one of only six American bobsledders in history to earn multiple Olympic medals.

Family And Leisure:
Tomasevicz's dad, Dennis, is a retired combine mechanic, while mom, Amy, is an art teacher. He has a younger brother, Jon, who is a physical education teacher. When he's not busy training, Tomasevicz enjoys playing bass guitar, astronomy and reading.

Conference Speaker:
Curtis Tomasevicz will be featured speaker at the opening ceremonies of the 121st Annual NACO Conference  on December 9th.  Opening ceremonies for the conference will begin at 2 p.m. at the Younes Center
in Kearney.  His inspirational address will be titled, "Have No FEAR."  Curtis will have his Olympic medals on display and will take time out for autographs after the opening ceremonies have been completed. 
annconfresAnnual Conference Information
The 2015 NACO Annual Conference will be held in Kearney at the Younes Convention CenterThe conference dates are December 9th through the 11th.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!  Go to the NACO website or click here.  Agendas can be found here.

The Kearney Visitor's Bureau has a webpage designed specifically for conference information as it becomes available through the planning process.  You can visit that page by clicking here.

Rooms have been contracted at the Wingate inn, the Hampton Inn, the Holiday Inn, the Holiday Inn Express, the Comfort Inn and the Fairfield Inn for $99.95 per night for single and double rooms and suites are contracted for $149.95 per night.

You must phone the hotel of choice to make reservations stating that you are attending the conference to receive the group discounted room rate. Only guaranteed reservations will be accepted. Reservations must be guaranteed with either a credit card or by direct billing back to your county.
PLEASE NOTE: Reservations may be made initially under the county name but must all have individual names of who will occupy each room no later than November 10, 2015. Any reservation being held under the county name after this date will be cancelled.
Changes Or Cancellations To Lodging Reservations
County officials should take note that the date for changing or cancelling any reservations for the NACO conference is November 10.  Any county making cancellations or changes lodging reservations after this date will be charged the first night's lodging.
Wingate Inn:     (308) 237-4400
Hampton Inn:    (308) 234-3400
Fairfield Inn:      (308) 236-4200
Comfort Inn:      (308) 236-3400
Holiday Inn:      (308) 237-5971
Holiday Inn Express:                                       (308) 234-8100  
Best Western Mid Nebraska Inn & Suites:        (308) 234-2541
AmericInn:                                                     (308) 234-7800
Country Inn & Suites:                                      (308) 236-7500
Ramada Inn:                                                   (308) 237-3141  
sock2015 Sock Collection For Those In Need

instofexcellInstitute of Excellence Hosting Advanced Class
Most people are familiar with the song Bob Dylan recorded in 1964, The Times They are A Changin'. No doubt there was turbulent change in the 60's with the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement.  Anymore, though, it seems the times they are always a "changin."

How people handle change depends on if it is welcomed or unwelcome. It's proven people handle change much better, if they have an opportunity to prepare, plan and act to make the best of it.

Nebraska Extension is offering past graduates of the NACO Institute of Excellence an opportunity to learn more about preparing, planning and acting to make the best of change. On Tuesday, December 8th from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Kearney at the Younes Conference Center, Dr. Tim Lemmons will present an overview of strategic planning for managing the future.

While Tim is an educator and ag economist, he has a passion for organizational planning. As a public official himself, he has a good grasp of the change in store for Nebraska. He will provide some short-term actionable items that county officials, regardless of how long they're in office, can initiate and build on.

Don't stand around and hum The Times They Are a Changin'. Do something about it. Plan now to attend Strategic Planning for Managing the Future. The time is right to prepare, plan and act to make the best of the changes to come.

This is an Advanced NACO Institute of Excellence Class.  Only previously graduated Institute of Excellence students are able to register and attend.

Please put the Advanced class of the NACO Institute of Excellence on your calendar.  Registration for the session is on the NACO website.  For more information contact Carroll Welte at 402.374.2929 or email The registration deadline is December 1. The program fee is $45 per person. To cover the speaker's travel expenses a minimum of 10 participants are needed to hold the program.
vetserveTraining to Better Serve Veterans

The Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors (NALHD) are supporting and coordinating five No Wrong Door trainings across the state (see attached flyer for dates and locations). These trainings have been developed by the multi-disciplinary Veteran's Brain Injury Task Force over the past several years to give community members from a range of professions/organizations a solid understanding of issues that veterans, service members, and their families/loved ones face. The training also gives participants resources and strategies they can use to serve veterans, service members, and their families better.

To view the informational flyer to obtain more details, click here.

