MRSC Insight Blog
Posts for Guest Author
The online tool, Climate Mapping for a Resilient Washington, is a compilation of the best existing climate projection information for the state and includes information on state-specific climate hazards such as reduced snowpack, sea level rise, flooding, and more.
Many Washington cities, towns, and counties have implemented complete streets programs to encourage safe access for all users, regardless of mode of transit. These programs vary from place to place, each meeting the specialized needs of local communities.
All libraries, whether they are independent districts or part of a city or town, should have both a sound collection management policy and an understanding of how to implement that policy in a way that furthers the library’s mission while reducing legal risks.
In many cities, the mayor also acts as the meeting chair. While Robert's Rules directs the chair of large groups of 12 or more members to refrain from taking part in a discussion (and focus on facilitating), these rules do not automatically apply to smaller groups.
Many local governments are updating their comprehensive plans, and in doing so, some are looking at how to develop intentional strategies that actively engage underrepresented communities in order to build a more equitable plan update in the process.
Some local governments are turning to high-efficiency, electric-powered heat pumps as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including developing programs that incentivize homeowners to install them in their place of residence.
Because local governments focus on safety and welfare of their communities, they are the first to be called on when a natural hazard strikes. Fortunately state agencies and nonprofits can offer assistance and expertise to better mitigate risk of hazards when regulating land use.
The JLARC Public Records Program reporting deadline is July 1. This guest blog covers major findings from the 2020 report as well as answers to frequently asked questions regarding the reporting process.
Across the state, local governments have been looking at how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing vehicle miles traveled in their communities. This blog looks at some successful strategies and common challenges.
This guest blog focuses on Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, including how to identify them, types of attacks, and some tips on protecting your mission-critical services against them.
CivicSpark is a service program that pairs talented young adult Fellows with local governments, state agencies, Tribes, and nonprofits to tackle climate-related projects, research, and programs. It is expanding to Washington State and accepting applications for the 2022-23 year.
Written by guest author and Anacortes city councilmember Ryan Walters, this blog discusses how the city reworked its development codes to encourage new affordable housing developments, and how it was able to take advantage of SHB 1406 to fund these efforts.
Private companies can discipline or fire employees for offensive personal social media posts. However public employers cannot retaliate against their employees in the same way due to First Amendment rights to free speech. This blog shows how the courts weigh this tension.
Guest author Ryan Walters suggests that capital facilities planning is as much about building new facilities as it is about accounting for the substantial expense of maintaining that infrastructure in the future.
The State of Washington is seeking input from local governments across the state as it works to establish reduction targets for local vehicle miles traveled and other proposed programs in order to meet key climate action targets.
During a severe weather event, unsheltered individuals are most at risk of adverse impacts. This blog looks at how local governments in Washington State have prepared to care for at-risk populations during periods of extreme heat, extreme cold, or poor air quality.
This blog looks at the many ways that local governments can build diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in their communities by highlighting specific policy examples from across Washington State.
This guest blog introduces the Zero Carbon Buildings Policy Toolkit, a free resource available to help cities, towns, and counties understand and apply green building incentives in their communities.
In this blog, guest author Deepa Sivarajan discusses why local governments should add building electrification to their toolkit when looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their jurisdiction.
Sometimes the actions of a member of a governing body cause such disruption that that body will not be able to move forward on important matters. This blog reviews what a council, commission, or board can do when dealing with rogue members.
Coming soon: delivery by robot! While the state offers some guidance on safety requirements and where these devices can operate, local governments will need to consider creating their own regulations, including where device storage units can be located.
This blog looks at municipal programs that use hotels and motels to provide temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness.
This blog, the second in a two-part series on how finding missing middle housing can expand affordable housing options, will focus on how Olympia used state-based legislation, E2SHB 1923 and SHB 2343, to encourage the development of more missing middle housing in the city.
Part 1 of this two-part blog series looks at how a missing middle housing program can bring new affordable housing options to a city, using case studies from Wenatchee, Orting, Lake Stevens, Fife, and Walla Walla.
This blog reviews what an Emergency Operations Center should include to allow staff to function effectively during an emergency.
This blog looks at the 2021 winter storm in Texas and the 2020 Beirut port explosion and asks how lessons learned from each might apply to earthquake preparedness in Washington.
This blog post will provide an overview of the New Clean Building Standard and how it applies to your publicly owned buildings.
Using Robert's Rules of Order, this blog looks at when and how a governing body can change course on a prior action.
This blog looks at the role of the after-action response in disaster planning and offers shared after-action insights local governments are finding in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This blog post discusses the current state of virtual proceedings and offers pointers for anyone navigating the shift from in-person to virtual proceedings.
This post covers a recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholding Federal Communications Commission Orders preempting many aspects of local government regulation of small wireless facilities.
This blog post reviews Proclamation 20-46, which provides additional rights and protections for workers at high risk for coronavirus complications.
This blog post offers public agencies guidance on how to provide third-party notification for public records requests during a period when local superior courts have shut down or drastically cut back on hours.
This blog post addresses Yim I and Yim II, two recent Washington Supreme Court rulings that clarify the state's regulatory takings and substantive due process jurisprudence.
This blog post looks at the recent order from the Federal Communications Commission, which addresses franchise fees local governments often charge cable operators, as well as what defines an in-kind contribution.
The public comment period of a public meeting can be a great time to hear from constituents and to be heard. However, these meetings should not devolve into back-and-forth exchanges between elected officials and their constituents.
HB 1696 updates Washington’s existing Equal Pay and Opportunities Act by requiring more transparency on pay ranges and by prohibiting employers from asking for an applicant’s wage history.
Your routine letters and forms may be creating more internal costs and constituent frustration than you realize. This post shows how reducing the jargon, simplifying the message, and talking to the reader can, instead, win over citizens.
This blog explores the importance of documentation as it relates to risk management.
This MRSC Insight blog offers a few suggestions on how to structure successful staff participation in a council meeting.