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Featured Publication

Washington City + Town Officials Directory 2014-15 Edition

MRSC is proud to present our latest publication, Washington City + Town Officials Directory 2014-15 Edition. Provides a comprehensive list of the names and positions of elected officials and key employees of the 281 cities and towns in the state of Washington, including city hall addresses, phone numbers, population, class of government, and much more.

Order a print copy.



Other Recent MRSC Publications


Alphabetical list of all available MRSC publications

Annexation Handbook for Cities and Towns in Washington State. Report No. 19 Revised, 2014. Addresses the general topic of municipal annexation and provides assistance with the statutory procedures for annexation as well as some recurring legal questions. This version is current with the 2014 RCW.

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The Appearance of Fairness Doctrine in Washington State. Report No. 32 Revised, April 2011. $12.00 (City/County/State/Local Government)/$18.00 (All Others). Provides an overview of the appearance of fairness statute, ch. 42.36 RCW, including suggestions for assuring compliance with the law. Contains a section on commonly asked questions and a summary of cases.

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The Bidding Book for Washington Counties. Report No. 56 Revised, November 2009. $20.00 (City/County/State/Local Government)/$30.00 (All Others). This publication provides an overview of the bidding and purchasing process in Washington counties.

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Budget Suggestions for 2014. August 2013. $12.00 (City/County/State/Local Government)/$18.00 (All Others). This publication contains budget calendars for cities and counties; summaries of 2013 legislation; revenue and inflation forecasts; and articles for those interested in city and county financial issues.

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City Bidding Book - Washington State. Report No. 52 Revised, May 2013. $20.00 (City/County/State/Local Government)/$30.00 (All Others). This publication is designed to assist city and town officials in determining whether competitive bids are required for acquiring purchases or services or when contracting for public works. The Bidding Book also addresses, among other subjects, exceptions to the bidding requirements, purchases off contracts entered into by other governments, and alternative methods of contracting, including the use of a small works roster. The bidding process is discussed, as well as the handling of bidding errors and other irregularities.

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Code City Handbook. Report No. 37 Revised, June 2009. $20.00 (City)/$30.00(Other). Provides essential information for code city officials and incites their powers, duties, and alternatives that are available under the applicable forms of municipal government.

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Contracting for Services - Guidelines for Local Governments in Washington State. November 2013. $16.00 (City/County)/$24.00 (All Others). This publication is intended to provide guidance to local government agencies in Washington State on contracting for services. It includes guidance on selecting architectural and engineering consultants under chapter 39.80 RCW and on contracting for personal and purchased services. It replaces a 1994 MRSC publication titled Contracting for Professional Services in Washington State.

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A Debt Primer for Washington's Cities and Towns. Report No. 30, August 1994. $18.00. An introduction to the various aspects of municipal debt financing. Includes chapters on debt limits, debt management policies, bond issues, and the debt issuance process.


Getting into Office: Being Elected or Appointed into Office in Washington Counties, Cities, Towns, and Special Districts. Report No. 62 Revised, January 2013. $12.00 (City/County)/$18.00 (All Others). This publication addresses issues relating to: qualifying and running for elective office in cities, towns, counties, and special districts; assuming office; vacancies in office; and appointments to fill vacancies.

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Initiative and Referendum Guide for Washington City and Charter Counties. Report No. 28, January 2006. $16.00 (City/County)/$24.00 (All Others). Reviews the powers of initiative and referendum as they are exercised in cities in the state of Washington. It includes information on how to adopt these powers and which types of municipal activities are subject to these powers.

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Knowing the Territory - Basic Legal Guidelines for Washington City, County and Special District Officials. November 2013. $12.00 (City/County)/$18.00 (All Others). Describes the nature, powers and duties of municipal officials for "keeping out of trouble," discusses limitations, regulations, and admonitions regarding the exercise of governmental powers, including conflicts of interest law, the open public meetings act, appearance of fairness doctrine and similar laws. It also points out immunities and protections.

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Local Government Citizen Advisory Boards - Examples, options, and model practices for the effective and efficient use of advisory boards by local governments. Report No. 63, August 2008. $16.00(Local Government)/$24.00(Other).

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Local Government Policy-Making Process. Report No. 45, February 1999. $12.00 (City/County)/$18.00 (All Others). The purposes of this publication are to describe the local government policy-making process, outline effective roles for local officials, and to provide practical tips to make the local policy-making process for satisfying and productive.

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Local Ordinances for Washington Cities and Counties. Report No. 50, May 2000. $12.00 (City/County)/$18.00 (All Others). This report has been prepared to assist Washington county, city, and town officials in the drafting and adoption of ordinances, resolutions, motions, and related devices. The report replaces Report No. 15, Local Ordinances: The Drafting, Compilations, Codification, and Revision of Ordinances.

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Master Planned Resorts "Washington Style." Report No. 57, May 2003. $20.00 (City/County)/$30.00 (All Others). This guidebook provides suggestions for guiding the development of master planned resorts, and small-scale recreational and tourist uses. These are among the new options available for broadening economic opportunities in rural areas, while respecting traditional rural character.

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Mayor & Councilmember Handbook. The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) combined the previous Mayors Handbook and Councilmembers Handbook into one handy reference guide for all elected officials. Covers everything from presiding over meetings, resolving/preventing conflict, budget basics, statutes, parliamentary procedures, roles and responsibilities, open public meetings act, appearance of fairness and citizen participation. That’s just the start of the resources and advice you’ll find in the handbook. It’s an essential foundation for a successful council meeting.

