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Local Governments in the News

Below are recent news articles, studies, reports, magazine articles, and other resources that MRSC has collected regarding local government topics, with an emphasis on Washington State.

All links go to external websites. The dates listed below indicate the date they were re-posted to the MRSC website, not necessarily the date of original publication. Please note that these links were valid at the time of their original posting, but because websites and addresses may change, we cannot guarantee that all links still work.

Browse Local Government News by Topic


City of Tacoma will not enforce renters' rights initiative that passed in November  (KOMO, December 8, 2023)

Appellate court upholds Spokane initiative restricting homeless encampments  (The Center Square, December 8, 2023)

Pullman digs deep into sewer question  (Moscow-Pullman Daily News, December 7, 2023)

Forks Police Department down to one officer  (Peninsula Daily News, December 7, 2023)

Bainbridge Island considers whether to regulate special events more closely  (Bainbridge Island Review, December 6, 2023)

Spokane officially recognizes the surprisingly significant history of its iconic parking garage  (The Spokesman-Review, December 6, 2023)

Apprenticeship programs are growing as the public sector faces workforce shortages  (Route Fifty, December 5, 2023)

The correlation between trust, transparency and technology with residents and their local governments  (American City & County, December 5, 2023)

Burien approves pallet village just in time for county deadline  (MyNorthwest, December 4, 2023)

Cities crack down on homeless encampments. Advocates say that’s not the answer  (Associated Press, December 4, 2023)

‘Choose cats, not couches.’ Tacoma considers regulations on the declawing of felines  (The News Tribune, December 1, 2023)

Airway Heights Parks and Recreation Department hit by budget reductions  (Cheney Free Press, December 1, 2023)

Walla Walla to collect comments about community development funds until Dec. 20  (Union-Bulletin, November 30, 2023)

Clallam County eyes changes to park fees  (Peninsula Daily News, November 30, 2023)

Oroville City Council changes date when utility bills are ‘past due’  (Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune, November 29, 2023)

Renton forming volunteer committee that will look at positives/negatives of raising the minimum wage in the city  (Renton Reporter, November 29, 2023)

Farmland, salmon habitat find delicate balance in Snohomish county program  (Everett Herald, November 28, 2023)

Seattle, King County implement changes to mitigate King Tide flooding  (King 5, November 28, 2023)

Citizens angered after library oversight issue resurfaces in Liberty Lake  (KREM2, November 27, 2023)

Spokane permanently relaxes regulations allowing more multiplexes and development flexibility  (The Spokesman-Review, November 27, 2023)

How the issue of housing and homelessness factored in state and local elections  (Route Fifty, November 16, 2023)

The Tri-Cities cable bridge was a sensation in 1978. LED lights could make it one again  (Tri-City Herald, November 16, 2023)

City of Renton wins two Governor’s Smart Communities Awards  (Renton Reporter, November 15, 2023)

As the 'aroma' fades, Tacoma hopes green jobs could bring back its blue-collar roots  (KNKX, November 15, 2023)

Skinny roads save lives, according to a study on the width of traffic lanes  (NPR, November 14, 2023)

Cowlitz, Lewis, Wahkiakum counties join state to reduce roadway deaths  (The Daily News, November 14, 2023)

College Place officials believe AI bots responsible for racial slurs at October meeting  (Union-Bulletin, November 13, 2023)

Seattle Mayor, Interim CTO announce Generative AI Policy  (Government Technology, November 13, 2023)

Western states look to these lands for new affordable housing  (Route Fifty, November 9, 2023)

Cruise recalls driverless robotaxis after halting operations in 3 cities  (Smart Cities Dive, November 9, 2023)

Addressing opioids is ‘issue of the year’ for Snohomish County  (Everett Herald, November 8, 2023)

Neo-Nazis Zoombomb city council meeting in Ellensburg  (Ellensburg Daily Record, November 8, 2023)

Vancouver declares civil emergency: ‘Homelessness … continues to threaten the lives of residents of the city of Vancouver’  (The Columbian, November 7, 2023)

New program will use heat from King County sewers to warm privately owned buildings  (King 5, November 7, 2023)

How one Redmond ZIP code built its way to housing abundance  (KUOW, November 6, 2023)

