January 15, 2016                                                                   NACO E-Line Archive  

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates For:   


NACO Legislative Bill Review Day

January 29, 2016

NACO Office Conference Room 


Nebraska Weed Control Association Annual Conference

Divots Conference Center, Norfolk, NE 

February 8-10, 2106




Nebraska Planning and Zoning Annual Conference

Younes Conference Center

Kearney, Nebraska

March 9-11, 2106

Agenda & Registration Information 




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
In This Issue  
officeOffice Position Open at NACO
NACO has an immediate opening for a full-time office support position in the Lincoln office.  Position is an assistant to the Office & Finance Manager.   Employee will be required to perform detailed accounting functions for the association and a variety of office support duties.  Wages commensurate with education, experience, and individual strengths. NACO has a comprehensive benefit program.   If you know of anyone with the required skill set, please have them send a resume to NACO.
cofficialsCounty Officials Directory Available in PDF Format
Effective January 1, 2016, the NACO Directory will be in electronic format available by selecting the "County Officials Directory" icon on the NACO website.  The directory is an annual publication that provides names and addresses for elected and appointed county officials in the State of Nebraska.  The electronic directory will be updated as changes are received by the NACO office.

The printed NACO 2015 Directory of County Officials is still available if you want the bound version. A printed directory is available for $17.00 if non-taxable and $18.00 if taxable.
instituteofexcellenceNACO 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 2016 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. New this year will be a topic about integrating leadership into a re-election strategy.
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 Nebraska Extension Office in Lancaster County. Everyone comes together in December to apply what they've learned on the Tuesday prior to the start of the NACO Annual Conference in Kearney.
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. To receive a Certificate of Achievement at the 2016 NACO Annual Conference next December, participants in the Institute MUST attend 4 of the 5 face-to-face trainings. (In other words, you can only miss one day of training.)
The registration fee for participating in the program is $250 per official. NACO will bill the counties for the registration fees. Registrations canceled prior to March 1 will be honored. To enroll, fill out both the online NACO and NE Extension registration forms by February 17th. The NACO registration is for billing purposes and the NE Extension registration is for enrollment purposes.
Soon after the deadline, enrollees in the 2016 Institute of Excellence will receive additional information about the program from Nebraska Extension Educator, Carroll Welte and Extension Educator Emeritus Phyllis Schoenholz. Their contact information follows:
Carroll Welte, Extension Educator                                        Phyllis Schoenholz, Extension Educator
Nebraska Extension Burt County                                          Nebraska Extension Educator Emeritus
Phone: (402) 374-2929 or 2954                                            Phone: (402) 366-4281                                                            
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."
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, 2016.  To access the application from this article, click here.
stateboardsState Boards and Commissions Seeking Applications
State Boards and Commissions provide an excellent means of conveying your thoughts and ideas for the betterment of services provided to the people of the state of Nebraska. Kathleen Dolezal in Governor Ricketts office has extended an invitation to NACO members and citizens from your communities that you feel may be interested in making application for appointment to a board or commission of your or one of your constituent's interest. Dolezal adds that, "It is always amazing the diversity of interests that applicants have when they apply for several very uniquely different boards and commissions.  I am humbled every day by how truly dedicated, hard-working, and talented Nebraskans are and that they are willing to give freely of their time and talents to serve."

The Governor's Office has provided a list of 2016 - January to June Boards and Commissions with open positions for review.  They have also sent a request for unfilled vacancies from previous years for review.
An on-line application may be completed that goes directly to Kathleen Dolezal, Office of Governor Pete Ricketts, State Capitol, Room 2304, P.O. Box 94848, Lincoln, NE 68509-4848.  She may also be contacted by calling 404-471-1971.  Applications can be faxed to 402-471-6031.  For other questions, Kathleen can be emailed at
bridgesPhoto Call for "Bridges"

In 2017, the State of Nebraska will celebrate its Sesquicentennial or 150th year of statehood. Planning is underway to commemorate this historic occasion with a yearlong celebration that will engage, educate and inspire the state's citizenry while leaving a legacy for future generations. As part of the commemoration, the Governor's Sesquicentennial Committee (the Nebraska 150 Commission) has officially endorsed an exciting Statewide Photography Call titled "Bridges: Sharing our Past to Enrich the Future."
The Call, which began June 1, 2015, is sponsored by Hildegard Center for the Arts, in partnership with the Nebraska Tourism Commission and the Nebraska State Historical Society. Photographers everywhere are being called to capture images of historic sites and hidden treasures found in all 93 counties across Nebraska. Selected photos will travel to six regions throughout the state in 2017 to celebrate Nebraska's 150th birthday.
"We are proud to lend our support to the Hildegard Center for the Arts' Statewide Photography Call," shares Regan Anson, Executive Director of the Nebraska 150 Celebration. "The 'Bridges' project presents a unique opportunity for photographers of every skill to capture and showcase the beauty of every corner of our remarkable state."
Photographers have until March 21, 2016 to submit their original photos (taken within the last five years) of historical sites either found on the National Register of Historic Places OR places of community/personal significance to the photographer. Photographs may be submitted online at the Hildegard Center for the Arts website, Multiple submissions are allowed.

Please go to the Hildegard Center, BRIDGES PHOTO CALL.   

roadstandardsTraining on Proposed Changes to County Roads Standards

The most extensive changes are being proposed for county roads and municipal streets standards since their inception in 1970.  The purpose of this presentation is to review the standards in general and discuss the more significant changes.  Most of the focus is on minimum design standards, including 3R standards, a new format for tables, and several new notes and definitions.   Expectations of the Nebraska Board of Public Roads Classifications and Standards will be discussed, especially relaxation of standards requests. State highway standards are not covered.
North Platte -
Lincoln -
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  
boardelectBoards To Elect Chairs in January
Neb.Rev.Stat. 23-156 provides that the board of county commissioners at its regular meeting in January of each year shall elect a chairman of the board to serve for the ensuing year.

