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February 2018


Is Your Organization Prepared for the #MeToo Movement?

Is Your Organization Prepared for the #MeToo Movement?

February 26, 2018 by Sebris Busto James
Category: Personnel Policies , HR Advisor

The consequences of failing to prevent or ignoring sexual harassment are significant for an organization, including millions of dollars in litigation and settlements, low employee morale, high turnover, and low productivity. This post looks at recent EEOC activity in this area and offers basic advice to organizations seeking to create a workplace free of any type of harassment. 

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Supreme Court: Fire District Email Policy Violated First Amendment

Supreme Court: Fire District Email Policy Violated First Amendment

February 22, 2018 by Ramsey Ramerman
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Open Government Advisor

A recent Washington Supreme Court ruling found that the Spokane Valley Fire District's policy prohibiting employees from using department email accounts to send religious messages violated the First Amendment. This post looks at the implications for public agencies statewide. 

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Landslide Hazards: Regulating Them Can Be Hazardous

Landslide Hazards: Regulating Them Can Be Hazardous

February 20, 2018 by Greg Wessel
Category: Critical Areas , Emergency Management

Landslides are common throughout the Pacific Northwest. Regulatory agencies and local governments must do their best to understand and document the hazard potential in their jurisdictions. Guest author Greg Wessel looks at the issue and the role of local government in hazard awareness and mitigation. 

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Recapping the February Election Results

Recapping the February Election Results

February 16, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

Olympia passed the state’s second affordable housing sales tax, the Naches fire district will replace its outdated fire station, and Pullman is passing two bond measures, following uncertainty about whether the measures reached their validation requirements in November.

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ADR? What’s That?

ADR? What’s That?

February 15, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Management

Alternative Dispute Resolution offers methods that are considered “alternatives” to litigation, the traditional — and often expensive — form of dispute resolution. In this post Legal Consultant Linda Gallagher discusses two ADR methods: arbitration and mediation.

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The Annual Financial Report for 2017

The Annual Financial Report for 2017

February 12, 2018 by Toni Nelson
Category: Financial Reporting

In this post, Finance Consultant Toni Nelson reviews the changes made by the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) in its annual update to BARS, with a focus on the new annual financial reporting requirements.

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Four Bad Habits to Avoid at Council Meetings

Four Bad Habits to Avoid at Council Meetings

February 9, 2018 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body , Council-Commission Advisor

There are a number of “urban myths” about Robert’s Rules of Order that can get in the way of democratic process for your council. If these errors happen at your meetings, address them and improve your processes. 

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Prayer & Pledges—Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Prayer & Pledges—Should You or Shouldn’t You?

February 5, 2018 by Jim Doherty
Category: Legislative Body

Whether to have an invocation (prayer) or a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of a local government meeting is a matter of discretion to be decided by the local government legislative body. Legal Consultant Jim Doherty looks at these issues and provide some background on each. 

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Service Contracting for Personal and Purchased Services

Service Contracting for Personal and Purchased Services

February 1, 2018 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Agencies have wide latitude in setting their own policies and procedures when it comes to selecting and contracting for personal and purchased services. Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac defines what type of work falls under each service and how that impacts the type of contract used.

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