Waitsburg recognized by state Govenor's Smart Communities Awards  (Union-Bulletin, November 6, 2023)

Can public officials block you on social media? It's up to the Supreme Court  (NPR, November 3, 2023)

Pierce County Council considers security aid grant program for small businesses  (The Center Square, November 3, 2023)

Managing tourism at core of San Juan County’s Draft Destination Management Plan controversy  (Salish Current, November 2, 2023)

Kittitas County, state officials plan for I-90 bridge shutdown  (Ellensburg Daily Record, November 2, 2023)

Lynnwood City Council discusses emergency medical facilities, undergrounding utilities  (Lynnwood Today, November 1, 2023)

Bellingham City Council votes to significantly raise fees for rental inspections  (Cascadia Daily News, November 1, 2023)

How local government can recruit and retain the Gen Z workforce  (Governing, October 31, 2023)

Port Angeles city budget adds six positions in 2024  (Peninsula Daily News, October 31, 2023)

Spokane lawmakers eye legislation to help fire victims rebuild  (The Center Square, October 30, 2023)

AI-driven 911 translation saves first responders time, money  (Route Fifty, October 30, 2023)

Santa Barbara County tests feasibility of 3D-printed affordable housing  (Route Fifty, October 27, 2023)

D.C. bans cashless businesses  (Planetizen, October 27, 2023)

No motorhomes have been towed under a 2022 Wenatchee law, but that could change as more are living in RVs  (The Wenatchee World, October 26, 2023)

Building culture while working remote in Washington State  (Government Technology, October 26, 2023)

Get ready to pay more to visit the San Juan Islands  (MyNorthwest, October 25, 2023)

Comparing municipal policies in Boston MA, San Jose CA, Seattle WA, and Tempe AZ  (National League of Cities, October 25, 2023)

Planners manage conflict every day: Here's how to get better at it  (APA Planning Magazine, October 24, 2023)

Brighter streets, safer streets: Improving pedestrian safety after dark  (Smart Growth America, October 24, 2023)

Public participants at City of Ellensburg's open house say event is ‘what government should be’  (Ellensburg Daily Record, October 23, 2023)

First day of Seattle’s new drug law brings push by police, arrests  (The Seattle Times, October 23, 2023)

Despite a growing need, Snohomish County doesn’t provide ballots in Spanish  (Everett Herald, October 20, 2023)

Interference with a firefighter or first responder now a gross misdemeanor in Lewis County  (The Chronicle, October 20, 2023)

Centralia Police Department launches pilot ‘Project Guardian’ program  (The Chronicle, October 19, 2023)

Wenatchee City Council shakes up mayoral position, appoints city administrator  (The Wenatchee World, October 19, 2023)

The 3 pillars of Washington State's enterprise data strategy  (Government Technology, October 18, 2023)

Report: Turbines off the West Coast could 'potentially triple' Pacific Northwest's wind power capability  (American City & County, October 18, 2023)

Mountlake City Council discusses proposed fee increases for child care, recreation programs  (MLT News, October 17, 2023)

Richland Police Department re-introduces Traffic Unit, an emphasis on speeding, DUI, reckless driving  (Apple Valley News, October 17, 2023)

Clallam County unveils preliminary budget with a focus on fiscal responsibility and future projects  (Forks Forum, October 16, 2023)

The communities experimenting with how to be more resilient to a changing climate  (NPR, October 16, 2023)

New jail gets formal vote of support from Spokane County Commission  (The Spokesman-Review, October 13, 2023)

Sequim picks contractor for comprehensive plan update  (Peninsula Daily News, October 13, 2023)

King County considers adding sales tax to generate $70M for cultural programs  (The Center Square, October 12, 2023)

100K expired traffic tickets take bite out of Seattle’s safety budget  (The Seattle Times, October 12, 2023)

Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council unveils Highway 28 improvement plan options: more roundabouts, more lanes, slower speeds  (The Wenatchee World, October 11, 2023)

Olympia area officials to celebrate Phase 2 of Martin Way affordable housing project  (The Olympian, October 11, 2023)

Port Angeles to give away shade trees  (Peninsula Daily News, October 10, 2023)

Poulsbo encourages community to not give cash to panhandlers  (Kitsap Daily News, October 10, 2023)

