Nebraska Association of County Officials

1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
December 18, 2018 | | NACO E-Line Archive
Deb Schorr Elected President of NACO at Annual Conference
NACO Executive Board Members pause for a photo at annual conference. Left to right are Judy Mutzenberger, M. Timothy Nolting, Deb Schorr, Theresa Puls and Earl McNutt.
Kearney – Deb Schorr, Lancaster County Commissioner was elected President of NACO during the 124th annual conference in Kearney. Schorr has been a Lancaster County Commissioner since 2003. County Officials also elected Theresa Puls, Phelps County Commissioner as 1st Vice-President, M. Timothy Nolting, Kimball County Commissioner as 2nd Vice-President a nd Judy Mutzenberger, Cuming County Supervisor as Secretary-Treasurer. Schorr will assume the duties of President from Earl McNutt, Red Willow County Commissioner who will serve on the NACO Executive Board as Past President.
County Official of the Year Award

Jean Sidwell, Buffalo County Treasurer was honored by the Nebraska Association of County Officials as the County Official of the Year during the 124th Annual Conference Awards Ceremony this week in Kearney. Sidwell has served as the Buffalo County Treasurer in her elected capacity since 1983. She is pictured receiving her award from 2018 NACO President, Earl McNutt.
Life Time Achievement Award
President Earl McNutt & Patricia Holtzman
President Earl McNutt & Judy Dailey
Three long time NACO participants were selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for their service to their communities and in their involvement with NACO for 25 years or more.

Receiving their awards from 2018 NACO President, Earl McNutt are Judy Dailey, McPherson County Assessor since 1983 and Patricia Holtzman, Nemaha County Treasurer since 1981. John Brehm, Scottsbluff County Veteran Service Officer for Scottsbluff County since 1974 will receive his award, but was not in attendance for a photo.
Next Generation Award
President Earl McNutt & Sarah Friedel
Royce Gonzales & President Earl McNutt
Two county officials received the NACO Next Generation Award for showing a promising future by being actively involved in their affiliate groups and by showing a strong interest in the development of NACO through leadership and education.

P resenting each of the awards to Sarah Freidel, Washington County Clerk, Register of Deeds and Election Commissioner since 2015 and Royce Gonzales, Clerk of the District Court in Nuckolls County since 2011 is Earl McNutt, 2018 NACO President.
New County Board Member Training
On January 19 and 26, 2019 NACO will be sponsoring a training for newly elected county board members. The first training will be held at the Sandhills Convention Center & Quality Inn & Suites in North Platte on January 19. The second one will be held at the NACO office at 1335 H Street in Lincoln on January 26. They will both be held on Saturdays to be able to attract the most registrants. The trainings will be an afternoon session from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. at each location and the same training will be given at each location. Attendees will be able to choose which date and location works best for them.

Registration is free for each session. Each new county board member will be given an $80 county board handbook for attending.

The Clerks, Register of Deeds and Election Commissioners have requested use of the NACO conference room for training on January 10 and the Treasurers have asked for February 8 for their new member training.

