October 21, 2016                                                                                 www.nacone.org   NACO E-Line Archive  

Upcoming Events

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122nd NACO Annual Conference
December 14 - 16
     Younes Conference Center
     Kearney, NE
General Activities Agenda
County Official of the Year Nomination Form



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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.

TopIn This Issue
confmattersAnnual Conference Matters
Registration is now open for the annual NACO conference that will be held at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.  The conference dates are December 14th through 16th. Wednesday, December 14th is the opening session at 2 p.m. and the final day concludes with a Friday, December 16th breakfast and business meeting following through to a sack luncheon dismissal.

Registration may be accomplished by accomplished by clicking here .  The general activities agenda can be accessed by clicking here

County Official of the Year Nominations Are Being Sought
Do you know of an elected or appointed county official who you feel serves as the embodiment of a true dedicated public official?  If so, nominate that individual for the annual County Official of the Year Award.  The Nebraska Association of County Officials will present its highest honor to one county official at the conclusion of the December 16th business meeting.       

The County Official of the Year Award was created as a means of honoring one individual each year for his or her leadership abilities, high standard of public service and outstanding contributions made to the medium of county government and that person's community.         
The official nomination form can be found on NACO's website or by clicking here.                
To nominate someone you know, print the form, complete it and return it to the NACO office by November 30th, along with any supplemental materials you feel would provide additional insight into why this person is deserving of the award.  Supporting material may include testimonial letters from peers or other printed matter that highlight his or her record of service.  Each of the 2016 nominees will be introduced and recognized during the conference.  The announcement will be made as to who has been chosen by a special selection committee following the NACO Business Meeting on Friday, December 16.  The 2016 recipient will join an elite list of county officials who have previously received this award and will receive a handsomely engraved plaque befitting of this prestigious honor.

Candlewood Suites 
The Candlewood Suites are available for conference booking.  They are located just north of the Younes Conference Center across 4th Avenue in Kearney.  The Candlewood Suites do not have a guaranteed room rate for the conference this year.  The room rate at the Candlewood Suites is $119.95 per night plus taxes.  A preview of that property can be seen here

Changes Or Cancellations To Lodging Reservations
Reservations may have been made initially under the county name but must all have individual names of who will occupy each room no later than November 11, 2016. Any reservation being held under the county name after this date will be cancelled.

County officials should take note that the date for changing or cancelling any reservations for the NACO conference is November 11.

Any county making cancellations or changes lodging reservations after the November 11th date will be charged the first night's lodging.

Clerks, Register of Deeds & Election Commissioner's Good will Project

The 2016 NACO Conference Goodwill Project has been described by Joyce Oakley, the Nemaha County Clerk.  The project will follow similar guidelines as the 2015 conference donations.   Personal Care items will be asked for from the conference attendees.  Each NACO district will be assigned certain items that will be collected at the conference and will be set for distribution to the state's Veteran's homes.

View the project in its entirety here.      
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crimecombased2017 Community-based Juvenile Services Aid &  Enhancement Programs
The Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice is pleased to announce the availability of the 2017 Community-based Juvenile Services Aid [CB] Program and 2017 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.

The Community-based Juvenile Services Aid Program will fund up to $6.3 million.  The Request For Application (RFA) can be viewed by clicking here. Please read the RFA thoroughly to ensure all requirements are met in the application.  Required allotment and match calculations are located on pages 18 - 20 of the RFA.

