skip navigation

MRSC Insight Blog


Recent Posts

Sewer Rate Structure Alternatives for Utilities

Sewer Rate Structure Alternatives for Utilities

October 11, 2017 by FCS GROUP
Category: Finance Advisor , Utilities - Billing and Collection

What options are there for utilities in determining how to structure sewer usage rates, depending on the customer type? A volume-based rate option for all consumers is one, but an agency must consider which approach to take and it must make sure that such an approach aligns with organizational policy objectives. 

Read more | 0 comments


Rosters for Public Works, A&E, and Purchases

Rosters for Public Works, A&E, and Purchases

October 5, 2017 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Use of a roster service offers a less restrictive and time-consuming method than the formal, competitive bid process. Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac reviews the types of rosters that are available to local governments in Washington State. 

Read more | 0 comments


Ninth Circuit Holds Reed v. Town of Gilbert Does Not Extend to Commercial Speech

Ninth Circuit Holds Reed v. Town of Gilbert Does Not Extend to Commercial Speech

October 3, 2017 by Robert Sepler
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Sign Control

On August 16, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Contest Promotions v. City and County of San Francisco, providing its first official guidance on the question of whether Reed v. Town of Gilbert controls the regulation of commercial speech as well as noncommercial speech. In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Robert Sepler gives an overview of this case.

Read more | 0 comments


Understanding Municipal Rights-of-Way: From Centerline to Edge (Part 1)

Understanding Municipal Rights-of-Way: From Centerline to Edge (Part 1)

September 27, 2017 by Oskar Rey
Category: Streets and Sidewalks

MRSC gets a lot of inquiries about street rights-of-way. Over the years, we have touched on specific aspects of rights-of-way on our website and in blog articles. In this two part series, MRSC Legal Consultant Oskar Rey will cover the fundamentals of rights-of-way and the duties of local government and abutting owners.

Read more | 3 comments


Implicit Price Deflator Exceeds 1%

Implicit Price Deflator Exceeds 1%

September 21, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Economic, Population and Historical Tax Data

As of September 25, the rate of inflation on the implicit price deflator for personal consumption expenditures over the past 12 months is 1.553%, meaning local governments may levy the full 1% increase or bank this capacity for future use. Finance Consultant Toni Nelson discusses the options available to jurisdictions. 

Read more | 0 comments


Safe Injection Sites and the Opioid Crisis

Safe Injection Sites and the Opioid Crisis

September 21, 2017 by Flannary Collins
Category: Human, Health and Community Services

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. 

Read more | 0 comments


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. 

Read more | 0 comments


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).

Read more | 0 comments


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. 

Read more | 1 comments


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.

Read more | 1 comments


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.

Read more | 0 comments


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. 

Read more | 0 comments


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.

Read more | 0 comments


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.

Read more | 1 comments


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.

Read more | 0 comments


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. 

Read more | 0 comments


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. 

Read more | 0 comments


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. 

Read more | 0 comments


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. 

Read more | 0 comments


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. 

Read more | 2 comments


LOAD MORE
 more

Blog Archives

GO

Follow Our Blog