August 25, 2017                          www.nacone.org                        NACO E-Line Archive

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates For: 

Assessors Workshop
- August 28-31, 2017
- Lied Lodge, Nebraska City
Agenda | Registration

Southeast District Meeting
-September 14, 2017
-Camp Carol Joy Holling, Ashland
Agenda

Register of Deeds Workshop
-September 15, 2017
-Holiday Inn -  Kearney, NE
Northeast District Meeting
-September 15, 2017
-Ramada, Columbus
Agenda

Central District Meeting
-September 21, 2017
-Holiday Inn, Kearney
  Agenda

Panhandle District Meeting
-September 27, 2017
-Prairie Winds Community Center, Bridgeport

West Central District Meeting
-September 28, 2017
-Quality Inn, Ogallala

NACO Legislative Conference
-October 12, 2017
Wildcat Hills Nature Center, Gering
Agenda | Registration 

ALL UPCOMING EVENTS

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For details contact:
LeRoy.Janssen@nacone.org
WHO SUPPORTS NACO AND THEIR MISSION?

 

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.

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uscensusUS Census Bureau Invite
The U.S. Constitution requires that each decade, we take a count or a census of America's population. The 2020 Census will count every person living in the Nation once, only once, and in the right place. In 2020, the Census Bureau is implementing innovations to make it easier than ever to respond to the census. For the first time, people will be able to participate in the census online, by phone, or on paper. The Census Bureau is also building a more accurate address list and automating field operations; all while keeping information safe and confidential.

Come and learn what your community needs to do now to get ready. This meeting will provide an early overview of 2020 Census innovations, timeline, critical Geographic program deadlines, and the Community Partnership and Engagement program outreach plans.

Who should attend? City Managers and Mayors, City/County intergovernmental affairs, City/County Planners, Council of Government staff and anyone who will take a lead in getting their city/county ready for the 2020 Census.

To view the invite, click here.

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custodialwkshpCounty Custodial Staff Workshop
The NACO Board of Directors in 2016 gave approval to develop a courthouse restoration and improvement project designed to educate courthouse maintenance staff and those responsible to keep county properties in good repair.   Jerry Berggren of Berggren Architects developed the idea after visiting several counties in the state and noted the need for custodial and maintenance staff and elected county board members to keep our historic keepsakes in top shape to preserve our heritage and remain functional into the future. A key component to honing and perfecting a suitable environment with building upkeep lies encompassed within the joint decision making of the staff completing the work and the county board members responsible for providing support through educational opportunities, financial backing, and a reflection of pride in the presentation of our county properties.

Berggren felt that a strong tie with the Nebraska community colleges would help to enhance the project ideas of education, geographic diversity and support from the community college program development staff. The Northeast Nebraska Community College was the first to sponsor and present ideas at the Spring NACO District meeting to county board members. The work continues in this endeavor to host a fall custodial workshop through the Southeast Community College in Beatrice in October. Other community college sites will be considered for future meetings.

The one-day workshop will seek up to 25 two-person registrations. One registrant will be the maintenance/custodial staff person and the other would be the county board member chosen to attend who would take a lead role in educating the other board members of the significance of the maintenance role in building upkeep. 

After a general session, part of the day will be for staff education, part of the day will be for the education of the county board members and the day will conclude with a joint courthouse tour to review the lessons learned and to further the camaraderie of the attendees to develop relationships with other counties and their processes.

The tentative schedule for the October 5th event is available here. Registration for the event will be coming on the NACO website in the near future.

interimhrngsLegislature Schedules Interim Study Hearings
Although the 2018 legislative session won't begin until January, senators and staff are working on new legislation during the interim. Resolutions proposing interim studies are offered during the session to examine new ideas for legislation and to dig deeper into issues raised by previously  introduced bills. Public hearings are held on some of the priority issues selected by each legislative committee, including the topics that are of interest to counties. County officials are encouraged to attend the hearings and provide testimony. Unlike hearings during the legislative session, testifiers do not need to take a position in support or opposition to the issue, but are simply asked to provide input. Some of the hearings will be live-streamed through the Legislature's website.
 
