February 12, 2016                                                                   NACO E-Line Archive  

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates For:   
2016 NACO Institute of Excellence
(Registration Deadline is February 17, 2016) 
Program Schedule
Meeting Location Map

Nebraska Planning and Zoning Annual Conference
Younes Conference Center
Kearney, Nebraska
March 9-11, 2106
Central District Meeting
March 17, 2016
Borders Inn - Grand Island

Northeast District Meeting
March 18, 2016
Lifelong Learning Center, NNTCC - Norfolk

Panhandle District Meeting
March 23, 2106
Gering Civic Center - Gering

West Central District Meeting
March 24, 2106
Holiday Inn Express - North Platte

Southeast District Meeting  
March 29, 2016 
Mahoney State Park




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  
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 accumulation of information 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.  It will not be printed and distributed since it is now available on-line.

The printed NACO 2015 Directory of County Officials is still available if you want the bound version from last year. That printed directory is available for $17.00 if non-taxable and $18.00 if taxable.
instituteofexcellenceNACO Institute of Excellence Begins Soon - Enroll In Final Five Days!
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.
OVPgrantsCrime Commission Offering Violence Prevention Grants
The Nebraska Crime Commission is pleased to announce the availability of FY 2016-2017 Office of Violence prevention Grant [OVP]. The Application Instructions outline general guidelines, eligibility, and funding requirements.  This information can be found on the Nebraska
Crime Commission website under the 2016 OVP Grant title. 
COMPETITIVE FUNDS AVAILABLE:             $350,000.00
The Application Kit Instructions and the Application  are currently available. You are encouraged to distribute and post the announcement.

The deadline for the applications are Friday, February 26th at 5:00 p.m.

Contact Chris Harris with any questions.  Chris is the Director of the Office of Prevention at the Nebraska Crime Commission at 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4946 at (402) 471-3813.  Cell phone (402) 416-4129.  Fax (402) 471-2837.  Email:
legallineLegal Line
Failure to Include Reason Means Dismissal of Protest
The Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) did not have authority to consider the merits of a property valuation appeal that had been rejected by the county board of equalization pursuant to a recent Nebraska Supreme Court case. The county board of equalization (CBOE) had rejected the valuation protest because the form did not contain a "reason" as required by law.
In Village at North Platte v. Lincoln Cty. Bd. of Equal., 292 Neb. 533, 873 N.W.2d 201 (2016), the Village filed a protest using Form 422A. It showed a protested valuation of $1,881,100 and a requested valuation of $1 million. The taxpayer left blank the box on the form designation "Reasons for requested valuation change (Attach additional pages if needed.)." It did not attach additional pages.
The board dismissed the protest citing Neb.Rev.Stat. sec. 77-1502(2). Under this section, "if the protest does not contain or have attached the statement of the reason or reasons for the protest or the applicable description of the property, the protest shall be dismissed by the county board of equalization."
The taxpayer appealed to TERC. The county board of equalization moved to dismiss, asserting that the TERC lacked jurisdiction because the CBOE did not have jurisdiction due to the taxpayer's failure to state a reason for the protest.
Following a hearing, the TERC entered an order for dismissal with prejudice, concluding that the TERC did not have jurisdiction because the CBOE did not have jurisdiction. The taxpayer appealed and the Nebraska Supreme Court moved the case to its docket.
The court considered whether the taxpayer's statement that the property was overvalued and the requested valuation constituted a reason pursuant to 77-1502(2), even though the box on the form was not checked. It returned to a basic principle of statutory interpretation - statutory language is to be given its plain and ordinary meaning. It found that the statute plainly requires a reason why the requested change should be made.
It rejected the taxpayer's argument that the reason for the protest was apparent from the face of the protest form. It noted that different valuations could result from a multitude of different reasons, including overvaluation by the assessor or improper equalization. The county board of equalization should not have to guess the reason for the protest. The statutory requirement exists to frame the issue for a hearing by the CBOE, otherwise the county would have no meaningful way to prepare for the protest hearing.
The taxpayer asserted that the doctrine of substantial compliance should apply. The court found that the taxpayer did not substantially comply with the statutory requirement.
Finally, the court examined whether the CBOE was prevented from reaching a decision on the merits of the taxpayer's protest. Since county boards of equalization can exercise only such powers as are expressly granted by statute and such statutes are strictly construed, when a protest fails to contain a statement of the reason for the protest, the county board is required to dismiss it.
Likewise, the TERC's jurisdiction is derived from statute. Although there might be instances when the TERC could hear a case when the CBOE lacked authority to do so, the court did not address them because the taxpayer manifestly failed to state any reason for the requested change in valuation.
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!
nacowebNACo Webinars
Effective Cross-Systems Information Sharing in Juvenile Justice

Feb. 18, 2016 , 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm CST

Youth who become involved in the juvenile justice system often are in contact with other child-serving systems, like child welfare, health or human services agencies. When juveniles are involved in multiple systems, there are multiple points at which sharing information across the agencies or systems can improve outcomes for youth and families, protect public safety and more effectively use taxpayer dollars. Experts from the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice and several counties will share examples and lessons learned from successful information-sharing efforts across the country. 

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