YEAR | 2011

University of Washington School of Public Health

BERK managed the development of a Strategic Plan that will guide the future of the UW’s School of Public Health for many years. The Plan includes strategies to strengthen its core education and research missions, as well as targeted topical areas of focus that will ensure the School remains at the forefront of emerging public health challenges. Key elements of plan development included an off-side All-School retreat and engagement of the full SPH community through brownbag discussions, a survey, and social media.

The Final Plan was adopted unanimously by the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, the Faculty Council, and the SPH Executive Council.

University of Washington School of Public Health

Washington State Joint Transportation Committee

Efficiencies in the Construction and Operation of State Transportation Projects

In 2013, the Washington State Legislature directed the Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) to conduct a study to identify the major cost drivers and evaluate efficiency initiatives in the construction and operation of Washington State highway and bridge improvement and preservation projects. BERK conducted this study guided by a nine member Advisory Panel.

The study had three objectives: 1) To develop a broad understanding of the costs of transportation projects and their drivers; 2) To determine whether transportation projects in Washington cost more than in other states; and 3) To identify reforms or efficiency measures. Our primary source of information was a database that contained 2,292 completed projects completed between 2003 and 2012. In examining cost drivers, we looked at five key factors: project scale, state-specific regulations, labor costs, cost of materials and risk assignment.

Snohomish County Tourism Strategy

Snohomish County’s tourist strategy earns award
HeraldNet | 12.19.11

Community Center for Education Results Baseline Report

One region’s cradle-to-college approach
Seattle Times | 1.12.12

Road Map Project Report highlights urgent need to improve education –cradle to college and career–in South King County and South Seattle
The Highline Times | 12.14.11

Student achievement in ‘troubling state’ | Federal Way policy hailed as bright spot
Federal Way Mirror | 12.14.11

Improving Education With Collective Action
Impatient Optimists | 12.14.11

Community Center for Education Results

BERK was instrumental to the creation of The Road Map Project Baseline Report, working in close collaboration with the Community Center for Education Results (CCER). BERK completed tasks ranging from outlining the structure of the document, editing content developed by CCER, creating the overall design look and feel, developing key and beautiful infographics and maps, and crafting the final product.

The Road Map Project is a collective impact initiative to dramatically improve education outcomes in South King County and South Seattle, and to close achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color. The Baseline Report describes where things currently stand in the Road Map Region and charts a course for attaining ambitious yet achievable goals. The Report describes the urgent need for collective action, and turns the spotlight on efforts that are already making a difference.

Community Center for Education Results

Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division

BERK conducted an assessment of the economic contribution of Washington State’s Aviation System to inform key policy debates at the state and local level regarding support for Washington’s aviation system. The comprehensive study assessed the economic contribution of each of the state’s 135 public-use airports; the many ways communities, businesses, and individual users derive value from aviation services; and the extent to which specific core state industries are dependent on the aviation system to maintain a competitive position in their respective markets.

In addition to a final report, the project resulted in profiles for each public-use airport in Washington and an online calculator tool that allows the public to estimate economic impacts of different “what-if” scenarios at airports.

Snohomish County Tourism Strategy

County’s strategic tourism plan on mark
The Snohomish Times | 12.10.11

Department of Commerce Small Business Credit Initiative Program

Feds give $19.7 mil for state business lending, new VC fund
HeraldNet | 12.05.11

Paul Roberts

An investment in transportation is an investment in jobs and growth
Everett Herald | 09.17.2011

Greenwich Library Community Survey

Survey shows strong support for Greenwich Library
Greenwich Post | 11.18.2011

Greenwich Library Community Survey

Digital Resources a Top Priority: Library Users
The Daily Greenwich | 11.18.2011

Greenwich Library Community Survey

Greenwich Library to Keep Investing in Books
Greenwich Patch | 11.17.2011

Greenwich Library Community Survey

Greenwich Library releases results of community survey
Greenwich Time | 11.16.2011

Greenwich Library Community Survey

Greenwich Library releases results of community survey
Connecticut Post | 11.16.2011

Washington State Department of Commerce

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) was created through the federal Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and funded with $1.5 billion to support state programs that increase capital access to small businesses. Under SSBCI, Washington was eligible for $19.7 million in federal funds. Since Washington did not have an existing program that would be eligible for the funds, this project involved the design and development of a new small business credit program.

Working closely with the Department of Commerce, BERK served as the project manager for the application to the U.S. Treasury. In this role, we convened and facilitated two Advisory Committees, one representing small business interests and the other representing credit providers, focused on identifying lending programs to meet the SSBCI eligibility requirements. We also researched existing credit programs in other states and spoke to lenders about their willingness to participate in proposed programs. The U.S. Treasury approved Washington’s application awarding the state $19.7 million in December, 2011.

Excellent Schools Now

BERK worked with key members of the Excellent Schools Now coalition, including the League of Education Voters, Partnership for Learning, Stand for Children, and Teachers United, to craft this ambitious grassroots education reform agenda for the State of Washington. BERK analyzed and synthesized stakeholder feedback from an early draft of A+ Washington and incorporated this input into subsequent drafts.