35 and Under in the Public Sector: Why Younger Workers Enter and Why They Stay (or Don't)  (Mission Square Research Institute, October 9, 2023)

New grain storage facility and food hub now open on Port of Chehalis land  (The Chronicle, October 9, 2023)

Do opportunity zones work?  (Route Fifty, October 6, 2023)

Los Angeles is using AI to predict who might become homeless and help before they do  (NPR, October 6, 2023)

Villages over high rises favored at Comp Plan event  (Bainbridge Island Review, October 5, 2023)

King County Councilmember calls for audit of juvenile diversion programs  (Federal Way Mirror, October 5, 2023)

Passing pro-housing legislation is only the first step in making housing more affordable  (Brookings, October 4, 2023)

Tacoma city workers rally for equitable wage contract that keeps up with rising cost of living  (KOMO, October 4, 2023)

Spokane County Libraries to offer free high school diploma program  (Spokane Public Radio, October 3, 2023)

Thurston County launches pretrial assessment tool to improve pretrial system  (The Chronicle, October 3, 2023)

How 'creative placemaking' enhances a sense of place  (CNU Public Square, October 2, 2023)

Ocean Shores struggles to define permanent outdoor structures for dining  (The Daily News, October 2, 2023)

Yakima shelves regional fire authority plan after neighboring fire districts object  (Yakima Herald-Republic, September 29, 2023)

Local governments share curbside composting program lessons  (Smart Cities Dive, September 29, 2023)

Feds announce millions in funding to bring salmon back to the Upper Columbia River  (NW News Network, September 28, 2023)

Mistakes to avoid when launching a government chatbot  (Government Technology, September 28, 2023)

Spokane Valley could build world-class cross country course along river  (The Spokesman-Review, September 27, 2023)

Complaints of short-term rentals soar in wake of Port Angeles moratorium  (Peninsula Daily News, September 27, 2023)

Port of Longview considers electrifying equipment to reduce greenhouse emissions  (The Daily News, September 26, 2023)

Is a new Columbia River Treaty treaty on tap?  (The Columbian, September 26, 2023)

Court blocks ballot measure to close WA rural library district  (Crosscut, September 25, 2023)

Here are a few steps cities and counties should take when a federal grant comes their way  (American City & County, September 25, 2023)

New law would mandate construction, repair of Seattle sidewalks  (The Seattle Times, September 22, 2023)

Marysville weighs mandatory jail time for repeated ‘public disorder’  (Everett Herald, September 22, 2023)

Devil in the details: How outdated zoning code stymies development  (Route Fifty, September 21, 2023)

NYC's safety-focused e-bike and e-scooter trade-in program is a US first  (Smart Cities Dive, September 21, 2023)

What if public transit was like Uber? Wilson, N.C. ended its bus service to find out  (Associated Press, September 20, 2023)

Seattle's Health 99 unit showing promise in battle against citywide fentanyl crisis  (KOMO, September 20, 2023)

Finishing touches coming for Cle Elum’s Downtown Revitalization project  (Ellensburg Daily Record, September 19, 2023)

Winthrop Council considers recommended revisions to town’s Westernization code  (Methow Valley News, September 19, 2023)

Drug decriminalization stumbled in Oregon. Other states are taking note.  (Stateline, September 18, 2023)

Water use restricted in most of Clallam County  (Peninsula Daily News, September 18, 2023)

Local Infrastructure Hub success stories: How NLC bootcamps are helping small & mid-sized cities develop grant applications  (National League of Cities, September 15, 2023)

Washougal eyes adding three new city positions  (The Columbian, September 15, 2023)

Yakima officials to host regional fire authority discussion  (Yakima Herald-Republic, September 14, 2023)

Commercial drone use to expand as FAA approves remotely piloted operations  (Smart Cities Dive, September 14, 2023)

Neighbors, Whatcom County leadership spar over potential metal shredder  (Cascadia Daily News, September 13, 2023)

WA opioid settlement with Wal-Mart means more than $1 million coming to Tri-Cities  (Tri-City Herald, September 13, 2023)

Residents on outskirts of Edmonds take step to join city  (Everett Herald, September 12, 2023)

