Nebraska Association of County Officials

1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
Save The Date For Annual Conference Rooms!!
Date Will Be Changed!!
Thursday, July 18
10:00 AM CDT

The above date and time was when room reservations were to be opened for the annual conference in Kearney. The conference will be held at the Younes Conference Center on December 11 - 13, 2019.

Due to flooding in the Kearney area and affecting the several hotels in the Younes Conference Center location the opening date for room reservations will be announced at a later date and after room availability has been determined.

Please watch for updates in the NACO E-line , where we will announce the new date for the opening time for room reservations. It will also be posted on our website.
Autonomous Vehicle 101 Seminar
Nebraska's Innovation Campus Conference Center will be the location of a Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Seminar on August 8.

Join your colleagues from in and around the Grand Island - Lincoln - Omaha I80 corridor at a full-day seminar exploring the key aspects of the Autonomous Vehicle Economy and learn about the infrastructure and policy changes that Nebraska counties, satellite cities and small towns need to make in order to take advantage of electrification and self-driving technologies.

To learn more about the seminar, click here .
NACo Offers High Performance Program
With Scholarships Available
NACo is offering a 12-week online leadership program with content provided by industry leading executives. The curriculum provides best practices in leadership, organizational development and change management, negotiation and collaboration, effective business communication, and how to deliver increased value from high performance county management. Take a look at the program agenda by clicking here .

Contact Candace Meredith at NACO to learn more about a scholarship opportunity to attend the August 2019 session.
Transportation Providers
Seeking Award Nominations
The Nebraska Association of Transportation Providers are seeking nominations for their awards ceremony to honor transit managers and others who support public transit. The awards will be presented at the September Annual Meeting. Nominations are being sought by county and public officials alike. There are five categories for consideration in your nominations. The categories include; Rookie Manager of the Year, Public Transit Manager of the Year, Pioneer, Friend of Transit and In Appreciation For Retirees.

The nomination form can be found here . The application deadline is August 9.
Grant Writing Workshop
Omaha Police Department and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Omaha, July 15-16, 2019. This training is for grant seekers across all disciplines. Attend this class and you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals.

Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.

They are excited to offer our members and staff a special tuition rate of $425 which includes everything: two days of terrific instruction, workbook, and access to their Alumni Forum that's packed full of tools, helpful discussions and more than 200 sample grant proposals. Please use discount code " NEASSN " to receive this $30 discount off full price at registration. 

Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are also available. Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment.

Tammy Pitts
at Grant Writing USA
888.435.7281 toll free

Miranda Vaughan
Omaha Police Department

More than 10,000 agencies across North America have turned to Grant Writing USA for grant writing and grant management training.
Supreme Court Review Articles

The information contained in these articles was compiled by Lisa Soronen, at 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 State and local governments in connection with Supreme Court litigation.  For more information about this organization, click here .
Legal Line
Appeals Court Holds NRD Subcommittee Did Not Violate Open Meetings Act
In Koch v. Lower Loup NRD , __ N.W.2d __, 27 Neb. App. 301(2019), the Nebraska Court of Appeals examined whether committee meetings of natural resources district (NRD) board members, NRD staff, and others constituted subcommittee meetings subject to the Open Meetings Act. Because the group was not functioning as a public body, the court held that it was not a subcommittee subject to the Act.
Mark Allen Koch attended a series of NRD board and committee meetings and was authorized to speak on behalf of other interested parties on a proposed dam. Koch alleged that two committee meetings and two board meetings that occurred in June and July 2014 violated various provisions of the Open Meetings Act. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the NRD. Koch appealed and the Court of Appeals, in a memo opinion, found that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the committee was a subcommittee exempt from the Open Meetings Act. In a post-remand bench trial, the district court found that the committee was a subcommittee of the board, and not an advisory committee, and therefore not a public body as defined by the Open Meetings Act. The court further found that the committee meetings were not required to be open because a quorum of the NRD board was not present and the committee did not hold hearings, make policy, or take formal action on behalf of the board. Koch again appealed to the Court of Appeals.
The Open Meetings Act, Neb.Rev.Stat. § 84-1408 et seq., provides that “Every meeting of a public body shall be open to the public. . . except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of Nebraska, federal statutes, and the Open Meetings Act.” County boards and governing bodies of other political subdivisions are considered public bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act. § 84-1409.
Public bodies do not include:
(i) subcommittees of such bodies unless a quorum of the public body attends a subcommittee meeting or unless such subcommittees are holding hearings, making policy, or taking formal action on behalf of their parent body,. . . , and (ii) entities conducting judicial proceedings unless a court or other judicial body is exercising rulemaking authority, deliberating, or deciding upon the issuance of administrative orders. § 84-1409
In addition, “[N]o public body shall designate itself a subcommittee of the whole body for the purpose of circumventing the Open Meetings Act.” § 84-1410(4).
The court determined that NRDs, which were created by the Legislature in 1969, are political subdivisions of the state and are public bodies. The Lower Loup NRD is governed by a 21-member board of directors. Eleven members constitute a quorum for purposes of a board meeting. Six members of the NRD board attended the committee meeting on June 17 and seven members attended the committee meeting on July 15.
The case describes the NRD’s process for placing proposals such as the dam project on the agenda: Proposals are given to staff in advance of the committee meeting. NRD staff reviews the information and makes recommendations to the committee, which reviews proposals and makes recommendations to the board for a decision. Neither the staff nor the committee has absolute authority to approve or deny a project proposal. Koch asserted, among other things, that the board “rubberstamped” the committee’s recommendations.
Courts in Nebraska and other states have previously examined the role of subcommittees in relation to open meetings laws. In City of Elkhorn v. City of Omaha (citation omitted), the Nebraska Supreme Court held that informational sessions attended by a subgroup of the city council, consisting of less than a quorum, that could take no action, were not meetings of a public body. The court stated that the Open Meetings Act does not require policymakers to remain ignorant of issues until it is time to vote on them. By excluding nonquorum subgroups from the definition of public bodies, “the Legislature has balanced the public’s need to be heard on matters of public policy with a practical accommodation for a public body’s need for information to conduct business.”
The Court of Appeals concluded that the committee was not a subcommittee of the board subject to the Open Meetings Act. It did not hold hearings, make policy, or take formal action on behalf of the board. It only voted on the recommendations to make to the board. The board then held a public meeting, with public comments, held further discussion, and made a final decision. A quorum of the board did not attend the June or July committee meetings.
The full text of the case is available on the Court of Appeals website . 

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.

To request the County Government Day PowerPoint electronically, please e-mail your request to .

News from NACo
NACo Webinars
SLLC Supreme Court Review
Jul. 23, 2019
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Contact: Lisa Soronen

The census citizenship question case and the Maryland and North Carolina partisan gerrymandering cases are expected to be the blockbusters of the current Supreme Court term for states and local governments. Join Judith Vale, Senior Assistant Solicitor General at the Office of the New York State Attorney General, who co-wrote the State of New York’s brief in the census case and Paul Hughes, Mayer Brown, who argued an agency deference case and co-wrote Maryland’s brief in one of the partisan gerrymandering cases, in a discussion of these cases and other cases of interest to states and local governments on topics including: religious displays on public property, takings, alcohol regulation, and employment.
Annual Conference Room Reservation Date
July 18, 2019
10:00 a.m.

Assessors Workshop
August 26 - 29, 2019
Gering Civic Center, Gering
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
Website   |    About   |   Services   |   Calendar   |   Contact Us