July 29, 2016                                                                                            www.nacone.org   NACO E-Line Archive  

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates For: 

Assessors Workshop
   August 22-25, 2016
   Holiday Inn

2016 Fall NACO District Meetings

Southeast District
  September 8th
  Mahoney State Park

Central District
   September 15th
   Aurora Leadership Center

Northeast District
    September 16th
    St. Benedictine Center,

Panhandle District
    September 21st
    Gering Civic Center

West Central District
     September 22nd
     Holiday Inn Express, North


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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.

TopIn This Issue
openmeetOpen Meetings Act Modifications
Due to modifications in the Open Meetings Act during the 2016 legislative session, NACO has once again reproduced an updated copy of the Act that can be used by your county to fulfill the requirements of Neb. Rev. Stat. 84-1412(8) that states,

Public bodies shall make available at least one current copy of the Open Meetings Act posted in the meeting room at a location accessible to members of the public.  Emphasis added.

Please be aware that NACO is not reproducing a laminated poster this year due to the cost of doing so and the frequency with which it would have to have been done, due to changes.  Since the statutory requirement was enacted in 2006, there have been 8 updates to sections of the Open Meetings Law necessitating changes to the posted material.
The 2016 change to the Open Meetings Act is described below:
LB 876(2016) revises section 84-1413(2) by eliminating a laundry list of public bodies which can use an electronic voting device.  Instead an all-encompassing phrase of "public body" is used to reflect this laundry list and others not previously included.  The language would read:  "The requirements of a roll call or viva voce vote shall be satisfied by a public body which utilizes an electronic voting device which allows the yeas and nays of each member of such public body to be readily seen by the public."  Although these changes are not substantial to counties, the Open Meetings Act requires a current copy of the Act to be posted in the meeting room of a board. See the slip law here.   
Counties are currently in the laundry list that can have voting boards and would also be included as a public body under the new language of LB 876.
Copies of the slip laws of the 2016 bills may be viewed at the Nebraska Legislature's website.  Additionally, a posted copy of the revised Act is on the NACO website too. The soon to be current copy will reflect the July 21, 2016 effective date and can be reprinted to be posted to comply with the Act's requirements..   
We hope you find this information beneficial.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Elaine Menzel.
You are encouraged to relay this information to other county officials and public bodies, including county entities, within your county so that they can update their Open Meetings Act information as well.  Lastly, it is suggest you discuss this issue with your county attorney if you have not already done so.

NewLookNACO Has New Look
The Look of NACO Has Changed

Over the last few months the NACO Board of Directors and Executive Director, Larry Dix have been working on changing the logo and the emblem that represents the Nebraska Association of County Officials.  The new emblem is displayed in the header block of this edition of the E-Line.  The emblem features a more prominent portrayal of a county courthouse that is highlighted by the defining thicker circle that surrounds it.  

The logo of the Nebraska Association of County Officials has also been changed to reflect the same distinctive styling that is contained in the emblem along with the emphasis of the organization's name. 

heavicanChief Justice Heavican Speaking in Western Nebraska
Nebraska Supreme Court, Chief Justice Mike Heavican has announced that he will be conducting a three-day opportunity to meet with state and local leaders in the court system.  His first stop is at Chadron State College on August 1st at noon (MDT) where he and Justice's Cassel and Moore will meet with Chadron State College President, Dr. Randy Rhine for a facility visit and college program preview.  For that afternoon's highlights, click here.

The following day on August 2nd Justice Heavican will continue his tour to the Gering Probation Reporting Center, also at noon (MDT).  Details of that stop can be found here.

From 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (MDT) that afternoon the justices will travel to Scottsbluff to discuss the future of mediation in rural Nebraska at the Mediation Center there.  Several topics pertinent to the court will be discussed at that meeting as well.  Click here for details.

And on August 3rd several dignitaries will also meet with the Justice Heavican and Cassel at the Dawson County Courthouse in Lexington at 2:00 p.m.  To review the details of this meeting and the informal reception that follows, please click here.

