August 11, 2017                                        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

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

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

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


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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.

nemaNACO Sponsors Eclipse Planning Session
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and the Nebraska Association of County Officials hosted an eclipse planning conference call on August 10.  NEMA, Assistant Director Bryan Tuma led the group discussion along with a power point presentation that was provided to the group a few days ahead of time.  About 20 sheriffs and emergency managers that were invited to the call participated in the event.  Those invited to the call were those counties that have the path of totality for the eclipse.

Assistant Director Tuma described the efforts provided by the cooperating state agencies in this event as well as preparations for the large increase in people attending events across the state.  He indicated that the state parks have sold all of their available camping and lodging sites for the day and expressed concerns for increased traffic on the interstate as well as local highways and county roads. Cellular phone coverage, due to the large number of users is expected to decrease during  a portion of that day as well.   The State Emergency Operations Center will be activated for the day in the event state resources will be needed.

Tuma stressed that all operations for the eclipse are local events and should be managed on a local level and any state assistance needed should be directed through the local emergency managers.

surveyorSurveyors Attend Interesting Seminar
At a July seminar in St. Paul and Boleus, Nebraska the Professional Surveyors Association of Nebraska re-traced county boundary lines, learned of its original members, and participated in the actual digging up of the markers first set by Robert Harvey, Nebraska's first state surveyor.

To learn more about this seminar and the interesting work performed by surveyors, click on this article provided by
The Grand Island Independent .
salarycomm2017 Salary Committee To Meet This Summer
Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. ยง 23-1114, County Boards of Commissioners and Supervisors will set the 2019 through 2022 term of office salaries for all elected officials prior to January 15, 2018. So, County Board members will have some guidance and qualified assistance with this difficult yet necessary responsibility, NACO has once again established a 12-member Salary Committee (including NACO President William Tielke as an ex officio member) to collect and review current salary and benefit information, then hopefully publish a final report suggesting minimum salary recommendations for the term of office. The 12 members of the committee consist of six county board members (one county board member from each of the NACO districts and one at-large member) and one member of each of the six NACO affiliate organizations that represent elected county officials (assessor, attorney, clerk, clerk of the district court, sheriff and treasurer).

The purpose of the committee is to examine the salaries of the elected county officials and to make salary recommendations applicable for the next four-year term of office for the various classes of counties. The committee will be provided with information necessary to reach a conclusion for their recommendations, including but not limited to county officials' salaries, county populations and valuations.

We are hopeful that a report of Minimum Recommended Salaries for the 2019-2022 term of office can be presented at the October 12 Legislative Conference at Wildcat Hill Recreation Area, south of Gering, and well before the required statutory date of setting salaries for elected officials of January 15, 2018. Following the presentation of the report to attendees, copies of the report and supporting salary information of counties will be provided to all Nebraska counties.

Committee members of the 2017 Salary Committee include: William Tielke, NACO President (ex officio, non-voting member) Holt County Supervisor, Wendy Dethlefs, Hamilton County Clerk of the District Court, Shawn Eatherton, Buffalo County Attorney, Marvin Kohout, Saline County Commissioner, William Lewis, Furnas County Commissioner, Mike McGinnis, Box Butte County Commissioner, Judy Mutzenberger, Cuming County Supervisor, Amy Nelson, Fillmore County Clerk, Edward Rastovski, Saunders County Supervisor, Becky Richter, Hamilton County Commissioner, Mike Robinson, Washington County Sheriff, Barb Swanson, Polk County Treasurer, and Amy Watchorn, Dixon County Assessor.

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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.
August 24
Urban Affairs Committee
Mid Plains Community College - North Campus, W.W. Wood Building, 1101 Halligan Drive, North Platte
1:30 PM
LR160 (Hughes) Interim study to examine the ability of municipalities in Nebraska to offer relocation incentives to attract new residents
LR60 (Urban Affairs Committee)Interim study to examine issues related to the use of tax-increment financing
Additional hearings on TIF ( LR60) will be held on Sept. 19 in Grand Island and Oct. 6 in Lincoln.
August 25
Revenue Committee
State Capitol, Room 1113 1:30 PM
Joint hearing of the Appropriations Committee and the Revenue Committee. Special Presentation of the 2016 Nebraska Tax Incentives Annual Report from the Nebraska Department of Revenue. Open to the public. Invited Testimony only.
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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juvjustreinvestJustice Reinvestment Grant Funds Distribution
The first report on the Disbursement of County Justice Reinvestment Grant Funds has been published on the Legislature's website, and can also be found through this link to the Nebraska Crime Commission website.

