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Please Stop: Handling Public Requests

Please Stop: Handling Public Requests

October 15, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Public Records Act

Municipal employees sometimes must deal with a variety of requests, and some can be quite challenging. This article looks at what local governments can and cannot broadly do in terms of responding to large public records requests and complaints.  

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Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need to Hold?

Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need to Hold?

October 11, 2019 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?" This post reviews the requirements. 

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Sanctioning Rogue Board Members

Sanctioning Rogue Board Members

October 8, 2019 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body

This post looks at how a board can sanction a member that repeatedly disrupts the work — and progress — of that governing body.

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Cyber Plans: What to Do If Your System Is Attacked

Cyber Plans: What to Do If Your System Is Attacked

October 4, 2019 by Laura Crandall
Category: Cybersecurity

This blog is the first installment of a 2-part series on cybersecurity preparation, with a focus on the most popular ways criminals are using to gain access to systems and how to plan for a service interruption.

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Long-Term Care Trust Act Brings Services and Support to Washington Residents

Long-Term Care Trust Act Brings Services and Support to Washington Residents

September 27, 2019 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Compensation , New Legislation and Regulations

The newly created Long-Term Care Trust Act will offer an employee-financed program to provide payment or partial payment for long-term services and support to qualified Washington residents who have paid into the program and need assistance. 

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Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies: 2019 Legislation

Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies: 2019 Legislation

September 26, 2019 by Sarah Doar
Category: Emergency Management , New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post looks at SB 5514, HB 1147, and SB 5012, three pieces of recent legislation that address how local governments and law enforcement should respond during active emergencies. 

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Shake It Up: Local Governments and Earthquake Preparedness

Shake It Up: Local Governments and Earthquake Preparedness

September 23, 2019 by Nina Forbes
Category: Emergency Management

This blog post offers concrete strategies that local governments in Washington can take to prepare for an earthquake, as well as plan for the post-recovery period.

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Food Waste Reduction and Sustainable Recycling: New Legislation

Food Waste Reduction and Sustainable Recycling: New Legislation

September 19, 2019 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: New Legislation and Regulations , Utilities

Two recent pieces of legislation, E2SHB 1114 and ESSHB 1543, are aimed at reducing food waste and creating support for long-term, sustainable recycling programs across the state. 

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Want Better Teamwork? Take More Breaks

Want Better Teamwork? Take More Breaks

September 16, 2019 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Performance Management-Measurement

A recent study suggests that team members in problem-solving groups need time alone as well as face-to-face meetings to get the best possible group results. 

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IPD Set to Exceed 1% for Setting 2020 Property Taxes

IPD Set to Exceed 1% for Setting 2020 Property Taxes

September 10, 2019 by Toni Nelson
Category:

The rate of inflation on the implicit price deflator for personal consumption expenditures over the past 12 months is 1.396%, meaning local governments may levy the full 1% increase or bank it for future use. 

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New Ruling Addresses the Extent of the "Public Records" Definition

New Ruling Addresses the Extent of the "Public Records" Definition

September 5, 2019 by Flannary Collins
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Public Records Act

A new decision from the Washington State Supreme Court addresses the extent of the “Public Records” definition, which now provides more clarity for local governments. 

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Key Takeaways from the AWC Budget and Finance Management Workshop

Key Takeaways from the AWC Budget and Finance Management Workshop

September 4, 2019 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting , Financial Management

This blog covers some key financial management takeaways from the 2019 Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Budgeting and Financial Management Workshop.

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Election Season Has Arrived - Here

Election Season Has Arrived - Here's How to Do the Right Thing

September 3, 2019 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Elections

The election season has arrived in Washington State, and with it, many questions on what is and is not legal during campaigns. This blog post reviews a host of topics, from the prohibition on the use of public resources to where (and how) to hold candidate forums.

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Don’t Get into Back-and-Forth Exchanges During Public Comment

Don’t Get into Back-and-Forth Exchanges During Public Comment

August 29, 2019 by Ann G. Macfarlane
Category: Legislative Body , Council-Commission Advisor

The public comment period of a public meeting can be a great time to hear from constituents and to be heard. However, these meetings should not devolve into back-and-forth exchanges between elected officials and their constituents. 

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Electronic Vendor Fraud: How to Protect your Agency from the Latest Cybercrimes

Electronic Vendor Fraud: How to Protect your Agency from the Latest Cybercrimes

August 26, 2019 by Laura Crandall
Category: Cybersecurity

Ransomware, phishing schemes, and plain old hacking are just a few of the cybersecurity issues that local governments must contend with now. This blog covers the most recent electronic vendor fraud cases and the steps that your agency can take to protect itself against this type of fraud.

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Rights and Limits on Filming in Public Facilities

Rights and Limits on Filming in Public Facilities

August 23, 2019 by Aidan Mathis
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions

This blog post looks at "1st Amendment Audits, " the rights of individuals to film in public spaces, and how local governments can legally respond. 

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Scooter Legislation Passes, Sets Stage for Statewide Expansion

Scooter Legislation Passes, Sets Stage for Statewide Expansion

August 19, 2019 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Cycling and Walking , New Legislation and Regulations

This blog post looks at ESHB 1772, which amended state regulations regarding “motorized foot scooters,” as well as the status of pilot and established electronic scooter share programs in Washington.

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Recent PRA Developments — Dog Days of Summer Edition

Recent PRA Developments — Dog Days of Summer Edition

August 16, 2019 by Oskar Rey
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Public Records Act

This blog article covers a recent Attorney General opinion and a Washington Court of Appeals case, both of which address the Public Records Act. 

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Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 Primary Election

Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 Primary Election

August 13, 2019 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections , Fire Protection , Emergency Medical Services , Sales and Use Taxes

Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley reviews some ballot measure results from the recent primary election in this blog post. 

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2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part 3: SHB 1295

2019 Legislative Outcomes for Procurement and Contracting - Part 3: SHB 1295

August 7, 2019 by Judy Isaac
Category: Purchasing and Contracting , New Legislation and Regulations

As part of a series on 2019 legislation that impacts municipal contracting and procurement, this blog post provides an overview of SHB 1295, which makes procedural revisions to the alternate public works contracting methods of Design Build and Job-Order Contracting.

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