Susan Bockrath, Executive Director of the NALHD says that, "I want to make sure that other folks, especially those who maybe don't think their work relates to veterans, know that these trainings are coming up and that there really is value for everyone... teachers, principals, county clerks, law enforcement...everyone."
marcMulti-Agency Resource Training Center Opportunity
Nebraska Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NE VOAD) is sponsoring a training this fall and early winter in four locations on multi-agency resource centers (MARCs). A MARC is a one-stop shop for those affected by disasters-various community and state organizations and agencies have booths. Disaster victims can visit all the service/information providers and determine a plan of action based upon their and their family's needs.   
Red Cross will teach the training, and it is free to attend; lunch will be provided. Travel scholarships are available; information is on the flyer. Participants will learn the benefits of a MARC, how to set up a MARC, what agencies should be included, and challenges for coordinating a MARC. This information will be useful to community leaders!

View the training flyer here.

For more information contact: Ashley Mueller, MS, Extension Educator, Disaster Education Coordinator, Nebraska Extension.  Email: Office phone: 402-727-2775.  Address: Nebraska Extension in Dodge County, 1206 W. 23rd Street, Fremont, Nebraska 68025-2504  
interimroadsTransportation Committee To Conduct Interim Hearings on Roads
County officials will have two opportunities in December to share their thoughts on Nebraska's roads with the Legislature's Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. Throughout the summer, the committee has been conducting a series of statewide public hearings on interim studies addressing Nebraska's state and local roads (LR318) including the maximum weight limits on county roads (LR317), expressways (LR313), and removal of roadside vegetation (LR339). Interim studies and hearings are a tool used by the Legislature to investigate a specific topic that may be the subject of legislation in the coming session or an issue that was introduced during a regular session that needs further development.
On December 1, the committee will meet in Bellevue College's John B. Muller Administrative Services Building in Bellevue at 1:30 p.m. to take testimony on LR318 and LR339. On December 3, the committee will meet jointly with the Appropriations Committee at 10:00 in Lincoln for an annual hearing on the Nebraska Department of Roads Needs Assessment. At 1:30, the Transportation Committee will conduct its final hearings on LR318 and LR317.

Several other committees have scheduled hearings before the session begins in January. The Revenue and Education Committees will hold joint hearings on school funding (LR32 and LR344) on November 12.

The Retirement Systems Committee will hold its annual examination of the state-administered retirement systems (LR243) and receive reports by political subdivisions with underfunded pension plans on November 18.
The Appropriations Committee will examine the potential growth for tourism (LR321), methods to improve government efficiency (LR333), and funding for public health departments (LR257) on December 1.

A complete hearing schedule is available here.
unocertifiedNebraska Certified Public Managers Program
The School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha would like to invite you and your staff to participate in its highly acclaimed professional development program - the Nebraska Certified Public ManagerŪ Program (CPM). In 2016 the Nebraska CPM Program is beginning its ninth year of assisting Nebraska's highly dedicated public/nonprofit managers to better serve their communities.
The Nebraska Certified Public ManagerŪ Program enhances performance by teaching supervisors and managers to apply recognized management theories and best practices to the challenges they face. The Nebraska CPM Program is designed for current and future supervisors and managers employed in public service or non-profits.
The Nebraska Certified Public ManagerŪ Program is more than a collection of educational sessions. It is an organized course of study in supervision and management designed specifically for managers. Participants not only attend on-campus sessions or post on-line, but during the period between sessions they also work on assignments and a significant capstone project that is of benefit to the participant's organization.
Recognizing that budgets are limited, we have worked to keep the Nebraska CPM program affordable. The fee for the program is $2,500 for all twelve sessions.Another incentive to participate in the program is the undergraduate and/or graduate credits that can be earned. Graduates of the Nebraska CPM Program can receive 15 upper level college credits which can be used to complete a Bachelors in General Studies (BGS) through UNO's Division of Continuing Studies Program. There is no charge for these credits beyond the $2,500 tuition for the CPM Program. If they have an undergraduate degree, graduates can receive six graduate credits toward a Master in Public Administration (MPA) degree from UNO. To receive the MPA credits, participants must enroll in the UNO graduate school and pay tuition and fees for the six credit hours. Nebraska CPM participants who do not live in Nebraska must pay non-resident tuition. No work beyond the CPM program requirements is necessary to receive the undergraduate and graduate credits.
Applications for the 2016 cohort is limited. We don't want your employees to miss this opportunity; the program won't be offered again until January 2017. A brochure and detailed training schedule is enclosed. For more information about the Nebraska Certified Public Manager ProgramŪ and application process, please contact Ellen Freeman Wakefield at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (402-554-2636), A program application is also available at the School of Public Administration website.
We are excited about beginning another cohort in 2016 and hope that your employees will be able to take advantage of it. Please share this information with others in your organization and urge them to apply for the Nebraska Certified Public Manager ProgramŪ.  The program application is due November 30th.

What else you may need to know
Course Schedule
Certified Public Manager Program Flier
Certified Public Manager Program Application 
legallineLegal 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.

