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Our Advisors

MRSC has partnered with a number of expert practitioners from around Washington to provide additional guidance, lessons, and advice on the issues that local government leaders face every day. Below are a list of the MRSC Advisors that we are currently partnered with. If you are interested in becoming an MRSC Advisor, send us an email.

Council Commission Advisors

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P. Stephen DiJulio, a partner at Foster Pepper & Shefelman PLLC, focuses on litigation involving state and local governments, and land use and environmental law. Particular experience includes representation of jurisdictions on eminent domain, utilities (water, wastewater, storm water, solid waste systems), local improvement districts, facility siting and contractor litigation.

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments, and blogs regularly at www.jurassicparliament.com.

Stan Finkelstein is currently Chair of the Public Works Trust Board. He served for 12 years as an Adjunct Faculty Member with Seattle University's Institute for Public Service, and he also served as the Executive Director for the Association of Washington Cities from 1990 to 2009.

Jim McEntire serves in his first term as a Clallam County Commissioner, representing the east end of Clallam County. He and his wife live north of Sequim. In prior lives, he retired after 28 years as a U.S. Coast Guard officer, ten years of which were at sea in six ships, commanding the last three. After retirement from the Coast Guard, he had further service as a career civilian in three Federal cabinet departments (Transportation, Labor, and Homeland Security), retiring from the Senior Executive Service. In Clallam County, he has served as a Commissioner for the Port of Port Angeles in addition to his current office.

Bob Jean retired in 2010 after 15 years as the City Manager for University Place, Washington. He has over 35 years of city and county management experience. He is a past Board Member for AWC. He received the ICMA national Award for Staff Development and Training. He currently serves as an advisor to cities and counties as an ICMA Senior Advisor for WCMA.

Finance Advisors

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Mike Bailey is currently the Finance Director for the city of Redmond. Previously he worked as Administrator of Finance and Information Services for the city of Renton and as the Director of Finance for the city of Lynnwood. Mr. Bailey also served as president of the Washington Finance Officers Association and is the Vice Chair of the GFOA Budget Committee. An experienced CPA and GFOA budget reviewer, Mr. Bailey co-founded the annual Budget and Fiscal Management Workshops held each summer. Mr. Bailey conducts numerous workshops and has authored various articles on local government finance, including Effective Budgeting in Washington State Cities published by the Association of Washington Cities.

Tracey Dunlap, P.E. is the Director of Finance & Administration at the City of Kirkland. Prior to joining Kirkland in 2006, she was a principal and shareholder in FCS Group, a regional financial and management consulting firm (14 years). An industrial engineer registered in the state of Washington, she has worked with jurisdictions throughout the Northwest to develop and implement cost recovery and fee strategies, set utility rates, and improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Tracey's experience also includes working for a large defense contractor (5 years) and a major financial institution (3 years). She has presented on a wide array of topics for organizations including WFOA, APWA, APA, WABO, and AWC.

FCS GROUP, established in 1988, is an independent financial consulting firm that provides economic, public finance, management consulting, and financial (rates, charges, and fees) services to public sector clients inclusive of city and county governments, utilities, municipal corporations and ports, special purpose districts, and state agencies. Since the firm’s inception, FCS GROUP has delivered high-quality, cost-effective consulting services in over 2,300 engagements and served more than 525 clients. Their staff serves clients throughout the western United States and Canada from locations in Redmond, Washington and Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Randy Hinchliffe, CMC, PFO is the City Administrator-Clerk/Treasurer for the City of Waitsburg. He has been with the City of Waitsburg since 2004 and has served on various boards and commissions throughout the state including the Washington State Municipal Clerks Association Executive Board, AWC Small City Advisory Committee and Legislative Priority Committee and is currently the president of the Southcentral Washington Municipal Clerks Association.

Government Performance Advisors

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Larisa Benson is a teacher of management disciplines, a seeker of new ideas and a fan of people who choose to give their energy and talent in service to community. She is a principal consultant with The Athena Group and a faculty member at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.

John Dickson is the chief operating officer for Spokane County a role that he began in March 2013. He is leading significant operational improvement activities across Spokane County government to make it more ‘Lean’, efficient and customer-focused. Over 200 county leaders and elected officials have already completed his 4-week Lean Leadership Course and significant cost savings/avoidances are being realized across the county.

Michael Jacobson is an award-winning national leader on government performance management, Michael currently serves as the Deputy Director for Performance and Strategy in King County’s Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget. During his tenure, Michael has been responsible for establishing key elements of the county’s performance management system including King County’s first countywide strategic plan, public performance reporting, and executive performance review sessions.

HR Advisors

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Sebris Busto James is one of the top firms in Washington State representing employers since 1992 in the areas of labor and employment law representation, and human resources management counseling and training. Learn more on their webpage.

