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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.



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Oregon takes massive step toward recriminalizing drug possession  (Oregon Public Broadcasting, March 4, 2024)

Everett pallet shelter community is 1st in US exclusively for homeless families with kids  (KOMO, March 4, 2024)

Moses Lake hopes to reduce overwatering with rate adjustments  (Columbia Basin Herald, March 1, 2024)

Chelan Commissioners to do community outreach meetings in March  (NewsRadio 560 KPQ - KPQAM, March 1, 2024)

Spokane Valley will get larger police force, at the cost of road maintenance and other city services  (The Spokesman-Review, February 29, 2024)

New book highlights how GIS improves outcomes  (Planetizen, February 29, 2024)

Council mulls future of East Langley  (South Whidbey Record, February 28, 2024)

Neighbors in power struggle with Everett PUD over pole installation plans  (King 5, February 28, 2024)

Douglas County building a moderate risk waste facility  (The Wenatchee World, February 27, 2024)

Port of Port Angeles updates on John Wayne Marina, Marine Trade Center includes new tariffs  (Peninsula Daily News, February 27, 2024)

Draft Okanogan County zoning code update includes stricter water regulations   (Methow Valley News, February 26, 2024)

The Town of Malden begins a rebirth  (Moscow-Pullman Daily News, February 26, 2024)

New pilot program pairs elderly Mainers with younger adults looking for affordable housing  (WGME, February 23, 2024)

How 3 cities are improving snow removal with software  (Smart Cities Dive, February 23, 2024)

Yakima Valley Conference of Governments holds public meetings on draft regional transportation plan  (Apple Valley News, February 22, 2024)

Cities know that the way police respond to mental crisis calls must change. But how?  (Route Fifty, February 22, 2024)

Vancouver City Council wants to expand Affordable Housing Fund into county but details need ironing out  (The Columbian, February 21, 2024)

Seattle needs greater authority to tear down abandoned buildings, fire chief says  (KOMO, February 21, 2024)

Ballot measure meant to prevent gerrymandering in Spokane passing overwhelmingly  (The Spokesman-Review, February 20, 2024)

Renton Pavilion Events Center redesign may finish in 2026  (Renton Reporter, February 20, 2024)

First responders are getting new help in how to respond to EV fires and related emergencies  (Government Technology, February 16, 2024)

Can floating homes help us dodge climate hazards?  (APA Blog, February 16, 2024)

Spokane Valley receives $5.3 million in federal grants for road preservation  (KREM2, February 15, 2024)

How to limit urban noise  (Planetizen, February 15, 2024)

5 evacuation efficiency planning tips for any scenario  (American City & County, February 14, 2024)

New tool: Complete Streets Story Map  (Smart Growth America, February 14, 2024)

Seattle takes public feedback ahead of surveillance systems purchases for crime fighting  (KOMO, February 13, 2024)

King County Sheriff’s Office to develop language access program  (Federal Way Mirror, February 13, 2024)

Longview library to up ESL programs as local Spanish speakers increase  (The Daily News, February 12, 2024)

Short-term rental regulations coming to Mason County  (Shelton-Mason County Journal, February 12, 2024)

Chelan County changing system for emergency alerts to cell phones  (NewsRadio 560 KPQ - KPQAM, February 9, 2024)

Is passenger-ferry service for the San Juan Islands possible?  (Salish Current, February 9, 2024)

La Conner talks about solar energy for fire station, schools  (GoSkagit, February 8, 2024)

Tonasket Council approves bid for security cameras for public works, parks  (Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune, February 8, 2024)

Skagit temporarily curbs its tourism industry on farmland  (My Bellingham Now, February 7, 2024)

Mountlake Terrace City council OKs Interurban Trail easement with Snohomish County PUD  (MLT News, February 7, 2024)

Eastside light rail trains to start 'practice runs' between Bellevue and Redmond  (King 5, February 6, 2024)

Latest trends in parks and recreation  (Planetizen, February 6, 2024)

What is permanent supportive housing?  (National League of Cities, February 5, 2024)

Infrastructure 'bootcamps' help smaller cities win federal grants  (Route Fifty, February 5, 2024)

Ephrata’s ‘new’ mayor pro tem looks at growing as residents choose  (Columbia Basin Herald, February 2, 2024)

There is a King County election happening — but online only  (Crosscut, February 2, 2024)

Public comments threatened across Kitsap County  (Kitsap Daily News, February 1, 2024)

Snohomish County PUD may buy Monroe air field to be its campus for east county  (Snohomish County Tribune, February 1, 2024)

Bringing Complete Streets to rural communities  (Planetizen, January 31, 2024)

New process created to review offensive landmarks and street names in Spokane, including Monaghan statue  (The Spokesman-Review, January 31, 2024)

Spokane County, Defense Department team up on internship program  (NACo, January 30, 2024)

Washington state's plan to combat election deepfakes  (Axios, January 30, 2024)

Drones are changing emergency response in Bellevue  (Smart Cities Dive, January 29, 2024)

The parked and the curious: What's going on with parking in downtown Yakima?  (Yakima Herald-Republic, January 29, 2024)

To save downtowns, cities need to do more than turn offices into housing  (Urban Institute, January 26, 2024)

Affordable housing gets boost in congressional tax reform proposal  (Bloomberg CityLab, January 26, 2024)

Jefferson County commissioners ask DNR to consider land swap  (Peninsula Daily News, January 25, 2024)

Public defenders are on the front lines of Washington's worst crises, and there aren't enough  (KNKX, January 25, 2024)

