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4 Bad Habits to Avoid at Council Meetings

4 Bad Habits to Avoid at Council Meetings

July 29, 2015 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Council-Commission Advisor , Meetings Procedures

There are a number of “urban myths” about Robert’s Rules of Order that can get in the way of democratic process for your council. Ann MacFarlane outline's some of the more common ones.

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Senior Legal Consultant Pat Mason Announces Retirement

Senior Legal Consultant Pat Mason Announces Retirement

July 24, 2015 by Pat Mason
Category:

Now it’s my turn to officially announce my retirement - July 31 will be my last day at MRSC, after 39 years.

I remember, when I started in 1976, I thought that MRSC would be a great place to work for a couple years and get some municipal law experience before moving on, and now, 39 years later, I am still here! Well, it was and still is a great place to work, and I could not hav...

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Court Clarifies How the PRA Can Apply to Contractor Records

Court Clarifies How the PRA Can Apply to Contractor Records

July 22, 2015 by Joe Levan
Category: Public Records Act

A recent Washington State Court of Appeals decision, Cedar Grove Composting, Inc. v. City of Marysville clarified the extent to which contractor records can be subject to the Public Records Act (PRA).

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5 Ways Local Government Managers Can Support Cybersecurity Efforts

5 Ways Local Government Managers Can Support Cybersecurity Efforts

July 20, 2015 by Josh Mahar
Category: Cybersecurity

With cyber-attacks becoming a growing problem for local governments, it's time managers get more engaged in their agency's cybersecurity efforts.

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Pets + Hot Day + Enclosed Vehicle = Trouble

Pets + Hot Day + Enclosed Vehicle = Trouble

July 13, 2015 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Animal Control

With the long daytimes and warm temperatures of summer, it's good to be reminded about the life-threatening hazard of leaving pets in unattended, enclosed vehicles. Animals left in vehicles on a warm day, even for a short time and even with a window slightly open, can quickly suffer heart stroke and die. The 2015 Legislature has recognized this issue and has given law enforcement and animal control clear authority to deal with this situation and has provided a specific penalty to the pet owner who allows it to occur.

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Are You Calculating Your City Utility Tax Correctly?

Are You Calculating Your City Utility Tax Correctly?

July 10, 2015 by FCS GROUP
Category: Utility Tax

This post was written by Gordon Wilson and Tage Aaker of the FCS Group.

Many Washington cities have a city utility tax or a business & occupation (B&O) tax that applies to utilities within city boundaries. These taxes are usually defined in the city code as a “gross receipts” tax—that is, a percentage of the gros...

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Hiring the Right Person Part 5: The Interview

Hiring the Right Person Part 5: The Interview

July 10, 2015 by Marci Wright
Category: Selection and Recruitment , HR Advisor

Tips and strategies for making your interview process a success.

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MRSC Launches New Contracting Requirements Tool

MRSC Launches New Contracting Requirements Tool

July 10, 2015 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category:

MRSC is excited to launch a new online research tool, Find Your Contracting Requirements, which allows local government officials to quickly pinpoint their statutory requirements for public works, purchasing, and service contracts.

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Utility Latecomer Agreements – Legislature Gives Municipalities an Alternative

Utility Latecomer Agreements – Legislature Gives Municipalities an Alternative

July 8, 2015 by Bob Meinig
Category: Finance

The 2015 Legislature enacted legislation (SSB 5795) providing municipalities (defined for this purpose as cities, towns, counties, and drainage districts) the authority to initiate an assessment reimbursement area to finance all the costs of a water or sewer improvement and to become the sole beneficiary of the reimbursements.

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Legislature Adopts Changes to Washington’s Impact Fee Law

Legislature Adopts Changes to Washington’s Impact Fee Law

July 7, 2015 by Steve Butler
Category: Impact Fees

An overview of the new legislation that requires Washington counties, cities, and towns to adopt a deferral system for the collection of impact fees for new single-family detached and attached residential construction.

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Rural Demand for Municipal Water Or How a Drought Emergency Can Make You Popular

Rural Demand for Municipal Water Or How a Drought Emergency Can Make You Popular

July 6, 2015 by Andy Lane
Category: Water Utilities , Planning Advisor

Planning Advisor Andrew Lane explains how to handle municipal water service requests from homes outside your city or town limits.

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Final Marijuana Legislation for 2015

Final Marijuana Legislation for 2015

July 2, 2015 by Jim Doherty
Category: Recreational and Medical Marijuana

On June 30, Governor Inslee signed 2E2SHB 2136 -- another significant piece of legislation amending the state’s marijuana regulatory system. The legislation is 61 pages long and contains provisions that are important for local governments, for individuals operating licensed marijuana businesses, and for medical marijuana users.

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Emerging Issue Update: Police Body Cameras

Emerging Issue Update: Police Body Cameras

June 30, 2015 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Law Enforcement Services

A roundup of the latest news and information, including a few sample policies, we have been gathering on the emerging issue of body-worn cameras.

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Pre-Budgeting: Three Things to Do Before Budget Season Begins

Pre-Budgeting: Three Things to Do Before Budget Season Begins

June 26, 2015 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

With a little breathing room during the summer, here's recommendations for three things to do before budget season comes in at full force.

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US Supreme Court Issues Significant Sign Code Decision

US Supreme Court Issues Significant Sign Code Decision

June 24, 2015 by Maurice King
Category: Sign Control

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that an Arizona town’s sign code placed unconstitutional content-based restrictions on speech, in violation of the First Amendment. The court’s decision in Reed v, Town of Gilbert almost certainly places many sign ordinances throughout the state, and the country, on questionable legal footing.
 

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Building the Budget around the Community it Serves

Building the Budget around the Community it Serves

June 23, 2015 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

Redmond Finance Director Mike Bailey explains how Redmond shifted its budgeting process to better focus on citizen priorities.
 

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Strategies for Managing Social Media Records from the State Archives

Strategies for Managing Social Media Records from the State Archives

June 18, 2015 by Josh Mahar
Category: Social Media

For local government workers that deal with public records, the rise of digital communications has completely changed the way they do business. Today, retention isn’t simply about which papers to save and which to shred, but rather, how to effectively capture and catalog the myriad communications channels that people use every day. Nowhere is this challenge more pronounced than with socia...

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New Legislation Subjects City Assumption of Water-Sewer District to Possible Referendum

New Legislation Subjects City Assumption of Water-Sewer District to Possible Referendum

June 16, 2015 by Bob Meinig
Category: Water-Sewer Districts

Under chapter 35.13A RCW, a city council may, by resolution or ordinance, assume jurisdiction of (basically, take over) all or part of a water-sewer district, with the extent of that assumption of jurisdiction based on how much of the area or assessed value of the district lies within the city.

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Is Leadership Overrated?

Is Leadership Overrated?

June 11, 2015 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Leadership

Sometimes true leadership means being a good follower.

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New Amendments to the Public Records Act

New Amendments to the Public Records Act

June 10, 2015 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Public Records Act

The 2015 Legislature passed and the Governor signed five bills amending the Public Records Act (PRA) that affect local government public records procedures.

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