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October 2012


The Open Public Meetings Act and Filling Elective Office Vacancies in a City

The Open Public Meetings Act and Filling Elective Office Vacancies in a City

October 31, 2012 by Pat Mason
Category: Open Public Meetings Act

City councils are given the authority to fill mayor and councilmember vacancies. When filling such vacancies, what can the city council do in executive session and what must it do in open session?

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What’s the Difference Between a Closed Session and an Executive Session?

What’s the Difference Between a Closed Session and an Executive Session?

October 25, 2012 by Joe Levan
Category: Open Public Meetings Act

Although the terms “closed session” and “executive session” are used by some to refer to the same thing, there is a significant distinction between the two types of sessions, and it’s important to understand that distinction to avoid confusion.

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Be Sure You're Right, Then Go Ahead (Management Lessons from Davy Crockett)

Be Sure You're Right, Then Go Ahead (Management Lessons from Davy Crockett)

October 15, 2012 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

In a public policy debate, both sides are usually convinced they are "right." But much of public policy has more to do with the perspective of the policymakers than with right or wrong, which can create challenges for the staff and managers charged with implementing public policies. Lynn Norby provides some real-life examples.

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Practical Resources for Consolidating Services

Practical Resources for Consolidating Services

October 11, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Intergovernmental Cooperation

In the current economic climate, all of us are looking for ways to do things better and with less expense.  At MRSC, we are getting lots of requests for information about consolidation as a way to reduce...

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Removal of a City Councilmember for Three Consecutive Unexcused Absences

Removal of a City Councilmember for Three Consecutive Unexcused Absences

October 10, 2012 by Bob Meinig
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

You don’t hear about this very often, but it happened last month in Lynnwood when a councilmember was removed from office by a vote of the city council because she had missed three consecutive regular council meetings without being excused for those absences by the council. (She also missed a lot of other meetings.) Removal of a city councilmember from office for this reason is specifically...

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Do We Have Too Many Local Governments in Washington?

Do We Have Too Many Local Governments in Washington?

October 1, 2012 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Forms of Government-City , Forms of Government-County

We recently had the pleasure of meeting with some staff members from the Governments Division of the U.S. Census Bureau who were visiting the state to talk with local government officials about the 2012 Census of Governments. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census of all state and local government units every five years, for years ending in 2 and 7, as required by Title 13, United States Code,...

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Take it Back, We've Changed Our Mind!

Take it Back, We've Changed Our Mind!

October 1, 2012 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body , Council-Commission Advisor

In our work with councils, special districts and other public bodies, we often encounter confusion about how a group can change an action that it has taken. For small groups like most councils, it's easy. Here is some information that will simplify the matter, based on Robert's Rules of Order, 11th edition ("Robert"). Bear with me if it seems a bit technical - we predict that understanding...

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Single Comment, Together with

Single Comment, Together with "Background Evidence," May Establish Hostile Work Environment

October 1, 2012 by M. Edward Taylor
Category: Personnel Policies , HR Advisor

In Washington, hostile work environment claims can be based on the cumulative effect of discrete acts. As a result, a hostile work environment can arise over a period of days or even years. When a claim involves several years of cumulative conduct, how do Washington courts address the situation where the conduct becomes unlawful in the middle of the series of acts?

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