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Overtime Work: Time Off or Additional Pay?

Overtime Work: Time Off or Additional Pay?

June 14, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: FLSA

This post addresses that age-old question: What is comp time, anyway?

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Limits on Pre-Election Litigation Involving Local Ballot Initiatives

Limits on Pre-Election Litigation Involving Local Ballot Initiatives

June 13, 2019 by Sarah Doar
Category: Elections , Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations

A recent court ruling now means that Washington local governments cannot spend public funds to judicially challenge proposed ballot initiatives. This blog post provides an overview of that ruling. 

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The Importance of Documentation in Risk Management

The Importance of Documentation in Risk Management

June 10, 2019 by Roger Neal
Category: Management

This blog explores the importance of documentation as it relates to risk management. 

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Homelessness and the Limits of Enforcement

Homelessness and the Limits of Enforcement

June 4, 2019 by Oskar Rey
Category: Homelessness

This blog post looks at the legal issues involving homelessness, and how these issues can limit a municipality's response to unauthorized encampments, panhandling, and car camping. 

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Bidder Responsibility Criteria Changing July 1

Bidder Responsibility Criteria Changing July 1

May 31, 2019 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Beginning in July, agencies awarding contracts to bidders must first confirm that the bidder has completed a required training on prevailing wage and public works requirements or that the bidder is exempt from this training. 

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Another Legislative Session, Another Round of PRA Changes

Another Legislative Session, Another Round of PRA Changes

May 29, 2019 by Flannary Collins
Category: Public Records Act

This blog reviews some of the public records bills affecting local governments from the 2019 legislative session.

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Natural Composting of Human Remains - A First for Washington State

Natural Composting of Human Remains - A First for Washington State

May 23, 2019 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Cemeteries

ESSB 5001 allows natural composting of human remains as an option to cremation services and traditional burials. This blog post provides an overview of the bill and the processes now allowed by it. 

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Finance-Related Legislation Passed During The 2019 Session

Finance-Related Legislation Passed During The 2019 Session

May 21, 2019 by Toni Nelson
Category: Finance

Interested in learning more about recently passed bills that offer increased use of taxes or authority to increase certain taxes? This blog post covers the basics. 

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Time To Set The Policy Framework For Your Next Budget

Time To Set The Policy Framework For Your Next Budget

May 16, 2019 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

Developing sound policy goals as a preface to budget planning is one of the most important ways an elected official can make a real difference in their community. 

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Legislature Paves the Way for Tiny Houses

Legislature Paves the Way for Tiny Houses

May 14, 2019 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Housing

This blog post covers ESSB 5383, a new bill intended to enable the development of tiny house communities throughout the state.

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Elected Officials and Benefits Programs

Elected Officials and Benefits Programs

May 8, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Compensation , Leave Policies

Are elected officials covered by various state employee programs? This blog post answers that simple—and complicated—question.  

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Regulating Sky Lanterns

Regulating Sky Lanterns

May 6, 2019 by Davis Abbott
Category: Fire Protection

This blog post explores how sky lanterns—or mini air balloons—are regulated in Washington State.

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Firefighting in the Wildland Inter-Urban Interface

Firefighting in the Wildland Inter-Urban Interface

May 2, 2019 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Emergency Management , Fire Protection

This blog post looks at the most challenging type of firefighting—where wild lands meet human development—and how some Washington local governments are attempting to mitigate risk in these areas.

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Successful Staff Interaction in Local Government Meetings

Successful Staff Interaction in Local Government Meetings

April 29, 2019 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body

This MRSC Insight blog offers a few suggestions on how to structure successful staff participation in a council meeting. 

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It’s a Dirty Job, But Somebody Has To Do It: Meeting the Public Records Challenge

It’s a Dirty Job, But Somebody Has To Do It: Meeting the Public Records Challenge

April 23, 2019 by Sarah Doar
Category: Public Records Act

Written by Sarah Doar, MRSC Legal Consultant, this blog post looks at some common questions MRSC receives regarding public records management. 

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Landlord/Tenant Issues for Water and Sewer Utilities

Landlord/Tenant Issues for Water and Sewer Utilities

April 22, 2019 by Oskar Rey
Category: Utilities - Billing and Collection

In this blog post, Legal Consultant Oskar Rey provides an overview of utility billing in the landlord/tenant context per Washington State regulations.  

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Finding ‘Missing Middle’ Housing, Part 2

Finding ‘Missing Middle’ Housing, Part 2

April 18, 2019 by Leonard Bauer
Category: Housing

The second of a 2-part series looking at the City of ​Olympia’s 2-year experience to encourage the growth of missing middle housing. Part 2 covers lessons learned. 

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The Open Public Meetings Act Pop Quiz

The Open Public Meetings Act Pop Quiz

April 15, 2019 by Flannary Collins
Category: Open Public Meetings Act

This pop quiz will help boost your Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) knowledge and remind you about potential OPMA pitfalls.

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How to Talk to the Public When the Heat is On

How to Talk to the Public When the Heat is On

April 11, 2019 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Management

Don't wait until a crisis hits your agency to develop a plan for managing communication with the public. This blog post provides an overview of how to plan ahead—before crisis puts you in the spotlight. 

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Holding Two Public Offices: The Doctrine of Incompatible Offices

Holding Two Public Offices: The Doctrine of Incompatible Offices

April 4, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Incompatible Offices

This blog post looks at the doctrine of incompatible offices, which prohibits an individual from simultaneously holding two offices that are considered “incompatible” with one another.  

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