Pre-recorded webinars are available this year regarding grant writing training for a variety of sections in the 2017 CB and EB applications! Utilize the training included in these webinars to assist in preparing the grant application and to better understand the expectations from the Nebraska Crime Commission and Grant Review Subcommittees. The webinars can be accessed by clicking here

New requirements in this grant process include; 
  • Section III:  Program Summary - Narrative:  page 10 of the RFA,
  • Section IV:  Budget Breakdown - Travel Expenses:  page 14 of the RFA, and
  • Section VIII:  Electronic Submission:  page 17 of the RFA.
Cynthia Kennedy, Chief of the Community-based Juvenile Services Aid Division at the Nebraska Crime Commission will be available for questions regarding the application via conference call on the following dates;  
  • Monday, December 5, 2016:  9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. CST,
  • Thursday, December 8, 2016:  1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. CST, and by
    • Dialing:  888.820.1398, Code 7339691#.
LeginterimLegislature Schedules Interim Study Hearings
Although the 2017 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.  Many of the hearings will be live-streamed by Nebraska Educational Television and can be accessed through the Legislature's website

October 27
udiciary Committee
State Capitol, Room 1113, 10:00 a.m.
LR506 (Seiler)     Interim study to examine the efficacy of testing and monitoring programs, particularly the 24/7 sobriety program, in reducing recidivism for driving under the influence and controlled substance offenses
Interim Study Details
November 3
Election Technology Committee (LR403) (Cancelled)
State Capitol, Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
Study the longevity of the technology used by election commissioners and county clerks to conduct elections as of January 1, 2016 and the feasibility of updating or replacing the technology
November 4
Appropriations and Revenue Committees
State Capitol, Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
Tax Expenditure Report from the Department of Revenue

November 15
Health and Human Services and Judiciary Committees
State Capitol, Room 1113, 1:00 pm.
LR523 (Howard) Interim study to examine Nebraska law regarding the protection of children who have reached eighteen years of age but have not yet reached the age of majority
Invited testimony only
Interim Study Details

November 16
Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room1524, 1:30 p.m.
LR517 (Howard) Interim study to examine the long-term fiscal sustainability of the Nebraska Health Care Cash Fund
Interim Study Details

LR588 (Harr) Interim study to determine best practices in drafting tax legislation and determining the fiscal impact of tax policies
Interim Study Details

November 22
Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee
State Capitol, Room 1525, 9:00 a.m.
LR483 (Kolterman) Interim study to examine the public employees retirement systems administered by the Public Employees Retirement Board
LR571 (Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee) Interim study to examine local political subdivision retirement plans for public employees

December 2  Urban Affairs Committee
State Capitol, Room 1510, 1:30 p.m.
LR490 (Crawford) Interim study to examine the enforcement of state and local building codes
Interim Study Details

NACO makes every effort possible to keep abreast of changing legislation as it may have an effect on county government.  The NACO E-line will also make every effort to report any interim study hearing notices that become available in future publications.

The Nebraska Legislature has released its Tentative 2017 Legislative Calendar   At the beginning of the 2017 session, the newly elected Speaker will publish the permanent session calendar, which may differ from the tentative calendar.
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.  
Hiring Documents Not Considered Public Records

The documents used in the Nebraska State Patrol's hiring process were considered personal information in personnel records not subject to disclosure as public records under a Nebraska Supreme Court case decided on September 23. In Steckelberg v. Nebraska State Patrol, 294 Neb. 842,885 N.W.2d 44 (2016), a candidate who applied for a lateral transfer but was not hired for the position was denied a request for copies of his score sheets, comments, and recommendations because the records were considered confidential job application materials. The applicant filed a writ of mandamus seeking disclosure in district court and when that was denied, appealed to the Court of Appeals. The State Patrol filed a petition to bypass the Court of Appeals and the case was decided by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

In the district court, the State Patrol relied upon Neb.Rev.Stat. §84-712.05(7) to withhold the records from the applicant. This section allows "[p]ersonal information in records regarding personnel of public bodies other than salaries and routine directory information" to be withheld. When they initially denied access to the documents, the NSP had relied upon a different subsection of §84-712.05. Under §84-712.05(15), the following materials may be withheld:

[j]ob application materials submitted by applicants, other than finalists, who have applied for employment by any public body as defined in section 84-1409. For purposes of this subdivision, (a) job application materials means employment applications, resumes, reference letters, and school transcripts and (b) finalist means any applicant (i) who reaches the final pool of applicants, numbering four or more, from which the successful applicant is to be selected, (ii) who is an original applicant when the final pool of applicants numbers less than four, or (iii) who is an original applicant and there are four or fewer original applicants.

