skip navigation
Share this:


MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Jill Dvorkin

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.

Read more

An architectural model of a dense area of town

2023 Planning Legislation Impacting Local Governments

Common themes among these six new planning-related bills include streamlining local project review, decreasing the planning burden on smaller communities, incentivizing annexations, and increasing housing supply throughout the state.

Read more

A group sitting around a table reviews construction plans

2023 Legislative Updates to Modernize and Streamline Local Project Review

In 2023, SB 5290 introduced legislative tweaks to local project review to improve process predictability, including the establishment of grant and technical assistance programs to help local governments build the resources needed for timely permit processing.

Read more

Stack of wooden blocks with green images of net-zero and other climate actions

Implementation Strategies for Climate Action and Sustainability Plans, Part 1

Local governments have been using various strategies to help implement their climate action and sustainability plans, including working with community partners, tracking progress on climate-related goals, and engaging residents through educational programs and incentives.

Read more

Pop Quiz: Paid Family Medical Leave and the Family Medical Leave Act

Pop Quiz: Paid Family Medical Leave and the Family Medical Leave Act

Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) and the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provide extended leave, job protection, and other benefits for qualified employees, but the interplay between the two programs can be confusing. Test your knowledge.

Read more

Legal Publication Requirements and the Decline of the Local Newspaper

Legal Publication Requirements and the Decline of the Local Newspaper

Cities, towns, and counties must designate an “official newspaper” to meet certain publication requirements. Other statutes require notice or publication in a “newspaper of general circulation.” What happens when there are fewer qualified newspapers to choose from?

Read more

Read the Signs: New Ruling Clarifies On-/Off-Premises Sign Regulation

Read the Signs: New Ruling Clarifies On-/Off-Premises Sign Regulation

The 2015 ruling in Reed v. Town of Gilbert made on-/off premise sign regulation more challenging for local governments. A new ruling in City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising clarifies content-based regulations, giving local governments some breathing room. 

Read more

State and Local Governments Prepare to Celebrate Newest State Holiday: Juneteenth

State and Local Governments Prepare to Celebrate Newest State Holiday: Juneteenth

Juneteenth became an officially recognized holiday at the state and federal level in 2021, and some local governments are also choosing to make it a paid holiday and/or sponsoring organized celebrations. 

Read more

MRSC Releases Results of Local Government Climate Response Survey

MRSC Releases Results of Local Government Climate Response Survey

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.

Read more

Regulating Signs During Election Season

Regulating Signs During Election Season

This blog will touch on some frequently asked questions regarding the regulation of political signage. 

Read more

Bringing the Family to Work

Bringing the Family to Work

This blog looks at nepotism and how it applies to local governments. 

Read more

Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

This blog post provides a brief refresher on how a jurisdiction may regulate temporary, campaign-related signs in a post-Reed v. Gilbert environment.

Read more

Climate Change: What Can Local Governments Do?

Climate Change: What Can Local Governments Do?

This blog explains the basic elements of a Climate Action Plan, provides examples, and shares some of the many resources related to climate policy.

Read more

Court Upholds King County Ordinance Requiring Franchise Compensation for Use of Right-of-Way

Court Upholds King County Ordinance Requiring Franchise Compensation for Use of Right-of-Way

Can a county charge a fee for allowing a utility to use the county’s right-of-way for placement of utility infrastructure? The Washington Supreme Court ruled recently that it can. 

Read more

Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

This post addresses issues or events that may arise after a general election, such as recounts, ties, election contests, and assumption of office.

Read more

Food Waste Reduction and Sustainable Recycling: New Legislation

Food Waste Reduction and Sustainable Recycling: New Legislation

Two recent pieces of legislation, E2SHB 1114 and ESSHB 1543, are aimed at reducing food waste and creating support for long-term, sustainable recycling programs across the state. 

Read more

Affordable Housing Legislative Round-Up

Affordable Housing Legislative Round-Up

This blog post summarizes bills passed in 2019 that address affordable housing issues.

Read more

Legislature Paves the Way for Tiny Houses

Legislature Paves the Way for Tiny Houses

This blog post covers ESSB 5383, a new bill intended to enable the development of tiny house communities throughout the state.

Read more

Lessons Learned from Snowmaggedon

Lessons Learned from Snowmaggedon

This blog post will address a few of the frequently asked questions MRSC received during “Snowmageddon” this past February.

Read more

Court Rules that Proposed Initiative Allowing Unfettered Questioning of Immigration Status by City Employees Not Subject to Initiative

Court Rules that Proposed Initiative Allowing Unfettered Questioning of Immigration Status by City Employees Not Subject to Initiative

This blog post will summarize the recent decision in Global Neighborhood v. Respect Washington, as well as provide links to resources regarding the power of initiative and referendum for Washington cities and counties.

Read more

LOAD MORE