The complete interim study schedule is available here or each month's hearings can be found on the Legislature's calendar.
 
September 8
Appropriations Committee
9:00 AM
LR113 (Bolz) Interim study to examine the long-term fiscal sustainability of the Nebraska Health Care Cash Fund to pay for health care and related services
LR139 (Bolz) Interim study to analyze the best use of the state's child welfare resources in line with its goals
LR238 (Stinner) Interim study to examine the feasibility of acquiring funding for behavioral and mental health internship programs at the doctoral level in rural Nebraska
 
1:00 PM
LR164 (Quick) Interim study to examine the need for restoration, development, and capital improvement of sites that attract tourists to and within Nebraska
LR225 (Harr) Interim study to assess the condition of property related to Willa Cather as described in section 82-129
LR242 (Kuehn) Interim study to examine the feasibility of zero-based budgeting for state agencies
 
 
September 15
Judiciary Committee
State Capitol, Room 1113
9:30 AM
LR114 (Judiciary Committee) Interim study to examine Nebraska's statutes relating to geriatric or compassionate release laws for elderly inmates
LR191 (Ebke) Interim study to examine possible legislative reforms to Nebraska's mandatory minimum sentencing laws
LR198 (Pansing Brooks) Interim study to examine the impact of incarceration on children in Nebraska
LR221 (Hansen) Interim study to examine possible reforms to Nebraska's sentencing laws to accommodate an option of deferred judgment probation
 
September 22
Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room 1003
1:00 PM
LR209 (Stinner) Interim study to examine the volatility of Nebraska's revenue portfolio to determine a set of evidence-based savings targets for the Cash Reserve Fund
LR210 (Stinner) Interim study to examine fiscal distress among local political subdivisions in Nebraska and how the Legislature could establish an early warning system to identify and respond to such fiscal distress
 
September 29
Urban Affairs Committee
Hall County Extension Office, College Park, 3180 W. Highway 34, Grand Island
1:30 PM
LR138 (Crawford) Interim study to examine the tools, mechanisms, and funding sources available to municipalities to provide for condemnation or demolition of vacant and abandoned buildings
LR60 (Urban Affairs Committee) Interim study to examine issues related to the use of tax-increment financing
 
October 6
Urban Affairs Committee
State Capitol, Room 1510
1:30 PM
LR81 (Wayne) Interim study to examine the adoption and enforcement of state fire codes
LR60 (Urban Affairs Committee) Interim study to examine issues related to the use of tax-increment financing
 
October 20
Judiciary Committee
State Capitol, Room 1113
9:30 AM
LR172 (Wishart) Interim study to review recruitment and retention efforts that are currently or could potentially be undertaken by the Dept. of Correctional Services
LR173 (Wishart) Interim study to review the work detail and work release efforts at the community corrections centers
 
1:30 PM
LR196 (Ebke) Interim study to track the progress of the Dept. of Correctional Services and to ensure the intentions set forth by the Legislature are being complied with and carried out. This is a Joint Hearing with the LR 127 Committee

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Legalline Legal Line
Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This edition has been prepared by Elaine Menzel 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.

Nebraska Supreme Court Considers Sovereign Immunity Issues

The McGauley v. Washington County, 297 Neb. 134, --- N.W.2d --- (2017), involves a wrongful death action brought against the County for the death of a quarry worker who was killed while operating a dump truck on a road being built up by his employer on behalf of the County. The Court evaluated whether the County had sovereign immunity under the discretionary acts exclusion of the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act (PSTCA) as provided under Neb. Rev. Stat.ยง13-910(2).

As described by the Court, the PSTCA has limited waivers of sovereign immunity which are subject to statutory exceptions. If an exception applies, the claim is barred by sovereign immunity. The exception considered by the court was the discretionary function exception that provides, "[a]ny claim based upon the exercise or performance of or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of the political subdivision or an employee of the political subdivision, whether or not the discretion is abused."

To determine whether such exception applies, the Court utilizes a two-step analysis - (1) the court must consider whether the action is a matter of choice for the acting employee; and (2) if the court concludes the challenged conduct involves an element of judgment, it must then determine whether the judgment is of the kind that the discretionary function exception was designed to shield.

