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Acrimonious Acronyms in Purchasing and Contracting

Acrimonious Acronyms in Purchasing and Contracting

April 20, 2017 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Will you need an RFQ or an AFB and will you have to ask for an RFP before awarding a contract?  This post helps to demystify the most common acronyms in purchasing and contracting and when you should employ one versus another. 

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Political Speech and Lobbying by Local Government Employees: What are the Rules of Engagement?

Political Speech and Lobbying by Local Government Employees: What are the Rules of Engagement?

April 17, 2017 by Oskar Rey
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

There is a lot going on in politics these days at all levels of government. Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, it is important for government employees to know the rules of engagement. While everyone has First Amendment rights, there are certain restrictions on speech and lobbying that apply to employees of local public agencies. This blog post provides an overview of these restrictions. 

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WATVs (Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles) Issues and Reminders

WATVs (Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles) Issues and Reminders

April 12, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Licensing and Regulation

The 2013 legislature made major changes to the authority of riders to use some off-road vehicles on public roads. Since then WATVs have been increasingly used on public roads in the State of Washington. This post will provide some updates and reminders concerning issues related to WATV use.

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Visualizing Compatible Density

Visualizing Compatible Density

April 10, 2017 by Bob Bengford
Category: Planning Advisor , Design

Density is a controversial subject. This post demonstrates that streetscapes, vehicular-access elements, and building design are all components that make developments appear less dense, more livable, and attractive. 

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Succession Planning: Navigating the Incoming Wave

Succession Planning: Navigating the Incoming Wave

April 3, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

The accelerating retirement of public sector workers born between 1946-64 is predicted to hit like a wave. This post looks as what some local governments in Washington are doing to plan for the expected leadership turnover. 

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New AGO Opinion Concludes the OPMA Allows a Governing Body to Meet via Telephone or Video Conference

New AGO Opinion Concludes the OPMA Allows a Governing Body to Meet via Telephone or Video Conference

April 3, 2017 by Flannary Collins
Category: Open Public Meetings Act

​On March 21, 2017, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) issued a new opinion on the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), opining on whether a governing body can conduct a public meeting by telephone (or video) conference call. This blog post gives a quick overview of the AGO's conclusions.

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Growing Cities: How Local Governments Can Promote Urban Farming and Community Gardens

Growing Cities: How Local Governments Can Promote Urban Farming and Community Gardens

March 30, 2017 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Programs

With spring and warmer weather right around the corner (crossing fingers, here), it’s time to start planning and planting our vegetable gardens. This blog post will explore ways that local governments are helping to promote urban and community gardens and farms, and what more could be done to bolster the locally-grown food supply. 

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Using Citizen Academies to Educate and Engage your Citizenry

Using Citizen Academies to Educate and Engage your Citizenry

March 27, 2017 by Steve Butler
Category: Public Participation

Citizens academies offer constituents the opportunity to learn about different aspects of local government functions via a one-time or a series of presentations. This blog looks at a few examples of citizens academies, both within and outside of Washington State.

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Paid Sick Leave and Initiative 1433

Paid Sick Leave and Initiative 1433

March 27, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Leave Policies

Initiative 1433, approved by the voters in November 2016, sets the minimum wage for most employees (currently $11.00 per hour). But the initiative does more than that. Starting January 1, 2018, every employer in the state, including local governments, will be required to provide its employees with paid sick leave. This blog post will explore how this new requirement will affect local governments in Washington State. 

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2016 Annual Financial Report: What’s new and what’s changed?

2016 Annual Financial Report: What’s new and what’s changed?

March 22, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category:

Changes to the 2016 Annual Financial Report that affect both cash basis- and GAAP-reporting entities.This blog post address changes to common areas that will impact both cash and GAAP reporting as well as addressing new areas that will only impact cash-basis reporting. 

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Legislature Considers PRA-related Bills

Legislature Considers PRA-related Bills

March 20, 2017 by Nancy Krier
Category: Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

In the 2017 regular session, the Washington State Legislature is considering several bills that could impact the Public Records Act. This blog post highlights several that have the possibility of being far-reaching if enacted.  

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Washington Local Governments Launch Mobile Apps

Washington Local Governments Launch Mobile Apps

March 15, 2017 by Byron Katsuyama
Category:

This post looks at Washington local governments apps that deliver news and services to constituents in a mobile-friendly format.

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What Can Local Governments Do About Drones

What Can Local Governments Do About Drones

March 10, 2017 by Robert Sepler
Category: Licensing and Regulation

Wondering what the latest is regarding drones? This blog post provides a quick overview of what local governments in Washington can and cannot do to regulate drone use in their jurisdiction.

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Balance of Power Struggles in City Government

Balance of Power Struggles in City Government

March 6, 2017 by Flannary Collins
Category: Administrative and Elected Officials

The balance of power struggles currently playing out in the federal government have me thinking about similar power struggles that can happen between the executive and legislative branches at the city level. This blog will touch on these struggles, providing insight on how to handle common conflicts that arise between the legislative and executive branches of city government.

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The EEOC Issues Publications on Mental Health Conditions

The EEOC Issues Publications on Mental Health Conditions

February 28, 2017 by Matthew R. Kelly
Category: Americans with Disabilities Act , HR Advisor

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued two documents that summarize the workplace rights of job applicants and employees who have mental health conditions. Though not comprehensive, these documents provide some guidance that employers should be aware of.

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Does Your Code Provide Homelessness Solutions?

Does Your Code Provide Homelessness Solutions?

February 23, 2017 by Oskar Rey
Category:

There are a lot of policy options for alleviating homelessness and the lack of affordable housing. However, in some jurisdictions, existing codes can present unintended barriers to providing remedies for homelessness. This blog will summarize a few common issues that can arise.

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Can You Keep Yourself in Ice Cubes? – Water and Sewer Affordability

Can You Keep Yourself in Ice Cubes? – Water and Sewer Affordability

February 23, 2017 by John W. Carpita, PE
Category: Water Utilities

Water and sewer utility bills are increasing statewide as cities, counties, and water/sewer special purpose districts replace aging infrastructure, deal with the twin devils of droughts and floods, seek new or more stable water sources, increase utility resiliency and security, and comply with new rules and regulations. This post considers the impact this may have on water/sewer bills for communities across the state.

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Homelessness & Housing Toolkit Provides Best Practices, Real-World Examples for Washington Cities

Homelessness & Housing Toolkit Provides Best Practices, Real-World Examples for Washington Cities

February 21, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Housing , Tools for Planners

MRSC and AWC have partnered to document methods being employed by cities and counties to address the concurrent issues of homelessness and housing affordabilityin the Homelessness & Housing Toolkit for Cities. 

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The New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200 – Part 2

The New Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200 – Part 2

February 17, 2017 by Toni Nelson
Category: Purchasing and Contracting

Federal awards given to local governments are now subject to revised audit standards under New Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200. In the second of this 2-part series, learn more about how the certification requirement and allowable costs have changed, and what you need to do to become compliant with the new guidance. 

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Sanctuary Cities and Counties

Sanctuary Cities and Counties

February 16, 2017 by Robert Sepler
Category: Governance

Sanctuary cities and counties have recently taken center stage in the national debate on immigration. Given the relevance of this issue to local governments in Washington State, this blog post will explore what “sanctuary” jurisdictions are, how they are designated, and reasons local governments have cited for and against becoming a “sanctuary” jurisdiction.

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