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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for January 2024

Active senior couple running outdoors in park along lake

Is Your Community Age Friendly?

What can planners do to make their communities more welcoming for residents as they age? Research shows that investments in transportation infrastructure, compact, mixed-use land use patterns that support walkability, and diverse housing options can help people age in place.

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Bundle of mail marked "return to sender"

Residency Requirements for Local Government Officials and Appointees

Must an elected official, advisory (e.g., volunteer) board member, or city or county administrator reside in the jurisdiction they serve or work for? The answer to this question depends on the position, and in some cases, local policies. 

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New multi-unit construction on empty lot

Using Surplus Public Property to Create New Affordable Housing

Does your agency own surplus property? RCW 39.33.015 allows public agencies to transfer, lease, or dispose of surplus real property to a public, private, or nongovernmental entity at low or no cost if it is for public benefit — and 'public benefit' includes affordable housing.

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Volunteer drops off food at a church based food pantry

Best Practices When Contracting With Faith-Based Organizations

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, local agencies may want to review their contracting policies with respect to faith-based organizations. But, in the words of Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “Don’t Panic!”

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A diverse group of happy adults and kids sitting in a garden

Whatcom County Boosts Engagement Efforts to Build a More Equitable Advisory Board

In order to contribute to building the health and well-being of young children and their families, Whatcom County developed a diverse, community-driven Child and Family Well-Being Task Force through innovative policies and increased community engagement. 

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A women is interviewed by a panel

Hiring Staff: Roles of Mayor/Manager Versus the City/Town Council

When hiring staff in cities or towns, what role does the council play? What role does the mayor (or manager) play? To make the best hiring decisions, the legislative and executive branches should work cooperatively and limit activities to their respective statutory roles.

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Exterior of a town hall with flag displayed

Knowing Your Roles: City and Town Governments

Conflicts in city and town governments between the executive and the legislative branches can be the result of confusion as to these roles and their responsibilities. In such cases, the parties should revisit how power is divided between these two branches.

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To Support Employee Mental Health, Local Governments Think Creatively

Local governments are using out-of-the-box thinking to help employees feel safe, supported, and secure at work, but also to ensure that that their work is meaningful and thier efforts are recognized. 

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A black leather office chair with a sign stating vacancy taped to it

Vacancies in Local Elected Office: Understanding the New Rules for Special Purpose Districts

Adopted by the legislature in 2023, SSB 5437 created new requirements for certain special purpose districts that need to appoint a candidate to fill a vacant position on their governing body. 

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The word unprepared with 'un' crossed out

Small Works Rosters Are Changing: Are You Ready?

Thanks to legislation in 2023, changes are coming to small works contracting requirements for state agencies and local government entities, and these agencies/entities only have until July 1 of this year to prepare.

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