Our Authors

MRSC Insight articles are written by the staff of the Municipal Research and Services Center, representing a broad range of talents and interests. Learn more about our authors:

Tracy Burrows, Executive Director
As MRSC’s Executive Director, Tracy seeks out innovations in local government, tracking trends in management and technology that impact your work.  She has over 20 years of local government and non-profit experience, specializing in growth management, transportation, and general city management issues.

John Carpita, P.E., Public Works Consultant
John is MRSC’s resource for engineering design, purchasing and bidding issues, contract document preparation, construction contract issues, local improvement districts, sewer, water, storm drainage and solid waste issues, as well as resource conservation. He’s a registered professional engineer and has had a widely varied 42-year career as a consultant, county engineer, city engineer and project manager.

Lynne De Merritt, Senior Research Consultant
Lynne was hired as the Center’s first professional librarian.  She is the master at tracking down the latest business conducted by Washington State local governments including documents, ordinances, contracts, and policies.  She’s had her hand in writing many of MRSC webpages, so if you need help finding examples of something you’re working on, chances are that Lynne can track it down.

Jim Doherty, Legal Consultant
Jim has 19 years of experience researching and responding to varied legal questions at MRSC.  He updates MRSC’s Public Records Act publication and has special expertise in transmission pipeline planning issues.

Susan C. Enger, A.I.C.P., Planning Consultant
Sue helps cities and counties with planning and growth management information. She has authored guidebooks on transit-supportive land use, infill development, master-planned resorts, park planning, citizen participation, and a various growth management topics for MRSC and the State.  She has directed planning departments and has extensive work experience with various-sized cities and counties.

Byron Katsuyama, Public Policy and Management Consultant
Byron has over 30 years of experience in local government policy and administration research including such areas as forms of government, strategic planning, performance measurement, and general local government management. In addition to his consulting duties, Byron also maintains the “In Focus” section of MRSC’s Web site and is editor of our “In Focus,” and “Ask MRSC” e-newsletters. He also coordinates our HR, Planning, Finance, Council/Commission and Open Government Advisor columns. In his own community of Kirkland, Byron is a member of the city’s planning commission.

Joe Levan, Legal Consultant
Joe has been a municipal attorney for many years, including as an in-house city attorney, in private practice for two municipal law firms through which he provided litigation and a range of other services to several Washington municipalities, and as part of the in-house legal team for Sound Transit.

Pat Mason, Senior Legal Consultant
Pat is recognized throughout Washington State as a highly trusted resource on municipal law.  He supervises MRSC’s legal consultant staff and regularly counsels local governments on public records, open public meetings, and just about any other municipal issue that comes up.

Bob Meinig, Legal Consultant
Bob has written extensively on the state Open Public Meetings Act and on municipal incorporation and annexation.  At MRSC, he has also advised local governments for over 22 years on diverse legal issues.

Toni Nelson, Finance Consultant
Toni began working for MRSC in May 2014. Her background in governmental accounting is extensive with over twenty-four years in the public sector. She was with the Washington State Auditor’s Office for 11 years and 9 years as the Clerk/Treasurer for the Town of Twisp. She established a focus for “Cash Basis” accounting and reporting while with the State Auditor’s Office that carried into educational classes and on-site training. She authored the Small Cities Manual, monthly articles for the Finance Advisor column for MRSC and is a speaker for state organizations such as AWC, WFOA, WMCA, and WMTA on topics pertaining to budgeting, cash basis accounting and reporting and the application of Washington State B.A.R.S. requirements.

Lynn Karl Nordby, Public Policy and Management Consultant
Lynn’s public sector career includes 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 a Credentialed Manager through the ICMA Voluntary Credentialing program.

Paul Sullivan, Legal Consultant
Paul has worked with local governments since 1974 and has authored MRSC publications on local elections, ordinances, and general local government operation.  He also provides training on the Open Public Meetings Act.

Carol Tobin, Planning Consultant
Carol has more than 25 years of experience as a planner and consultant to local governments in Washington State.  Carol’s areas of expertise include neighborhood planning, historic preservation, tourism, urban design, and environmental planning.  Carol also has a library background and started at MRSC as a librarian.

Erica Zwick, Technical Services Librarian
Erica is responsible for acquisition and organization of materials for the MRSC Library and maintenance of pages on MRSC’s Web site.   Erica also provides research and reference services to the consultants and MRSC clientele. Her strength lies in finding that elusive “needle in a haystack.” She’s up on the latest books and monographs written for a local government audience and writes about how these new publications can help you.