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Municipal Cooperation Guide. Report No. 27, September 1993. $12.00. Provides an overview of the methods available to cities and towns to cooperate with other governmental units to provide services in the most efficient, Economical manner. It includes review of intergovernmental contracting, regional councils and consolidation.

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Municipal Incorporation Guide. Report No. 21 Revised, June 2011. Designed to assist residents of unincorporated communities in the state to understand the process by which a community can become incorporated as a city or town, and to help a community decide whether to incorporate.

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Municipal Research News. Published quarterly.


New City Guide - How to Start a City in Washington. Report No. 54 Revised, March 2013. $20.00 (City/County/State/Local Government)/$30.00 (All Others). Designed to assist newly incorporating cities with the process of establishing a functioning and viable municipal government.

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Nuisance Regulation for Washington Cities and Counties. Report No. 49, March 2000. $16.00 (City/County)/$24.00 (All Others). Provides a basic text that focuses on primary nuisance issues. It defines nuisances, discusses the statutory powers available to abate nuisances, and provides information on methods of enforcement, including sample ordinance provisions.

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The Open Public Meetings Act - How it Applies to Washington Cities, Counties, and Special Purpose Districts. Report No. 60 Revised, May 2012. Covers who is subject to Act, procedural requirements, executive sessions, exemptions, and penalties, and identifies relevant case law and attorney general opinions.

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Personal Services Contracting Manual for Washington Ports. Report No. 64, January 2009. $20.00 (Ports)/$30.00 (Other). In 2008, the Washington State Legislature adopted legislation (codified primarily in Chapter 53.19 RCW) designed to improve public contracting for port districts. The legislature established a policy of open competition for all personal service contracts entered into by port districts provided differentiation between the competitive procurement procedures for personal and professional services contracts.

This legislation also directed the Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) to develop guidelines for the effective and efficient management of personal service contracts in cooperation with the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA). Chapter 53.19 RCW also directs that ports entering into or amending personal service contracts after January 1, 2010 must follow the policies adopted by their commission, which must be based on those guidelines.

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Public Records Act for Washington Cities, Counties, and Special Purpose Districts. Report No. 61 (revised frequently). Because the legislature routinely updates the Public Records Act statutes, and because the courts issue many decisions each year interpreting the statutes, MRSC has chosen to update this publication as needed. The electronic version available here is our latest version. If you like to use a printed copy, we recommend that you print a new copy periodically, so that you have the benefit of the most recent updates.

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A Revenue Guide for Washington Cities and Towns. Report No. 46 Revised, June 2009. $16.00 (City)/$24.00 (Other). Contains up-to-date information on revenue sources available to cities and towns for general government purposes, including the relevant statutory references and important court decisions.

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A Revenue Guide for Washington Counties. Report No. 53 Revised, May 2010. $20.00 (City/County/State/Local Government)/$30.00 (All Others). A Revenue Guide for Washington Counties is intended primarily to assist county policymakers and administrators in understanding the array of revenue sources available for the various programs and services they provide. It is not a comprehensive listing of all the revenues available, but is rather an attempt to describe and explain the more important sources. We hope others with a more general interest in county government will also find the information useful.

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Special Purpose Districts in Washington State. Report No. 58, August 2003. $16.00 (City/County)/$24.00 (All Others). Special districts are local governments that enable citizens to obtain a variety of services not otherwise available from a city, town, or county. Since statehood, the Washington legislature authorized more than 80 different kinds of special purpose districts through a labyrinth of statutes. This publication provides an overview of special purpose districts in Washington State. The intent is to remove some of the mystery, raise visibility, and create a more orderly approach to looking at special district governance.

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Town Handbook - Handbook for Washington Town Officials - Municipalities of the Fourth Class. Report No. 24 (Revision of Report No. 20), December 1992. $14.00. Provides essential information for town officials and indicates their powers, duties and alternatives that are available under applicable forms of government.


Washington City + Town Officials Directory 2014-15 Edition. $35.00.
Provides a comprehensive list of the names and positions of elected officials and key employees of the 281 cities and towns in the state of Washington, including city hall addresses, phone numbers, population, class of government, and much more. This publication is updated every other year following the November general election.


Local and Road Improvement Districts Manual for Washington State, Sixth Edition. Report No. 59 Revised, October 2009. $30.00. This manual is intended to provide an overall perspective of detailed LID and RID procedures, to show the chronological order of responsibilities, to describe routine processes from initiation to the conclusion of financing, to reduce employee training time, and to identify potential problems and issues . This Sixth edition incorporates legislative changes and case law through September 2009.

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Washington State Small Public Works Roster Manual for Local Governments (Second Edition). Report No. 51 Revised, May 2009. Chapter 138, Laws of 2000, significantly changed small public works roster provisions for awarding public works contracts. The legislature also directed the Washington State Department of Commerce (formerly CTED) and the Municipal Research Council to prepare and distribute a Small Works Roster manual. MRSC fulfilled this original obligation in 2000 with the original Small Works Roster Manual for Local Governments in paper form. Subsequent to that effort, the Manual was published and updated online on MRSC's web site in PDF format.

This present edition is intended to provide interested users with the best of all worlds: a basic manual in paper form and in Adobe PDF format that can be viewed online and/or be printed by the user; and an online sourcebook that will be updated as new and better sample documents come to our attention.

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