The applicant argued before the Supreme Court that the State Patrol should not be allowed to "mend its hold" by changing its reliance from one subsection of statute to another. The Court found no prejudice caused by the State Patrol's change of position at the district court level.

Next, the applicant argued that the district court erred in finding that he did not meet his burden to show that the records were public. In a writ of mandamus, the party seeking the action has the burden to satisfy three elements: (1) the requesting party must be a citizen of the state or other person interested in the examination of the public records, (2) the document must meet the definition of public records under §84-712.01, and (3) the requesting party has been denied access to the record as guaranteed under §84-712 of the public records laws. If the requesting party satisfies its prima facie claim for the release of the records, the burden shifts to the party opposing disclosure to show by clear and convincing evidence that one of the exemptions applies.

Because the applicant was a citizen and had been denied access to the records, the Court found that he had met the first element. In addition, he showed that the records were those belonging to the State Patrol, an agency of the state, and thus met the definition of public records.

The applicant then argued that the State Patrol's evidence showed that the records were not personnel records. The State Patrol produced an affidavit stating that the hiring documents were kept separate from the employee's personnel records, but the court found that there is no requirement in §84-712.05(7) to keep the records within the employee's personnel record in order to qualify for the exemption.

Next, the applicant argued that the records fit into the job application materials exemption in §84-712.05(15) and that they should be disclosed because he was a finalist. The Court noted that even though the applicant was a finalist, the requested documents did not fall within the list of exempted application materials, including employment applications, resumes, reference letters, and school transcripts.

Finally, the applicant argued that he should have been permitted to inspect the records during the district court's in camera review. Section 84-712.03(2) grants the court discretion to allow the requester, counsel, and necessary expert witnesses to review the records during the court's review. The Supreme Court found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in prohibiting access because there was nothing in the nature of the records that required any other person to be present to help the court decipher the meaning of the records.

The full text of the link is available here.     
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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NACO's 2015 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.

As of  January 2016, NACO will no longer print the hard copy of the directory and send one to each county.  The directory has been made a part of the NACO website through a clickable and searchable icon and will be updated as corrections are submitted. The directory on the website is downloadable for a printed copy and it can also be transferred electronically to office computers and devices with memory storage such as smartphones and ipads.

For a copy of the latest 2015 directory, click here for the order form.

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County_Board_Handbook_2012  2015 County Board  Handbook and Revision s
The 2015 County Board Handbook and related revisions are now available! The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2015 session, is $80.00/book plus $18.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2015 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. For questions, contact Elaine Menzel by email or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 225.

NACoNews From NACo
The 911 fees added to residential and commercial phone lines help to fund emergency call and dispatch centers like this one in Gwinnett County, Ga. Photo courtesy of Gwinnett County, Ga.
Counties put telephone companies on the hook for under-billed 911 fees
By Charles Taylor 
Oct. 17, 2016
Dozens of Pa. Counties suing telcos for 911 fees

Click here for the entire article.

nacowebNACo Webinars

Doing More with Less: Effective and Creative Grants Management
Oct. 25, 2016 , 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm CDT

This session will cover techniques to maximize and effectively manage grants. Entitlement communities are facing decreased Federal funding and stringent contractual requirements, making it challenging to continue funded projects and programs as well as plan for future undertakings while effectively managing the grants they have obtained. If contractual requirements are not met, the funding agency can impose administrative sanctions such as disallowed costs or rescission of the grant agreement. In addition to careful grant management, communities also must figure out how to best utilize available funding. Stretching grant money can be accomplished in a number of ways, including utilizing revolving loan funds to fill gaps in funding and retrofitting/applying utility savings strategies in capital projects to ensure future fiscal resiliency.

For more information, please contact Akera Gamble .


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Nebraska Association of County Officials
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