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Agencies Relate Successes, Challenges to VMT Reduction

Agencies Relate Successes, Challenges to VMT Reduction

May 16, 2022  by  Alon Bassok
Category:  Climate Change Transportation and Land Use New Legislation and Regulations Guest Author

Across the state, local governments have been looking at how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing vehicle miles traveled in their communities. This blog looks at some successful strategies and common challenges. 

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Continued Use of the Public Right-of-Way for Outside Dining

Continued Use of the Public Right-of-Way for Outside Dining

May 12, 2022  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Streets and Sidewalks COVID-19

This blog examines the key components of local parklet/streatery programs that were established during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and how Washington’s local governments are now evaluating the future of those programs.

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Understanding and Defending Against Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

Understanding and Defending Against Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

May 9, 2022  by  Stevens Fox
Category:  Cybersecurity Guest Author

This guest blog focuses on Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, including how to identify them, types of attacks, and some tips on protecting your mission-critical services against them. 

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Revisiting C-PACER Two Years Later (Part 2)

Revisiting C-PACER Two Years Later (Part 2)

May 5, 2022  by  Steve Gross
Category:  Strategies and Programs

In 2020, Washington counties were offered the chance to adopt a C-PACER program that would encourage capital improvements for commercial properties in order to increase water and energy efficiency. This blog follows up on program implementation two years later.

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OPMA/PRA Emergency Proclamation Will Expire June 1

OPMA/PRA Emergency Proclamation Will Expire June 1

May 2, 2022  by  Steve Gross
Category:  Open Public Meetings Act Public Records Act COVID-19

Pandemic-related restrictions on public meetings and the processing of public records will no longer be in effect this coming June, per the newly released Proclamation 20-28.16. 

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2022 Legislation Impacting Public Works Contracting

2022 Legislation Impacting Public Works Contracting

April 28, 2022  by  Josh Klika
Category:  Purchasing and Contracting New Legislation and Regulations

SB 5693 includes funding for a new partnership between MRSC and the Washington Procurement and Technical Assistance Center to bring expanded training, outreach, and technical assistance on public works contracting for  Washington local governments. 

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A How-To Guide to Sponsoring Summer Celebrations

A How-To Guide to Sponsoring Summer Celebrations

April 26, 2022  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Streets and Sidewalks Gift of Public Funds

Summer is coming and with it, the possibility of public celebrations! But a local government should plan carefully to both make the event a success and be sure that it does not unintentionally violate the constitutional gift of public funds prohibition. 

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Using Affordable Housing Overlay Zones to Reduce the Risk of Displacement

Using Affordable Housing Overlay Zones to Reduce the Risk of Displacement

April 21, 2022  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Housing

Increased zoning can sometimes result in gentrification of a community and the displacement of vulnerable populations. Affordable housing overlay zoning is a tool that can help to increase density without triggering the unintended consequences of gentrification and displacement.

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Tapping the Power of Emerging Leaders for Climate Resilience

Tapping the Power of Emerging Leaders for Climate Resilience

April 19, 2022  by  Kif Scheuer Mackenzie Bolger
Category:  Climate Change Leadership Guest Author

CivicSpark is a service program that pairs talented young adult Fellows with local governments, state agencies, Tribes, and nonprofits to tackle climate-related projects, research, and programs. It is expanding to Washington State and accepting applications for the 2022-23 year. 

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For Local Fireworks Regulations, Timing is Everything

For Local Fireworks Regulations, Timing is Everything

April 14, 2022  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Licensing and Regulation

This blog covers the basics of when and how cities and counties may restrict the sale and/or use of fireworks within their boundaries.

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Anacortes is Getting Housing Done

Anacortes is Getting Housing Done

April 11, 2022  by  Ryan Walters
Category:  Housing Guest Author

Written by guest author and Anacortes city councilmember Ryan Walters, this blog discusses how the city reworked its development codes to encourage new affordable housing developments, and how it was able to take advantage of SHB 1406 to fund these efforts. 

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Can We Spend Lodging Tax Funds on That?

Can We Spend Lodging Tax Funds on That?

April 7, 2022  by  Eric Lowell
Category:  Lodging Tax (Hotel-Motel Tax)

MRSC frequently receives inquiries from local governments asking if a proposed use of lodging tax funds is allowable. Take our short quiz to test your knowledge!

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Municipal Regulation of Residential Tenancies

Municipal Regulation of Residential Tenancies

April 4, 2022  by  Oskar Rey
Category:  Housing

Some cities and counties have enacted tenant protection measures to help renters adversely impacted by the state's booming real estate market. This blog looks at how the courts have ruled in terms of challenges to similar regulations instituted by the City of Seattle. 

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A Primer on Safe Parking Programs for People Experiencing Homelessness

A Primer on Safe Parking Programs for People Experiencing Homelessness

March 31, 2022  by  Lisa Pool
Category:  Homelessness

Safe parking programs are operated on behalf of people who use a vehicle as their residence. They give users a sense of security while also connecting them to critical human and social services. 

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Salaries for Elected Officials

Salaries for Elected Officials

March 28, 2022  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Administrative and Elected Officials Administrative and Elected Officials-County

This blog discusses how salaries are set for elected officials, how salaries can be changed, and whether an official can request not to be paid.

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The OPMA Gets an Update from the Legislature

The OPMA Gets an Update from the Legislature

March 24, 2022  by  Flannary Collins
Category:  Open Public Meetings Act New Legislation and Regulations

The 2022 legislative session made changes to the Open Public Meetings Act, some of which take effect immediately and others not until June. This blog looks at new requirements about physical location, special meeting notice, and public comment and clarifies the effective dates.

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Statewide Mask Mandate Lifted

Statewide Mask Mandate Lifted

March 21, 2022  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  COVID-19

Governor Inslee has lifted Washington's statewide mask mandate. This blog looks at where masks are still required, what happens next, and how local governments may be impacted.

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Local Governments Take Innovative Approaches To Prepare For Electric Vehicles

Local Governments Take Innovative Approaches To Prepare For Electric Vehicles

March 17, 2022  by  Leah LaCivita
Category:  Energy Resources and Conservation

As electric vehicle use increases across Washington State, local governments are looking at ways to support, and even encourage, their use.

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Adverse Employment Action for Employee Social Media Use: Balancing First Amendment Rights and Governmental Efficiency

Adverse Employment Action for Employee Social Media Use: Balancing First Amendment Rights and Governmental Efficiency

March 14, 2022  by  Rachel Bender Turpin
Category:  Social Media Guest Author

Private companies can discipline or fire employees for offensive personal social media posts. However public employers cannot retaliate against their employees in the same way due to First Amendment rights to free speech. This blog shows how the courts weigh this tension.

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The ABCs of Piggybacking

The ABCs of Piggybacking

March 10, 2022  by  Josh Klika
Category:  Interlocal Cooperation Purchasing and Contracting

Piggybacking allows an agency to use another agency's contract to procure products, services, and public works. However, contracts should be carefully reviewed to make sure these are adaptable and beneficial and to ensure the procurement process was compliant with the law. 

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