I returned today after participating in the League of Nebraska Municipalities 2007 Midwinter Conference. The Conference was held in Lincoln and in spite of the rugged winter weather this novice Councilperson brought back a wealth of information and insights. I’ve been to a few conferences in my day but I must admit the three handbooks I received from the League will provide reading material for our remaining cold winter nights. I especially appreciated the sessions for newly elected/appointed officials. The topics covered included:
- Public Works/Utilities
- Code Enforcement
- Conflict of Interest Laws: Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Act
- Budgeting Police Powers/Tort Claims Liability
- Bidding and Purchasing Open Meetings Act
The Conference included two important general sessions. One general session was on the Recreation Liability Act: Consequences of the recent court decision, proposed legislation and effective risk management practices. Dr. Joann Schaefer presented a session titled Avian and Pandemic Flue: The role of local governments in preparing for a possible outbreak and League Legislative Report.
The Legislature is considering two bills, LB 564 and LB 566 to revise the Recreational Liability Act in response to the Supreme Court’s decision expanding a city’s liability. The League is working to encourage passage of LB 564. Read the bill here. Passage of LB 564 will make it easier for cities like North Platte to provide recreational activities like the skate park. Contact Sen. Tom Hansen (District 42) at (402) 471-2729 or e-mail him at “thansen at leg dot ne dot gov” and encourage him to vote to bring LB 564 out of committee.
I appreciated the information we received on Avian and Pandemic Flu. We need to be prepared to take care of our families, our neighbors and ourselves in the event of an outbreak. For more information visit Nebraska Health and Human Services System’s web site at www.hhss.ne.gov/pandemic. The Nebraska Health and Human Services System has been planning for pandemic flu for years and we have a state pandemic flu plan in place.
The Conference provided an opportunity to talk about serving on the city council with other council people, to get to know other North Platte City Council People and to learn about being a member of a city council. Following this conference I have a clearer picture of my role as a member of the North Platte City Council. Being a member of the City Council is an assume responsibility.