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Pop Quiz: Family Leave and Sick Leave Edition

Pop Quiz: Family Leave and Sick Leave Edition

January 14, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Leave Policies

Take a short quiz to test your understanding of the Paid Family Leave and Sick Leave for employees.

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Balance of Power Struggles in City Government Redux

Balance of Power Struggles in City Government Redux

January 10, 2019 by Flannary Collins
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

With a focus on code and second-class cities, this blog post looks at power struggles that often arise between city staff and elected officials and among elected officials themselves. 

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FCC’s Declaratory Ruling on 5G Small Cell Wireless Facilities

FCC’s Declaratory Ruling on 5G Small Cell Wireless Facilities

January 8, 2019 by Laura Crandall
Category: Telecommunications

The FCC recently issued a 2-part Declaratory Ruling with the intent to streamline the deployment of 4G and 5G mobile communication infrastructure. Key points of the ruling are listed and briefly discussed in this post.

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Year End is a Busy Time for Finance

Year End is a Busy Time for Finance

January 4, 2019 by Toni Nelson
Category: Financial Reporting

This article reviews some of the most important year-end reporting requirements and deadlines, including the "open period" and federal W-2, W-3, and 1099-MISC reporting requirements.

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Nothing but a Number: Age-Based Employment Discrimination After <em>Mount Lemmon</em>

Nothing but a Number: Age-Based Employment Discrimination After Mount Lemmon

January 3, 2019 by Sarah Doar
Category: Selection and Recruitment , Termination

Examining age discrimination laws that apply to local governments in Washington, following the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Mount Lemmon which held that all local governments, including those with less than 20 employees, are subject to the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

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Meeting Discussion: When Should You Interrupt a Speaker?

Meeting Discussion: When Should You Interrupt a Speaker?

December 27, 2018 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body , Council-Commission Advisor

Under Robert's Rules, there are significant instances in which a board member or councilmember should be interrupted during a meeting in order to preserve preserve politeness and fairness for all.

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New Laws Change Rules for Service Animals

New Laws Change Rules for Service Animals

December 18, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Animal Control

SHB 2822 amends the Washington Law Against Discrimination in order to reduce and prevent both the intentional and mistaken misrepresentation of pets and other animals as service animals when they are not. 

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Let

Let's Talk Winter

December 13, 2018 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Governance , Ethics and Conflicts of Interest , Snow and Ice Removal

In this blog post, Legal Consultant Jill Dvorkin compiles existing MRSC resources to address some of the challenging issues jurisdictions routinely face during the winter months. 

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Winter Weather Shelter Programs for the Homeless

Winter Weather Shelter Programs for the Homeless

December 11, 2018 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Homelessness

This blog looks at winter weather shelter programs in Washington State. These programs offer temporary housing for homeless persons when weather conditions pose a substantial threat to life or health.

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The Perils of Piggybacking

The Perils of Piggybacking

December 6, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Piggybacking allows a local government agency to purchase goods, equipment, material, and supplies using another agency’s purchasing contract. However, whether your agency can piggyback on a purchasing contract depends on the contract's criteria and the applicable statute for your agency type. 

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HB 2578 Prohibits Source of Income Discrimination

HB 2578 Prohibits Source of Income Discrimination

December 3, 2018 by Laura Crandall
Category: Housing

Passed in 2018 by the legislature, HB 2578 enacts source of income discrimination protections that prohibit landlords from discriminating against prospective and current tenants based on alternative, non-wage sources of income.

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Providing Exceptional Customer Service at Your Permit Counter

Providing Exceptional Customer Service at Your Permit Counter

November 30, 2018 by Steve Butler
Category: Land Use Administration

This blog post looks at how a city, town, or county can take steps to ensure its front desk staff provide excellent customer service at the permit counter. 

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Paid Family & Medical Leave Act: What does finance/payroll need to do?

Paid Family & Medical Leave Act: What does finance/payroll need to do?

November 27, 2018 by Toni Nelson
Category: Leave Policies

With 2019 on the horizon, local governments must begin to comply with new Paid Family & Medical Leave requirements. Finance Consultant Toni Nelson looks at what steps the finance department should take, beginning today. 

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Oh Boy! A Gift!

Oh Boy! A Gift!

November 26, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

With the holidays just around the corner, Legal Consultant Paul Sullivan explores the rules surrounding municipal gift "giving" and "receiving." 

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A Recycling Crisis in Washington?

A Recycling Crisis in Washington?

November 21, 2018 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Utilities

Since the beginning of the year, the costs to collect, sort, store, and ship recycled materials have risen dramatically while the market for these goods has collapsed. This blog post looks at the impact this has had on waste management efforts across the state. 

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Washington Women Led the Way: National Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020

Washington Women Led the Way: National Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020

November 19, 2018 by Flannary Collins
Category: Elections , Inclusive Communities

The Governor’s Women’s Commission has partnered with the Washington State Historical Society and the Women’s History Consortium to create a campaign commemorating the historical achievement of granting women the right to vote in Washington State in 1910.

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2018 General Election Part 3: Non-Revenue Edition

2018 General Election Part 3: Non-Revenue Edition

November 13, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections , Forms of Government-City , Annexation , Marijuana , Forms of Government-County

In this blog post, we examine non-revenue local ballot measures, including city and county charter changes, a city adopting the council-manager form of government, fire district annexations and mergers, and advisory votes on marijuana and downtown plazas and stadiums.

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​2018 General Election Part 2: Property Tax and Bonds Edition

​2018 General Election Part 2: Property Tax and Bonds Edition

November 13, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections , Property Taxes

This article looks primarily at local property tax measures from the recent general election — including levy lid lifts, EMS levies, bond measures, and funding for parks, libraries, and affordable housing.

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2018 General Election Part 1: Local Sales Tax Edition

2018 General Election Part 1: Local Sales Tax Edition

November 13, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Revenues , Elections

There were a number of interesting sales taxes on the ballot this year for public safety, transit, and TBDs, as well as Tacoma’s first-of-its-kind cultural access program. We’ll also briefly discuss I-1634, which prohibits local soda taxes but will have no impact on sales tax revenues.

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Trust: The Secret Ingredient in Your Budget Deliberations

Trust: The Secret Ingredient in Your Budget Deliberations

November 8, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

Can trust building be a part of a local government's budget process? In this post Finance Consultant Mike Bailey argues that trust is a critical component to creating a high-functioning team that can then make the best possible decisions in how to serve their constituents. 

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