BERK facilitated several meetings of the Excellent Schools Now Steering Committee to achieve consensus on the contents of A+ Washington, including core strategies and actions, and the timeframe for implementation.

WEDC Defense Cluster Impact on Washington State Economy

Tuesday Jolt: Getting Defensive
Publicola | 11.01.11

Washington State Auditor’s Office Performance Audit Study

Sonntag tackles business regulations
Washington Policy Center | 10.20.2011

JTC Fare Media Study

Washington State Ferries study find fewer frequent riders in past decade
Kitsap Sun | 10.18.2011

JTC Fare Media Study

Ferry riders take fewer trips, but revenue up
Seattle Times | 10.10.2011

North Lot Redevelopment

Parking tiff settled; stadium-lot development ready to go
Seattle Times | 09.22.11

City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management

BERK assisted thee City of Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management in establishing a regional public information protocol, one element of the eight-county Puget Sound Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Program Disaster Coordination Plan. The Public Information Element will guide information collection, sharing, and public dissemination in the event of a regional catastrophic emergency.

We assessed current information and communication needs and gaps to develop recommendations for the Public Information Element, organized by before, during and after a catastrophic event. We then built regional consensus and finalized the strategies through discussion of options, opportunities, and challenges with stakeholders. The final Public Information Element was reviewed and adopted by the Puget Sound region.

Port of Cleveland Strategic Plan

Flats East Bank developers raise late objections to Port Authority strategic plan
Crain’s Cleveland Business | 09.21.2011

Port of Cleveland Strategic Plan

Port authority OKs strategic plan over developer’s objection
Cleveland.com | 09.21.2011

Rachael Katz

Rachael is a policy analyst with experience in the public and non-profit sectors at the local, state, and federal levels. She is a talented researcher, writer, and facilitator with a keen sense for developing creative organizational and policy solutions. Rachael graduated summa cum laude from New York University and earned her M.P.A. from the UW Evans School of Public Affairs. Prior to joining BERK, she worked as a policy project manager for the Pacific Forest Trust and served as an intern with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Passionate about giving kids a voice in Washington’s state politics, Rachael serves as a board member with the Children’s Campaign Fund.

Racheal Bellinger

Racheal is the firm’s Administrative Manager. With over seven years of administrative support experience, she brings a sense of organization and efficiency to office operations. Racheal offers support to functions throughout firm, including accounting, IT, payroll, project staff support, and client care. Prior to joining BERK, she was the Executive Assistant to the President of a Seattle-based risk-management company, and was the volunteer Events and Membership Coordinator for the King County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Racheal has been an active member of her community through her role as an advocate for minority-owned businesses and early childhood education with the Hispanic Chamber and as a volunteer at local animal shelters in Washington, California, Nevada, and Utah.

City of Seattle OED & Washington Global Health Alliance

Global Health Cluster Mapping & Market Opportunity Assessment

Seattle’s OED and the WGHA, with support from Washington’s Department of Commerce and We Work for Health contracted with BERK to update work done in 2009 to map the global health cluster in Washington. Through a portfolio of graphically-rich products, this project describes and maps the state’s global health cluster highlighting its reach and contributions across the state and around the world.

We also developed a folio and a report focused on identifying opportunities for Washington-based businesses and organizations to develop, manufacture, and distribute global health technologies and products. The report summarizes findings from interview and data collected from 59 global health organizations. It describes the key characteristics of health-related products and identifies actionable strategies to promote collaborations in Washington that improve health outcomes and local economic development.

City of Seattle Office of Economic Development and Washington Global Health Alliance

Seattle’s OED and the WGHA, with support from Washington’s Department of Commerce and We Work for Health contracted with BERK to update work done in 2009 to map the global health cluster in Washington. Through a portfolio of graphically-rich products, this project describes and maps the state’s global health cluster highlighting its reach and contributions across the state and around the world.

We also developed a folio and a report focused on identifying opportunities for Washington-based businesses and organizations to develop, manufacture, and distribute global health technologies and products. The report summarizes findings from interview and data collected from 59 global health organizations. It describes the key characteristics of health-related products and identifies actionable strategies to promote collaborations in Washington that improve health outcomes and local economic development.

City of Seattle Office of Economic Development and Washington Global Health Alliance

City of Seattle Office of Economic Development and Washington Global Health Alliance

City of Seattle Office of Economic Development and Washington Global Health Alliance

Washington Global Health Alliance Strategic Mapping Project

A look at the local global health “industry” of Washington state
Humanosphere | 09.14.2011

Empire Health Foundation and HSSA of Spokane County

BERK worked with the Health Sciences and Services Authority of Spokane County (HSSA) and Empire Health Foundation (EHF) on a Strategic Investment Plan to increase the level of health sciences research activity and funding in the Spokane area. Together, HSSA and EHF plan to invest up to $12.5 million in the next 10 years, and aim to attract another $5 million from collaborating funders.

