July 14, 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

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


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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.

maryannMeet The Candidate - Mary Ann Borgeson
Mary Ann Borgeson, Douglas County Commissioner is running to become the National Association of County Official's (NACo's) Second Vice-President.  Borgeson has been a commissioner in Douglas County for about twenty-three years.  She is currently serving on the NACO Board as a non-voting member and representing NACo for Nebraska.  She has been active in local, state and federal issues during those years on the Douglas County Board and the NACO Board of Directors.  She will attend the 201 7 NACo Annual Conference in Franklin County Ohio from July 21-24 to gain a nomination for the position and gather the necessary votes from the membership to become their second vice-president. 

To learn more about Mary Ann and her path to the nomination,click here.

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salarycomm2017 Salary Committee To Meet This Summer
Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 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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censusbUS Census Bureau Encourages Participation in Local Update of Addresses
Starting in July, governments around the country will start the process of ensuring the accuracy of their address lists through the 2020 Census Local Update of Census Addresses operation. LUCA is a voluntary, once-a-decade opportunity for governments to add, correct or delete addresses on the lists and maps used to conduct the decennial census. An accurate and complete census helps governments plan for future infrastructure, program and service needs.

On July 14, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin mailing invitation letters and registration forms to approximately 39,000 tribal, state and local governments across the nation to encourage them to participate in LUCA. This operation is the only opportunity governments have to review and improve the Census Bureau's residential address list before the 2020 Census.

The Census Bureau relies on a complete and accurate address list to reach every living quarter and associated population for inclusion in the 2020 Census. Participation in LUCA helps ensure an accurate decennial census count in communities across the nation.

LUCA Participation

All LUCA participants receive:
· A complete census address list for their jurisdiction to review and update.
· A list that contains the Census Bureau's count of residential addresses for each census block within their government for reference.
· Census Bureau maps.

Promotional workshops are underway, and starting in October, training workshops will offer "hands-on" experience using the LUCA materials. Self-training aids and webinars will also be available through the LUCA website. Beginning in February 2018, registered participants will receive materials to review the Census Bureau's address list for their jurisdiction, and they will have 120 days to return their updates to the Census Bureau.

Other LUCA milestones and information can be found in the 2020 Census detailed LUCA Information Guide .

Road to the 2020 Census

The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. The Census Bureau is using expert resources and experience in and out of the government to make the 2020 Census a success. As census operations and testing move forward, the Census Bureau will continue to improve its innovations using mobile and geospatial technology, administrative records and self-response via the internet.

juvservJuvenile Service Definitions & Guidelines Available
On Friday, June 30, 2017 the Nebraska Administrative Office of Probation announced the implementation of new "Juvenile Service Definitions and Service Interpretive Guidelines."  Service definitions for probation are consistent with Medicaid and the Division of Behavioral Health's definitions.  Each service definition has a "Service Interpretive Guideline" that is associated with the service definition. The Guideline is a recap of the service definition along with an expectations/requirements section providing guidance to probation officers.

The definitions and guidelines are now available as an interactive link on the Nebraska Supreme Court Website by clicking here and they are under the "Resources" expandable menu.

ojjdpOJJDP Grant Announcement
Since Nebraska has chosen not to participate in the Title II program, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will competitively award the states' allocation to a private nonprofit agency or a local public agency. The solicitation is below and there is a new due date of July 24

Details may be found by clicking here.

For assistance with any this solicitation, contact the Response Center by telephone at 800-851-3420 or by email at grants@ncjrs.gov. Response Center hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on the solicitation close date. Answers to frequently asked questions that may assist applicants are posted 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 working group at this time is seeking input from county board members and custodial and maintenance staff to determine what type of training and education is most pertinent and beneficial for everyone involved. 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.  October 5, 2017 is the projected workshop date.  Further details will follow in future editions of this newsletter.

NACO is looking for topics of interest from county board members and county maintenance staff to determine educational presentations at the one-day workshop. 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.

If you have a topic of interest that you would like to see on the workshop agenda please email LeRoy Janssen or give him a call at 402-434-6225 Ext. 221.

LegallineLegal 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.

