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Lynn Nordby Says Goodbye to MRSC

Lynn Nordby Says Goodbye to MRSC

After nearly five decades of public service, including over a decade at MRSC, I will be retiring this summer. My last day in the office will be Friday, July 13.

I don’t remember exactly when I learned about MRSC and what its services were but it’s safe to say that it was a resource to me as a city administrator for over 30 years. I think I probably called or emailed a question to someone at MRSC right up until my last week in Bainbridge Island City Hall. I’ve considered it a privilege to be able to work here providing assistance to other local government officials and staff. Those of us called to Washington public service have a truly unique asset in MRSC that other states would do well to emulate. Local government folks in other states have even confessed to using our website as a resource.

Helping solve problems and answer questions for those most closely serving the people in our communities has been a rewarding experience. Responding to questions through MRSC’s inquiry service, Ask MRSC, has given me the opportunity to use my experience and the wealth of information MRSC has accumulated to assist public servants from every corner of the state and at every level of responsibility.

MRSC has had a long tradition of producing printed guides and handbooks. When I began here, from time to time we were encouraged to write something for the quarterly, print publication, Municipal Research News. After I’d written several articles in a row, Connie Elliott, who was editing it at the time, suggested making it a regular feature and “Nordby’s Notes” became a reality, offering lessons primarily from my own experience (some learned the hard way).

About halfway through my time at MRSC, our blog MRSC Insight began covering topics of interest to local government officials and staff, and, out of this, came more frequent writing assignments. I’m proud of the posts I’ve contributed such as The Ultimate Leadership Top Ten List, Flying Lessons for Leaders and Managers, and Is Leadership Overrated? More recently, several have focused on the seemingly intractable issue of how local governments can respond to the homelessness and housing affordability crises facing many jurisdictions.

I’ve also enjoyed producing MRSC’s management and leadership focused e-newsletter. That newsletter, now known as In Focus: Management, is distributed monthly to nearly 3,000 people with an interest or involvement in local government leadership. In addition to news of interest to local government leaders, I’ve regularly tried to find unusual and thought-provoking articles for readers. A few years ago I found an article on leadership with this provocative title, “Why I Want to be Like Abraham Lincoln and Michael Jackson.” I used it in one of the first management e-newsletters we produced.

I hope that the experience I’ve shared through my writing, my coverage of current issues, and my replies to your questions has been as helpful to you as MRSC was to me when I worked in local government.

In addition to MRSC’s direct service to Washington’s public servants, we provide support to several, statewide, local-government-affiliated professional associations such as the Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA). It was my privilege to be appointed by their board to serve as WCMA’s Secretary/Treasurer for five years.

If you can’t tell already I’m proud of the work MRSC does for the people of Washington by supporting elected officials and local government staff throughout the state. I’m honored to have spent the last 10-plus years of my career working here with a team of bright and dedicated people who are Making a Difference. Only a handful of my coworkers today were here when I started, but the team in place now is just as dedicated to MRSC’s motto of “Local Government Success” as ever.

Thank you for letting me be of service.

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.

Photo of Lynn Nordby

About Lynn Nordby

Lynn’s public sector career included over 30 years in local government management and experience in virtually all municipal services including the operations of a wide variety of municipal utilities. He is now retired.