BERK conducted stakeholder interviews to assess the challenges and opportunities related to establishing a critical mass of health science research activity in the region. In collaboration with a core project team and the HSSA Board, we developed a targeted investment plan that focuses on three strategic goals, prioritizing investments in human capital, innovative research to expedite commercialization, and research that positions Spokane as a national leader in health delivery research.

Empire Health Foundation and HSSA of Spokane County

Washington Global Health Alliance Strategic Mapping Project

The Reach of Washington’s Global Health Sector: Release of Global Health Strategic Mapping and Economic Opportunity Portfolio
WGHA | 09.13.2011

Washington Global Health Alliance Strategic Mapping Project

State Groups Work Toward Global Health
Seattle Times | 09.13.2011

Washington Global Health Alliance Strategic Mapping Project

What Global Health Work Means to Washington State
Puget Sound Business Journal | 09.13.2011

Washington Department of Early Learning

BERK worked with DEL to determine the costs associated with and the current primary funding sources for the various service delivery models and processes for early intervention in different areas of Washington State. Project tasks included researching and documenting existing service delivery models and methods in the state, a literature review and best practices research, and financial modeling.

The study shows which service delivery models and processes are most cost effective and provides recommendations for a sustainable program that can effectively serve children and families.

Washington Department of Early Learning

City of Kirkland

BERK assessed commercial and residential tax burdens paid by Kirkland residents and businesses to burdens in other, comparable jurisdictions and an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Kirkland’s tax structure and the resultant revenue streams. The analysis included development of a series of hypothetical taxpayers intended to be representative of a range of typical Kirkland households and businesses and a subsequent assessment of how overall tax burdens paid by each representative household or business shifted over recent years.

BERK also did the tax burden analysis update in 2010 and again in 2012, where the analysis also evaluated the cost of doing business with the city, through permit and impact fees, and the cost of doing business in the city, which included land costs, rents, and utility costs. These elements compared Kirkland to other regional cities to determine how competitive Kirkland was based on the costs evaluated. The analysis also put the costs in context to other factors that drive business location decisions in the region.

Port of Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

BERK worked with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to develop a data-driven, financially sustainable Strategic Business Plan. Working closely with Port staff, Martin Associates, and other members of the consultant team, we analyzed the Port Authority’s current situation through stakeholder interviews and a financial assessment of three lines of business: Maritime, Development Financing, and Real Estate Development.

BERK created a financial model that can flexibly analyze alternative scenarios with various investment and revenue options, and developed a set of financial tools to identify investment criteria, rate of return, and other financial parameters. We were responsible for integrating land use planning, market analysis, and financial analysis into the Plan.

Port of Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

Port of Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

BERK worked with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to create a suite of templates for Port communications and public presentations. We designed a Fact Sheet template that can be customized by topic area and with different images. We also developed a Press Release template for email distribution and publication on the Port’s website.

For Port presentations to the public or Board of Directors, we created two Power Point templates: one specifically for environmental topics and the second for other topics.

Port of Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

Empire Health Foundation and HSSA of Spokane County

Spokane Health Sciences Research Strategic Investment Plan

BERK is working with the Health Sciences and Services Authority of Spokane County (HSSA) and Empire Health Foundation (EHF) on a Strategic Investment Plan to increase the level of health sciences research activity and funding in the Spokane area. Together, HSSA and EHF plan to invest up to $12.5 million in the next 10 years, and aim to attract another $5 million from collaborating funders.

BERK conducted stakeholder interviews to assess the challenges and opportunities related to establishing a critical mass of health science research activity in the region. In collaboration with a core project team and the HSSA Board, we developed a targeted investment plan that focuses on three strategic goals, prioritizing investments in human capital, innovative research to expedite commercialization, and research that positions Spokane as a national leader in health delivery research.

Washington State Office of Financial Management

Capital Projects Evaluation and Scoring System for Washington’s Four-Year Higher Education Institutions

BERK developed a new evaluation and scoring system for the State to use in rating, ranking, and funding competing capital projects proposed by the State’s four-year universities. The scoring system was pilot tested in 2008 and has been used each year since in the Legislative budget process.

The project involved researching capital project prioritization systems used by other states and educational institutions, and using information design, schematics, and analytical graphics to define the steps of the new process. The approach BERK developed is an objective, transparent, accessible scoring system that is responsive to legislatively mandated criteria and has been accepted by the institutions involved.

Port of Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

Policy Report & Strategic Business Plan (2011-13): Maximizing a Vital Asset to Benefit Cuyahoga County’s Citizens & Economy

BERK worked with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to develop a data-driven, financially sustainable Strategic Business Plan. Working closely with Port staff, Martin Associates, and other members of the consultant team, we analyzed the Port Authority’s current situation through stakeholder interviews and a financial assessment of three lines of business: Maritime, Development Financing, and Real Estate Development.

BERK created a financial model that can flexibly analyze alternative scenarios with various investment and revenue options, and developed a set of financial tools to identify investment criteria, rate of return, and other financial parameters. We were responsible for integrating land use planning, market analysis, and financial analysis into the Plan.

