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Douglas County, Nebraska

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Transparency grading process

Douglas County, Nebraska is one of 93 counties in Nebraska.

It is Nebraska's most populous county. The population as of the 2010 was 517,110, making Douglas County home to over one-quarter of the state's total population. Omaha, Nebraska is its county seat.[1]

Douglas County was established in 1854.[2]

It is governed by a board of seven county commissioners who are elected to four year terms.

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Nebraska county websites

Last rated in March 2013.

The good

  • Budget
    • The current budget is published.[3]
    • Past budgets can be found using the search function.[4]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[5]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[6]
  • Meetings
    • County commissioner meeting agendas and minutes are published for 3 years.[7][8]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[9]
    • Meeting video are available.[10]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2004 are available.[11]
    • Popular Annual Financial Reports (PAFR) are available.
    • Financial reports are available on a searchable database.
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[12]
  • Public Records
    • The public information officer is identified. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[13]
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[14]
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[15]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[16]

Popular Annual Financial Report

The bad

  • Budget
    • Budgets not posted in an easily accessible location.
  • Administrative Officials
    • Many officials do not have email addresses listed.
  • Lobbying
    • No information regarding taxpayer funded lobbying.

Budget

The 2012-2013 budget totals $244,945,058 in expenditures.[17]

Year 2011-2012 2012-2013
General Fund $165,439,821 $168,930,812
Total Spending $240,687,034 $244,945,058
Revenue Percent Estimated Revenue
Property Tax 39.27% $94,837,577
Motor Vehicle Fees 5.84% $14,100,000
In Lieu of Tax 1.16% $2,800,000
State Revenues 0.57% $1,375,001
General Fund Departmental Revenue 28.90% $69,776,564
Health Center Revenues 12.77% $30,836,150
Health Department Revenues 5.40% $13,051,227
Community Service Fund 0.35% $847,000
Transfers 5.71% $13,800,000
Various 0.02% $50,000
Total 100.00% $241,473,519

Public Employees

Elected Officials

The Douglas County Commission is made up of seven members elected to four year terms.[18] In 2010, all seven commissioners earned a salary of $34,811.04.[19]There are nine other elected positions in Douglas County.

First Last Position District
Mike Boyle Commissioner 1
Pam Tusa Commissioner 2
Chris Rodgers Commissioner 3
P.J. Morgan Commissioner 4
Marc Kraft Commissioner 5
Mary Ann Borgeson Commissioner 6
Clare Duda Commissioner 7
Roger Morrissey Assessor
Donald Kleine Attorney
Thomas Cavanaugh Clerk/Comptroller
John Friend Clerk of the District Court
Tom Doyle Engineer
Thomas Riley Public Defender
Diane Battiato Register of Deeds
Tim Dunning Sheriff
John Ewing, Jr Treasurer

Administrative Officials

The executive branch of the county government is the administrative services office. The executive is the Chief Administrative Officer who is responsible for the day to day operations of the county. The current Chief Administrative Officer is Kathleen Kelley.[20]

Name Position
Kathleen Kelley Chief Administrative Officer
Patrick Bloomingdale Deputy Administrator
Rick Kubat Assistant County Mgr
Joe Lorenz Budget & Finance Director
Cheri Albin Accountant
Mike Dwornicki Internal Auditor
Janice Johnson Work Comp Coordinator
Darrel Neely Claims & Safety Coordinator
Karen Cole Office Manager
Sharon Bourke Agenda Specialist
Anne Houlihan Receptionist

The table below outlines the top five salaries among administrative offices in Douglas County.[21]

NAME TITLE SALARY UNION
Kelley, Kathleen A Chf Adm Ofcr Cnty Bd $144,565.00 DC Dept Directors
Walker, Steven W Fiscal Administrator $117,257.00 Non Union Pay Plan
Bloomingdale, Patrick T Deputy Administrator $85,108.96 Non Union Pay Plan
Kubat, Richard Asst County Mgr $68,210.00 Non Union Pay Plan
Johnson, Janice M Emp Benefits/WC Coor $60,572.00 Non Union Pay Plan

Salaries

See also: Nebraska public employee salaries

According to Data Omaha, Douglas County spent $98,725,519 on employee salaries in 2010.[22] The highest employee salary cost was found in the following departments:

  • Corrections 20%
  • Sheriff 12%
  • Health Center 11%

Pensions

See also: Nebraska public pensions

Pension reports are provided by the Douglas County Employees Pension Committee. Basic pension information can be found in the frequently asked questions.[23]

Emergency personnel

The Sheriff is an elected official that runs in a partisan election every four years. The current Sheriff is Tim Dunning.[24] The City of Omaha Fire Department is responsible for much of Douglas County. It does not have its own fire department.

The following table outlines the top salaries in the Sheriff's Department and the Department of Emergency Management.[25]

NAME TITLE SALARY UNION
Bilek, Martin J Chief Deputy $111,570.96
Glandt, Steven A Captain $107,024.40 FOP 2 Sheriff
Torres, Russell P Captain $107,024.40 FOP 2 Sheriff
Conlon, Kevin M Captain $104,985.84 FOP 2 Sheriff
Wheeler II, Thomas J Captain $104,985.84 FOP 2 Sheriff
Dunning, Timothy F Sheriff Douglas Co $102,906.00 Elected Officials
Johnson, Paul W Emerg MgmtDirector $94,750.92 Non Union Pay Plan
Sofie, John R Policy Coordinator $91,745.40 Non Union Pay Plan
Gentile, Mark R Lieutenant $85,896.72 FOP 2 Sheriff
Lant, Kenneth E Lieutenant $85,896.72 FOP 2 Sheriff
Leahy, Ed C Lieutenant $85,896.72 FOP 2 Sheriff
Martinec SR, Joseph J Lieutenant $85,896.72 FOP 2 Sheriff
Hudson, Wayne D Lieutenant $84,260.59 FOP 2 Sheriff

Lobbying

See also: Nebraska government sector lobbying

According to OpenSecrets.org, Douglas County spent $40,000 on lobbying in 2011 and 2010.[26]

Transparency & public records

[www.omaha.com Omaha.com], provides an in depth look at county salaries from 2006-2010.[27]

Taxes

The current property tax levies are listed in the county budgets.[28] More information regarding county taxes can be found on the Douglas County Treasurer's website.

County investigator faces charges

David Kofoed, the director of Douglas County’s crime scene investigations unit, was charged in April 2009 by the U.S. Attorney's office in Omaha with four counts of tampering with physical evidence related to a 2006 murder case. The maximum penalty Kofoed faces is twenty years in prison.[29]

External links

References