MRSC Insight Blog
When winter approaches, a local government should encourage property owners to maintain sidewalks and keep them safe for pedestrians while also ensuring that it has a well-thought-out plan for keeping municipal roadways safe and navigable.
Sometimes a public meeting cannot occur at the scheduled time. When unforeseen circumstances intervene, procedures outlined in the Open Public Meetings Act allow an agency to adjourn any type of public meeting to a later time and place. Advance cancellation is also allowed.
Now that you've been elected there are a number of steps you'll need to take before assuming office, as well as some resources you might want to check out to get ready for your new adventure.
The public comment period of a public meeting can be a great time to hear from constituents and to be heard. However, elected officials should not use this period to get into back-and-forth exchanges with members of the public — for a variety of reasons.
Government agencies looking to boost retention among younger employees should consider improving their compensation packages, offering more flexibility, regularly highlighting employee contributions, and developing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
It was a mixed bag for utility legislation in 2023. There are some new obligations for utilities, but certain non-project and project actions are now categorically exempt from SEPA review.
A successful comprehensive plan will help guide community growth for decades into the future. When updating a plan, a local government should focus on using a strong planning process, conducting robust community engagement, and focusing on plan implementation.
In recent months, some city council meetings have had their public comment period hijacked by bad actors whose purpose is to make hateful comments. Local governments have some options for minimizing the chance that their meetings are compromised in such a manner.
The MRSC website has a variety of resources to offer local government staff, especially clerk/treasurers from small cities. MRSC Finance consultant Cheryl Grant gives us a preview of her favorite resources.
The Inflation Reduction Act (2022) funds infrastructure projects focused on clean energy and climate resilience through tax credits. With a total of $47 billion available to local governments, even the smaller funding programs established through the Act are significant.
Local governments often have questions about the oath of office, such as when it can be taken, who can administer it, what wording should be used, and whether it must be administered in person.
Despite the many challenges local governments face in using social media platforms, these tools offer huge benefits in terms of immediacy and reach. Agencies can put safeguards in place to stay focused even when the social media landscape seems to be in turmoil.
Downtown plans often employ a multifaceted approach, but those that include goals of expanding transportation options, addressing safety concerns, and working to bring a sense of security back to the area can spur revitalization efforts.
Several firearms-related bills were passed during the 2023 legislative session, including a ban on assault weapons, and new requirements for firearms purchase, such as background checks and a 10-day waiting period.
To create downtowns that can truly recover and thrive after a major unexpected event, cities must outline both near- and long-term steps in their downtown plans, including adaptive reuse strategies and ensuring that downtown public spaces are welcoming, safe, and exciting.
By putting certain strategies into place, organizations and teams can set themselves up for healthy conflict that results in better outputs and greater inclusion and satisfaction among employees.
MRSC has received funding to offer training and technical assistance on public works contracting and to help local governments comply with SB 5268, which modifies small works roster requirements, and HB 1050, which expands apprenticeship utilization to municipalities.
County election officials and school districts will be pleased to learn about new public records changes: one exempts voted ballots and another exempts the personal information of students in any records pertaining to the student.
What happens when an employee is accidentally paid a higher salary for several months or even several years? It could raise concerns about gift of public funds. Local governments must be careful to follow the processes outlined in the statutes when handling payroll overpayments.
New in 2023, ESHB 1533 amends the Public Records Act to exempt from disclosure certain information on employees (and dependents) who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment, or stalking or who are enrolled in the state's Address Confidentiality Program.