MRSC Insight Blog
Posts for October 2016
This is the second post of a five-part series discussing the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Whatcom County v. Hirst. This post provides an overview of the water resource responsibilities and options that GMA counties now have in light of the Hirst decision.
This is the first post of a five-part series discussing the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Whatcom County v. Hirst. This post provides a general overview of the decision, which held that counties have the responsibility under the GMA to make determinations of water availability for development permit approval and cannot defer to Ecology or rely upon the decision of others when making these determinations.
In my recent PRA Performance Audit: The Costs of Fulfilling PRA Requests blog post, I focused on the SAO’s audit findings related to the costs incurred by public agencies in responding to records requests. This blog post will focus on another aspect of the SAO’s audit: approaches other states and the federal government have taken with their public records laws.
Government leaders who live and work in their community can enjoy a host of benefits, such as enhanced relationships with constituents, but what happens when the line between the public persona and the private one blurs? Using his own experiences as a city administrator, Lynn Norby discusses the lessons he learned in trying to balance the personal with the professional.
Local governments face challenges balancing the rights of employees and officials to express their religious views with the agencies' constitutional and statutory legal constraints. A recent court decision, Sprague v. Spokane Valley Fire Department, addressed this issue.
Clear and consistent guidelines allow supervisors to manage employee disciplinary issues while providing employees with the information and the opportunity to improve performance. Supervisors often coach and counsel employees to fix minor behavioral- or performance-related issues but a template, such as the 4-step progressive discipline process, gives an employers tools to proactively manage more challenging cases.
We're lucky to have so much access to spectacular open spaces and parks in Washington, but most of us can only get there during weekends or vacations. In the meantime, it's important to have access to small parks, plazas, and open spaces. So what are the secret ingredients to a successful small park or plaza?
Who owns public data? Is is reasonable for public entities to manage the availability of their data? And what is the relationship between data and open government? In this Advisor column, Michael Jacobson shares his thoughts.