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February 2015


Sick Leave Benefits for Local Government Employees Part 1: An Overview

Sick Leave Benefits for Local Government Employees Part 1: An Overview

March 2, 2015 by Cabot Dow
Category: HR Advisor , Leave Policies

Recently, there has been a surge of interest on the West Coast in the pros and cons of paid sick leave benefits for employees.  This issue was hotly debated in 2014 by both the California and Washington State Legislatures.   In Washington S...

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Drones: Whether Local Governments Can Regulate Unmanned Aircraft

Drones: Whether Local Governments Can Regulate Unmanned Aircraft

February 25, 2015 by Robert Sepler
Category: Licensing and Regulation

Throughout the country, law enforcement, businesses, and private citizens have begun to use drones—or have considered doing so—for a variety of purposes. This raises important issues, including how local governments in Washingto...

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Establishing Effective Social Media Policies for your Agency

Establishing Effective Social Media Policies for your Agency

February 24, 2015 by Josh Mahar
Category: Social Media

Local governments should, and are, jumping into the social media arena to both disseminate important government information and to gauge public opinion on projects and initiatives. That said, social media can  be a double-edged sword, a few missteps on social media can have serious negative consequences. To ensure your agency uses social media as effectively as possible, I've put together a few key elements you should consider prior to diving in.

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Are Personal Notes Public Records Under the Public Records Act?

Are Personal Notes Public Records Under the Public Records Act?

February 19, 2015 by Joe Levan
Category: Public Records Act

Here’s the scenario: You’re an official or employee of a local government in Washington State and sometimes, at agency meetings, you take notes for your personal use. Are those notes public records under the Public Records Act (PRA) (Read more | 0 comments


2015 Predictions and Prognostications

2015 Predictions and Prognostications

February 19, 2015 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Management

This is the time of year when various articles aimed at making predictions and prognostications about the issues to watch in the coming year usually start to appear. I look for them because they are a often a good way to find out what local government ...

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Hiring the Right Person: Getting Started

Hiring the Right Person: Getting Started

February 17, 2015 by Marci Wright
Category: Recruitment and Hiring , HR Advisor

Vacancies often occur with little notice and at a bad time.  As busy as you are, you lack time and energy to devote to an unexpected, time-consuming recruitment and selection process. You need to refill this job as soon as possible. But, as busy as you are, a wise manager will spend a little time thinking about the vacant position and the process requirements before rushing to hire a new employee.

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Redmond Releases Budget as Interactive Web Tool

Redmond Releases Budget as Interactive Web Tool

February 13, 2015 by Josh Mahar
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Public Participation

Trying to figure out how to engage your community better in the complex world of local government budgets? Redmond may have an answer for you. The city of 55,000 has come out with a new online tool, Open Budget Redmond, aimed at demystifying the budgeting process. The interactive web portal offers simple filtering and analytics tools that allow citizens, not to mention councilmembers and other city leaders, to quickly and easily dig into various sections of the city’s 2015-2016 biennial budget.

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What are “Land Use Control Ordinances” for Purposes of Subdivision Application Vesting?

What are “Land Use Control Ordinances” for Purposes of Subdivision Application Vesting?

February 11, 2015 by Bob Meinig
Category: Subdivisions and Planned Developments , Vested Rights

Photo courtesy of Ann Walsh.

Note: In December 2016, the Washington Supreme Court issued a significant decision interpreting the statutory vested rights ...

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Do Public Employees Lose Their Freedom of Speech?

Do Public Employees Lose Their Freedom of Speech?

February 3, 2015 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

I suspect every local government executive has experienced the situation where an employee unexpectedly steps to the microphone during a public comment period or gets a letter published about a government issue in a local newspaper. When this happens can, or should, the executive prevent an employee from speaking out on issues or take any action against an employee?

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Why is Property Tax So Complicated?

Why is Property Tax So Complicated?

February 2, 2015 by Tracey Dunlap
Category: Finance Advisor , Property Taxes

In this month's Finance Advisor column, Tracey Dunlap, City of Kirkland Director of Finance and Administration, gives us a "property tax 101" overview of the limits on regular property taxes.

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