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Don’t Get Hacked - Cybersecurity Basics

Don’t Get Hacked - Cybersecurity Basics

May 24, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Cybersecurity

You don’t have to be an information technology (IT) professional to be a soldier in the cybersecurity war. This blog post looks at some basic steps that anyone, or any worksite, can implement. 

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Disqualification: What if a Candidate Doesn’t Meet the Required Qualifications for Office?

Disqualification: What if a Candidate Doesn’t Meet the Required Qualifications for Office?

May 22, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Elections

The candidate filing period for this year's election ended on Friday, May 19. To be qualified for an office, candidates must satisfy certain legal requirements, such as citizenship, residency, and voter registration. But what if they aren't legally qualified?

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Voter-Approved Tax Measures: Five Years of Washington State Trends

Voter-Approved Tax Measures: Five Years of Washington State Trends

May 19, 2017 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Elections

Using data from over 1,200 local ballot measures put out to voters since 2011, our online Local Ballot Measure Database can offer insight into voting trends and what makes a ballot measure successful.

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Tips for Local Governments in the Aftermath of the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

Tips for Local Governments in the Aftermath of the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

May 15, 2017 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Cybersecurity

The WannaCry cybersecurity attack is making news for worm-like behavior that allows it to spread across networks, infecting connected systems without user interaction. All it takes is for one infected user to put a whole network at risk. Here are some tips for local governments on how to combat it.

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Flag Display: What Every Jurisdiction Should Know

Flag Display: What Every Jurisdiction Should Know

May 10, 2017 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Flag Display

Most of us are aware that there are certain rules and etiquette to follow when flying the U.S. and Washington State flags, but what are they exactly and to whom do they apply? This post summarizes those rules and etiquette and highlights some important dates to keep in mind when it comes to flying these flags.

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Treat Your Elders Well

Treat Your Elders Well

May 3, 2017 by Jillian Barron
Category: Personnel , HR Advisor

It's estimated individuals age 55 and older will make up 25% of the U.S. workforce by 2020. The ADEA promotes employment of “older persons” based on ability and prohibits arbitrary age discrimination. Treat Your Elders Well: They can do the job, and they can also sue you for age discrimination 

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Time to Start Thinking About Fireworks . . . for 2018

Time to Start Thinking About Fireworks . . . for 2018

May 2, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Licensing and Regulation

If your community wants to ban the sale or use of fireworks, now is the time for its legislative body to start considering it. It’s too late now for the 2017 season, but if a ban is to be adopted for 2018, it must be adopted by June 28, 2017.

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MRSC Expands its Financial Policy Guidance

MRSC Expands its Financial Policy Guidance

April 27, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Finance Policies

MRSC and the State Auditor’s Office Local Government Performance Center have launched a series of online resources to help Washington State local governments develop and adopt effective financial policies and procedures, while complying with SAO’s policy requirements.

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Which Financial Policies Work Best?

Which Financial Policies Work Best? 'It Depends.'

April 26, 2017 by Mike Bailey
Category: Finance Advisor , Finance Policies

What is the right level of fund balance for local government? For many reasons, "It depends" is the best place to start when answering that question. 

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Taking Action: Ordinances, Resolutions, Motions, & Proclamations

Taking Action: Ordinances, Resolutions, Motions, & Proclamations

April 24, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Governance

MRSC is frequently asked about the procedure to use when a legislative body (council, commission, or board) is taking action on an issue. Here is how we generally explain the options.

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Acrimonious Acronyms in Purchasing and Contracting

Acrimonious Acronyms in Purchasing and Contracting

April 20, 2017 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Will you need an RFQ or an AFB and will you have to ask for an RFP before awarding a contract?  This post helps to demystify the most common acronyms in purchasing and contracting and when you should employ one versus another. 

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Political Speech and Lobbying by Local Government Employees: What are the Rules of Engagement?

Political Speech and Lobbying by Local Government Employees: What are the Rules of Engagement?

April 17, 2017 by Oskar Rey
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

There is a lot going on in politics these days at all levels of government. Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, it is important for government employees to know the rules of engagement. While everyone has First Amendment rights, there are certain restrictions on speech and lobbying that apply to employees of local public agencies. This blog post provides an overview of these restrictions. 

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WATVs (Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles) Issues and Reminders

WATVs (Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles) Issues and Reminders

April 12, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Licensing and Regulation

The 2013 legislature made major changes to the authority of riders to use some off-road vehicles on public roads. Since then WATVs have been increasingly used on public roads in the State of Washington. This post will provide some updates and reminders concerning issues related to WATV use.

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Visualizing Compatible Density

Visualizing Compatible Density

April 10, 2017 by Bob Bengford
Category: Planning Advisor , Design

Density is a controversial subject. This post demonstrates that streetscapes, vehicular-access elements, and building design are all components that make developments appear less dense, more livable, and attractive. 

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Succession Planning: Navigating the Incoming Wave

Succession Planning: Navigating the Incoming Wave

April 3, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

The accelerating retirement of public sector workers born between 1946-64 is predicted to hit like a wave. This post looks as what some local governments in Washington are doing to plan for the expected leadership turnover. 

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New AGO Opinion Concludes the OPMA Allows a Governing Body to Meet via Telephone or Video Conference

New AGO Opinion Concludes the OPMA Allows a Governing Body to Meet via Telephone or Video Conference

April 3, 2017 by Flannary Collins
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Open Public Meetings Act

​On March 21, 2017, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) issued a new opinion on the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), opining on whether a governing body can conduct a public meeting by telephone (or video) conference call. This blog post gives a quick overview of the AGO's conclusions.

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Growing Cities: How Local Governments Can Promote Urban Farming and Community Gardens

Growing Cities: How Local Governments Can Promote Urban Farming and Community Gardens

March 30, 2017 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Programs

With spring and warmer weather right around the corner (crossing fingers, here), it’s time to start planning and planting our vegetable gardens. This blog post will explore ways that local governments are helping to promote urban and community gardens and farms, and what more could be done to bolster the locally-grown food supply. 

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Using Citizen Academies to Educate and Engage your Citizenry

Using Citizen Academies to Educate and Engage your Citizenry

March 27, 2017 by Steve Butler
Category: Public Participation

Citizens academies offer constituents the opportunity to learn about different aspects of local government functions via a one-time or a series of presentations. This blog looks at a few examples of citizens academies, both within and outside of Washington State.

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Paid Sick Leave and Initiative 1433

Paid Sick Leave and Initiative 1433

March 27, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Leave Policies

Initiative 1433, approved by the voters in November 2016, sets the minimum wage for most employees (currently $11.00 per hour). But the initiative does more than that. Starting January 1, 2018, every employer in the state, including local governments, will be required to provide its employees with paid sick leave. This blog post will explore how this new requirement will affect local governments in Washington State. 

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2016 Annual Financial Report: What’s new and what’s changed?

2016 Annual Financial Report: What’s new and what’s changed?

March 22, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Financial Reporting

Changes to the 2016 Annual Financial Report that affect both cash basis- and GAAP-reporting entities.This blog post address changes to common areas that will impact both cash and GAAP reporting as well as addressing new areas that will only impact cash-basis reporting. 

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