Lands commissioner: State will install 21 fire detection cameras around Washington  (The Spokesman-Review, September 12, 2023)

Man ejected from two Longview City Council meetings for interruptions sues the city  (The Daily News, September 11, 2023)

Seattle City Council greenlights over 70 new speed cameras to curb illegal street racing  (KOMO, September 11, 2023)

Blessing or baffling? Lake Stevens’ new roundabout maze divides drivers  (Everett Herald, September 8, 2023)

Cities struggle to solve the public restroom problem  (Route Fifty, September 8, 2023)

Walla Walla Civility Project to host discussion on books in libraries  (Union-Bulletin, September 7, 2023)

NW utilities readying for high-voltage fight over Canada’s price for Columbia River power  (Tri-City Herald, September 7, 2023)

Snoqualmie City Council approves new splashpad park  (Snoqualmie Valley Record, September 6, 2023)

Could designating a 'Main Street' help downtown Longview and Kelso?  (The Daily News, September 6, 2023)

Pilot program for transit-oriented development planning: webinar Sept. 14  (Federal Transit Administration, September 5, 2023)

Reconnecting communities and neighborhoods grant program: deadline Sept. 28  (U.S. Department of Transportation, September 5, 2023)

City of Yakima plans to rezone property to allow for mental health clinic at Camp Hope  (Apple Valley News, September 1, 2023)

Rural healthcare cybersecurity aid grows, but challenges persist  (Health IT Security, September 1, 2023)

Reforms are coming to American road design  (Planetizen, August 31, 2023)

4 communities to build anti-racist data ecosystems with $5M from foundations  (Smart Cities Dive, August 31, 2023)

Shelton City Council gives preliminary approval to wastewater facility, water plan  (Shelton-Mason County Journal, August 30, 2023)

Proposed Tech Hub pitched to Grant, Adams counties  (Columbia Basin Herald, August 30, 2023)

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office receives $1,500 Operation Helping Heroes award to help restart K9 program   (The Chronicle, August 29, 2023)

Permanent ‘housing easements’ may enhance home ownership options in the Methow Valley  (Methow Valley News, August 29, 2023)

Hundreds comment on proposed agritourism code in Skagit County  (GoSkagit, August 28, 2023)

Buckley Fire Department is 90% volunteer-run  (The Courier-Herald, August 28, 2023)

22 Washington counties sue state over lack of mental health care  (Spokane Public Radio, August 25, 2023)

Why cooling centers in Seattle and elsewhere sit empty  (Grist, August 25, 2023)

Lake Wenatchee Fire & Rescue deploys cameras to detect and monitor wildfires  (The Leavenworth Echo, August 24, 2023)

Kittitas County hits brakes on proposed speed limit increase  (Daily Record, August 24, 2023)

Workers for San Juan County are getting a 32-hour workweek  (The Seattle Times, August 23, 2023)

Western Washington counties stress having a wildfire evacuation plan amid rising concerns  (KOMO, August 23, 2023)

When wildfires hit, homes built under fire-resistant codes are surviving. Communities are noticing.  (Smart Cities Dive, August 22, 2023)

Lake Stevens starts charging for police body camera footage  (Everett Herald, August 22, 2023)

Bellingham to consider banning ‘open carry’ firearms at City Hall, athletic stadiums  (The Bellingham Herald, August 21, 2023)

San Francisco launches driverless bus service following robotaxi expansion  (Associated Press, August 21, 2023)

The potential of mixed-use health districts  (CNU Public Square, August 18, 2023)

Lewis County commissioners finalize contract with new county manager  (The Chronicle, August 18, 2023)

Consultant tells Yakima City Council more than $267K needed to fix Naches River span  (Yakima Herald-Republic, August 17, 2023)

A closer look at recycling in North Central Washington  (The Wenatchee World, August 17, 2023)

Lime scooters keep ending up in the Spokane River. But despite potentially harmful batteries, agencies don’t know who should pull them out  (The Spokesman-Review, August 16, 2023)

Persistent urban air pollution the focus of 'unprecedented' NASA, NOAA research  (Smart Cities Dive, August 16, 2023)

Book battles are raging nationwide. A WA library could be nation's first to close  (The Seattle Times, August 15, 2023)

