skip navigation

MRSC Insight Blog


Posts by Tracy Burrows

Being Cyber Aware in the Age of COVID-19

Being Cyber Aware in the Age of COVID-19

April 8, 2020 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Cybersecurity , COVID-19

This blog posts looks at cyber threats that have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and offers tips for local governments to help protect their resources. 

Read more


MRSC Launches New Website Search

MRSC Launches New Website Search

January 6, 2020 by Tracy Burrows
Category:

We've updated our website search system. The new features make it easier to find information, providing more relevant results and allowing you to quickly narrow your search. 

Read more


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. 

Read more


3 Steps to a More Meaningful Mission Statement

3 Steps to a More Meaningful Mission Statement

June 12, 2018 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Management

In this post, MRSC's Executive Director Tracy Burrows looks at the role of an organization's mission statement and an easy, 3-step process to creating mission statements that will engage employees long after the process is over.

Read more


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.

Read more


Time to Scrap the Annual Performance Review?

Time to Scrap the Annual Performance Review?

June 8, 2016 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Administration and Management

New approaches to performance reviews offer techniques that could enhance the value of public sector performance appraisals.

Read more


Our Deepest Appreciation: MRSC Fully Funded, Thanks to Your Support

Our Deepest Appreciation: MRSC Fully Funded, Thanks to Your Support

April 7, 2016 by Tracy Burrows
Category:

After considering a proposal to zero-out MRSC’s funding, the 2016 state legislature recognized MRSC’s value and enacted a final budget that maintains MRSC’s funding at the same level as it has been in recent years.

Read more


Creating a Functional Performance Dashboard in 8 Steps

Creating a Functional Performance Dashboard in 8 Steps

November 16, 2015 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Government Performance Consortium

A performance dashboard provides an at-a-glance overview of key organizational performance indicators. By following these steps, you too can create a helpful, visual management tool for your department or jurisdiction.

Read more


What Makes A Successful Ballot Measure? A Look at the Data

What Makes A Successful Ballot Measure? A Look at the Data

September 25, 2014 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Elections

Since 2011, MRSC has collected data on the results of all ballot measures placed on the ballot by cities, counties, and the special districts we serve.  A review of the results of over 600 measures in our searchable ballot measure database shows some very interesting trends.  73% of all ballot measures succeed, but...

Read more


The Year the Public Servant Became the Bureaucrat

The Year the Public Servant Became the Bureaucrat

January 21, 2014 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Management

Cultural shifts are reflected in the language that we use. We can see this over the past 50 years of city planning as we have shifted from "urban renewal," which quickly took on the connotation of a flawed solution...

Read more


Public Records Act Report Emphasizes a Better Way to Resolve Disputes

December 20, 2013 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Public Records Act

This week, the William D. Ruckelshaus Center issued to the State Legislature its Situation Assessment of Public Records Requests to Local Governments. In our September 25th post, "Is the Public Records Act Working?," Joe Levan reported on the charge that the Legislature gave to the Ruckelshaus Center to develop recommendations for the future of the Public Records Act (PRA). The Center's report...

Read more


Successful Tips for Recruiting Board and Commission Members

Successful Tips for Recruiting Board and Commission Members

July 29, 2013 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Boards and Commissions

When a vacancy occurs on a citizen board or commission, it’s a real opportunity to seek out new voices to contribute to the dialogue on community issues.

Read more


Are Local Government Revenues Lagging Behind the Economy?

Are Local Government Revenues Lagging Behind the Economy?

June 17, 2013 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Revenues

Using past recessions as a guide, the rule of thumb is that the recovery in local government revenues will lag 18 to 24 months behind the low point of a recession, but in Washington the lag may be shorter for some jurisdictions.

Read more


Creative Use of Emergency Communications Tool Saves Clark County Time and Money

Creative Use of Emergency Communications Tool Saves Clark County Time and Money

March 14, 2013 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Emergency Management

In Clark County, response to a public health emergency sparked a creative solution that's saving time and money. It was an epiphany born out of crisis—the commonplace resource...

Read more


What the State Auditor is Looking for...and Findings (Part 2)

What the State Auditor is Looking for...and Findings (Part 2)

February 25, 2013 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Accounting

In reviewing county and special purpose district audit findings from 2010 to 2012, a few key issues stand out. This post summarizes those issues and provides tips to help these jurisdictions avoid audit issues in the future.

Read more


Super Staff Work: Comparison of Impact Fees

Super Staff Work: Comparison of Impact Fees

February 1, 2013 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Impact Fees

Call me crazy, but I get a real thrill out of reading an outstanding staff report. It's based on data! It lays out options! It gives a well-considered recommendation! I love it. A lot of us are in this business to give elected...

Read more


What the State Auditor is Looking for... and Findings (Part 1 - Cities)

What the State Auditor is Looking for... and Findings (Part 1 - Cities)

January 17, 2013 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Accounting

In reviewing city audit findings from 2010 to 2012, a few key issues stand out. This post summarizes those issues and provides resources to help cities avoid audit issues in the future.

Read more


Practical Resources for Consolidating Services

Practical Resources for Consolidating Services

October 11, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Interlocal Cooperation

In the current economic climate, all of us are looking for ways to do things better and with less expense.  At MRSC, we are getting lots of requests for information about consolidation as a way to reduce...

Read more


Richland City Manager Gets the Job Done with Guts, Personality, and Key-Shaped Cookies

Richland City Manager Gets the Job Done with Guts, Personality, and Key-Shaped Cookies

July 16, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Leadership

Cindy Johnson, Richland City Manager since 2008, has used guts, personality and key-shaped cookies to lead the change in Richland to a high performance organization.   She’s focused on developing a team of leaders to help...

Read more


Attracting the Next Generation to a Career in Local Government

July 5, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Leadership

In Washington State, the average government worker is 47 years old, compared to 39 years old for private sector workers. A new generation of local leadership is beginning to step forward, but will local government be able to attract the best and brightest to public service?

Read more


Police Staffing - How Much Is Enough?

Police Staffing - How Much Is Enough?

June 8, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Law Enforcement

Recently, Anna Halloran, Manager of the Community Indicators Initiative at Eastern Washington University, asked me to comment on trends in police staffing in Spokane County.  From 2008 to 2010,...

Read more


Top Five Video Ideas for Local Government

May 21, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Public Participation , Information Technology

The digital futurists predict that within three years 80 percent or more of internet content will be via video.  Why is that important to local government?  Citizens are already accessing most of their information about local government via the internet, and there will be a growing expectation that the information presented on your website will be via video.  The flexibility of the internet as a...

Read more


Economic Development - Illegal in Washington State?

Economic Development - Illegal in Washington State?

May 4, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Strategies and Programs

Recently, I was meeting with a new city official who had just moved to Washington from Florida. He’d had a successful track record in attracting major businesses...

Read more


King County

King County's New Management: Failing Forward and Other Good Ideas

April 26, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Management

A Conversation with Fred Jarrett, Part 1
In 2010, newly-elected King County Executive Dow Constantine tapped Fred Jarrett to be his deputy to help carry forward an ambitious reform agenda.  Recently, Lynn Nordby, MRSC management consultant, and I sat down with Fred to capture his ideas on organizational...

Read more


 more

Blog Archives

GO

Follow Our Blog