In this case, the Court considered a third step. The quarry worker's representative contended that the County had a non-discretionary duty to provide a safe work environment. The Court pointed out it has previously held that the discretionary function exception does not apply when the governmental entity has a "non-discretionary duty to warn ... or take other protective measures that may prevent injury as the result of the dangerous condition or hazard." A duty exists when,
"(1) a governmental entity has actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition or hazard caused by or under the control of the governmental entity and (2) the dangerous condition or hazard is not readily apparent to persons who are likely to be injured by the dangerous condition or hazard . . . ."
With respect to the Court's holdings on each of the three steps,
(1)    Whether the discretionary function exception applies, the court concluded the challenged conduct involves an element of judgment at the policy making level. When confronted with the emergency situation of the flooding, and in lack of resources, it was faced with two less-than-ideal options.
(2)    The Court concluded that the judgment discussed in (1) is clearly the kind the discretionary function exception was intended to shield. The decision related to flooding a quarry, combating flooding and road safety were issues the County had to balance during an emergency situation and with limited resources. Such a decision was found by the Court to be "clearly the type of economic, political, and social policy judgment that the discretionary function exception was designed to shield.
(3)    Whether the County had a non-discretionary duty to provide a non-discretionary duty to provide a safe work condition on the road. After analyzing various conditions, the Court found such a duty does not exist and "[t]he dangerous conditions present on [the road] were not readily apparent to persons likely to be injured ..." Additionally, the Court found the quarry worker was personally aware of the dangerous conditions and he had attended various safety meetings provided by the employer.

The Court concluded, "[T]he County's decision to allow the employer of a quarry worker to build up the road was a discretionary function, not subject to the PSTCA. Therefore, the County has sovereign immunity, and the district court's order dismissing [the quarry worker's] claims against it [was] hereby affirmed."

To review the actual case, click here.

codirectory2017-2018 Directory of County Officials
NACO's 2017-2018 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. 

The NACO Directory is also still be available in electronic format by selecting the "Directory of County Officials" icon on the NACO webpage.  The electronic version is updated on a regular basis and contains the changes that occur between printings of the hard copies.
 
A printed directory is available for $19.00 if non-taxable and $20.00 if taxable.

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.

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County_Board_Handbook_2012  2016 County Board  Handbook and Revision s
The 2016 County Board Handbook and related revisions are now available.

The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2016 session, is $80.00/book plus $18.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2016 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 or by clicking here.  If you are interested in purchasing a complete handbook or a supplement  please contact
Deb Eberly by email or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 232.
   
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NACoNews From NACo

Verizon announces plans to create network to compete with FirstNet
By Jacob Terrell

Aug. 22, 2017

On July 18, Verizon issued a press release announcing plans to begin developing a new network dedicated to public safety communications for first responders.

Verizon's plan for a new first responders network comes in the wake of a March 30, 2017 announcement made by the U.S. Department of Commerce and AT&T that the two agreed to terms to build a first-of-its-kind nationwide wireless network for police, firefighters and emergency medical workers called the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

In a statement released by Verizon, the company announced it will build and operate its own private network core dedicated to public safety communications that will operate separately from their commercial core. Additionally, Verizon's plans will include making priority access and preemption services available to public safety officials to help ensure first responders can communicate during large scale disasters. Finally, Verizon announced an investment in new mission-critical 4G LTE voice communications to complement existing services such as Push-to-Talk Plus.

Verizon has not yet announced a launch date for their new service offerings for first responders. NACo will continue to engage with Verizon and other providers as their plans develop.

websNACo Webinars
Maximizing Impact in Communities through Outcomes-Oriented Contracting

Sep. 21, 2017
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Contact: Kathy Rowings
(202) 942-4279
 
Outcomes-based contracting strives to effectively deploy resources and provide services to individuals and communities by tying payments to measurable, data-driven performance standards. Join NACo for this webinar to learn how Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc., and several counties have made the shift to results-oriented contracting and improved outcomes in areas such as workforce development, child welfare and criminal justice.