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November 2012


Can a Local Elected Official Temporarily Live Outside His/Her Jurisdiction and Remain in Office?

Can a Local Elected Official Temporarily Live Outside His/Her Jurisdiction and Remain in Office?

November 29, 2012 by Jim Doherty
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

What happens if an elected official moves out of his or her jurisdiction at some point after being elected? MRSC periodically gets calls on this issue, such as when an elected official’s house burns down or an elected official separates from his/her spouse and has to move out of the marital residence, and the official in each case cannot, temporarily, find another suitable residence within the...

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Can We Amend Our 2012 Budget after the Year Has Ended?(and Other Year-End Issues)

Can We Amend Our 2012 Budget after the Year Has Ended?(and Other Year-End Issues)

November 29, 2012 by Judy Cox
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

During the last couple weeks, our office has received some calls/emails about passing amendments to the 2012 budget during 2013. That got me thinking about an article that Toni Nelson wrote for our “Finance Advisor” column some years back. (For those of you who do not know her, Toni was the Small Cities Specialist for the Washington State Auditor's Office for 11 years and the Clerk/Treasurer for...

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Collecting Delinquent Water Bills and Terminating Service

Collecting Delinquent Water Bills and Terminating Service

November 20, 2012 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Utilities - Billing and Collection

Many cities and towns operate their own public utilities, including water service. Unfortunately, sometimes utility customers do not pay their bills. What can be done to collect unpaid accounts and, more specifically, when can water service be terminated?
The relationship between a city or town and its utility customers is contractual. If utility service is provided, and a customer does not...

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A Simple Technique for Improving Council Decision Making

A Simple Technique for Improving Council Decision Making

November 5, 2012 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Legislative Body

One of the things that has always fascinated me as a student and observer of local government has been the process that local legislative bodies use to discuss, debate, and formulate policy decisions. To my mind, much of what constitutes “good government” is a direct consequence of an open, fair, and effective legislative decision-making process. The open and fair parts are regulated by state...

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State Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Municipal Debt

State Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Municipal Debt

November 1, 2012 by Bob Meinig
Category: Debt

On October 25, the state supreme court issued a plurality decision in In re Bond Issuance of Greater Wenatchee Reg'l Events Ctr., holding that city of Wenatchee would exceed its debt limit if, without voter approval, it entered into a "contingent loan agreement" (CLA) with the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center...

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Regionalizing Local Government Services

Regionalizing Local Government Services

November 1, 2012 by Glenn Olson
Category: Intergovernmental Cooperation , Finance Advisor

Governments often assume they will realize savings by regionalizing services. In Clark County we thought we should test that hypothesis. We made the study of regionalization an important part of the county's reconfiguration project. What we found was the relationship between...

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Planned Unit Developments - Real World Experiences

Planned Unit Developments - Real World Experiences

November 1, 2012 by Bob Bengford
Category: Subdivisions and Planned Developments , Planning Advisor

The concept of planned unit developments has been around now for quite some time. Most cities and counties in Washington have adopted planned unit development ordinances. Much has been written over the years about the technical and legal nature of PUDs. This article, however, takes a look at how some of these ordinances are working in the real world. What are the major issues and challenges? Are...

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