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February 2016


How Well Do You Walk this Meeting Tightrope?

How Well Do You Walk this Meeting Tightrope?

February 25, 2016 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body , Council-Commission Advisor

Chairing a meeting requires two skills that are not easy to combine. The presider has to control the meeting, which requires strength. At the same time, he has to remain emotionally connected to the members, which requires warmth. Put too much strength...

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Personal Information in Public Records: Is It Subject to Disclosure?

Personal Information in Public Records: Is It Subject to Disclosure?

February 24, 2016 by Flannary Collins
Category: Public Records Act

People submit their personal information to public agencies in various contexts, including when a citizen signs up for public comment at an agency meeting, a witness to a crime is interviewed by the police, a new employee is hired by an agency, or a homeowner starts receiving utility services. How much of this personal information is subject to public disclosure?

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Top Picks: Leveraging the Sharing Economy, Citizen Engagement, Improving Police-Community Relations

Top Picks: Leveraging the Sharing Economy, Citizen Engagement, Improving Police-Community Relations

February 22, 2016 by Byron Katsuyama
Category:

Each week I scan the web for interesting and useful news, blog posts, articles, and reports from a variety of local government-related sources, and post them to the In Focus section of MRSC’s homepage. Here are some top picks from my most recent scans.

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Lodging Tax Reports: Changes to Reporting Process

Lodging Tax Reports: Changes to Reporting Process

February 17, 2016 by Toni Nelson
Category: Lodging Tax (Hotel-Motel Tax)

Details on the new reporting process for lodging tax reports due on March 15, 2016.

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A Basic Approach to Succession Planning

A Basic Approach to Succession Planning

February 16, 2016 by Marci Wright
Category: Management

For those just starting to develop a succession plan, here's some tips and strategies from HR Advisor Marci Wright.

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Local Government Catching Up with Airbnb and Other Short-Term Transient Rental Businesses

Local Government Catching Up with Airbnb and Other Short-Term Transient Rental Businesses

February 12, 2016 by Steve Butler
Category: Licensing and Regulation , Tourism

A look at some important issues to address if you plan on regulating short-term rentals in your community.

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Zoning for Marijuana – What Are Jurisdictions Doing and How Is It Working?

Zoning for Marijuana – What Are Jurisdictions Doing and How Is It Working?

February 10, 2016 by Jim Doherty
Category: Marijuana

Cities and counties have the authority to zone for licensed marijuana businesses as they deem appropriate, subject to the 1,000-foot buffer zones around certain uses established in RCW 69.50.331(8)(a), which cities and counties now may reduce in size, except for those around schools and parks. See RCW 69.50.331(8)(b). They may even prohibit such businesses entirely, at least according to the attorney general’s office and the five superior courts that have so far addressed the issue. So, how have cities and counties approached their authority to zone for this new land use?

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It’s Not Too Early to Think about Laying the Foundation for Your Next Budget

It’s Not Too Early to Think about Laying the Foundation for Your Next Budget

February 9, 2016 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

I know, I know. Budget already? You just adopted your budget (or if you are like us and have a biennial budget, you just finished the mid-biennium review). But wait! If...

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Municipalities Now Responsible for Addressing View-Obstructing Roadside Vegetation

Municipalities Now Responsible for Addressing View-Obstructing Roadside Vegetation

February 4, 2016 by Bob Meinig
Category: Streets and Sidewalks

In a short, unanimous opinion issued last week, the Washington Supreme Court concluded that a municipality – a city or county – can be held liable for hazardous conditions on its roads created by naturally occurring roadside vegetation.

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Tactical Urbanism: Applying a Big City Placemaking Technique to Smaller Communities

Tactical Urbanism: Applying a Big City Placemaking Technique to Smaller Communities

February 4, 2016 by Josh Mahar
Category: Development Types

Tactical urbanism offers cities and towns of all sizes a way of testing out and engaging their communities in new placemaking techniques, without requiring major capital investments.

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