Omaha Entity Subject to Open Meetings and Public Records Laws

Omaha's Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA) is a hybrid public/private entity subject to Nebraska's public records and open meetings laws according to a recent Attorney General's opinion. MECA was initially created as a private, nonprofit corporation and was subsequently created in the Omaha Municipal Code. MECA operates the CenturyLink Center and T.D. Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

The October 29 Attorney General's opinion supersedes previous disposition letters on the issue due to a recent Nebraska Supreme Court opinion, Frederick v. City of Falls City, 289 Neb. 864, 857 N.W.2d (2015). In Frederick, the court applied a functional equivalency test to determine whether documents in the possession of a nonprofit economic development corporation were public records. The test was intended to determine whether a private entity which has an ongoing relationship with a governmental entity should be considered an agency, branch, or department of the governmental entity for purposes of public records laws. The Attorney General's opinion applies the same test to the MECA fact pattern.

The first question of the functional equivalency test is whether the private entity performs a governmental function. In Frederick, the court held that the general encouragement of growth and industry (economic development) is a public purpose. At issue for MECA is whether the management of city-owned public events facilities constitutes an essential function which governmental entities have a duty or responsibility to perform, as opposed to the simple authority to do so if it chooses. The opinion distinguished MECA's 99-year agreement to operate Omaha's public events facilities from Frederick's agreement that was revocable upon 60 days' written notice. It also noted that the people of Omaha's vote to establish a public-private partnership between MECA and the City of Omaha was an affirmative expression of a desire to yield a governmental function to MECA.

The second question in the functional equivalency test is the level of governmental funding. Voters approved funding for 75 percent of the CenturyLink Center and MECA has received public funds for several years.

The third question involves the extent of government involvement or regulation in the entity. MECA was created by city ordinance and its members are appointed by city officials and approved by the city council. MECA board members are subject to removal by the city council for malfeasance. Thus, city officials have direct control over the composition of the board. The opinion lists other examples of governmental involvement including submission of an annual audit to the city council. In addition, the powers and duties of the MECA board are set forth in the Omaha Municipal Code with a reservation by the city council to enact additional duties and procedural requirements. The Omaha City Treasurer is the ex officio treasurer of MECA and receives all revenues.

The final question focuses on whether the private entity was created by the government. Because MECA was created by ordinance in the Omaha Municipal Code, it is clear that it is a creation of the government.

The opinion concludes that MECA is a hybrid public/private entity as it is created by ordinance, although it is also authorized to incorporate as a Nebraska nonprofit corporation. By applying the four-factor functional equivalency test in Frederick, MECA should be subject to public records laws. Likewise, MECA is subject to the Open Meetings Act.

The full text of the opinion can be found here.
Countygovernementdaycd County 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.
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_2012 2014 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 NACo

Counties Address Need For Behavioral Health Reform On Capitol Hill

NACo Health Steering Committee Chair Mary Ann Borgeson (left) highlights the Stepping Up initiative at a Capitol Hill briefing. Joining her on the panel were Dr. Renee Binder, president of the American Psychiatric Association; Hennepin County, Minn. Sheriff Rich Stanek; Dr. Robert Trestman, professor of medicine, psychiatry, and nursing at the University of Connecticut Health Center and executive director of Correctional Managed Health Care; and Ron Honberg, national director of policy and legal affairs at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In addition to NACo, the briefing was co-hosted by the American Psychiatric Association, the Council on State Governments Justice Center, Major County Sheriffs' Association and NAMI.

On October 28, 2015, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD) joined a bipartisan group of congressional leaders at a briefing on Capitol Hill to highlight the importance of county behavioral health systems and the need to reform the current system.

"We are in a unique position to impact people's lives through behavioral health services," said NACo Pres. Sallie Clark. "Counties are on the front lines of treatment for mental illness, providing the safety net and systems of care for residents. We provide critical services for individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse issues."

To read more about the reform effort,click here. 
nacoweb NACO Web-based Education 

Stepping Up: Preparing a Plan and Tracking Progress
for People in Jails with Mental Illness

Tue, Nov 17, 2015 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM CST
Join us for the next webinar in the Stepping Up series to learn about key strategies for preparing a plan, identifying outcome measures and developing processes for tracking progress toward your goals for reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in your jail. As the last of Stepping Up webinars focused on the six steps, this webinar will bring together the knowledge you've gained from the previous five webinars to help you develop a plan for moving forward in your county. Attendees are encouraged to review previous Stepping Up Webinars and Planning Guides in preparation for this webinar.

To register for the event, please click here:
whatshappSee What's Happening in Your Neighborhood?

If you have anything going on in your area that you would like to post photos about, please send an email and attach the photo(s) and a description of the event to      

Nebraska Association of County Officials
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