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The Janus SCOTUS Decision: More Questions Than Answers

The Janus SCOTUS Decision: More Questions Than Answers

July 19, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Collective Bargaining

MRSC Legal Consultant Linda Gallagher looks at the recent US Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME and provides some advice to local govenments in Washington State to ensure they are operating in compliance with the new requirements.

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Cities and Towns Must Update General Business License Ordinances ASAP!

Cities and Towns Must Update General Business License Ordinances ASAP!

July 16, 2018 by Toni Nelson
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Business Licenses and Taxes

The final model business license ordinance has been released. All current BLS partner cities must adopt its provisions by October 17, and all other cities and towns with general business license requirements must adopt the model provisions by January 1.

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Action Outside a Public Meeting, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Action Outside a Public Meeting, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

July 13, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Open Public Meetings Act

This blog reviews some of the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and what can go wrong if those requirements are not met (Hint:a lot). 

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Longtime Legal Staff Jim Doherty Retires from MRSC after 25 Years

Longtime Legal Staff Jim Doherty Retires from MRSC after 25 Years

July 11, 2018 by Jim Doherty
Category:

Current Legal Manager and longtime MRSC staffmember, Jim Doherty, is retiring after providing guidance to local governments for 25 years. 

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Lynn Nordby Says Goodbye to MRSC

Lynn Nordby Says Goodbye to MRSC

July 6, 2018 by Lynn Nordby
Category:

Public Policy and Management Consultant Lynn Nordby will be retiring from MRSC this month. 

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The Strong Roots of Community

The Strong Roots of Community

July 5, 2018 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Inclusive Communities

Real leadership is shown when someone can build a narrative of shared responsibility and values, argues Public Policy and Management Consultant Lynn Nordby.

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Safe, Convenient Drug Disposal Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood

Safe, Convenient Drug Disposal Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood

July 2, 2018 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Human, Health and Community Services

ESHB 1047, or the Secure Drug Take-Back Act will bring a system of secure drug drop sites in every city and town across Washington for collection of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines by 2020. 

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Agency Size Can Influence PRA Penalties

Agency Size Can Influence PRA Penalties

July 2, 2018 by Foster Pepper
Category: Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

The Washington Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Superior Court is permitted to consider a municipality's size when setting penalties under the Public Records Act (PRA).

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Some Muni Bonds Lose Tax Exemption

Some Muni Bonds Lose Tax Exemption

June 29, 2018 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Debt

An obscure provision in the 2017 Tax Cut & Jobs Act all but eliminated an important municipal finance tool known as advance refunding. This blog post looks at the potential implications.

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Food Truck Laws and Regulations

Food Truck Laws and Regulations

June 26, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Business Licenses and Taxes

This post sorts through applicable food truck laws and regulations and cite examples of approaches taken by Washington municipalities that regulate food trucks in their jurisdictions. 

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The Culverts Case: An Overview and Potential Implications for Local Governments

The Culverts Case: An Overview and Potential Implications for Local Governments

June 20, 2018 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Land Use Administration

This blog takes a look at the Culverts Case and potential implications for local governments in Washington State.

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Retaining Institutional Knowledge in the Wake of the Silver Tsunami

Retaining Institutional Knowledge in the Wake of the Silver Tsunami

June 18, 2018 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Management

This blog focuses on the potential loss of institutional knowledge that the silver tsunami may leave in its wake, and some ways your organization may be able to capture and retain this valuable knowledge.

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A How-To Guide to Sponsoring Summer Celebrations

A How-To Guide to Sponsoring Summer Celebrations

June 14, 2018 by Flannary Collins
Category: Gift of Public Funds

Summertime, and the living is easy — except when you need to plan a special event but want to avoid making a gift of public funds. Legal Consultant Flannary Collins offers some tips on how to make sure all your special events are worry-free.

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3 Steps to a More Meaningful Mission Statement

3 Steps to a More Meaningful Mission Statement

June 12, 2018 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Management

In this post, MRSC's Executive Director Tracy Burrows looks at the role of an organization's mission statement and an easy, 3-step process to creating mission statements that will engage employees long after the process is over.

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Salary Increases Effective July 1 for Many Special Purpose District Officials

Salary Increases Effective July 1 for Many Special Purpose District Officials

June 7, 2018 by Toni Nelson
Category: Compensation

The salaries for many elected officials with Washington's special purpose districts are adjusted for inflation every 5 years by the Office of Financial Management, with 2018 being one such year an adjustment takes place. Finance Consultant Toni Nelson looks at which special purpose districts and officials will be impacted. 

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No Magic Homelessness Bullet

No Magic Homelessness Bullet

June 4, 2018 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Homelessness

Solutions for tackling homelessness need to be as varied as the people who experience it and the causes of homelessness itself. Policy Consultant Lynn Nordby looks at some innovative solutions, from 3-D printed houses to repurposed shipping containers. 

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Encouraging Neighborhood-Friendly, Residential Infill Development

Encouraging Neighborhood-Friendly, Residential Infill Development

May 31, 2018 by Steve Butler
Category: Development Types

Residential infill development can be used as an approach for communities experiencing a moderate/high rate of residential development or those looking to create a diversity of housing options for all income levels. This blog post looks at options ranging from ADU's to cottage housing and more. 

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EU’s General Data Protection Regulation: Does It Apply to Your Agency?

EU’s General Data Protection Regulation: Does It Apply to Your Agency?

May 29, 2018 by Jim Doherty
Category: Public Records Act

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation addresses data protection and privacy for EU citizens by giving residents more control over thier personal data and by simplifying the regulatory environment for international businesses.  In this post, Jim Doherty looks at whether or not it also applies to local governments. 

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WVRA: To Change or Not to Change?

WVRA: To Change or Not to Change?

May 25, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Elections

The new Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) gives most municipalities the authority to change their election systems to remedy potential issues relating to equal voting opportunities for members of certain protected classes. This blog answers some common questions MRSC has gotten about the WRVA. 

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Bitcoin Comes to Washington

Bitcoin Comes to Washington

May 22, 2018 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Utilities

What is cryptocurrency and why have public utility districts, cities, and counties across the state enacted ordinances and moratoriums impacting the businesses seeking to profit from "mining" cryptocurrency? This blog post looks at the complexities.  

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