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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for MRSC Insight

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Elected Officials and Benefits Programs

Are elected officials considered employees? If so, are they eligible for the various benefits programs provided for in state law? This simple question requires a case-by-case examination of eligible state-based benefits programs. 

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Taking a Break – A Primer on Legal and Other Holidays

Taking a Break – A Primer on Legal and Other Holidays

People love holidays, but how do these impact government? Which holidays will an agency observe? Will offices be closed? Will it include paid time off for staff? To answer these questions, an agency should make its holiday schedule and policies around holidays readily available.

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The Role of Cities and Counties in Keeping Winter Walking (and Driving) Safe

The Role of Cities and Counties in Keeping Winter Walking (and Driving) Safe

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 its municipal roadways safe and navigable.

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How Can Local Governments Celebrate the Holidays?

How Can Local Governments Celebrate the Holidays?

Celebrating the winter holidays can be fun, but local governments and their staff and elected officials must think carefully before pulling out decorations, planning parties, or accepting gifts. 

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Annexing Non-Contiguous Territory Outside City or Town Limits

Annexing Non-Contiguous Territory Outside City or Town Limits

The Municipal Purpose Method of annexation is the only method available for a city or town wishing to annex territory non-contiguous to its jurisdictional boundaries. 

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Managing Unexpected Elections Issues

Managing Unexpected Elections Issues

Sometimes unexpected and unusual situations can arise during the election process, such as a tie between candidates or the withdrawal or death of a candidate before the election takes place.

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Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need?

Budget Hearings: How Many Do You Need?

During budget season, many local government staff and elected officials often wonder how many public hearings are required to complete the budget process. The answer generally depends on type of government and the reason for the hearing. 

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Supporting/Opposing Ballot Measures and Candidates

Supporting/Opposing Ballot Measures and Candidates

Election season raises many questions for local government staff and elected officials, especially when it comes to ballot measures and candidates running for office. What are the rules for supporting or opposing an issue or a candidate and how do these apply?  

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Taking Action Using Ordinances, Resolutions, Motions, and Proclamations

Taking Action Using Ordinances, Resolutions, Motions, and Proclamations

A governing body has several options it can use to take action on an issue. Knowing which type of action to employ and under what circumstance helps to make the process more efficient and effective.

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Expectations of Confidentiality and OPMA Executive Sessions

Expectations of Confidentiality and OPMA Executive Sessions

How confidential is information discussed during an executive session, and what are the expectations that those involved in the discussion should keep this information private?

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A How-To Guide to Sponsoring Summer Celebrations

A How-To Guide to Sponsoring Summer Celebrations

Summer is coming and with it, the possibility of public celebrations! But a local government should plan carefully to both make the event a success and be sure that it does not unintentionally violate the constitutional gift of public funds prohibition. 

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For Local Fireworks Regulations, Timing is Everything

For Local Fireworks Regulations, Timing is Everything

This blog covers the basics of when and how cities and counties may restrict the sale and/or use of fireworks within their boundaries.

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Salaries for Elected Officials

Salaries for Elected Officials

This blog discusses how salaries are set for elected officials, how salaries can be changed, and whether an official can request not to be paid.

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Balance of Power Struggles in City Government

Balance of Power Struggles in City Government

This blog touches on common struggles between executive and legislative branches of city government and provides insight on how to handle these.

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Knowing Your Roles: City and Town Governments

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. This blog offers an overview of division of power between these two branches.

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Dealing with Snow and Ice on Streets and Sidewalks

Dealing with Snow and Ice on Streets and Sidewalks

What can or should a city or county do to deal with accumulations of snow and ice on sidewalks and streets?

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You’ve Been Elected: Now What?

You’ve Been Elected: Now What?

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. 

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Shake It Up: Local Governments and Earthquake Preparedness

Shake It Up: Local Governments and Earthquake Preparedness

We live in an earthquake-prone state. What can local governments do to better prepare their agency's response, as well as public resilience, for such an emergency? 

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On-Road ATV Use Broadened Slightly In 2021

On-Road ATV Use Broadened Slightly In 2021

This blog offers an update on the use and regulation of ATVs on public roads, including an overview of two bills from 2021 impacting ATV use and licensure.

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Holding Two Public Offices: The Doctrine of Incompatible Offices

Holding Two Public Offices: The Doctrine of Incompatible Offices

This blog looks at how to determine if a person can hold two public offices simultaneously.

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Incorporating Bicycles into Your Municipal Code

Incorporating Bicycles into Your Municipal Code

This blog explores some potential “gaps” that local governments may have in their code provisions addressing bicycles, including helmet use, bicycle lanes and access, and how to regulate electric-assist bicycles. 

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When First Amendment Rights and Public Meetings Clash

When First Amendment Rights and Public Meetings Clash

This blog post looks at the authority a governing body has to establish and carry out procedures that can prevent the interruption or delay of a public meeting due to disruptive or irrelevant comments from the public or from members of the governing body itself.

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Waiving Competitive Bidding Requirements in the Event of an Emergency

Waiving Competitive Bidding Requirements in the Event of an Emergency

This blog post reviews the rules relating to waiving competitive bidding requirements during emergency situations.

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