Chelan County to apply for state grant with sustainability plan for Stehekin  (News Radio 560 KPQ, January 24, 2024)

Clark Regional Wastewater District receives fifth award  (The Columbian, January 24, 2024)

Hate speech is hijacking public meetings. One Pierce County city has a plan to stop it  (The News Tribune, January 23, 2024)

How tech can democratize community engagement  (Route Fifty, January 23, 2024)

$41 mil comes to WA, OR for EV charging stations  (My Bellingham Now, January 22, 2024)

‘Sticker shock.’ New city council reconsiders Pasco’s 140% water rights fee increase  (Tri-City Herald, January 22, 2024)

Arlington, Marysville buried the hatchet in the ’90s; now it’s paying off in the Cascade Industrial Center  (Everett Herald, January 19, 2024)

Volunteer firefighters have been on the decline for decades. Wisconsin has a solution  (Wisconsin Public Radio, January 19, 2024)

Airbnbs, short-term rentals face uncertain future following crackdown in Port Angeles  (KUOW, January 18, 2024)

Rock Island mayor wants to expand city's urban growth area  (The Wenatchee World, January 18, 2024)

Downtown Walla Walla employers call for safety improvements ahead of parking fine increase  (Union-Bulletin, January 17, 2024)

After hate speech at MLT meetings, city will require registration for those commenting remotely  (MLT News, January 17, 2024)

Port Angeles gets $2M to install EV chargers  (My Clallam County, January 16, 2024)

72 people applied for the Seattle City Council’s vacant seat  (Crosscut, January 16, 2024)

Report: Smart land use policies have increased housing supply and kept rent low in Minneapolis  (American City & County, January 12, 2024)

Buildings can reduce energy intensity by up to 38%: report  (Smart Cities Dive, January 12, 2024)

City of Vancouver funds tutoring program aimed at addressing learning loss in at-risk communities  (The Columbian, January 11, 2024)

Why cities are turning to climate change dashboards  (Government Technology, January 11, 2024)

More details emerge on FCC’s cyber program for schools, libraries  (Route Fifty, January 10, 2024)

Long Beach receives grant for restroom repairs  (Chinook Observer, January 10, 2024)

Renton’s new sales tax will generate millions to fix and build walkways  (Renton Reporter, January 9, 2024)

Whatcom council may ask governor, president to declare fentanyl emergency  (Cascadia Daily News, January 9, 2024)

Cities with soda taxes saw sales of sugary drinks fall as prices rose, study finds  (KUOW, January 8, 2024)

In Chelan, Douglas counties, policing includes de-escalation, mental health and body cameras  (The Wenatchee World, January 8, 2024)

US traffic control device standards get long-awaited update  (Smart Cities Dive, January 5, 2024)

Grant County among areas hardest hit by air pollution, study finds  (Columbia Basin Herald, January 5, 2024)

Ellensburg completes feasibility study for new performing arts venue  (Ellensburg Daily Record, January 4, 2024)

Report: Public perceptions of homelessness don't accurately capture the challenges cities face  (American City & County, January 3, 2024)

Meet the CARE Team, Seattle’s new mental health crisis responders  (Crosscut, January 3, 2024)

Investigation finds Lynnwood illegally changed public comment policy after racist comments disrupt prior council meeting  (Lynnwood Times, January 2, 2024)

New ‘missing middle’ housing law runs into barriers in Spokane  (The Center Square, January 2, 2024)

Port of Everett seeks to expand tax district countywide  (Snohomish County Tribune, December 29, 2023)

Attorney shortage continues in courts around WA, with new proposals on the table  (Yakima Herald-Republic, December 29, 2023)

Woodland City Council signs off on first reading of cannabis zoning law  (The Daily News, December 21, 2023)

How to make skills-based hiring work  (Route Fifty, December 21, 2023)

City life is too lonely. Urban planning can help.  (Bloomberg CityLab, December 20, 2023)

Wenatchee Convention Center renovations reviewed by hearing examiner  (The Wenatchee World, December 20, 2023)

Bothell just built a downtown. A new crop of leaders will tackle what’s next  (The Seattle Times, December 19, 2023)

Everett City Council debates 30-day jail sentence ordinance for repeat offenders  (KOMO, December 19, 2023)

Hate speech trend means Pierce County city won’t take public comments via Zoom, for now  (The News Tribune, December 18, 2023)

Blaine Police officers get funding for mental health wellness  (KGMI, December 18, 2023)

Winery operators not happy with Yakima County's proposed agritourism rules  (Yakima Herald-Republic, December 15, 2023)

How 'Daylighting' intersections can save lives  (Planetizen, December 15, 2023)

How design can help mitigate extreme heat  (Planetizen, December 14, 2023)

Public-sector workers report taking fewer and fewer vacation days  (Route Fifty, December 14, 2023)

Bainbridge Island may limit online comments during meetings due to ‘hate speech’  (Bainbridge Island Review, December 13, 2023)

How Salt Lake succeeded in keeping its downtown busy  (Governing, December 13, 2023)

Is requiring new apartments to include affordable units the right move for Vancouver? It’s working in Redmond  (The Columbian, December 12, 2023)

Residents can now talk to Lacey council members about land-use cases  (The Olympian, December 12, 2023)

Automated traffic speed cameras get the green light in Mukilteo  (Everett Herald, December 11, 2023)

Can Washington bridge its political divide? Some want to try  (Crosscut, December 11, 2023)

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)

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

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)

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

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

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