How transit-oriented housing can advance access to opportunity while curbing climate change  (Housing Matters, August 15, 2023)

This part of unincorporated Pierce County is big enough to be a city. Should it be?  (The News Tribune, August 14, 2023)

New multilingual chatbot expands access to city services  (Government Technology, August 14, 2023)

La Center City Council OKs policing proposal from Cowlitz Indian Tribe  (The Columbian, August 11, 2023)

Is HR the solution to many transit agencies' woes?   (Route Fifty, August 11, 2023)

Everett approves doubling Accessory Dwelling Units  (Snohomish County Tribune, August 10, 2023)

U.S. mayors list infrastructure as 2023's top concern  (Planetizen, August 10, 2023)

Transit agencies prep for new data requirements  (Route Fifty, August 9, 2023)

Whatcom water rights adjudication process delayed by months  (Cascadia Daily News, August 9, 2023)

Moses Lake city staff share public participation plan for development code  (Columbia Basin Herald, August 8, 2023)

Cle Elum raises water connection charge rates  (Ellensburg Daily Record, August 8, 2023)

How cellphones and fitness app data is helping create equity in public parks  (Planning Magazine, August 7, 2023)

Seattle's new plan for prosecuting drug use, explained  (Axios, August 7, 2023)

45-lot development project in Malaga approved despite neighbor pushback  (The Wenatchee World, August 4, 2023)

Port of Port Angeles looks to diversify for future  (Peninsula Daily News, August 4, 2023)

New bureau for people with Blake-related drug convictions in Washington goes live this weekend  (Northwest News Network, August 3, 2023)

Central Washington reservoir projects get $2M in federal grants  (Crosscut, August 3, 2023)

Skagit County farm owners split over proposal to stop hosting weddings  (The Seattle Times, August 2, 2023)

San Jose, Calif., publishes generative AI guidelines  (StateScoop, August 2, 2023)

States could use federal money to add Tesla chargers  (Route Fifty, August 1, 2023)

These 5 cities aim to cool down by scaling up 'smart surfaces' in coming years  (Smart Cities Dive, August 1, 2023)

Pilot shortage is good news for Tri-Cities. Here’s why the Pasco airport is thriving  (Tri-City Herald, July 31, 2023)

Yakima County Commissioners may extend moratorium on solar farms  (Yakima Herald-Republic, July 31, 2023)

King County wants to rehire employees who were fired over vaccine  (Federal Way Mirror, July 28, 2023)

Open at-large seat could tip balance of Whatcom County Council  (The Bellingham Herald, July 28, 2023)

Grant County short-term rental rules to get more clarification  (Columbia Basin Herald, July 27, 2023)

Cle Elum adopts council policies and procedures handbook  (Ellensburg Daily Record, July 27, 2023)

Some of South Portland's city offices are piloting a four-day work week  (Maine Public Radio, July 26, 2023)

Twisp, Okanogan County reach interlocal agreement over Konrad annexation  (Methow Valley News, July 26, 2023)

Edmonds police hosting event to exchange guns for gift cards  (Everett Herald, July 25, 2023)

Seattle moves forward with plan to install anti-street racing cameras  (KOMO, July 25, 2023)

Tribes and dairy farmers made a model renewable energy program. It's about to get even better  (KNKX, July 24, 2023)

CityLine, zero emissions rapid bus transit, launches in Spokane  (Spokane Public Radio, July 24, 2023)

City of Camas and DNR Urban Forestry Program team up to manage trees  (DNR Tree Link News, July 21, 2023)

Unraveling Threads: a local leader's guide to the new social platform  (National League of Cities, July 21, 2023)

How one city streamlined emergency evacuations  (Route Fifty, July 20, 2023)

Extreme heat: What federal officials want cities to know  (Smart Cities Dive, July 20, 2023)

An expensive choice: Longview restaurants face stricter rules on outside dining  (The Daily News, July 19, 2023)

The Northwest’s electricity demand is projected to rise nearly 25% in next decade  (Spokane Public Radio, July 19, 2023)

Renton Fire puts fire levy restoration rate on August ballot  (Renton Reporter, July 18, 2023)

San Juan County unveils new program to improve access to agendas, live-streamed and recorded meetings  (The Journal of the San Juan Islands, July 18, 2023)

