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Farewell to MRSC’s Public Policy Consultant and Finance Analyst, Laura Crandall


October 21, 2020 by Byron Katsuyama
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Farewell to MRSC’s Public Policy Consultant and Finance Analyst, Laura Crandall

Laura Crandall, MRSC’s Public Policy Consultant and Finance Analyst since August 2018, recently left to take a new position with Seattle University where she will be teaching public management courses in their Master of Public Administration (MPA) program.

In her two years with MRSC, Laura made a number of lasting contributions to the work we do for local governments in Washington, including policy and finance related inquiry research, web content development, e-news editing, blog posts, and her work on various special projects.

Like all of MRSC’s legal and policy consultants, Laura spent much of her time researching and responding to inquiries from local government officials and staff focusing, in her case, on policy and finance issues. All together Laura responded to over 600 inquiries on a wide range of topics.  

Laura also worked on several MRSC webpage update projects, including a new page providing guidance on credit card acceptance and the imposition of fees, temporary shelters and amenities for unhoused people, and general updates to our affordable housing and homelessness pages.

For our e-newsletter program Laura was responsible for the production and editing our monthly finance and management e-newsletters that have grown to have a combined subscriber base of over 6,000 Washington city, county, and special district elected officials and staff. Laura handled e-news production through our Constant Contact platform and assisted with curating hundreds of local government related research reports, blogs, and articles, in addition to equal amounts of relevant state and local news reports.

Laura also authored many helpful blog posts particularly on topics relating to the COVID-19 response, online public meetings, elected officials’ use of social media and personal devices, 5G pre-emption, and cyber-security risk reduction. Her blog posts relating to online meetings at the outset of the pandemic, including an overview of available remote meeting platforms, facilitation of remote public comments, and many “how-to” tips, were especially well-received by local government agencies that had to act quickly to transform their in-person council and board meetings to online meetings that also allowed for public access and participation.

In her special projects work, Laura played a key role in the development of a new MRSC “emerging issues” project aimed at improving our ability to identify, track, and respond to emerging local government issues. The new emerging issues process will help MRSC to be more responsive to the information needs of local officials and staff through continuous monitoring of and reporting on emerging issues as they first appear and as they continue, or not, to grow in importance to Washington local governments.

On a more personal note, I have enjoyed working with Laura these past two years as a valuable member of MRSC’s policy team where we shared many long and thoughtful conversations about Washington’s most pressing and challenging local government issues, including how to address the challenges of homelessness, affordable housing, racial equity, community engagement, police reform, cyber-security, the devastating impacts of COVID-19, and many more, that demonstrated both her insightful mind and her great passion for the important work that we are all privileged to do.

We wish Laura the best in all of her future endeavors and know that her new MPA students will benefit greatly from her wealth of local government knowledge and experience.


MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.

About Byron Katsuyama

Byron began work at the Center as a Research Assistant in July 1978. He holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Washington and an M.P.A. from the University of Washington's Evan’s School of Public Policy and Governance. After completing his M.P.A., Byron joined MRSC's consulting staff as a Public Policy and Management Consultant concentrating on municipal administration and policy analysis. Byron is responsible for research in such areas as emerging local government issues, best practices, strategic planning, performance measurement, and local government management. In addition to his consulting duties, Byron also maintains the "Focus" section of MRSC's website and is editor of our "In Focus" and "Ask MRSC" e-newsletters. He also coordinates our HR, Planning, Finance, Government Performance, and Council/Commission Advisors. In his own community of Kirkland, Byron also served for eight years as a member of the city's planning commission. Byron is a member of the Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

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