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Safe Injection Sites and the Opioid Crisis

Safe Injection Sites and the Opioid Crisis

September 21, 2017 by Flannary Collins
Category:

Claiming the lives of 142 Americans every day by drug overdose, the opioid crisis has been called a “Killer Drug Epidemic” and each level of government is reacting. In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Flannary Collins gives a brief overview of the steps that federal, state, and local governments have taken so far to address this crisis. 

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Communications in 10-5-1

Communications in 10-5-1

September 18, 2017 by Bob Jean
Category: Public Participation

Just as in our personal relations, communications are essential for fostering good community relations. Council/Commission Advisor Bob Jean looks at the role of the message, messenger, and media in local government communications efforts. 

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Legislature Enacts Paid Family Leave

Legislature Enacts Paid Family Leave

September 13, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Leave Policies , New Legislation

The state legislature has adopted a bill that provides most employees in Washington State with paid leave to care for their health conditions, the health condition of a family member, or for the birth or placement of an adopted or foster child. This post summarizes the new legislation and some of the differences between it and the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

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Building Consensus for Bellevue’s Affordable Housing Strategy

Building Consensus for Bellevue’s Affordable Housing Strategy

September 11, 2017 by Michael Kattermann
Category: Housing

According to a 2015 survey, a lack of affordable housing was cited as a major challenge for Bellevue businesses. Guest author Micheal Katterman talks about the city's successful effort to build an affordable housing strategy— by building consensus among a variety of stakeholders. 

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Emergency Planning 101

Emergency Planning 101

September 7, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Emergency Management

Does your community have an emergency plan? Is it strong enough and written in a way to serve as an organizing document during what is likely to be a tumultuous time? Consultant Lynn Nordby urges readers to follow the Scout motto and “Be Prepared”— for anything.

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Paid Sick Leave Starts January 1

Paid Sick Leave Starts January 1

September 5, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Leave Policies

Starting January 1, 2018, all employers in the state, including all local government agencies, must provide paid sick leave for their employees. In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Paul Sullivan responds to some possible questions about the new paid sick leave requirements.

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Preparing for Small Cell Deployments

Preparing for Small Cell Deployments

September 1, 2017 by Elana Zana
Category: Telecommunications

During 2017, the wireless industry targeted local regulation for preemption in filings before the Federal Communications Commission, as well as orchestrated a concerted national effort in the state legislatures, including in Olympia. While no legislation was passed here in Washington, the deployment of small cells will intensify and the industry is likely to return to the legislature. In this blog post, guest author Elana Zana discusses small cells and gives some recommendations on preparing for small cell deployment. 

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Recent Changes to Washington’s Land Use and Planning Laws

Recent Changes to Washington’s Land Use and Planning Laws

August 31, 2017 by Steve Butler
Category: Land Use Administration

The most recent Washington state legislative session resulted in changes to the Growth Management Act and tweaks to other land use/planning-related statutes. This blog post will provide a summary of some of those recently passed bills.

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Interview Tips

Interview Tips

August 30, 2017 by Marci Wright
Category: Selection and Recruitment

Employee hiring involves some of the most important decisions a manager will make. HR Consultant Marci Wright looks at ways employers can develop and implement effective interview questions and techniques.

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New Open Government Legislation: The Odds & Ends

New Open Government Legislation: The Odds & Ends

August 28, 2017 by Robert Sepler
Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Public Records Act

In addition to some big changes to the PRA, the legislature also made a number of other, relatively minor, tweaks to both the PRA and the OPMA this session. In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Robert Sepler gives a quick overview of these odds and ends.

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Election Season is Upon Us! Do You Remember the Election-Related “Dos” and “Don’ts”?

Election Season is Upon Us! Do You Remember the Election-Related “Dos” and “Don’ts”?

August 25, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Elections

There are many election issues that arise each year. Fortunately, we have addressed many of them in the past. In this post, MRSC Legal Manager Jim Doherty gives a refresher on some of the common issues faced by public agencies in Washington State. 

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Rules of the Road: Incorporating Bicycles into Your Municipal Code

Rules of the Road: Incorporating Bicycles into Your Municipal Code

August 24, 2017 by Nick Quijas
Category: Cycling and Walking

Bicycles are increasingly being recognized as a legitimate and important form of transportation in Washington State. As such, municipalities need to consider how bicycles should be addressed in their municipal code. This blog post explores some potential “gaps” that cities and towns may have in their code provisions addressing bicycle use. 

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The Power of Public Space

The Power of Public Space

August 21, 2017 by Mark Hinshaw
Category: Design

In this post, guest author and architect Mark Hinshaw looks at the power, and growing popularity, of public spaces. 

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Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

August 16, 2017 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Sign Control

Non-Commercial Temporary Signs? That’s a mouthful! Why not just say Political Signs? In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Jill Dvorkin explores how local governments may regulate political signs in light of the Reed v. Gilbert decision. 

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Sustaining the Change Agent

Sustaining the Change Agent

August 14, 2017 by Michael Jacobson
Category: Performance Management-Measurement , Government Performance Advisor

In this post, Government Performance Advisor Michael Jacobson argues that change agents working within local government must also make time for reflection, self-care, and building community connections for personal, not just work-related, reasons. 

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Confidentiality and Executive Sessions

Confidentiality and Executive Sessions

August 10, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Paul Sullivan gives an overview of the new formal Attorney General Opinion (AGO 2017 No. 5), issued on August 3, 2017, which provides instruction on the confidentiality of information learned in executive sessions. 

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Beyond Budget Suggestions for 2018

Beyond Budget Suggestions for 2018

August 8, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

MRSC's 2018 Budget Suggestions is now available! This blog post previews the publication along with recently passed legislation that will impact local government budget planning across the state. 

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How Did Ballot Measures Fare in the Primary?

How Did Ballot Measures Fare in the Primary?

August 4, 2017 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

MRSC's Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley looks at how ballot measures across the state fared in the 2017 primary election. 

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New Options for Creating Fire and Metro Park Districts

New Options for Creating Fire and Metro Park Districts

July 31, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Special Districts

The 2017 legislative session yielded new options for establishing a fire and/or metro park district. Consultant Lynn Nordby looks at these changes. 

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New Legislation Impacts Purchasing, Contracting

New Legislation Impacts Purchasing, Contracting

July 26, 2017 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Purchasing and contracting procedures for Washington local governments changed on July 23, 2017.  Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac reviews the changes. 

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