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October 2016


OSHA Takes Aim at Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

OSHA Takes Aim at Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

November 1, 2016 by Nate Bailey
Category: Personnel Policies , New Legislation and Regulations

Workplace policies that require mandatory drug or alcohol testing after an injury has taken place may be out of compliance—and may lead to steep fines—according to a new OSHA rule set to take effect in November. Written by attorney Nate Bailey, from Sebris Busto James, this Advisor column explores the rule in greater detail. 

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Approaching Your County’s Post Hirst Water Resource Responsibilities

Approaching Your County’s Post Hirst Water Resource Responsibilities

October 31, 2016 by Neil Caulkins
Category: Water Resources , Court Decisions and AGO Opinions

This is the second post of a five-part series discussing the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Whatcom County v. Hirst. This post provides an overview of the water resource responsibilities and options that GMA counties now have in light of the Hirst decision. 

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New Ruling Affirms GMA Counties’ Big Role in Water Resource Planning

New Ruling Affirms GMA Counties’ Big Role in Water Resource Planning

October 27, 2016 by Neil Caulkins
Category: Water Resources , Court Decisions and AGO Opinions

This is the first post of a five-part series discussing the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Whatcom County v. Hirst. This post provides a general overview of the decision, which held that counties have the responsibility under the GMA to make determinations of water availability for development permit approval and cannot defer to Ecology or rely upon the decision of others when making these determinations.
 

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“Unconfusing” Marijuana Tax Distribution

“Unconfusing” Marijuana Tax Distribution

October 24, 2016 by Jim Doherty
Category: Revenues , Marijuana

RCW 69.50.540, the statute that provides the details on marijuana excise tax appropriations and distributions, is confusing. Here’s my attempt to provide a compressed, simplified version of the statute.

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PRA Performance Audit: Comparing Washington’s PRA to Other States

PRA Performance Audit: Comparing Washington’s PRA to Other States

October 19, 2016 by Flannary Collins
Category: Public Records Act

In my recent PRA Performance Audit: The Costs of Fulfilling PRA Requests blog post, I focused on the SAO’s audit findings related to the costs incurred by public agencies in responding to records requests. This blog post will focus on another aspect of the SAO’s audit: approaches other states and the federal government have taken with their public records laws. 

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Local Leadership: When the Professional and the Personal Collide

Local Leadership: When the Professional and the Personal Collide

October 17, 2016 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Leadership

Government leaders who live and work in their community can enjoy a host of benefits, such as enhanced relationships with constituents, but what happens when the line between the public persona and the private one blurs? Using his own experiences as a city administrator, Lynn Norby discusses the lessons he learned in trying to balance the personal with the professional.

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Addressing Religious Speech in the Workplace

Addressing Religious Speech in the Workplace

October 14, 2016 by Oskar Rey
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions

There may have been a time when politics and religion were not discussed in polite company, but those days have passed. Local governments now face challenges in finding a balance between the rights of employees and officials to express their views and the statutory and constitutional constraints under which local agencies operate. This blog post will analyze a recent Washington case that addressed religious speech in the workplace.

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A 4-Step Approach to Progressive Discipline

A 4-Step Approach to Progressive Discipline

October 11, 2016 by Marci Wright
Category: HR Advisor , Administration and Management

Clear and consistent guidelines allow supervisors to manage employee disciplinary issues while providing employees with the information and the opportunity to improve performance. Supervisors often coach and counsel employees to fix minor behavioral- or performance-related issues but a template, such as the 4-step progressive discipline process, gives an employers tools to proactively manage more challenging cases. 

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9 Elements of Successful Small Parks and Plazas

9 Elements of Successful Small Parks and Plazas

October 5, 2016 by Steve Butler
Category: Parks and Recreation

We're lucky to have so much access to spectacular open spaces and parks in Washington, but most of us can only get there during weekends or vacations. In the meantime, it's important to have access to small parks, plazas, and open spaces. So what are the secret ingredients to a successful small park or plaza?

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Who

Who "Owns" Public Data?

October 4, 2016 by Michael Jacobson
Category: Performance Management-Measurement , Government Performance Advisor

Who owns public data? Is is reasonable for public entities to manage the availability of their data? And what is the relationship between data and open government? In this Advisor column, Michael Jacobson shares his thoughts.

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