Boom town — Two major developments coming to Vantage  (Ellensburg Daily Record, July 17, 2023)

WA repurposes a Days Inn in Lacey for those living along highways  (Crosscut, July 17, 2023)

Federal funding for municipalities to expand solar programs for low-income residents  (National League of Cities, July 14, 2023)

Mapping neighborhoods with the highest risk of housing instability and homelessness  (Urban Institute, July 14, 2023)

Food trucks and people friendly cities  (CNU Public Square, July 13, 2023)

Langley to explore new wildlife policy  (South Whidbey Record, July 13, 2023)

Seattle Attorney Davison appeals injunction on graffiti enforcement  (MyNorthwest, July 12, 2023)

Washington's new drug law was 'designed to fill our treatment centers.' Experts say it won't  (KNKX, July 12, 2023)

Broadband in the works for rural Skagit County  (GoSkagit, July 11, 2023)

Will Franklin County commissioners have to pay back cash they took in lieu of insurance?  (Tri-City Herald, July 11, 2023)

Apply now for billions in transportation grants  (National League of Cities, July 10, 2023)

10,000 bridges at risk due to poor maintenance: NTSB  (Smart Cities Dive, July 10, 2023)

Methow Valley Citizens Council sues county over access to public records  (Methow Valley News, July 7, 2023)

Grant Co. to contract for animal control study  (Columbia Basin Herald, July 7, 2023)

Seattle's slower driving speeds make it safer for pedestrians, analysis finds  (Axios, June 29, 2023)

Snohomish County gets dozens of ‘bleeding kits’ to prepare for worst-case scenarios  (Everett Herald, June 29, 2023)

2 Bellingham initiatives qualify for November ballot  (Cascadia Daily News, June 28, 2023)

Yakima drug possession cases to be prosecuted in municipal court  (Yakima Herald-Republic, June 27, 2023)

Airway Heights installing license-plate readers  (Cheney Free Press, June 27, 2023)

Could a public defender’s office be next for Clark County?  (The Columbian, June 26, 2023)

Langley hires new city administrator  (South Whidbey Record, June 26, 2023)

As people move from big cities, Northwest rural communities see economic boost  (NW News Network, June 23, 2023)

USDA announces $11B in green energy grants for rural utilities  (American City & County, June 23, 2023)

Port of Port Townsend to apply for $2.3 million grant  (Peninsula Daily News, June 22, 2023)

Water system would “bring a vibrancy” to Copalis Beach  (The Daily World, June 22, 2023)

Portland's emergency communications bureau launches AI to handle non-emergency calls  (KOMO, June 21, 2023)

Air taxis are coming soon. Zoning and regulatory authorities are not ready.  (Smart Cities Dive, June 21, 2023)

Lewis County launches online building inspection application  (The Chronicle, June 20, 2023)

Yakima airport director talks about what's next for regional airport proposal  (Yakima Herald-Republic, June 20, 2023)

Walla Walla, College Place look to amplify arts, culture by forming creative district  (Union-Bulletin, June 16, 2023)

Spokane Valley cracks down on ‘nuisance’ properties, but one council member says new law goes too far  (The Spokesman-Review, June 16, 2023)

Ellensburg talks legislative priorities, impacts of recently passed bills  (Daily Record, June 15, 2023)

Leavenworth hearing examiner to decide 70-lot subdivision's fate  (The Wenatchee World, June 15, 2023)

You could soon see beat cops in downtown Bellingham. Here’s what’s happening  (The Bellingham Herald, June 14, 2023)

From recovery to revitalization: How local leaders are unlocking the potential of the American Rescue Plan  (Brookings, June 14, 2023)

When climate disasters strike, how can cities evacuate people who don't have cars?  (Smart Cities Dive, June 13, 2023)

Wildfire smoke forecasted to impact Washington again this season  (Washington State Department of Health, June 13, 2023)

Here’s what airport group decided about possibility of new facility in Pierce, Thurston  (The News Tribune, June 12, 2023)

Mixed-use project eyed for downtown Washougal  (The Columbian, June 12, 2023)

Skagit County to consider local taxing districts to fund road projects  (GoSkagit, May 16, 2023)