Washington State Ferries

Tariff Policy Development and Fare Structure Review

Since 1992, BERK has helped WSF conduct annual evaluations of the Ferry System’s tariff structure and fare levels. We provide financial and policy analysis services, assessing ridership, revenue and cost requirements across a complex system of fare categories. Our analysis serves as input to the Washington State Transportation Commission, helping that policy body understand how potential fare changes would impact revenues, ridership levels, internal operations, and customers.

BERK also provides analytical support for and facilitates a citizen Ferry Advisory Committee – Tariff (FAC-T),and works with WSF staff to assess the impacts of fare proposals on terminal operations and systems. BERK also supports WSF and the Commission with public engagement for the fare proposals, including design of materials such as brochures and website content.

Washington State Department of Health

Financing Public Health in Washington State

BERK provided multi-year project management, program evaluation, and facilitation services for the finance element of the Public Health Improvement Plan. We supported a committee of public health professionals and policymakers focused on improving the system of funding for public health in Washington. As part of this project we analyzed program funding options, examined state and local revenues and expenditures, and developed policy questions and models that informed recommendations for system improvements.

We worked closely with the Washington State Public Health Improvement Partnership Finance Committee to summarize the challenges and choices facing the state’s system for financing local public health. The report combined a synthesis of past Committee studies with new analysis of state financial data and was delivered to members of the Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Public Health Financing.

University of Washington School of Public Health Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

BERK managed the development of a Strategic Plan that will guide the future of the UW’s School of Public Health for many years. The Plan includes strategies to strengthen its core education and research missions, as well as targeted topical areas of focus that will ensure the School remains at the forefront of emerging public health challenges. Key elements of plan development included an off-side All-School retreat and engagement of the full SPH community through brownbag discussions, a survey, and social media.

The Final Plan was adopted unanimously by the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, the Faculty Council, and the SPH Executive Council.

Whatcom County

Comprehensive Plan Update 2009

Whatcom County was required to complete its 10-Year Urban Growth Area (UGA) Review process on a fast-track 18-month timeline. Key issues included facilitating interjurisdictional coordination, and achieving a balance between urban and rural growth and between infill development and UGA expansion.

BERK completed numerous tasks including: developing population and economic projections for 2011-2031; determining existing land supply in subareas, cities, urban growth areas, rural areas, and resource lands; forecasting land needed for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional uses; and developing a land monitoring program for subareas, cities, urban growth areas, and rural areas over the 20-year planning period.

In a related effort, BERK staff developed regional growth alternatives, prepared a Capital Facility Plan, and prepared a non-project EIS, as well as facilitated public meetings.
20-year planning period.

City of Kirkland

Tax Burden Analysis

BERK assessed commercial and residential tax burdens paid by Kirkland residents and businesses to burdens in other, comparable jurisdictions and an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Kirkland’s tax structure and the resultant revenue streams. The analysis included development of a series of hypothetical taxpayers intended to be representative of a range of typical Kirkland households and businesses and a subsequent assessment of how overall tax burdens paid by each representative household or business shifted over recent years.

BERK also did the tax burden analysis update in 2010 and again in 2012, where the analysis also evaluated the cost of doing business with the city, through permit and impact fees, and the cost of doing business in the city, which included land costs, rents, and utility costs. These elements compared Kirkland to other regional cities to determine how competitive Kirkland was based on the costs evaluated. The analysis also put the costs in context to other factors that drive business location decisions in the region.

City of Kenmore

Marketing Materials Development

BERK designed and developed a marketing folio for the City to raise awareness of the community and its assets, summarize the recently adopted Economic Development Strategy, and highlight ongoing public investment in the City. The folio included photographs, maps, and other visual elements that highlight Kenmore’s location in the Puget Sound Region, demographics, community assets, City investments in the downtown area, development opportunities, and the City’s business-friendly practices and process.

Greenwich Library

Greenwich Library Strategic Plan and Community Survey

Working with draft material produced by library staff and members of the Board of Trustees, BERK structured the Plan around five Topic Areas and ten Strategic Initiatives. We collaborated with a core team of staff and Trustees to draft final text and create a compelling document to communicate the library’s strategy to members of the public, stakeholders and decision makers in the Town of Greenwich, and the library’s internal staff audience.

To inform the Strategic Plan, BERK designed and implemented a survey that addresses key questions, such as the role of the library in the community, priorities for resource allocation, and patron interest in potential new services. The input of non-library users was of particular interest to the Library and special care was taken to tailor questions for this audience and to solicit input from infrequent users and non-users.

Friends of San Francisco Public Library

Providing for Knowledge, Growth, and Prosperity: A Benefit Study of the San Francisco Public Library

BERK analyzed the economic benefits that the San Francisco Public Library provides to the community by quantifying and qualitatively describing the value of library services. The study involved an assessment of the indirect benefits to the community from the ongoing presence and operations of the Library, considering such factors as urban redevelopment, community space, and the City’s image and identity. The report quantified the return on taxpayer investment and articulated the challenges and complexities involved in appropriately and accurately estimating the economic value of the San Francisco Library System.

