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June 2014


Seeing is Believing - CIP Interactive Map Applications

Seeing is Believing - CIP Interactive Map Applications

June 27, 2014 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Tools for Planners

I’m going to take a wild guess and speculate that most local governments do not see long lines of citizens outside of their city halls or county courthouses anxiously waiting to read the latest updates to their capital...

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Update (Correction) on New Laws that Affect City/Town Annexations

Update (Correction) on New Laws that Affect City/Town Annexations

June 26, 2014 by Bob Meinig
Category: Annexation

In my June 10 blog post, New Laws that Affect City/Town Annexations, I discussed the implications of 2013 legislation, SSB 5444, which amended RCW 84.40.175 to eliminate the requirement that county assessors annually value tax-exempt government-owned properties. I interpreted the practical result of this legislation as being that government-owned property will no longer count towards the 100...

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Wenatchee and Centralia Sued on Recreational Marijuana Issues

Wenatchee and Centralia Sued on Recreational Marijuana Issues

June 25, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Marijuana

It took a while, but it looks like the courts in Washington are going to start tackling some of the difficult issues raised by conflicts between state, local, and federal laws regarding recreational marijuana.
The City of Wenatchee rejected an ordinance last October (by a 4-3 vote) that would have allowed recreational marijuana businesses within the city. In April of this year, SMP Retail...

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The Greening of Main Street

The Greening of Main Street

June 16, 2014 by Carol Tobin
Category: Development Types

 Downtown Walla Walla. Courtesy of Downtown Walla Walla Foundation.
With the recent publication of Older, Smaller, Better: Measuring how the character of buildings and blocks influences urban vitality,...

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Update: Washington Court of Appeals Publishes Important OPMA Decision Relating to Committees

Update: Washington Court of Appeals Publishes Important OPMA Decision Relating to Committees

June 13, 2014 by Joe Levan
Category: Open Public Meetings Act

[Update to update: the state Supreme Court has now issued its decision in this case. See State Supreme Court Says Advisory Committees Are Not Subject to the OPMA, 10/6/2015] On May 15, 2014, in my blog post (“When are Meetings of Committees of a Governing Body Subject to the Open Public Meetings Act?”) I wrote about an unpublished decision by the Washington State Court of Appeals, Citizens Alliance for Property Rights Legal Fund vs. San Juan County, that sheds light on a particularly important topic under the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) (chapter 42.30...

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Frogs – A Looming Climate Change Casualty?

Frogs – A Looming Climate Change Casualty?

June 11, 2014 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Climate Change

Amphibians are the first species affected by changing environmental conditions and are a key indicator species. When amphibians have a reduction in their population numbers or even go extinct, it is usually a sign that the entire ecosystem is in danger.

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New Laws that Affect City/Town Annexations

New Laws that Affect City/Town Annexations

June 10, 2014 by Bob Meinig
Category: Annexation

Washington cities and towns should be aware of the one law affecting annexation of territory that was enacted by the 2014 Legislature and that will be effective on June 12, as well as one enacted by the 2013 Legislature that may have escaped notice.  The former has to do with the notice of an annexation, and the latter has to do with the valuation of publicly-owned property.
The 2014...

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Off With His Head!

Off With His Head!

June 5, 2014 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Leadership

 Off with their heads!!! Courtesy of Heather Wizell.
Criticism of the Veterans Administration hospital system over the revelations of massive failures brought about the resignation of retired General Shinseki...

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OFM Defines

OFM Defines "Undue Hardship" for Newly Required Unpaid Holidays

June 4, 2014 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Leave Policies

Chapter 168, Laws of 2014, which goes into effect on June 12, entitles state and local government employees "to two unpaid holidays per calendar year for a reason of faith or conscience or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization." The Office of Financial Management (OFM) was given ...

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Strategic Fiscal Management - Avoiding the Next Fiscal Cliff: Do's and Don'ts

Strategic Fiscal Management - Avoiding the Next Fiscal Cliff: Do's and Don'ts

June 1, 2014 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Council-Commission Advisor

During the past five years, many counties and cities have struggled with shrinking resources, rising health care and energy costs and a citizenry clamoring for their governments to sustain and enhance services. The question often arises as to whether local officials could have initiated strategies prior to the start of the "great recession" that would have enabled them to better maintain revenues...

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The Uncharted Fiscal Waters of Legalizing Marijuana in Washington State

The Uncharted Fiscal Waters of Legalizing Marijuana in Washington State

June 1, 2014 by FCS GROUP
Category: Marijuana , Finance Advisor

In November 2012, Washington and Colorado voters both passed statewide initiatives allowing marijuana to be grown, processed, and sold for adult recreational usage, setting those states on course for uncharted fiscal territory. Seventeen other states are now considering ...

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