Attorney General Issues Opinion on Closed Sessions
The Nebraska Attorney General recently issued an opinion to the Public Service Commission (PSC) that addressed five questions about when Commissioners could meet in a closed session under the limitations of the Open Meetings Act, Neb.Rev.Stat. §84-1407 to 84-1414..
The Act provides that in order to hold a closed session, it must be clearly necessary (1) for the protection of the public interest or (2) for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual and if such individual has not requested a public meeting. §84-1410. If one of these threshold questions is met, the Act contains six examples of reasons to go into closed sessions, including but not limited to strategy sessions for collective bargaining, discussion regarding deployment of security personnel or devices, and evaluation of the job performance of a person when necessary to prevent needless injury to the reputation of a person and if such person has not requested a public meeting.
The first question presented was whether discussion of internal management of the agency concerning job responsibilities and duties of staff could be held in a closed session. The Attorney General responded that there might be many instances in the course of candid discussion where the job performance, skills, or abilities of a particular employee could be discussed which might injure their reputations. Thus, it might be necessary to close the meeting to avoid needless injury to the individual. However, the individual must be given the opportunity have the discussion held in open session.
The second question addressed informal budget discussions with various departments and preparation of the proposed budget. The Attorney General concluded that the Commission would have to establish that a closed session would be clearly necessary to protect the public interest. Since case law stresses that financial issues are within the public interest, a serious question exists as to whether a closed session to discuss budgets and budget preparation would be warranted.
The third question was whether discussion of internal control policies and procedures including but not limited to processing and managing operations and accounting functions could be held in a closed session. Like the second question, this issue is unlikely to injure the reputation of an individual so the Commission would have to justify why a closed session would be necessary to protect the public interest. A closed session could be possible to the extent that such public discussions would expose weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the Commission's operations and could expose the Commission to unnecessary risk or potential fraud. The Attorney General concluded that a closed session may be warranted under these circumstances.
The fourth question addressed the possibility of a closed session to discuss standard operating procedures in various departments. The Attorney General cited the response to the third question.
The final question was whether discussion of security procedures could be held in closed session. Although there is little context to this question, the Attorney General said it could fall under §84-1410's authority to hold a closed session for "deployment of security personnel or devices[.]" Because it seems imprudent and potentially reckless to disclose information about security procedures undertaken to protect the safety of property and personnel of the Commission, the Attorney General concluded that a closed session to discuss this topic is likely appropriate.
The opinion reminded the Commission that if a public body is uncertain about whether the session should be open or closed, it should bear in mind the policy of openness promoted by the Open Meetings Act and opt for an open meeting.
It also suggested that establishing non-quorum subcommittees may allow for a more comprehensive discussion of the issues raised without holding an open session. Under 84-1409, subcommittees of public bodies are not subject to the Act as long as a quorum of the body does not attend the subcommittee meetings and the subcommittee is not holding hearings, making policy, or taking formal action on behalf of the parent body. A subcommittee can provide a report to the parent body for its approval.
The full text of the opinion is available on the Attorney General's website under the Opinions tab or by clicking here.
The Attorney General has also published an analysis of open meetings laws here

US Supreme Court News
Following are links to a series of articles on United States Supreme Court cases relevant to local governments from the term ending June 30, 2017   The information contained in the articles was compiled by the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) an organization which files amicus curiae briefs in support of state and local governments in the U.S. Supreme Court, conducts moot courts for attorneys arguing before the Supreme Court, and provides other assistance to States and local governments in connection with Supreme Court litigation.   For more information about this organization, 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

In February this year, NACo launched the Counties Futures Lab, focused primarily on pressing county governance and management issues.

The lab recently released two new reports on top management challenges for counties:
  • Service Sharing: How Counties Do More With Less; available by clicking here.
  • Counties and Cash: How To Improve The Management Of Cash Transactions; available by clicking here.  

Each report includes guidelines for best practices and case studies from counties around the country.  Further, both reports are available in interactive format.


websNACo Webinars
Stepping Up: Prioritizing Policy, Practice and Funding Improvements for People with Mental Illnesses in Jails

Aug. 10, 2017

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm CDT 
Contact; Nastassia Walsh
(202) 942-4289

Join the Stepping Up partners for the fifth Stepping Up Network Technical Assistance Call. On this call, counties will engage in a facilitated discussion on the fifth question of the "Six Questions" document: Have we Prioritized Policy, Practice and Funding Improvements? Counties are encouraged to sign on and join the conversation with national experts and county practitioners to learn about key prioritization strategies and processes! Please be sure to participate in or review the August 10 webinar on "Prioritizing Policy, Practice and Funding Improvements" prior to joining the call.