Chehalis Tribe

Fire Planning: Analysis of Service Options

BERK worked with the Chehalis Tribe to determine the most appropriate size for a new fire station given current and anticipated conditions, what the operation and maintenance costs might be for such a station, and the appropriate level of station staffing. We assessed the scope of Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to be provided from the contemplated station, evaluated the context in which the services would be provided, engaged Tribal Leadership to consider the policy context and level of service expectations for new Fire/EMS services, and determined the characteristics of the potential service area. Based on our findings, we estimated potential staffing and equipment needs for service provision.M/p>

Coquille Indian Tribe

Strategic Plan

BERK is working with the Coquille Indian Tribe to update the Tribe’s Strategic Plan, which will guide government operations over the next five years. The Plan will help align various departments and ensure that tribal members are being served best.

The project involves staff and department-level information gathering and visioning, tribal member outreach for visioning, feedback, and building support, and integration of the Plan with the Coquille economic development strategy and employee performance tracking.

Nisqually Indian Tribe

Master Planning Project: Retail Market Analysis

BERK prepared a market analysis of Nisqually tribal properties along the Highway 510/Yelm Highway corridor. The analysis encompassed retail market potential, the potential scale of retail development, and other economic opportunities for the sites.

The analysis was part of a larger planning process to develop a conceptual campus plan for tribal properties along the highway and a master plan for the entire Reservation.

King County Office of Emergency Management

Washington State Homeland Security Region 6, Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan

As part of an interdisciplinary team, BERK conducted interviews with a diverse set of stakeholders to inform the development of a Region 6 Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan.

Our work identified key findings and themes for inclusion in the Plan, and involved outreach efforts to obtain feedback on the Draft Plan as well as the creation of a Final Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan that has broad buy-in from stakeholders. This work included facilitating the Healthcare Systems small group discussion at the Region 6 Critical Infrastructure Interdependency Forum.

City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management

Puget Sound Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Program Disaster Coordination Plan, Public Information Element, Public Information Element

BERK assisted thee City of Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management in establishing a regional public information protocol, one element of the eight-county Puget Sound Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Program Disaster Coordination Plan. The Public Information Element will guide information collection, sharing, and public dissemination in the event of a regional catastrophic emergency.

We assessed current information and communication needs and gaps to develop recommendations for the Public Information Element, organized by before, during and after a catastrophic event. We then built regional consensus and finalized the strategies through discussion of options, opportunities, and challenges with stakeholders. The final Public Information Element was reviewed and adopted by the Puget Sound region.

Washington Department of Early Learning

Early Support for Infants and Toddlers Program Cost Study

BERK worked with DEL to determine the costs associated with and the current primary funding sources for the various service delivery models and processes for early intervention in different areas of Washington State. Project tasks included researching and documenting existing service delivery models and methods in the state, a literature review and best practices research, and financial modeling.

The study shows which service delivery models and processes are most cost effective and provides recommendations for a sustainable program that can effectively serve children and families.

City of Puyallup

Transfer of Development Rights Program & Downtown Subarea Plan, Environmental Impact Statement, and Planned Action SEPA

BERK led an effort that combined together a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program—a market-based mechanism that moves development rights from rural areas into urban areas via development incentives—with the planned action expedited permit review process. Together, they represented one of the most innovative land use programs in the State. BERK’s role in this effort included creating an updated Downtown Subarea Plan and development regulations, a Planned Action Implementing Ordinance, the development of a TDR program, which included identifying goals, sending and receiving areas, and an economic analysis, and crafted a TDR inter-local agreement with Pierce County.

Port of Bremerton

Kitsap SEED Small Business Incubator: Business Plan Review and Feasibility Assessment

On behalf of the Port of Bremerton’s Commission, BERK evaluated the feasibility of the Port’s Kitsap SEED clean tech incubator and business park initiative. The analysis included interviews with potential tenants and clean tech entrepreneurs across the State and region.

The feasibility study assessed market demand for start-up incubation and siting for both emerging and mature clean tech businesses. We evaluated the reasonableness of business and financing plan assumptions through market research and sensitivity analyses, and assessed options to mitigate risk and increase the likelihood of regional support. Our report received significant media coverage in the Bremerton area, and supported subsequent decision-making by the Port to cancel the Initiative.

City of Mountlake Terrace

Clean Technology Opportunity Assessment

The City received a State economic development grant to assess opportunities to grow the region’s clean energy sector while creating new jobs for the Mountlake Terrace (MLT) community. BERK conducted research, a market analysis, and developed a Citywide Sustainability Strategy and a companion Economic Vitality Strategy.

One component of the Sustainability Strategy is to attract and retain clean energy businesses in the City. BERK also prepared a Clean Technology Opportunity Assessment, which analyzed MLT’s competitive position in the region, and developed strategies to pursue business growth in the clean energy sector. The Assessment resulted in the development of actionable strategies for economic growth in clean tech and traditional markets for the City.

