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New Finance Consultant at MRSC

May 30, 2014 by Toni Nelson
Category: Finance

New Finance Consultant at MRSC

The timing of my arrival at MRSC as the new Finance Consultant is bittersweet. Judy Cox was the face of Public Finance at MRSC for 22 years, and her expertise and knowledge cannot be replaced. I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends. I cannot fill the shoes that she wore, but simply do my best to follow in her footsteps.

On May 12th I joined the great staff at MRSC as the new Finance Consultant and thus began another chapter in my career with local government. The road to MRSC has been full of great experiences.  It started many years ago in the Town of Twisp as their Clerk/Treasurer. For those of you who have not been there, Twisp is located in north central Washington on the Cascade Loop Highway (Hwy 20). If you like the outdoors, rural living, and cultural diversity, you would love it just as I did. My time there provided me with the opportunity to gain an understanding of the complexities of small local government. Most significant was how small towns do so much with so little and network with one another to provide support and services.

My next move was to the Washington State Auditor’s Office, where I became the “Small Cities Specialist.”  This opened my eyes, ears, and heart to the entire State of Washington. I traveled from city to city working with clerk/treasurers and finance directors, providing training and assistance in the areas of financial and legal compliance that would be reviewed during an audit (which is just about everything).  It was a very rewarding job, and along the road I met many wonderful people. Each of the individuals that I worked with provided me with a deeper understanding of how hard local government works and the value that they place on their communities.  A community is so much more than a geographic location, it’s “home.”  I can’t say that I’ve called all 281 cities/towns “home,” but it’s pretty close.

It was during this same time that I discovered public speaking.  It was certainly not a career path that I chose but rather one that chose me. Over the past 15 years I have met many of you at events such as these:
  • AWC Municipal Budgeting and Fiscal Management workshop
  • New Clerk/Treasurers training
  • Financial Reporting for “Cash Basis” entities

or, perhaps at one of the annual conferences such as WFOA, WMTA, or WMCA. The focus for me has always been to provide training opportunities and distribute information that will assist local government do their jobs more efficiently and with a greater understanding.

When the “great recession” hit the nation, it had an impact on all governments, both local and state. My next step was to the private sector, as a financial consultant for local government. I still worked with cities and expanded my area of expertise to special purpose districts. I’m getting closer to saying all 281 cities have been my home at some point in time during my travels.

All of which has led me to MRSC, a wonderful place to call home.  I am still working with and providing financial consulting services to cities, special purpose districts, and now counties. I will continue to offer training classes around the state in cooperation with AWC and others so that I keep my feet moving, and I will be  in contact with many of you over the phone or via email.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas about how the financial consulting area of MRSC can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to send me an email: I am looking forward to working with you in my new role.

About Toni Nelson

Toni has over 24 years of experience with Local Government finance and budgeting. Toni's area of expertise include "Cash Basis" accounting and reporting, budgeting, audit prep and the financial issues impacting small local government.



"Congrats Toni on your new and exciting position at MRSC. They're lucky to have you. I am excited to see the amazing things you'll do for the communities."

Mark Felchlin on Jun 6, 2014 11:24 AM

"Congratulations Toni on your new position and thank-you for your invaluable assistance to my municipal clients here in Okanogan county over the years. Mick Howe, City Attorney"

Mick Howe on Jun 3, 2014 9:09 AM

"Thanks Mike!!"

Toni Nelson on May 30, 2014 10:24 AM

"Judy was a great and trusted friend to local government finance. Toni is as well. I don't know who better to step into Judy's shadow than Toni. Welcome Toni. Mike"

Mike Bailey on May 30, 2014 9:34 AM

4 comments on New Finance Consultant at MRSC


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