Summit Law’s Labor and Employment Group represent public and private entities in a wide range of labor and employment matters, including collective bargaining, federal and state employment law compliance, grievances, unfair labor practice complaints, wage and hour claims, and wrongful termination. Learn more on their webpage.

Cabot Dow is President of Cabot Dow Associates, Inc. He offers more than 25 years of experience representing public and private sector clients in the full spectrum of collective bargaining matters, including negotiations, mediation and arbitration proceedings. Prior to entering the labor relations consulting field, he was the Assistant City Manager and Labor Relations Director for the City of Bellevue, Washington.

Marci Wright retired in 2014 after over 16 years as the City of Shoreline’s first Human Resources Director.  Previously, she worked for Thurston County as Director of Employee and Administrative Services (1987 - 1997) and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (1980 - 1987).  Currently volunteering for MRSC she continues to be interested in the full range of human resource issues, especially training, facilitation and problem resolution.

Open Government Advisors

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Adrian Urquhart Winder is an attorney at Foster Pepper & Shefelman PLLC. Adrian represents public and private clients in complex litigation and class actions at both the trial and appellate court levels, as well as matters involving municipal governance, the Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act. She also advises clients regarding condemnation, public housing and real estate and land use matters.   

P. Stephen DiJulio, a partner at Foster Pepper & Shefelman PLLC, focuses on litigation involving state and local governments, and land use and environmental law. Particular experience includes representation of jurisdictions on eminent domain, utilities (water, wastewater, storm water, solid waste systems), local improvement districts, facility siting and contractor litigation.

Nancy Krier is the Washington Attorney General’s Office Open Government Assistant Attorney General, appointed following six years as the Public Disclosure Commission’s General Counsel. Prior to the PDC, Ms. Krier served in the AGO over 20 years, including as a Division Chief of the Licensing and Administrative Law Division, where she was also designated as a Senior Counsel. She had advised many state agencies over the past several years, including the Executive Ethics Board, the Department of Corrections, and DSHS. She has been president of Washington Women Lawyers and the Government Lawyer Bar Association. She earned her JD at the University of Washington, joining the Washington State Bar Association in 1986 and is admitted to the U.S. District Courts in Washington and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Planning Advisors

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Bob Bengford, AICP, is a Partner with MAKERS architecture, planning and urban design firm. Bob's community design work encompasses all transects, from urban downtowns and transit-oriented development to rural area planning. Since joining MAKERS 13 years ago, Bob's specialty has been helping communities craft usable development regulations and design guidelines. The combination of growing up in a sprawling Orange County (CA) tract home subdivision, reviewing development plans against antiquated and inconsistent codes in rural Bonner County (ID), and working with a great mentor at MAKERS (John Owen) have helped Bob recognize the critical importance of good development regulations and design guidelines in shaping vital and healthy communities. As a resident of Bellevue, Bob has been active in various community planning issues. He's also an active four-season bicycle commuter, hiker, gardener, and urban explorer.

Joseph W. Tovar, FAICP, helps communities create visions of their preferred futures, and how to implement them through plans, codes, projects, strategies and organizational training. He has served as planning director for the cities of Shoreline, Kirkland and Covington and as Chair of the Growth Management Hearings Board. Now in private practice, Mr. Tovar has provided consultant services to private clients as well as Snohomish and Kitsap counties, the cities of Everett, Lacey, Kirkland, and SeaTac, as well as the Association of Washington Cities. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and an Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington. He has taught land use decision-making and city planning best practices to audiences of planning commissioners, elected officials, planning directors and graduate students. More information is posted online at www.tovarplanning.com. He can be reached at joe@tovarplanning.com.

Andy Lane focuses on land use and environmental law with Cairncross & Hempelmann. He advises municipalities, landowners, and developers regarding long-range planning issues, permitting, water rights, and compliance with environmental laws. Andy takes a practical approach to the practice of law, recognizing that land use disputes can frequently be resolved by up-front planning and creative thinking rather than prolonged litigation. In addition to helping private and municipal clients resolve legal disputes, Andy also partners with planners and engineers to provide consulting services to municipalities in land use and Growth Management Act ("GMA") matters. Andy has worked with numerous city and county planners, planning consultants, and State agencies on behalf of his municipal and private clients. Andy also educates elected officials, planning commissioners, and planning staff regarding land use law and procedure. In 2012, Andy was elected to the Board of the Planning Association of Washington, where he currently is the Chair of the Education Committee.

Jill Sterrett has more than 30 years of experience as a planner and consultant to federal agencies, utility companies, and local governments in Washington State, Oregon, and California. Jill's areas of expertise include planning for climate change, comprehensive plans, historic preservation, strategic planning, and environmental planning. Jill is currently teaching as an affiliate instructor at the University of Washington in the Department of Urban Design and Planning, where she teaches a graduate course in Climate Change and Infrastructure.


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