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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:

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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Agencies Must Provide a “Reasonable Time Estimate” in their 5-day Response, Even When Seeking Clarification.

Agencies Must Provide a “Reasonable Time Estimate” in their 5-day Response, Even When Seeking Clarification.

January 20, 2017 by Ramsey Ramerman
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

In this blog post, guest author Ramsey Ramerman provides an overview of the Washington Court of Appeals' recent decision in Hikel v. City of Lynnwood, where the court held that a reasonable time estimate is always required with an agency's response to a PRA request that does not fully resolve the request, even when the agency seeks clarification that may affect that time estimate.

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What Can Be Done about “Zombie” Properties?

What Can Be Done about “Zombie” Properties?

January 17, 2017 by Oskar Rey
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Property Nuisances

The Washington Supreme Court's decision in Jordan v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC significantly impacts the ability of local government to take action with respect to vacant or "zombie" properties. This blog post discusses this impact as well as some options for addressing zombie properties.

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PRA Case Law Round Up for 2016

PRA Case Law Round Up for 2016

January 12, 2017 by Flannary Collins
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Public Records Act

It’s a new year and a perfect time for a 2016 PRA case law round up. This blog post recaps major PRA cases from 2016 that should be of continuing interest to Washington's local governments in 2017. Drum roll, please…

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Washington Supreme Court Issues Significant Vesting Decision

Washington Supreme Court Issues Significant Vesting Decision

January 12, 2017 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Vested Rights

On December 29, the Washington Supreme Court issued Snohomish County, et al. v. Pollution Control Hearings Bd., a significant decision interpreting the statutory vested rights doctrine. This blog posts gives an overview of this decision and discusses its effect on local governments.

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Year End is a Busy Time for Finance

Year End is a Busy Time for Finance

January 11, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Finance

W-2s, Form MISC-1099, and the "open period," the month of January is a busy time for local government finance personnel. This blog highlights important, federal reporting activities that impact most local government entities and must be completed by the end of this month. 

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Private Email Accounts but Public Records

Private Email Accounts but Public Records

January 5, 2017 by P. Stephen DiJulio and Philip Paine
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Open Government Advisor , Council-Commission Advisor , Public Records Act

This post looks at the recent Washington State Court of Appeals ruling that held the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 7 of the Washington State Constitution do not afford an individual privacy interest in public records contained in an elected official’s private email account.

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Land Use Case Law Update Recap

Land Use Case Law Update Recap

December 21, 2016 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Land Use Administration

In our recent Land Use Case Law Update webinar, Phil Olbrechts and Jill Dvorkin discussed key land use cases decided, for the most part, within the past six months. In this blog post, I will briefly recap the cases we covered during the webinar.

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GPC Attendees Revel in Lean Support, Training, and Networking

GPC Attendees Revel in Lean Support, Training, and Networking

December 20, 2016 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Government Performance Consortium

Over 200 local government leaders gathered in Tacoma for the latest Government Performance Consortium (GPC) forum, where they discussed lean management and shared their own thoughts, successes, and strategies.

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