City of Burien

Through this assessment, the City of Burien explored alternatives to its current contract with King County Sherriff’s Office for public safety services. BERK provided analytic support to the City-formed Steering Committee as they assessed the differences in costs and staffing levels between continuing to contract with the County versus bringing police services in-house.

To help accomplish this, BERK conducted a comparative cost analysis focusing on the short and long-term fiscal implications (costs and benefits) the City would likely incur if it were to transition to a city-run department. BERK compared the City of Burien’s current contract with King County to four other police departments of similar size and with similar socio-economic and demand characteristics.

City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation

Seattle Downtown Parks & Public Spaces Task Force Report: Downtown Parks Renaissance, a Strategy to Revitalize Seattle’s Public Spaces

BERK provided research, analysis, and facilitation support to a Task Force charged by Seattle’s Mayor with developing management and funding strategies to reinvigorate the City’s downtown parks. We designed a stakeholder outreach program and researched models of best practices in other major U.S. cities.

The Final Report contains strategies to activate and significantly improve public usage of downtown parks and open spaces, many of which are hidden treasures.

Washington State Department of Health

Public Health Improvement Partnership Public Health Information Technology Committee Feasibility Study

In response to a call for greater efficiency and improved data systems across the State’s local health jurisdictions (LHJs) and DOH, BERK identified a range of options for a coordinated, statewide approach to information technology systems.

We conducted stakeholder interviews and best practices research to identify national models practice, such as coordinating boards, clearinghouses, alliances, and other organizational structures that can help integrate technology investments and systems across jurisdictions. We also researched organizational structures in health care, public health, and other disciplines where information flow is critical.

Bloodworks Northwest

Research Institute Strategic Business Planning

Bloodcenter Northwest’s (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center) growing research program has specialized labs focused on improving the lives of people with bleeding disorders, and those needing transfusions or bone marrow matches. In 2009, having achieved international recognition for contributions to transfusion and transplantation medicine, and outgrowing its current space, the Center faced a strategic facilities investment decision.

BERK worked with Bloodcenter Northwest staff and Board members to identify facility options and comparatively evaluate their financial impacts. We developed a financial model to assess trade-offs across multiple facility and staffing growth scenarios, and to determine key performance metrics. The Bloodcenter Northwest continues to use our financial model for evaluation of new initiatives and for monitoring the financial performance of its Research Division.

Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics

Vital Records Cost of Service and Fee Analysis Study

The Center for Health Statistics provides vital records to Washington citizens. However, the Center’s business model is challenged by cost factors and the growth of online services. BERK developed a comprehensive cost and fee analysis to help ensure the program’s financial sustainability.

We identified the Center’s costs and allocated them to core business areas and services. Using these results, the study examined the Center’s funding model, assessing cost recovery and revenue stability. BERK’s recommendations included fee adjustments to improve cost recovery on business lines where that is feasible, and longer-term options for reducing reliance on the sale of paper certificates.We also evaluated equity among customer groups and implementation constraints on fees negotiated by the department that are set in WAC and in statute. The project included process mapping, research on practices in other states, and development of a financial model that the Center can use to assess its fee structure going forward.

University of Washington Information School

Vision in Action: 2007-2012 Strategic Plan

BERK assisted UW’s Information School in designing and managing the School’s year-long, comprehensive, and inclusive strategic planning process. Serving as a trusted adviser and subject matter expert, we advised a faculty-staff Strategic Planning Team as its members implemented a research and consensus-driven process to ensure maximum engagement and buy-in across the School.

Our tasks included facilitation of an all-School retreat, stakeholder interviews, a SWOT assessment, helping to frame the Plan’s vision, mission, and strategies, and layout/graphic design of the final products. The Plan, together with its Implementation Matrix, has helped the Information School manage well through the economic challenges of recent years.

Port of Edmonds

Harbor Square Redevelopment Analysis

BERK worked on a study with the Port of Edmonds, in collaboration with LMN Architects, to analyze the potential revenues generated by several mixed-use development scenarios on the Port’s 11-acre Harbor Square property. As part of the analysis, we also examined the greater economic context for the redevelopment and how this project might have an impact on tax revenues collected by the City of Edmonds.

The analysis of fiscal impacts for the City of Edmonds was used in discussions with City Officials and other interested stakeholders about potential zoning changes and partnership opportunities for redevelopment of the site.

Seattle Housing Authority

Fiscal and Policy Analysis of Proposed Yesler Terrace Redevelopment

The Seattle Housing Authority plans to redevelop Yesler Terrace into an economically and socially sustainable mixed-income neighborhood. Built in 1939, Yesler Terrace is SHA’s oldest community with 561 low-income housing units, many of which have significant deferred maintenance and other health and safety issues. Partnered with Heartland, BERK assisted SHA in preparing a real estate development strategy for the site that takes into account the fiscal impacts of redevelopment from the revenues and costs associated with additional residents and businesses. BERK also assessed the ways in which redevelopment of the site complements the broader policy and economic development goals of the immediate neighborhood and the City of Seattle. Together with SHA, BERK explored and analyzed approaches to infrastructure funding in order to catalyze development in the area to build momentum.

Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County

Clean Water Technology Cluster Development Project

BERK assisted a multi-jurisdictional Project Team to accelerate development of a Clean Water Technology Cluster in Tacoma, anchored by the Center for Urban Waters. The project objective was to leverage the Center and other assets to drive investment in clean water technologies to stimulate job creation in Tacoma and Pierce County. Through interviews and facilitated discussions, BERK compiled information and created an Excel-based database of existing clean water businesses and organizations, potential organizations for recruitment, clean water conferences and associations, and potential funders. BERK also explored opportunities for increasing clean water-related economic activity in Tacoma, by examining the criteria by which clean water companies make location decisions and the connections to other businesses and economic activity.

City of Kenmore

Capitalizing on Kenmore’s Potential: An Economic Development Strategy and Marketing Folio

This project involved working with City staff and a Community Advisory Committee to develop a comprehensive economic development strategy for Kenmore. In addition to facilitation of Committee meetings, BERK conducted stakeholder outreach, convened City Council member focus groups, and designed and facilitated a Community Open House. We conducted targeted market analysis and interviews with experts to assess the City’s competitive advantage in certain retail and employment sectors.

The Strategy is designed to serve as a roadmap, outlining actions the City could take over the next five years to ensure a sustainable, diversified, and healthy economy for Kenmore and maintain a high quality of life for its residents. The Strategy was unanimously adopted by the City Council on June 1, 2009.

In the News
Capitalizing on Kenmore’s Potential for Economic Development

City of Renton

Sunset Area EIS

While with ICF and continuing at BERK, Lisa Grueter served as the EIS lead to produce a site specific analysis of the Sunset Terrace property redevelopment and a programmatic analysis of a larger neighborhood planned action area for the City of Renton and Renton Housing Authority. The agencies are proposing revitalization of the Sunset Area Community through redevelopment of the Sunset Terrace public housing complex and vicinity, Sunset Boulevard improvements, a drainage master plan, a new library, park improvements, and water and sewer improvements. These proposals, together with anticipated private neighborhood investment, were studied in the EIS completed in June 2011. Lisa was responsible for the overall document contents and prepared the alternatives description and a planned action ordinance as well as a record of decision. Lisa coordinated the work of multiple authors at ICF and other firms. This project was awarded the 2013 Smart Communities Award by Governor Jay Inslee.

Port of Cleveland Strategic Plan

New strategic plan under a new administration points to more realistic goals for the Cleveland port: editorial
Cleveland.com | 07.23.2011

Port of Cleveland Strategic Plan

Port of Cleveland plan led by CEO Will Friedman offers ray of sunshine for Flats and Cuyahoga River
Cleveland.com | 07.10.2011

Washington State Ferries

Since 1992, BERK has helped WSF conduct annual evaluations of the Ferry System’s tariff structure and fare levels. We provide financial and policy analysis services, assessing ridership, revenue and cost requirements across a complex system of fare categories. Our analysis serves as input to the Washington State Transportation Commission, helping that policy body understand how potential fare changes would impact revenues, ridership levels, internal operations, and customers.

BERK also provides analytical support for and facilitates a citizen Ferry Advisory Committee – Tariff (FAC-T),and works with WSF staff to assess the impacts of fare proposals on terminal operations and systems. BERK also supports WSF and the Commission with public engagement for the fare proposals, including design of materials such as brochures and website content.

City of Maple Valley

The City of Maple Valley is exploring alternatives to its current contract with King County for public safety needs. BERK is analyzing the cost of staffing differences between continuing to contract with the County versus bringing police services in-house. To help accomplish this, BERK is conducting a comparative cost analysis focusing on the short and long-term fiscal implications (costs and benefits) the City would likely incur if it were to transition to a city-run department.

In the coming months, BERK will compare the City’s current contract with King County to four other police departments of similar size, socio-economic, and demand characteristics. BERK is working with the City’s public safety committee on recommendations to the City Council related to service changes.

Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County

BERK assisted a multi-jurisdictional Project Team to accelerate development of a Clean Water Technology Cluster in Tacoma, anchored by the Center for Urban Waters. The project objective was to leverage the Center and other assets to drive investment in clean water technologies to stimulate job creation in Tacoma and Pierce County. Through interviews and facilitated discussions, BERK compiled information and created an Excel-based database of existing clean water businesses and organizations, potential organizations for recruitment, clean water conferences and associations, and potential funders. BERK also explored opportunities for increasing clean water-related economic activity in Tacoma, by examining the criteria by which clean water companies make location decisions and the connections to other businesses and economic activity.

City of Woodland

The City of Woodland is considering the creation of a transportation benefit district (TBD) in order to fund needed transportation improvements in the city. BERK assisted this effort by evaluating different TBD boundary and revenue options. The primary objective of the TBD analysis is to inform the discussion around potential TBD boundary and revenue configurations and outline the key policy choices facing the City.

In addition to the analytical piece, BERK supported the City in crafting the necessary enabling ordinances. BERK also developed and supported the City’s TBD public outreach strategy, including design and development of communication materials and facilitating public meetings.