Other county elected official's associations are asked to contact NACO if they are interested in using the NACO conference room to conduct training for their newly elected members.
Reorganization Meetings in January
& New Officials Sworn In
After elections, questions arise of swearing in dates and related issues. Terms of office, oath of office, bonds and in lieu of individual bonds and pro-rata salaries are addressed in this article that is intended to provide an overview of those issues.
Legislative Outreach Opportunities
As 13 newly-elected senators prepare to take office on January 9, it presents a perfect opportunity to reach out with information about county functions and services. It’s also a great time to reconnect with returning legislators and update them on county happenings. The relationships that are built now are beneficial when county officials provide information to senators during the legislative session.
Ideas for hands-on learning could include:
  • A trip around the county to view roads and bridges in need of repair.
  • A trip to areas of your county where noxious weeds can be found, to highlight the importance of your county’s partnership with the State Department of Agriculture.
  • A tour of your county's jail and juvenile detention facility to discuss health care costs, mental health issues, placement and space issues and needs.
  • A discussion of unfunded mandates, including a tour of your courthouse to point out space provided to Probation, Health and Human Services, and other state agencies.
  • A discussion about county levies, valuations, sources of revenue, and fees.
  • A discussion of tax sales and treasurer’s deeds.
  • A discussion of inheritance taxes, and showing what items or services cost the same as your county’s share.
  • A discussion of current topics your county is dealing with related to zoning and/or economic development projects.
  • A discussion of county hospitals, ambulances and assisted living facilities.
  • A discussion of interlocal agreements your county uses to coordinate with other counties and municipalities, such as E911; Behavioral Health, and Developmental Disabilities and Aging Regions.
2019 Office of Violence Prevention Grants
The Nebraska Crime Commission has announced the availability of 2019 Office of Violence prevention Grant [OVP]. The Application Instructions outline general guidelines, eligibility, and funding requirements. This information can also be found on the Crime Commission website .
Redistricting Workshop To Be Held in January
John Watermolen from the Office of the Nebraska Chief Information Officer has announced that the MAGIC Group is hosting a redistricting workshop in Wichita, Kansas on January 15. Click here to determine if you might be interested and how to register.
Dollar Thresholds For County Purchases
Effective July 19, 2018, the competitive bidding amounts for purchasing property and services under the County Purchasing Act (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 23-3101 to 23-3115) were increased. Such changes were enacted by LB 1098 (2018).
Federal Resources Identified
For Rural Communities
Last month, the USDA released a 140-page publication titled “Federal Resources for Rural Communities to Help Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Misuse.” It contains an extensive listing of funding sources across a wide spectrum of federal departments and agencies which provide grants and similar financial assistance, particularly aimed at smaller communities. 

Click here to view that publication.
Grant Money For
Preventing Suicides Among Juveniles
Deadline: February 16/June 16, 2019

This Health and Human Services program supports research to test the effectiveness of combined strategies to both detect and intervene to reduce the risk of suicide behavior, suicide ideation, and non-suicidal self harm by youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. Eligibility is limited to state/tribal/local governments, colleges and universities, public housing authorities, nonprofits, and for-profits. There will be "multiple" awards of up to $225,000 each.  

Information: Questions, 301/945-7573.  Email : Solicitation  
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
 Dark Store Valuation Dismissed by TERC
A case proposing valuation under a dark store theory, a trend in commercial property valuation that compares the real property used by big box businesses to vacant stores, was on the Tax Equalization and Review Commission’s (TERC) calendar in November. The case was dismissed with prejudice because the retailer did not appear.
In Menards, Inc. v. Dodge County , Menards appealed a decision of the Dodge County board of equalization to the Commission. Menards did not pursue the case against Dodge County and withdrew appeals filed in against Scotts Bluff and Adams counties.
Under the dark store theory, big box retailers propose using vacant, abandoned buildings as comparable properties for valuation. They argue that their buildings are specially designed to accommodate a particular business model and thus the value of the specialized structures should be lower than a structure that is more adaptable.
Local taxing entities argue that vacant properties cannot be compared to property housing businesses that are in operation. Often property owned by big box retailers carries deed restrictions so when the business opens a new building to replace an existing one, the prior location remains vacant and is hard to sell because competitors aren’t allowed to use the space. In these instances, the property owner, not the market, has determined the highest and best use of the property.
Big box retailers have tried similar approaches in Kansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, Wisconsin and other states. Several states have enacted legislation to restrict the dark store valuation method. No legislation has been proposed in Nebraska to date but as more retailers pursue dark store valuation as a means to reduce their property taxes, lawmakers are likely to be facing the issue in the near future.

Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This article 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.
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
Registration is Now Open
2019 NACo Legislative Conference

March 2–6, 2019 | Washington Hilton | Washington, D.C.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference brings together over 1,500 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents. Attendees engage in relevant and timely policy and educational sessions, interact with federal officials and participate in congressional briefings and meetings.
Don't miss this unique policy advocacy opportunity!
New County Board Member Training
January 19 - North Platte
January 26 - NACO Office/Lincoln

New Clerks, Register of Deeds and Election Commissioners Training
January 10 - NACO Office/Lincoln

New Treasurers Training
February 8, 2019 - NACO Office/Lincoln
Thank you for keeping up to date on the latest NACO News,


Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
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