Nebraska Association of County Officials

1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
October 5, 2018 | | NACO E-Line Archive
2018 Legislative Conference
To Be Held In Northeast NACO District
Final Hours To Register!!
The 2018 NACO Legislative Conference will be held in the Northeast NACO district. It will be held at the Community Center in Atkinson, Nebraska on October 11. The one-day conference will begin with opening remarks from NACO Executive Director, Larry Dix and move into comments from Nebraska Senator Tom Briese of Albion. Tom Bergquist from the Nebraska Legislature's Fiscal Office will address the duties and requirements of that office until the noon luncheon.

In the afternoon, Larry Dix will begin with a discussion on how to select and present legislation to committees and the Unicameral. State Senator Joni Albrecht of Thurston will detail her legislative activities and address her goals for the 2019 Legislature.

After the afternoon break the attendees will designate and discuss issues of legislative priority and choose a platform for the NACO Board of Directors to vote on at the completion of the meeting. The final vote on the issues will specify the platform NACO will follow for the 2019 legislative year.

To review the agenda in printed form, click here . To register for the conference, click here . Registration closes at 5 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 5.
Custodial Workshop A Success
Classroom at Knight Center in Alliance
Box Butte County Courthouse
The second annual Caring For Courthouses Workshop was held yesterday in Alliance at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center. The focus of the workshop was to educate custodial staff and county board members about the importance of the care and the preservation of our heritage contained in our facilities. The keynote speaker, Bonnie McDonald from The Driehaus Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, compared the state of Nebraska and Illinois and the many similarities it has in rural county courthouses and the struggles both states go through in keeping these landmarks in good working order and at the same time developing plans for their sustainability. McDonald pointed out that after 18 Illinois courthouse renovation projects were completed economic studies showed that the county's return was over $5 for every $1 spent. Below is a YOU TUBE video summary of her presentation. Any county board considering an extensive courthouse renovation or restoration project should watch this video.

Other speakers included Robyn Iossi from Western Nebraska Community College who spoke about the role community colleges play in specific and continuing education for everyone. Doug Hanson spoke about how the State of Nebraska has the 309 Task Force and their vast numbers of buildings they have the responsibility of maintaining and preserving. Jason Stratman spoke about OSHA and other custodial related concerns and Dan Schinstock from ETI spoke to board members about when its time to quit fixing and start replacing and at the same time striking a good balance. Deputy Fire Marshall Pat Gould and DHHS Program Manager, Doug Gillespie addressed the importance of building safety and the codes of compliance in those areas. Pat Kelly and Taylor Arment from Alvine Engineering talked about courthouse wiring, audio and video installations and low voltage system infrastructure planning considerations. To top off the day in the classroom, Tim McDermott, Saline County Administrator and Dan Johnson, Saline County's Maintenance Supervisor led question and answer sessions about common concerns each courthouse brought to light and how each separate facility dealt with the issues.

At the end of the day, Box Butte County Commissioner, Doug Hashman and Custodian Jeane Warfield conducted a tour of the Box Butte County Courthouse for workshop participants to view and ask questions specific to the classroom learning environment.

Landmarks Illinois' Richard H. Driehaus County Courthouse Initiative
Justice Assistance Grant Funding Available
FY 2018 JAG Nebraska Solicitation for LOCAL entities ONLY

The Nebraska Crime Commission has announced that the Fiscal Year 2018 Justice Assistance Grants are open for competitive solicitation at this time. The solicitation is open only to local entities and is a competitive grant process. All applications are due by October 17, 2018 (COB) CST.

The solicitation notice , the application document and the JAG Strategic Plan for 2016-2018 are available by going to the Nebraska Crime Commission website .

Any questions, please contact Lisa Stamm , Grants Division Chief at the Nebraska Crime Commission by email or calling 402-471-3687.
2019 Community-based Juvenile Services Aid Program Announcement
The Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice is pleased to announce the availability of the 2019 Community-based Juvenile Services Aid [CB] Program and 2019 Community-based Juvenile Services Aid Enhancement [EB] Program. The Request for Application [RFA] outlines general guidelines, eligibility, funding requirements, and application instructions for both grant programs. You are encouraged to distribute and post the announcement. Please read the RFA thoroughly to ensure all requirements are met in the application. The documents are located on the Nebraska Crime Commission website
2019 Community-based Juvenile Services Aid Program: $6,048,000
New Requirements
If individualized training in preparation of writing the grant application is of interest to you, please schedule technical assistance using the following links:
Cynthia Kennedy will be available for questions regarding the application via conference call on the following dates:
  • Tuesday, October 2, 2018: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CDT
  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CDT
  • Thursday, October 25, 2018:    10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CDT
  • Dial: 888.820.1398, Code 7339691#
Legislature Schedules
Interim Study Hearings
In preparation for the 2019 legislative session, the Legislature’s standing committees are beginning to schedule hearings on interim study resolutions. The resolutions are introduced 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 .
Legal Line
Attorney General Opinion Addresses Whether Archived Videos Are a Public Record
2018 Att’y Gen. Op. No. 6 responded to an opinion request from a State Senator about introduced legislation during the 2018 legislative session ( LB 1018 ). The senator requesting the opinion requested it because she was contemplating introducing legislation that would explicitly make archived videos of legislative committee hearings and floor debates public records.
The opinion cites Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-712 as the relevant statute for consideration.  It states in part: 