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 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.

Supreme Court Decides Case on Battery
Friendly horseplay between a deputy sheriff and a city police officer tested the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act and the county's insurance coverage under City of Lincoln v. County of Lancaster that was decided by the Nebraska Supreme Court in July. In the suit, the City of Lincoln sued Lancaster County after a deputy sheriff made contact with the shoulder of a police officer who had recently undergone shoulder surgery. The description of the contact ranged from "lighter than a pat" to "with an open palm" to a "closed fist punch". The City paid more than $63,000 in workers' compensation expenses for the injury. The City sued the County for reimbursement of expenses paid on the employee's behalf. The district court found in favor of the County.
The district court found that the City's claim arose from a battery and was barred by the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act's (PSTCA) intentional torts exception. Within this exemption, the Act provides that it does not apply to any claim arising out of battery. Although the City's opening brief to the Supreme Court did not characterize the act as a battery, a supplemental brief challenged the court's characterization as such. The Nebraska Supreme Court found that because the claim arose out of a battery, the County was immune from the City's suit unless it otherwise waived immunity.
The City contended that the County waived immunity by procuring liability insurance. The PSTCA allows political subdivisions to waive immunity to some extent by purchasing liability insurance but the waiver is limited to the extent stated in the insurance policy. The policy in this case did not explicitly state that it constituted a waiver of immunity as to any claim.
The parties framed the issue on appeal as whether immunity is waived where the claim falls within the political subdivision's retained limit or self-insured retention. Before addressing that issue, the court began the analysis with an examination of the terms of the policy to determine whether it provided coverage for a claim arising out of a battery.
The court found that the insuring agreement required claims to arise out of an "occurrence", which was defined with respect to a bodily injury as an accidental happening which results in bodily injury. Although the policy did not define "accidental happening", an "accident" was defined as an unintended and unexpected harmful event. Under these definitions, coverage did not apply to injuries resulting from an intentional act and intent is one of the elements of a battery. Thus, because the harmful contact was intentional, not an accident, there was no "occurrence". Because there was no coverage for the battery, the County did not waive its immunity for that claim.
The full text of City of Lincoln v. County of Lancaster, 297 Neb. 256, __ N.W.2d ___ (2017) is available on the Nebraska Judicial Branch's website under July 21.

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 .

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
Changes coming to NACo County Explorer
By Tadas Pack
Aug. 7, 2017

NACo's County Explorer is celebrating its third birthday this year. With this occasion, the interactive map is getting some fresh new features and upgrades.

Users will now find it easier to locate a specific map through a "search an indicator" query. County Explorer has heaps of data now - more than 1,000 indicators mapped on the interactive map.

Instead of sifting through a large list of indicators, the user can type a keyword in the search bar and it will bring up suggestions of the most popular maps.

If that selection does not include the desired map, the "Click here for more maps:" button (found at the top and bottom of the suggestion list) provides the full list of relevant maps.

For example, a user interested in opioid maps needs only to start typing the word "opioid" in the "search an indicator" box and the system will automatically suggest maps based on opioid data. The suggestion functionality has also been added to the county name search, which makes it easier for users to find a county.

To read the entire NACo News article, click here.

websNACo Webinars
Creating Pathways to Opportunity for Youth and Young Adults

Aug. 24, 2017

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT 
Contact: Michelle Price
(202) 942-4267

How communities support young people in their transitions into adulthood is an important indicator of societal well-being. Nationwide, nearly 5 million youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are considered "disconnected," meaning not in school or the workforce. The overall rate of disconnection is 12 percent-or nearly 1 in 8 youth-and even higher in rural counties, as well as among African American, Native American and Hispanic youth. These youth represent enormous potential for our nation's economic and social development. Creating opportunities can have a positive effect on the health of future generations. Join County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the National Association of Counties as we co-host this webinar highlighting the data, evidence and actions communities can take to create opportunity pathways for youth. We will highlight Blair County, Pennsylvania which is involved in the Rural Impact County Challenge Community Coaching program and is effectively engaging policymakers, businesses, schools and other community leaders.