Legal 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.

U.S. Supreme Court Decides Election Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court decided several election cases in the term that ended recently. These cases are likely to be discussed when redistricting occurs after the next census.

The question in Evenwel v. Abbott was whether the population numbers used for drawing district boundaries should be based on the total population or the voter-eligible population. The State of Texas had wanted the court to allow it to use total population and give explicit constitutional permission to map out districts with equal numbers of voters. Based on the principle of one-person, one-vote, the Court concluded that Texas should redistrict using total population. 136 S.Ct. 1120 (2016)

An Arizona redistricting plan was challenged on grounds that the new districts were under-populated in Democratic-leaning districts and over-populated in Republican-leaning ones. In Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
, the Court found an 8.8 percent population deviation acceptable because it predominantly reflected the redistricting commission's efforts to comply with the Voting Rights Act, rather than to help a political party. The Court held that the Constitution permits deviations when they are based on "legitimate considerations" intended to effectuate "rational state policy".  136 S.Ct. 1301 (2016)

Members of Virginia's Congressional delegation lacked standing to intervene in a lawsuit alleging unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in Wittman v. Personhuballah
.  Virginia's redistricting plan altered the composition of one congressional district, which was already majority African-American, and increased the number of African-American voters in the district. The federal district court had ruled that the redistricting plan was unconstitutional and the state did not appeal. The Court found that the members of Congress did not have standing to appeal under Article III of the U.S. Constitution because they did not suffer an injury that was directly traceable to the conduct at issue and likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision. 136 S.Ct. 1732 (2016)
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 larrydix@nacone.org. The CD order form is available here.

Back to Top
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.

As of  January 2016, NACO will no longer print the hard copy of the directory and send one to each county.  The directory has been made a part of the NACO website through a clickable and searchable icon and will be updated as corrections are submitted. The directory on the website is downloadable for a printed copy and it can also be transferred electronically to office computers and devices with memory storage such as smartphones and ipads.

For a copy of the latest 2015 directory, click here for the order form.

Back to Top
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
Several Nebraska County Officials attended the NACo annual conference in Long Beach, California throughout last week and the first part of this week.  On Saturday, July 23rd attendees were able to hear six-time NBA champion, Kareem Adbul-Jabbar at their opening session, attend Nebraska's delegate meeting on Sunday and on Monday they listened to Jon Meacham, presidential historian and author and Diana Nyad, the record breaking athlete, sportscaster and author at that day's general session before attending the final night of dining and dancing.  Over the course of the four day conference over 125 educational training courses, committee meetings and business sessions were available to chose from.  To see the list of interesting topics and attendee choices, click here

A few pictures captured the Nebraska delegates in action, as noted here. 
The Nebraska Delegation seated at the annual conference business meeting. 

NACO Executive Director caucusing with the Nebraska Delegation to help decide a vote.
NACO President Robert Post delivering a Nebraska vote at the annual conference.
nacowebNACo Webinars
Improving Local Resilience through Community Planning
Aug. 4, 2016 , 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Contact Jenna Moran (202) 942-4224 jmoran@naco.org

Join us for this interactive webinar to learn about the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, and how your county can benefit from the practical six-step process it lays out.  Speakers will provide background on the Guide; describe its approach; and offer insights based upon early use of the Guide. Natural, technological, and human-caused hazards take a high toll on communities, but the costs in lives, livelihoods and quality of life can be reduced by better managing disaster risks. Using the Guide, counties can strengthen resilience and improve their ability to continue or restore vital services in a more timely way and to build back better after damaging events.
  • Steve Cauffman, Lead for Disaster, Resilience Materials and Structural Systems Division, NIST, Washington, DC.
  • Joel Max, Emergency Management Coordinator, Office of  Emergency Management, Larimer County, Colo
  • Mat Heyman, CEO, Impresa Management Solutions, Potomac, Md. (Moderator)
Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660