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April 2017


MRSC Expands its Financial Policy Guidance

MRSC Expands its Financial Policy Guidance

April 27, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Debt , Investments , Asset Management , Financial Management , Fund Balance and Reserves

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? 'It Depends.'

Which Financial Policies Work Best? 'It Depends.'

April 26, 2017 by Mike Bailey
Category: Financial Management , Fund Balance and Reserves

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 and AGO Opinions , 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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