Nebraska Association of County Officials

1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
Re-Discovering Traditional Mortar For Courthouses
The first day of this two day workshop will primarily consist of classroom and lab learning through demonstrations and explanations. These classes will be held at Wayne State College.

On the second day, participants will be using this knowledge on a hands on application at the Wayne County Courthouse. Participants are required to furnish their own OSHA approved safety gear: hard hat, eye protection, gloves, etc. A list of necessary tools for use at the workshop will be provided at the time of registration.

The first two day session is being held on May 6 & 7 and it will be repeated again on May 8 & 9.

A block of rooms has been reserved for attendees of the workshop at the Cobblestone Hotel in Wayne, Nebraska. The block code is: Masonry Workshop.

Registrations will be limited to 30 participants per workshop.Sign up now by clicking here .
Budget Workshops Offered in June
Two Budget Workshops will be offered by NACO in June. This workshop will be offered at two locations to better serve counties.

The first workshop will be offered on June 26 in North Platte at the Sandhills Conference Center. The second workshop will be offered on the following day, June 27 at the Holthus Center in York. The agenda for both workshops will be the same. All county officials are invited to attend. Registration cost for each workshop is $50, that will include a budget workshop handbook, a noon luncheon and break items during the day.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. both days with an introduction and Pledge of Allegiance at 8:45. The morning will consist of two sessions that will include a discussion of the roles that county officials play in the budget process, how government is funded and the role that the State Auditor's Office plays. The other morning session will include the identification of functions and legal framework of a capital and annual operating budget, techniques for estimating county reserves and reviewing the adequacy of cash reserves and cash balances.

The afternoon will consist of three sessions dealing with leadership strategies, best practices for budget management and ways of effectively communicating budgetary actions with the public to increase confidence and trust with transparency.

To view the agenda and the registration , click on each highlighted word.
NACO Scholarship Recipients
Twelve children of county officials and employees have been selected to receive $1,000 NACO scholarships to assist with college tuition and expenses for the 2019-20 school year. The recipients and the counties of their sponsoring parents are:
 
  • Trysha Brierly, Dawes County
  • Troy Cooley, Jr., Douglas County
  • Daniel Fleischer, Clay County
  • Colby Grossart, Greeley County
  • Logan Gustafson, Nance County
  • Madison Jones, Sarpy County
  • Sadie Lamplot, Cuming County
  • Garret Malander, Nance County
  • Carson Morgan, Howard County
  • Carter Ossian, Butler County
  • Tiana Rice, Morrill County
  • Conner Stevens, Keith County
 
A special scholarship, the Ronda L. Dix Memorial Scholarship, was awarded to Amya Harris-Harper of Sarpy County.

Photos and biographical information about the recipients will appear in a future edition of the E-Line.
County Board Workshop Award Nominations Sought - Last Chance!!
At this year's County Board Workshop a new award will make its debut. The Outstanding County Board Member of the Year Award will be presented to a county board member who has served for at least 16 years, has been active on regional boards, has been chair of their county board, participated in the legislative process and has been appointed to a statewide committee during their tenure. Regular attendance at NACO educational opportunities, events and meetings is also required.

This award will be presented after the Thursday evening meal at the County Board Workshop in Kearney on June 6.

Please think about a deserving county board member and nominate them for this honor. The deadline for this award nomination is May 5, 2019 .

The award form can be accessed here .

Registration for the 2019 County Board Workshop is online at the NACO website . The 2019 Board of Equalization Workshop will be held the previous date on June 5. One can sign up for both workshops but each one requires a separate registration. Also please note that NACO will be offering a reduced registration if you do not want a sack lunch on the final day of the County Board Workshop. Workshop registration is $85 without the sack lunch and $100 if you wish to have the sack lunch to eat at the noon closing of the workshop or take it along with you for the travel home.
Month In Photos Has Transitioned To Facebook
About a year ago NACO had introduced the Month In Photos E-mail through Constant Contacts as a way to generate interest in county events across the state of Nebraska.

We would like to now direct those viewers and those who would like to submit photos from your county to our facebook page. You will find the facebook icon in the upper right corner of the NACO webpage so you can submit your posts.

We encourage everyone to snap photos of events that are occurring in your county and post them with their description on the NACO facebook pages from here on.
Legal Line
Electronic Device Use At County Board Meetings  

Potential Guidelines for Board Meetings
The Open Meetings Act is codified in Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-1407 to 84-1414. Provisions within § 84-1412 outline various rights of the public in attending a county board meeting. For purposes of this LegalLine , two subsections are of primary importance. Subsections 1 and 2 provide in relevant part:

  • 1)     Subject to the Open Meetings Act, the public has the right to attend and the right to speak at meetings of public bodies, and all or any part of a meeting of a public body, except for closed sessions called pursuant to section 84-1410, may be videotaped, televised, photographed, broadcast, or recorded by any person in attendance by means of a tape recorder, camera, video equipment, or any other means of pictorial or sonic reproduction or in writing.

  • 2)     It shall not be a violation of subsection (1) of this section for any public body to make and enforce reasonable rules and regulations regarding the conduct of persons attending, speaking at, videotaping, televising, photographing, broadcasting, or recording its meetings. A body may not be required to allow citizens to speak at each meeting, but it may not forbid public participation at all meetings. (Emphasis added.)

