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Sanctioning Rogue Board Members

Sanctioning Rogue Board Members

December 2, 2021  by  Ann G. Macfarlane
Category:  Legislative Body

Sometimes the actions of a member of a governing body cause such disruption that that body will not be able to move forward on important matters. This blog reviews what a council, commission, or board can do when dealing with rogue members. 

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Appeals Court Finds Non-Exempt Workers Must be Paid for All Required Out-of-Town Travel Time

Appeals Court Finds Non-Exempt Workers Must be Paid for All Required Out-of-Town Travel Time

November 29, 2021  by  Flannary Collins
Category:  Court Decisions and AGO Opinions Operating Policies

A recent ruling in Port of Tacoma v. Saks defines what is considered compensable hours when an employee travels for a work-related purpose.

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New Laws About Public Safety

New Laws About Public Safety

November 22, 2021  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  Law Enforcement New Legislation and Regulations

The 2021 Regular Legislative Session included several bills that impacted local law enforcement agencies, and this blog offers an overview of some of the more complex bills. 

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Making Local Government Holiday Observances More Inclusive

Making Local Government Holiday Observances More Inclusive

November 18, 2021  by  Steve Gross
Category:  Inclusive Communities

The upcoming holiday season offers municipalities a great opportunity to tie their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts into holiday observances so that everyone feels part of the celebration.

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New Program Supports Transition To Cleaner Vehicle Fleets

New Program Supports Transition To Cleaner Vehicle Fleets

November 15, 2021  by  Melinda Spencer
Category:  Energy Resources and Conservation

Local governments wanting to switch to cleaner, zero-emissions car fleets now have a new resource to consult, the Green Transportation Program. 

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How Local Ballot Measures Fared in the 2021 General Election

How Local Ballot Measures Fared in the 2021 General Election

November 10, 2021  by  Steve Hawley
Category:  Elections Forms of Government-City Courts and Criminal Justice System Transportation Finance Forms of Government-County Inclusive Communities

From changes in governance to funding for criminal justice, libraries, and transportation, this blog covers many local ballot measures across the state and how these issues fared in the recent general election.

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New Report Reviews the Efficacy of Impact Fee Deferral Programs

New Report Reviews the Efficacy of Impact Fee Deferral Programs

November 8, 2021  by  Lisa Pool
Category:  Impact Fees

JLARC recently released a report detailing the success of local government impact fee deferral programs for the construction of new development, fees that are meant to help finance construction of new public facilities.

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Federal Government Issues COVID Vaccine/Testing Requirements

Federal Government Issues COVID Vaccine/Testing Requirements

November 4, 2021  by  Steve Gross
Category:  COVID-19

New federal COVID-19 vaccine and testing requirements have been issued. The State of Washington must adopt its own rules within 30 days that will apply to local governments and must be at least as effective as the federal rules (and could possibly be more stringent).

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Introducing Josh Klika, Procurement & Contracting Consultant

Introducing Josh Klika, Procurement & Contracting Consultant

November 4, 2021  by  Josh Klika
Category:  MRSC News and Updates

MRSC welcomes Josh Klika, most recently with the City of Olympia, as the new Procurement and Contracting Consultant.

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You’ve Been Elected: Now What?

You’ve Been Elected: Now What?

November 1, 2021  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Elections Administrative and Elected Officials

Now that you've been elected there are a number of steps you'll need to take before assuming office, as well as some resources you might want to check out to get ready for your new adventure. 

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Handling Unexpected Elections Issues

Handling Unexpected Elections Issues

October 28, 2021  by  MRSC Insight
Category:  Elections

Local elections can sometimes be straightforward affairs but unexpected issues, like a tie vote, can arise. This blog reviews a few uncommon scenarios and how to properly handle them. 

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What Is a 15-Minute City? (And Why You Should Care)

What Is a 15-Minute City? (And Why You Should Care)

October 25, 2021  by  Steve Butler
Category:  Comprehensive Planning-Growth Management Cycling and Walking

What types of amenities and services can you get to within 15 minutes of leaving your front door? The 15-Minute City concept encourages the development of walkable neighborhoods where a variety of services are within easy reach. 

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Local Governments Now Required to Have Data-Sharing Agreements

Local Governments Now Required to Have Data-Sharing Agreements

October 21, 2021  by  Eric Lowell
Category:  New Legislation and Regulations Cybersecurity

Local governments will share data with other agencies for a variety of reasons. ESSB 5432 now requires agencies to have data-sharing agreements for highly sensitive data, such as HIPAA information or any information that is protected from release/disclosure by law. 

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<em>Seven Hills, LLC v. Chelan County</em>: When Does a Nonconforming Use come into Existence?

Seven Hills, LLC v. Chelan County: When Does a Nonconforming Use come into Existence?

October 18, 2021  by  Oskar Rey
Category:  Court Decisions and AGO Opinions Development Regulations and Zoning

This blog reviews the recent state Supreme Court decision in Seven Hills LLC v. Chelan County, which looked at whether a marijuana company established its business before the county placed a moratorium on marijuana production.

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More Climate-Related Legislation for 2021

More Climate-Related Legislation for 2021

October 14, 2021  by  Leah LaCivita
Category:  Climate Change New Legislation and Regulations

The 2021 legislative session produced several bills on issues related to the changing climate. This blog discusses a few, including bills that focus on reducing pollution statewide, encouraging alternative fuel use, and promoting greener commuting options. 

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MRSC Releases Results of Local Government Climate Response Survey

MRSC Releases Results of Local Government Climate Response Survey

October 12, 2021  by  Jill Dvorkin
Category:  Climate Change MRSC News and Updates

MRSC's Local Climate Response Project surveyed local government staff about their agency's concerns and actions related to climate change, and the results are available in this blog.

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Vaccine Mandates: Accommodating Disability and Religious Belief Exemptions

Vaccine Mandates: Accommodating Disability and Religious Belief Exemptions

October 11, 2021  by  Linda Gallagher
Category:  COVID-19

At this point in the pandemic, vaccine mandates of some form can be found at the national, state, and local levels. For those employees seeking exemptions from the mandate, what is the process employers must undergo to review and possibly accommodate such requests?

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As the Pandemic Recedes, Ghost Kitchens Are Here to Stay

As the Pandemic Recedes, Ghost Kitchens Are Here to Stay

October 7, 2021  by  Lisa Pool
Category:  Licensing and Regulation Development Regulations and Zoning

Ghost kitchens proliferated during the pandemic once dine-in options were curtailed and restaurants sought to make up lost revenue. With consumer demand still strong, local governments should assess whether their zoning codes address this concept. 

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You Can’t Ask That! Pop Quiz on Preemployment Inquiries

You Can’t Ask That! Pop Quiz on Preemployment Inquiries

October 4, 2021  by  Sarah Doar
Category:  Recruitment and Hiring

Do you know what questions you can and cannot ask job applicants in Washington State? Let’s find out with this pop quiz! 

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Use Of Public Facilities for Campaign Elections - 2021 General Election Edition

Use Of Public Facilities for Campaign Elections - 2021 General Election Edition

September 27, 2021  by  Steve Gross
Category:  Elections

Local governments have many questions involving how, when, and in what context public facilities can be used during campaign season. This blog covers some common questions, from political buttons and signs to what (exactly) counts as a public facility. 

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