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2016 Annual Financial Report: What’s new and what’s changed?

2016 Annual Financial Report: What’s new and what’s changed?

March 22, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category:

Changes to the 2016 Annual Financial Report that affect both cash basis- and GAAP-reporting entities.This blog post address changes to common areas that will impact both cash and GAAP reporting as well as addressing new areas that will only impact cash-basis reporting. 

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Legislature Considers PRA-related Bills

Legislature Considers PRA-related Bills

March 20, 2017 by Nancy Krier
Category: Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

In the 2017 regular session, the Washington State Legislature is considering several bills that could impact the Public Records Act. This blog post highlights several that have the possibility of being far-reaching if enacted.   

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Washington Local Governments Launch Mobile Apps

Washington Local Governments Launch Mobile Apps

March 15, 2017 by Byron Katsuyama
Category:

This post looks at Washington local governments apps that deliver news and services to constituents in a mobile-friendly format.

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What Can Local Governments Do About Drones

What Can Local Governments Do About Drones

March 10, 2017 by Robert Sepler
Category: Licensing and Regulation

Wondering what the latest is regarding drones? This blog post provides a quick overview of what local governments in Washington can and cannot do to regulate drone use in their jurisdiction.

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Balance of Power Struggles in City Government

Balance of Power Struggles in City Government

March 6, 2017 by Flannary Collins
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

The balance of power struggles currently playing out in the federal government have me thinking about similar power struggles that can happen between the executive and legislative branches at the city level. This blog will touch on these struggles, providing insight on how to handle common conflicts that arise between the legislative and executive branches of city government.

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The EEOC Issues Publications on Mental Health Conditions

The EEOC Issues Publications on Mental Health Conditions

February 28, 2017 by Matthew R. Kelly
Category: Americans with Disabilities Act , HR Advisor

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued two documents that summarize the workplace rights of job applicants and employees who have mental health conditions. Though not comprehensive, these documents provide some guidance that employers should be aware of.

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Does Your Code Provide Homelessness Solutions?

Does Your Code Provide Homelessness Solutions?

February 23, 2017 by Oskar Rey
Category:

There are a lot of policy options for alleviating homelessness and the lack of affordable housing. However, in some jurisdictions, existing codes can present unintended barriers to providing remedies for homelessness. This blog will summarize a few common issues that can arise.

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Can You Keep Yourself in Ice Cubes? – Water and Sewer Affordability

Can You Keep Yourself in Ice Cubes? – Water and Sewer Affordability

February 23, 2017 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Water Utilities

Water and sewer utility bills are increasing statewide as cities, counties, and water/sewer special purpose districts replace aging infrastructure, deal with the twin devils of droughts and floods, seek new or more stable water sources, increase utility resiliency and security, and comply with new rules and regulations. This post considers the impact this may have on water/sewer bills for communities across the state.

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Homelessness & Housing Toolkit Provides Best Practices, Real-World Examples for Washington Cities

Homelessness & Housing Toolkit Provides Best Practices, Real-World Examples for Washington Cities

February 21, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Housing , Tools for Planners

MRSC and AWC have partnered to document methods being employed by cities and counties to address the concurrent issues of homelessness and housing affordabilityin the Homelessness & Housing Toolkit for Cities. 

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The New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200 – Part 2

The New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200 – Part 2

February 17, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Federal awards given to local governments are now subject to revised audit standards under New Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200. In the second of this 2-part series, learn more about how the certification requirement and allowable costs have changed, and what you need to do to become compliant with the new guidance. 

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Sanctuary Cities and Counties

Sanctuary Cities and Counties

February 16, 2017 by Robert Sepler
Category: Governance

Sanctuary cities and counties have recently taken center stage in the national debate on immigration. Given the relevance of this issue to local governments in Washington State, this blog post will explore what “sanctuary” jurisdictions are, how they are designated, and reasons local governments have cited for and against becoming a “sanctuary” jurisdiction.

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The Gorillas in the Room

The Gorillas in the Room

February 14, 2017 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Human, Health and Community Services , Emergency Management

What does the Cascadia megaquake, the growing opioid crisis, and the lack of affordable housing all share in common? They can all be classified as "gorillas" in the room: big, overwhelming, and not about to go anywhere anytime soon.

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What

What's the Deal with Holidays?

February 10, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Personnel Policies

Holidays. Just about everyone loves them, and most local governments provide holidays for their employees. But, must a local government provide holidays for its employees? Must holidays be paid days off? What effect does a holiday have on local government operations? This blog tackles these questions and more.

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Are You Communicating Your Goals?

Are You Communicating Your Goals?

February 10, 2017 by Bob Jean
Category: Governance , Council-Commission Advisor

Are you communicating your goals effectively? How do you cut through all the noise and clutter to reach the people you need to reach? This post gives you a Road Map to help. 

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Further Guidance on Records Requests for “Commercial Purposes”

Further Guidance on Records Requests for “Commercial Purposes”

February 7, 2017 by Adrian Urquhart Winder
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

Public records for "Commercial Purposes"? The Washington Court of Appeals recently addressed another dispute and rejected a union's constitutional privacy argument. 

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Don’t Do That! Part Two

Don’t Do That! Part Two

February 1, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Leadership

Part 2 of this 2-part series on the “worst” leadership habits identifies at least one, agreed-upon bad habit that leaders everywhere should avoid at all costs.

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When Must a Private Entity Comply with the PRA?

When Must a Private Entity Comply with the PRA?

January 30, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Public Records Act

Many public agencies in the State of Washington enter into contracts with private entities to provide public services. When private entities begin performing public services by contract, they inevitably begin to create records. The question this blog post will explore is: When are such records “public records” subject to production under the Public Records Act (PRA)?

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Don’t Do That! Part One

Don’t Do That! Part One

January 25, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Leadership

There's plenty of space devoted to what makes a good leader but the habits and characteristics of poor leaders are equally compelling.  This post, 1 of a 2-part series, summarizes what various observers identify as the habits and practices most leaders should take care to avoid.  

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Tiny Houses as a Workable Option to House the Homeless

Tiny Houses as a Workable Option to House the Homeless

January 24, 2017 by Steve Butler
Category: Housing

Tiny houses, small structures designed to provide temporary shelter, can be a low-cost method for housing the homeless and offer local governments a better option than having people sleep on the streets or in tents. This post looks at a few models operating successfully here in the Pacific Northwest.

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Vested Rights and the Hirst Decision

Vested Rights and the Hirst Decision

January 23, 2017 by Neil Caulkins
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Vested Rights

This is the fifth post of a five-part series discussing the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Whatcom County v. Hirst. This post explores whether one can have a vested right to use a permit-exempt well as the water source for development (subdivision or building permit).

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