On many occasions our office is contacted about issues related to the Open Meetings Act and approaches to best govern a meeting. Resources addressing some of those issues are provided within material contained on our NACO website, including the following:


Another related aspect that some county boards are being faced with these days is the use of portable electronic devices by attendees at the board meetings. Following is a possible policy that could be used by the boards to provide guidelines for the usage of portable electronic devices at a board meeting.

Model Portable Electronic Devices Policy [i]
 
Portable electronic devices, as used in this rule, means cell phones, personal computers, personal digital assistants, tablets, and other similar devices capable of transmitting, receiving, recording, or storing messages, images, images, sounds, data or other information by electronic means.
 
Portable electronic devices in a county board meeting or hearing room may be used but must be silenced at all times. Such devices may be used by members of the public to display demonstrative evidence to the board or for any other business related to the county board meeting.
 
In county board meeting or hearing rooms, attendees may use portable electronic devices to take notes and to transmit and receive data communications so long as the device is completely silent and they do so in an inconspicuous way that does not interfere with the dignity and process of the county board’s business conduct. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES may persons use these devices to make or receive telephone calls. Nor shall portable electronic devices be used in a manner that interferes with county board proceedings or the work of county officials or personnel. If media representatives or members of the public, videotape, televise, photograph, broadcast, or record its meetings with a portable electronic device, such activities shall not interfere with the conduct of county board business or the participation of meeting attendees.
 
Failure to comply with these policies will result in the violator being removed from the county board meeting room.

IF COURTHOUSE HAS PUBLIC ACCESS TO WIRELESS ACCESS
Security Considerations  Wireless access is by nature an insecure medium. As with most public wireless networks, any information being sent or received over the County’s wireless network could potentially be intercepted by another wireless user. Users should not transmit their credit card information, passwords and any other sensitive personal information while using the wireless connection.

Anyone using the wireless network provided by the County is forewarned that there can be no expectation of privacy when using the wireless network. Users assume all associated risks and agree to hold harmless the Court and its employees for any personal information (e.g., credit card) that is compromised, or for any damage caused to user’s hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues or consequences caused by viruses or hacking. All users of wireless access should have up-to-date virus protection on their personal laptop computers or wireless devices.

COUNTY OFFICIALS AND THEIR STAFF WILL NOT PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. The County assumes no responsibility for laptop configurations, security or changes to data files resulting from connection to the County’s wireless network and cannot guarantee that a user’s hardware will work with the County’s wireless connection. If a user has problems accessing the Internet over these connections, STAFF WILL NOT ASSIST IN MAKING CHANGES TO THE USER’S NETWORK SETTINGS OR PERFORM ANY TROUBLESHOOTING ON THE USER’S OWN COMPUTER. Users should refer to their owner’s manuals or other support services offered by their device manufacturer. ACCESS IS NOT GUARANTEED AND use of the wireless access provided by the County is a courtesy extended by the County. The County reserves the right to deny or terminate access to anyone at any time.

[i] Model Policy developed by Elaine Menzel, NACO Legal Counsel.
[i] Guideline Initially Developed by Beth Bazyn Ferrell, NACO Legal Counsel and updated by Elaine Menzel, NACO Legal Counsel.
[ii] Guideline Initially Developed by Beth Bazyn Ferrell, NACO Legal Counsel and updated by Elaine Menzel, NACO Legal Counsel.
 
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 larrydix@nacone.org .

The CD order form is available here .
News from NACo
2019 WIR Conference
May 15-17
Spokane, Washington
  
The NACo Western Interstate Region (WIR) Conference brings together county officials from across the nation to focus on pressing issues facing counties and our residents. Each year the conference is hosted by a county within the fifteen Western states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming—and provides attendees with the opportunity to interact with federal, state and regional policymakers, participate in educational sessions and take home tools to address challenges.

NACo Webinars
Counting All Children in the 2020 Census: What Counties Need to Know And What They Can Do
May. 14, 2019
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT
Contact Miranda Morvay
(202) 661-8817

The 2010 Decennial Census missed 2.2 million young children ages 0-4, or one in 10 young children. If the Census had counted every child correctly, states would have received over a half billion dollars a year more in funding just from five federal programs. The undercount of young children has been growing for the last 40 years, and this trend may continue in 2020. The Count All Kids Campaign is developing tools that counties and Complete Count Committees can use to help count every child in their community.

On May 14, at 2 pm eastern, we will host a call with Deborah Stein , Network Director for the Partnership for America’s Children, and a leader of the Count All Kids Campaign. She will discuss:
  • Why counting all children helps them thrive
  • Which children are at risk of being missed in the Census, and why they are missed
  • What tools they are developing to improve the count of young children
  • What steps counties can take now and in 2020.
Rediscovering Traditional Mortar For Courthouses
May 6 & 7 and May 8 & 9
Wayne County Courthouse/Wayne State College
Wayne, Nebraska

County Board of Equalization
June 5, 2019
Holiday Inn, Kearney, Nebraska

Clerk of District Court Summer Workshop
June 5 & 6, 2019
Embassy Suites, Lincoln, Nebraska

County Board Workshop
June 6 & 7, 2019
Holiday Inn, Kearney, Nebraska

Clerks, Register of Deeds and Election Commissioners Summer Workshop
June 12 - 14, 2019
Holiday Inn, Kearney

Budget Workshops
Sandhills Convention Center, North Platte
June 26, 2019
Hothus Center, York
June 27, 2019
Thank you for keeping up to date on the latest NACO News,

Sincerely,

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