  • [e]xcept as otherwise expressly provided by statute, all citizens of this state and all other persons interested in the examination of the public records as defined in section 84-712.01 are hereby fully empowered and authorized to (a) examine such records, and make memoranda, copies using their own copying or photocopying equipment in accordance with subsection (2) of this section, and abstracts therefrom, all free of charge, during the hours the respective offices may be kept open for the ordinary transaction of business and (b) except if federal copyright law otherwise provides, obtain copies of public records in accordance with subsection (3) of this section during the hours the respective offices may be kept open for the ordinary transaction of business.
Additionally, the following definition of “public records" is relevant:

  • Except when any other statute expressly provides that particular information or records shall not be made public, public records shall include all records and documents, regardless of physical form, of or belonging to this state, any county, city, village, political subdivision, or tax-supported district in this state, or any agency, branch, department, board, bureau, commission, council, subunit, or committee of any of the foregoing. Data which is a public record in its original form shall remain a public record when maintained in computer files. See Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-712.01.
While there are exceptions provided for nondisclosure such as when another statute provides for nondisclosure or one of the 21 categories provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-712.05, the Attorney General’s office did not find that any of the exceptions would be applicable. By applying the plain and ordinary meaning of terms in relationship to public records, the Attorney General’s office found that “without equivocation, that recordings of legislative proceedings are public records.”
As a result of the aforementioned opinion, the questions below may arise since some counties use audio or video recordings to record their meetings.
Must a county board record its proceedings?           
While there are no legal requirements for a county board to record its meetings, a number of county boards do. The practice of recording county board meetings may be beneficial for a variety of reasons, including more accurate record-keeping.
Are digital, video and audio recordings of a county board meeting public record? 
By applying the conclusions of 2018 Att’y Gen. Op. No. 6 to county board meetings, digital, video and audio recordings of a meeting would be a public record unless an exception for nondisclosure applies.
How long must a digital, video or audio recording of a county board meeting be retained?
Pursuant to 24-57 J General Records for Local Government Record Retention and Disposition Schedule - 24 prepared by the Records Management Office, digital/video/audio recordings are to be retained for one year after minutes are approved.
For additional information on the Public Records statutes see the outline prepared by the Attorney General’s Office . For additional information on the Local Government Record Retention and Disposition Schedule -24 , see the schedules prepared by the Records Management Office of the Secretary of State’s Office .

Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This article 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.
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 .
News from NACo
FCC curtails local control in 5G deployment order
Sep. 26, 2018

On September 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a new rule – the Streamlining Deployment of Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order – on 5G wireless network deployment that curtails local authority. The FCC decision limits fees local governments may assess on telecommunications companies for the placement, construction or co-location of new wireless service facilities.

The ruling also constrains local governments to 60 days to evaluate applications from wireless companies to attach 5G Small Cells to existing structures and 90 days to review applications for equipment on entirely new structures. By narrowing the window for evaluating 5G deployment applications, the FCC rule could prevent local governments from properly examining the impact that construction, modification or installation of broadcasting facilities may have on public health, safety and welfare of the community.

To read more, click here .
NACo Webinars
City and County Collaboration for Jail Reduction
Oct. 11, 2018
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Contact; Vernon Smith
(202) 661-8809

As counties and cities across the country work to reduce their jail populations and increase public safety, many jurisdictions are realizing that intergovernmental coordination is essential. Although city and county criminal justice systems may be run separately, they are intertwined and have major impacts on each other. Join NACo and the National League of Cities for this webinar to learn about the benefits of city and county collaboration to drive overall jail reduction goals. Attendees will learn from examples of city-county collaborations and will have the opportunity to discuss collaboration challenges and successes.

NACO Legislative Conference
Community Center
October 11, 2018
Southeast District Meeting
Career Academy
October 15, 2018
NACO Annual Conference
Younes Convention Center
Kearney, Nebraska
December 12-14, 2018
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Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
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