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OPMA and PRA Training Requirements for Government Officials

OPMA and PRA Training Requirements for Government Officials

January 17, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Public Records Act

This blog post will provide an overview of the OPMA and PRA training requirements for local government officials
and provide resources to obtain training. 

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Introducing Linda Gallagher, MRSC’s Newest Legal Consultant

Introducing Linda Gallagher, MRSC’s Newest Legal Consultant

January 11, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category:

We are pleased to welcome Linda Gallagher as our newest MRSC Legal Consultant. 

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Year-End Personnel Topics Pop Quiz

Year-End Personnel Topics Pop Quiz

January 9, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Compensation , Termination , Leave Policies , Minimum Wage

Take a short quiz to test your memory of some common, personnel-related legal issues as well as new employment laws that came in to or remained in effect in 2017.

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December 2017 Land Use Case Law Update

December 2017 Land Use Case Law Update

January 4, 2018 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Court Decisions, AGO Opinions and Regulations , Land Use Administration

Legal Consultant Jill Dvorkin reviews the top land use cases from the latter half of 2017. These cases were heard by the State Supreme Court and may impact Washington State local governments in the future. 

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Ten Traits of an Effective Councilmember

Ten Traits of an Effective Councilmember

January 2, 2018 by Jon Mutchler
Category: Legislative Body , Administrative and Elected Officials

In this guest-authored blog post, Ferndale Mayor Jon Mulcher reflects on the traits he has witnessed in his career as a public servant that define truly effective councilmembers.

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New JLARC Guidance for PRA Tracking Mandate

New JLARC Guidance for PRA Tracking Mandate

December 21, 2017 by Brooke Frickleton
Category: Public Records Act

This post describes the new public records tracking mandate and a handbook the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee created to help agencies meet this new requirement. 

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Mobile Home Parks: The Newest Front for Housing Affordability

Mobile Home Parks: The Newest Front for Housing Affordability

December 18, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Housing

One under-recognized inventory of affordable housing is the mobile home park. Consultant Lynn Nordby looks at  how communities across the country are protecting this affordable housing resource.

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CPI Changes for Washington Indices Effective January 1

CPI Changes for Washington Indices Effective January 1

December 14, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Economic, Population and Historical Tax Data

On January 1, 2018, the Consumer Price Index will begin to implement its update for sampling areas. Finance Consultant Toni Nelson looks at how this will impact Washington local governments. 

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The Distinction between ‘Legal’ and ‘Ethical’ Behavior

The Distinction between ‘Legal’ and ‘Ethical’ Behavior

December 11, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

The line between what is legal and what is ethical is not always clear. Legal Consultant Jim Doherty looks at the definitions of each and the role these concepts play in the public sphere. 

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 Understanding Municipal Rights-of-Way: From Centerline to Edge (Part 3)

Understanding Municipal Rights-of-Way: From Centerline to Edge (Part 3)

December 7, 2017 by Oskar Rey
Category: Streets and Sidewalks

In Part 3 of Legal Consultant Oskar Rey's series on municipal rights-of-way, he looks at utilities, franchises, small cell facilities, and right-of-way use permits. 

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Top Picks: Ending Homelessness, ‘Aging in Place’ Impacts, Enhancing Walkability

Top Picks: Ending Homelessness, ‘Aging in Place’ Impacts, Enhancing Walkability

December 4, 2017 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Cycling and Walking , Homelessness

From strategies to end homelessness to seniors ‘aging in place,’ Policy Consultant Byron Katsuyama reports on emerging issues for local governments.
 

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Contracting – Some General Principles for Counties

Contracting – Some General Principles for Counties

November 30, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

This blog article discusses how counties can contract for goods and services, including the role that elected officials other than county commissioners may play in the process.

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Selecting A & E Services

Selecting A & E Services

November 28, 2017 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Public Works Consultant Judy Isaac simplifies the complicated process for procuring architectural and engineering services for projects not funded by federal dollars. 

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12 Examples of Short-Term Vacation Rental Regulations

12 Examples of Short-Term Vacation Rental Regulations

November 22, 2017 by Steve Butler
Category: Licensing and Regulation

The issue of internet-based, short-term vacation rentals has been in the news for several years thanks to the growth of companies like Airbnb and VRBO. This post offers local government examples of short-term vacation rental regulations for any jurisdictions that are contemplating adopting them.

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Seattle Experiments With Dockless Bike Share

Seattle Experiments With Dockless Bike Share

November 20, 2017 by Flannary Collins
Category: Cycling and Walking

Seattle rolled out a dockless bike pilot program this past July and the colorful, 2-wheeled results can be seen all over the city. What's next for this program and what do neighboring jurisdictions think about it?

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Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

November 14, 2017 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Elections

Legal Consulant Jill Dvorkin looks at issues that may arise after a general election, such as recounts, ties, election contests, and assumption of office.

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Ballot Measures Part 2: Forms of Government, Marijuana Bans, and Non-Revenue Measures

Ballot Measures Part 2: Forms of Government, Marijuana Bans, and Non-Revenue Measures

November 13, 2017 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections , Forms of Government-City , Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley recaps some of the non-revenue ballot measures in the general election, including Shelton abandoning its commission form of government, Port Angeles retaining its code city classification, and voters expressing support for existing marijuana bans.

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Ballot Measures Part 1: Affordable Housing Taxes, Revenue Measures, and Low Voter Turnout

Ballot Measures Part 1: Affordable Housing Taxes, Revenue Measures, and Low Voter Turnout

November 9, 2017 by Steve Hawley
Category: Revenues , Elections

Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley recaps some of the local funding measures in this year’s general election, including the state’s first affordable housing sales tax, the failure of a voted REET 2 measure, and low turnout causing problems for bonds and levies.

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Understanding Municipal Rights-of-Way: From Centerline to Edge (Part 2)

Understanding Municipal Rights-of-Way: From Centerline to Edge (Part 2)

November 7, 2017 by Oskar Rey
Category: Streets and Sidewalks

In the second of three posts on understanding municipal rights-of-way, Legal Consultant Oskar Rey discusses sidewalks, street trees, and the areas near the outer edge of the right-of-way. 

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Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need to Hold?

Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need to Hold?

November 2, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Legislative Body

One question we get asked often this time of year is: “How many public hearings are required for the budget process?" That answer is, it depends on type of government. Finance Consultant Toni Nelson reviews the requirements. 

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