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September 2014


Employee Satisfaction Pays

Employee Satisfaction Pays

September 29, 2014 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Administration and Management

This report on the CBS Sunday Morning broadcast of August 31 offers more evidence in support of the proposition I made in a previous MRSC Insight blog post, Employee Satisfaction: What Goes Around Comes Around, that satisfied employees are good for your "brand". In that post I described how..

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What Makes A Successful Ballot Measure? A Look at the Data

What Makes A Successful Ballot Measure? A Look at the Data

September 25, 2014 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Elections

Since 2011, MRSC has collected data on the results of all ballot measures placed on the ballot by cities, counties, and the special districts we serve.  A review of the results of over 600 measures in our searchable ballot measure database shows some very interesting trends.  73% of all ballot measures succeed, but...

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Does the Open Public Meetings Act Apply to County Finance Committees?

Does the Open Public Meetings Act Apply to County Finance Committees?

September 24, 2014 by Pat Mason
Category: Open Public Meetings Act

I was asked this specific question at each of the four regional trainings on the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and the Public Records Act (PRA) that I recently participated in and that were sponsored by the Washington Association of County Officials....

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State Shared-Work Program Provides an Alternative to Layoffs

State Shared-Work Program Provides an Alternative to Layoffs

September 22, 2014 by Josh Mahar
Category: Termination

Facing layoffs in this year’s budget? You may want to consider the Employment Security Department’s Shared-Work Program. Through the program, employers...

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Privacy Rights, the Public Records Act, and Unanswered Questions

Privacy Rights, the Public Records Act, and Unanswered Questions

September 19, 2014 by Joe Levan
Category: Public Records Act

In a highly anticipated court decision that was issued recently, the Washington State Court of Appeals had an opportunity to address important unanswered questions related to what privacy rights a public official has under the Public Records Act (PRA)...

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Budget Forecasting - Revenue projections not always that easy to develop

Budget Forecasting - Revenue projections not always that easy to develop

September 16, 2014 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

It is budget time again and most of you are working on revenue forecasts that will be used to develop the budget for the next fiscal period.  Accurate revenue forecasts are essential to budget execution. If the forecast grossly overestimates the amount of future revenues, the end result will be a deficit and the potential for mid-year spending cuts.  On the other hand, if the revenue forecast is...

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De-Annexation of Property from a City – How Does That Happen?

De-Annexation of Property from a City – How Does That Happen?

September 12, 2014 by Bob Meinig
Category: Annexation

Every once in a while we get asked how property may be “de-annexed” – removed from city boundaries. Whenever I’m asked this question, I say in my response that it rarely occurs. It’s a lot easier in Washington State for property to get annexed to a city than it is for the opposite to occur. This blog discusses why that is the case.
The main reason it’s rare for property to be de-annexed...

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Fall is in the Air – and Budget Workshops are Filling Your Agendas

Fall is in the Air – and Budget Workshops are Filling Your Agendas

September 11, 2014 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Finance Advisor

You can tell that summer is winding down. The nights are longer – and cooler; Seahawk football has returned; and councils are about to start their workshops to review the preliminary budget. While the Seahawks are always an interesting subject, this article will focus on how to make the best use of your upcoming budget workshops and hopefully create the “best budget” for your organization.

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The Case for Asset Management in Public Works

The Case for Asset Management in Public Works

September 11, 2014 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Administration

This is a guest post from Toby Rickman, 2014 APWA-WA President, and Deputy Director of Public Works for Pierce County.  This post is adapted from an article in APWA-WA's latest issue of PUBLICworks Magazine.

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Yakima's Election System Deemed in Violation of Voting Rights Act

Yakima's Election System Deemed in Violation of Voting Rights Act

September 4, 2014 by Flannary Collins
Category: Elections

A federal district court judge recently ruled that the City of Yakima’s city council election system violates Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1973.  Observing that no...

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Superior Court Decision on Fife Pot Ban

Superior Court Decision on Fife Pot Ban

September 2, 2014 by Jim Doherty
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Marijuana

On Friday, August 29th, the Pierce County Superior Court issued an oral ruling, after the attorneys made their arguments, that the City of Fife has the authority to ban all  marijuana businesses. In essence, the judge agreed with the basic analysis given by the Attorney General in AGO 2014 No. 2 in January.
Because the court ruled in the city's favor on this local option issue, there was no...

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"Employers Must Accommodate Religious Beliefs," Says Washington Supreme Court

September 1, 2014 by Nate Bailey
Category: HR Advisor , Leave Policies

The Washington Supreme Court recently announced that the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) requires employers to accommodate employees' religious beliefs. The Court's recent decision in Kumar v. Gate Gourmet, Inc. marked the first time Washington's high court has directly...

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