September 22, 2017                          www.nacone.org                      NACO E-Line Archive

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates For: 

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

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

Sheriffs Association Annual Conference
-October 1-4, 2017
-Younes Conference Center
-Kearney
Agenda | Registration
 
Maintenance Exchange - Caring for County Courthouses
- October 5, 2017
-Southeast Community -College - Beatrice
Agenda | Registration

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

ALL UPCOMING EVENTS

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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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legconf12th Annual NACO Legislative Conference 
Don't miss a view like this! 
Attend the 12th Annual NACO Legislative Conference on October 12 
 
The NACO Board of Directors last year approved a motion to allow the past NACO President to select a spot for the October Legislative Conference in their own district.  This year, Past President, Robert Post chose the Wildcat Hills Nature Center as the location.  It will be held on October 12. 
 
The Wildcat Hills Nature Center is located 8 miles south of Gering on Highway 71 and is where the above scene was photographed.  A state park pass is required for admission to the recreation area that accompanies the Nature Center.  If your vehicle does not have a park pass, indicate that you are with the NACO Legislative meeting being held and NACO will cover the cost of the one day pass for you.
 
The NACO Board of Directors felt this was a unique way of exploring Nebraska as we travel from NACO district to NACO district for this annual one-day conference.  The Wildcat Hills Recreation Area can be previewed by clicking here for more local information. 
 
Many counties will be interested in the release of the information for setting county official's salaries in 2018 and throughout the four year term that it coincides with.  Two local area state senators are scheduled to be in attendance and to give their views of the 2017 Legislature and the work it will take to make 2018 a successful legislative year.  NACO Executive Director, Larry Dix will also inform the county officials in attendance about the need to properly select, present and provide follow through for effective testimony as bills are introduced in the 2018 legislature.  The afternoon will conclude with a discussion of the 2018 NACO legislative platform and priorities that the NACO Board will adopt at the conclusion of the day's activities.  The full agenda is available here.
 
Past President Post encourages the early securing of lodging because of other events in the area that could fill the area hotel offerings.  A non-official listing of hotels in the Scottsbluff and Gering area can be seen here.  If housing is not available in Scottsbluff and Gering one might check at other hotels within driving distance on the day of the conference.  They are located in Kimball and Sidney.  The hotels mentioned are only for a guide and include no endorsements for their venue.
 
Registration for the Legislative Conference can be accomplished by clicking here.
 
custodialwkshpCounty Custodial Staff Workshop
Last Chance to Register!!
 
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 agenda for the October 5 event is available here. Registration is available by clicking here.

adinstAdvanced Institute of Excellence Class Opening for all County Officials
Water and Climate the Focus of the 2017 Advanced Institute of Excellence
 
The 2017 Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO) - Institute of Excellence, Advanced Institute will be Thursday, November 9th in Kearney from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus. This year Nebraska Extension and the National Drought Mitigation Center will team together to focus on current and future climate and water issues in the state. Because of the importance of this year's workshop theme, the event will be open to all NACO members and officials/staff from municipalities and other government agencies.
 
The goal of the Advanced Institute is to create a greater awareness of the complex issues facing Nebraska's counties and help decision-makers make more informed decisions. Topics covered will include: a Nebraska climate and drought overview; current and future drought and water impacts; drought and recreation; water and leadership; planning for the future; and more. Presenters will include individuals from: The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Central Platte Natural Resource District, and officials from county government.
 
The cost of the workshop will be $60 per individual. NACO will bill counties after the event according to participation. To cover travel and program costs a minimum of 30 participants is required to hold the training. To register or for more information contact Nebraska Extension Educators: Carroll Welte in Burt County ( cwelte1@unl.edu or 402-374-2954) or Jessica Jones in Johnson County ( jjones12@unl.edu or 402-335-3669).
 
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 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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LegalLegal Line
Supreme Court Decides Due Process Case
 
The Nebraska Supreme Court recently reversed a Johnson County District Court ruling that a former Tecumseh prison officer was owed back pay for being suspended from his job without a hearing. In White v. Busboom, 297 Neb. 717 , ___ N.W.2d __ (2017), White was arrested and accused of unlawful intrusion and posted bail the next day. He called to tell Busboom, a major at the facility, whose duties included reviewing documentation for disciplinary actions against uniformed officers and making recommendations to the deputy warden. After discussion with officials up the chain of command, Busboom signed a letter placing White on unpaid investigatory suspension. Later, he was suspended a second time. Finally, he was terminated for failing to comply with a directive to meet with an investigator.
 
In the Supreme Court appeal, Busboom assigned three errors to the district court: (1) not concluding that White's due process claim was waived; (2) granting summary judgment to White against Busboom individually; and (3) denying qualified immunity to Busboom. Each of these issues merits study and discussion but this article is intended to use this case as a reminder that employees are entitled to due process in employment issues.
 
The Supreme Court cited the seminal case in public employment law, Cleveland Board of Education v. Loudermill (citation omitted). Loudermill held that procedural safeguards are necessary and due process requires some kind of a hearing prior to discharging an employee who has a constitutionally protected property interest in his or her employment. The essential elements of such due process are notice and an opportunity to respond. The court further found that if an employer perceives a hazard in keeping an employee on the job, it can suspend an employee with pay.
 
Later cases have further addressed the issues raised in Loudermill, including such concepts as when a post-termination hearing can cure deficiencies in a pre-termination hearing and what constitutes constructive termination. Both of these issues were raised in White.
 
In light of the potential legal issues involved, county officials are strongly encouraged to follow grievance procedures in the county's personnel manual and talk to their county attorney when considering termination or disciplinary action.  
 
The full text of White v. Busboom is available here and on the Nebraska Supreme Court's website.    
 
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  2017 County Board  Handbook and Revision s
Newly Revised -- 2017 County Board Handbook and Related Revisions are Now Available

The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2017 session, is $80.00/book plus $18.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2017 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 or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 232.
    
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NACoNews From NACo
Photo courtesy of NACo County News

Counties fight for SALT deduction, House GOP's top 'pay-for'
Sep. 21, 2017

NACo and 20 partner organizations are mobilizing ahead of next week's expected release of details about a Congressional tax reform effort expected to target the state and local tax deduction (SALT).

Members of Americans Against Double Taxation oppose any proposal that repeals or modifies the deduction, which has been part of the federal tax code since 1913. Changes to the deduction would mean higher bills for taxpayers, even with a potential increase in the standard deduction, and consequently would reduce county and local government revenues and affect public service delivery.

Eliminating the deduction would net the federal government nearly $1.3 trillion over 10 years, giving Congressional Republicans room for federal tax cuts. Of taxpayers who claim the deduction, 87 percent have incomes below $200,000.

To read the entire article, click here.

websNACo Webinars
Supreme Court Preview
Oct. 24, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT 
Contact: Daria Daniel
(202) 942-4212    
 
It is rare for the Supreme Court to have such an interesting docket before its new term begins. But it is not rare that the interesting cases-including partisan gerrymander, the travel ban, free speech and free exercise of religion-affect states and local governments. Join Todd Kim, District of Columbia Solicitor General, who will argue one of two cases involving the District this term, Ashley Johnson, Gibson Dunn, who co-wrote a merits brief on behalf of Governor Chris Christie in a sports gambling case, and Kevin Daley, Supreme Court reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation, in a discussion of the most important cases so far for states and local governments to be decided in the Court's 2017 term.