Pursuant to Neb.Rev.Stat.  23-272, "The regular meetings of the county board shall be held in January." Until this statute was amended in 2004, it required the reorganization to occur on the second Tuesday in January. As it now stands, the re-organizational meeting can occur on any date in January.

The election of the chair is addressed in 23-274. "The board at its regular meeting of each year shall 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."
setsalariesCounty Boards and a Limited Number of Officials' Salaries Must Be Set by January 15, 2016
Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 23-1114, the salaries of all elected county officers must be fixed by the county board prior to January 15 of the year in which a general election will be held for the respective offices.  The majority of elected officials' salaries were set for their term by January 15, 2014; however, there are two exceptions. The first exception is for elected officials who will be elected in the non-Presidential election years. The second potential exception is for county boards that choose to increase or decrease the salary for county board members. Boards are able to do so due to provisions in the Nebraska Constitution, Art. III, 19 that provides in part:

[T]he compensation of any public officer, including any officer whose compensation is fixed by the Legislature, shall not be increased or diminished during his or her term of office, except that when there are members elected or appointed to the Legislature or the judiciary, or officers elected or appointed to a board or commission having more than one member, and the terms of such members commence and end at different times, the compensation of all members of the Legislature, of the judiciary, or of such board or commission may be increased or diminished at the beginning of the full term of any member thereof.

Recognizing that 2014 was an election year providing for the election of a majority of county officials and that County Board members were required to set the salaries for the 2015-2018 term prior to January 15, 2014, the Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO) once again renewed its continued effort to promote that fair and equitable salaries and benefits be provided to all elected and appointed county officials.  A report of salary recommendations and supporting documentation was previously sent to your county clerk in 2013; however, if you would like a copy of the information, please contact Elaine Menzel at:
legallineLegal Line
US Supreme Court Cases to Watch in 2016

During 2016, we will elect a new President. Another branch of government will also be considering significant issues. While not an all-inclusive list, here is a quick overview of a few major cases that will be considered by the court. This month, January, is the last month in which the Court can accept new cases for its current term, which should end in late June, if past practice is followed.

In Evenwel v. Abbott (One Person, One Vote), the Court will decide if eligible voting population numbers can be substituted for total population numbers when voting districts are determined.

Back in 2013, the Texas legislature drafted new districts for electing the 31 members of the state senate. The lawmakers proceeded on a theory of equal representation by actual population, with just an 8.04 percent difference between the largest and the smallest districts. But the Texas legislature based its headcount on the total population of each district and not the numbers of people eligible to vote in each district. Due to an imbalance in the voting age population in the districts, the difference between the largest and the smallest districts rose to as much as 49 percent, when it came to who could actually cast votes.

The question before the Court is if the one-person, one-vote doctrine requires a legislature to use voting population numbers when there is evidence that using total population numbers would cause serious disparities in the strength of the votes cast. Status: Arguments heard on Dec. 8, 2015.

In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (Public Union Dues), the issue to be considered is a challenge to the practices of public unions. The Court will determine whether requiring public school teachers to pay mandatory dues for union activities violates the First Amendment. A California teacher argues that she should have no obligation to pay any union dues whatsoever, since any payment is still a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech.

A defeat for the Teachers Association could affect public-employee unions in about half the states that have "fair share" requirements. Status: Arguments on Jan. 11, 2016

In relation to this issue, Nebraska Revised Stat. 48-217 provides:

To make operative the provisions of sections 13, 14 and 15 of Article XV of the Constitution of Nebraska, no person shall be denied employment because of membership in or affiliation with, or resignation or expulsion from a labor organization or because of refusal to join, affiliate with, or pay a fee either directly or indirectly to a labor organization; nor shall any individual or corporation or association of any kind enter into any contract, written or oral, to exclude persons from employment because of membership in or nonmembership in a labor organization.

In Zubik vs. Burwell (Affordable Care Act), the Supreme Court in November consolidated seven cases challenging the Affordable Care Act's birth-control mandate into one:  The current legal challenge, the fourth to be accepted by the Court since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, involves religious-sponsored non-profit corporations. Such institutions object on moral grounds to a provision that allows their employees to obtain contraceptive coverage through their health insurance, even if those contraceptive products are provided by insurance companies and the government, instead of the institutions.

The groups argue that even indirect participation in such a plan is offensive, and they want to be included in a broader exception extended to churches, synagogues and worship-based employers.

The federal government believes that religiously oriented non-profit institutions such as hospitals and universities have numerous employees who don't share the beliefs of religious groups that sponsor the non-profits, and these workers would be harmed by the exclusions. Status: Granted on Nov. 6, 2015, arguments to be scheduled.
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 2015 County Board  Handbook and Revisions
The 2015 County Board Handbook and related revisions are now available! The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2015 session, is $80.00/book plus $18.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2015 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. For questions, contact Elaine Menzel by email or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 225.
News From NACo

On behalf of the National Association of Counties (NACo), the Western Interstate Region (WIR) leadership and board of directors, and our host, Teton County, Wyoming, we'd like to invite you to register for the 2016 Western Interstate Region Conference! We look forward to seeing you there!

Conference Registration  /  Preliminary Agenda

Details for Lodging  / 
Details for Airports and Travel 


Making the Most of 2016 Grant Funding in Rural Counties Webinar
Wed, Jan 20, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CST
Small and rural counties are eligible for many of the same grant opportunities as more populous counties, and in some cases, being rural is an advantage in the competition for an award. In order to maximize the grant funding coming into your county, though, you need to know what's out there and how to compete for it successfully.

Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660