March 10, 2017                                                                                NACO E-Line Archive  

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates For: 

Spring District Meetings

Central District

 - March 16, 2017
   Holiday Inn, Kearney

Northeast District
 - March 17, 2017
   Northeast Community               College, Norfolk

Panhandle District
 - March 22, 2017
   Weborg 21 Centre

West Central District
 - March 23, 2017
   Ogallala Quality Inn

Southeast District
 - March 24, 2017
   Mahoney State Park

Place your logo here and link it to any website
For details contact:


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.

Richardson County was honored by the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Committee to celebrate NE 150 Statehood Day on March 1st.  Several current and past county officials participated in the day's event.  County   Attorney, Doug Mertz dressed as the Sheriff from the days of long ago and prior County Commissioners were also involved.  Jim Sefried and Craig Martinosky played the role of bad men and were held in jail.  Bill Ely, another former Commissioner and his wife dressed in their square dancing clothes along with a friend and were also a part of the event.

Gayle Reed, a tribal member from the Iowa tribe of Kansas and Nebraska gave a presentation on the tribal history and how it related to the formation of Richardson County and the State of Nebraska.  Items from the Sac and Fox Tribes were also on display for the event.

A program was developed and then handed out at the event.  A copy of that program can be viewed here

cbbandequalizationCounty Board Budget and Board of Equalization Workshop Planned
The 2017 County Board Budget and Board of Equalization Workshop has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 31st.  In an attempt to maximize travel savings for officials attending the County Board Workshop on June 1 and 2, the Budget and Equalization Workshop will be held the previous day at the same location.  Both events will be held at the Holiday Inn in Kearney.  The Budget and Board of Equalization Workshop will be held starting at 10:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. on May 31.

Larry Dix, NACO Executive Director and Deann Haeffner, Deputy State Auditor will fill the morning session with an introduction and will address the budgeting process, pitfalls to be aware of and how to properly monitor the budget against misuse.  The afternoon will be dedicated to the Board of Equalization process.  The first session will deal with the basics of assessment and valuation.  Ruth Sorensen, Nebraska's Property Tax Administrator will address the group and three Tax Equalization and Review Commissioners have been invited to share their insights and to answer questions of the audience.

The tentative agenda and registration will become available on the NACO webpage in the near future.

legallineLegal 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 Issues Related to the Open Meetings Act and the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Act
In Tryon v. City of North Platte, 295 Neb. 706, --- N.W.2d --- (2017), the Supreme Court c oncluded the court erred in dismissing appellants' amended complaint, because it contained causes of action under both Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-1411 of the Open Meetings Act and Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-14,102 of the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Act. Thus, the lower court's order dismissing appellants' amended complaint was reversed, and the cause remanded for further proceedings.
Fair notice that a claim exists, not the authorizing statute or legal theory, is all that is required to carry a valid claim at the pleading stage. Section 84-1411(1) requires a public body to provide notice of the time and place of its meeting and an agenda that is "sufficiently descriptive to give the public reasonable notice of the matters to be considered at the meeting."
Because the amended complaint focused on notice of public meetings, we believe appellees had fair notice that the Open Meetings Act notice requirements were also at issue. While setting out the appropriate statute and the allegations regarding each element required therein would have been helpful to appellees and the court, appellants' failure to do so does not defeat the presence of valid claims.
Furthermore, a ppellants also claim that the City did not award the contract   through   an   open   and   public   process   pursuant to § 49-14,102. Both appellants and appellees request that we interpret the term "notice" in § 49-14,102(2)'s definition of an open and public process. Appellants contend it should be interpreted to require, at a minimum, that the public be informed of the presence of a conflict of interest before a contract is awarded. Appellees argue that the plain language requires only notice   of the meeting and that therefore, appellants' admission of "bare legal notice" on the face of their complaint provides an affirmative defense precluding recovery.
The Court recognized that it has not previously interpreted the term "notice" in § 49-14,102(2). Even novel issues may be determined on a motion to dismiss where the dispute is not as to the underlying facts but as to the interpretation of the law.The Court stated,
However, as a general rule, important questions of novel impression should not be decided on a motion to dismiss when the underlying facts are unclear and development of the record will aid in resolving the legal issues.The Legislature has not presented a mandatory definition of notice or the language required to satisfy it. Accordingly, analysis of the sufficiency of the notice will necessarily require an evaluation of the actual notice provided. The absence of the actual notices or the language thereof requires that we allow further development of the record before construing the meaning of the statute. Instead, without interpreting § 49-14,102(2), we consider whether appellants' allegations may support a claim capable of prevailing against a motion to dismiss.
The Court concluded that the appellants' amended complaint contains valid claims under both § 84-1411 and § 49-14,102. Therefore, the lower court erred   in dismissing their amended complaint for failure to state a claim. The order dismissing appellants' amended complaint is reversed, and the cause is remanded for further proceedings.
The full text of the opinion can be viewed here.

Back to Top 
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.  In January, county clerks for each county will receive one complimentary printed copy of the directory intended for use by all offices in their courthouse. 

The NACO Directory will 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 .

The CD order form is available here.

Back to Top
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.
Back to Top
NACoNews From NACo
Stacy Englund (on tablet screen), an outpatient therapist at Range Mental Health Center in St. Louis County, Minn., works remotely with a client.  Photo courtesy of Arrowhead Health Alliance.

Tele-behavioral health care reaches rural residents 
Charles Taylor
March 6, 2017

Telemedicine helps make up for lack of critical shortage of mental health providers in rural Minnesota

Mary Carpenter once had her doubts. She wasn't "yippee-skippy" about behavioral health telemedicine, despite its promise to address mental health needs in Minnesota's rural Arrowhead region.

"I'm a psychologist and have been working in the field for 30-plus years, and so the thought of doing it over a TV screen was like 'yeah, right,'" said Carpenter, CEO of Range Mental Health Center in Virginia, Minn. in St. Louis County.

"But my younger therapists in the field were very excited and saying let's try it, because there are people that don't have transportation that we'll never touch. So we started slow and it's gradually taking off."

To read the article in its entirety, click here.  

NACo Webinars

Naturally Resilient Communities: Rethinking Flood Protection through Nature-based Solutions

Apr. 5, 2017
 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT 
Contact: Jack Morgan (202) 942-4274
NACo, along with 6 other key partners, have collaborated to develop the Naturally Resilient Communities online guide tool to promote the role that nature-based solutions can play in helping reduce flood risk for communities, while also providing other benefits such as improved water quality, enhanced recreational opportunities and wildlife habitats, and stronger, more resilient local economies. 

This educational webinar will walk attendees through this online tool and the specific solutions and community case studies it highlights. 

Attendees are encouraged to visit in advance of and during the webinar. 

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