Washington State Board of Education

Communication Materials Development

BERK provided communication and graphic design services to SBE, including production of a suite of communication materials that conveys the Board’s recent work and plans for implementation to its multiple stakeholders. The materials explain SBE’s new Accountability Framework and its component elements, and CORE 24, the expanded high school graduation requirements.

Working with existing content, we distilled the ideas and presented them in a clear, visually interesting and attractive format designed to reach the intended audience. We also designed a graphically-based folio documenting the Board’s overarching goals, responsibilities, and key initiatives.

Pierce County Division of Arts and Cultural Services Department of Community Services

Pierce County Arts and Cultural Asset Map

Working with the Pierce County Arts & Cultural Services Division we created a poster sized Arts & Cultural Asset Map. This schematic communicates the vast array of assets contained within the County to both celebrate and raise awareness of the area’s organizations, events, venues, learning programs, and artist initiatives.

Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority

A Business, Economic and Public Policy Assessment of the PDA’s Properties

BERK analyzed the economic and fiscal impacts of the Pike Place Market, in connection with a proposed bond issue to improve the Market’s aging facilities and infrastructure. Our analysis was used to help make a business and economic case for investment in the Market’s facilities and infrastructure, and to help inform the public, the Board, and the City about the Market’s economic impacts.

Tasks in the project were to identify and analyze the direct tax-related benefits from the Market; direct and indirect job-related benefits; visitor benefits; and the community and regional impacts associated with the Market.

Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division

Aviation Economic Impact Study

To inform key policy debates at the state and local level regarding support for a strong aviation system, BERK is conducting an assessment of the economic contribution of Washington State’s Aviation System. This comprehensive study will tell the story of aviation’s impact on Washington State and develop tools for ongoing use.

The contribution analyses will assess the economic footprint of each of the state’s 138 public-use airports; the intrinsic value that the aviation system generates for residents and businesses within the state; the extent to which specific industries across the state are dependent on the aviation system (and their local airports) to maintain a competitive position in their respective markets.

Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County

Green Workforce Development Study and Energy Efficiency Supply Chain Study

BERK identified federal and state funding expected to flow into the four-county Puget Sound Region to support an emerging “green economy” and foster job creation. The green economy sectors studied included Green Building, Clean Energy Production/Distribution, Environmental Protection/Remediation, and Transportation.

The study also provided a framework to estimate jobs supported per $1 million dollars of expenditure in the region in the Green Building and Clean Energy sectors, along with descriptions of the types of jobs that may be created.

Whatcom County

2011 Comprehensive Plan Update

Whatcom County was required to complete its 10-Year UGA Review process on a fast-track 18-month timeline. Key issues included facilitating interjurisdictional coordination; achieving a balance between urban and rural growth, and between infill development and UGA expansion.

The BERK team completed numerous tasks including developing population and economic projections for 2011-2031; determining existing land supply in subareas, cities, urban growth areas, rural areas, and resource lands; forecasting land needed for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional uses; and developing a land monitoring program for subareas, cities, urban growth areas, and rural areas over the 20-year planning period.

City of Poulsbo

Project Poulsbo: Comprehensive Plan 2009 Update

BERK designed and implemented an innovative process for generating dialogue between City residents and elected officials as part of the City of Poulsbo’s comprehensive plan update. Public engagement focused on exploring the City’s opportunities, challenges, and tradeoffs involved in growth management.

The BERK team helped the City launch and maintain a content-rich project website, build a more robust resident contact database, distribute e-newsletters, post fliers and posters across the community, and keep the local media informed through frequent press releases and advisories.

City of Puyallup

Cultivating Puyallup – Preserving our Heritage, Building Prosperity

BERK led an effort that combined together a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program—a market-based mechanism that moves development rights from rural areas into urban areas via development incentives—with the planned action expedited permit review process. Together, they represented one of the most innovative land use programs in the State. BERK’s role in this effort included creating an updated Downtown Subarea Plan and development regulations, a Planned Action Implementing Ordinance, the development of a TDR program, which included identifying goals, sending and receiving areas, and an economic analysis, and crafted a TDR inter-local agreement with Pierce County.

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

K-12 School Construction Funding Formula Transparency Study and K-12 School Enrollment Projections Study

In response to legislative direction, we worked with OSPI to assess the School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP). Our work included a review of the SCAP funding formula and its inputs and an evaluation of the accuracy and reliability of the current method used for forecasting school district enrollment.

We also described current state and local school construction funding sources, surveyed other states on their school construction funding programs and process, and assessed recent examples of school construction bond information provided to voters.

Washington State Auditor’s Office

Lease Management Services and Cost Study

BERK conducted a comprehensive Lease Management Services and Cost Study to support the Governor’s reform initiative calling for the use of shared services to improve service delivery and reduce agency costs.

The project had a very short timeframe, encompassing: analysis of lease management activities, costs, delivery systems, and structures in 10 state agencies, evaluation of the activities and costs of services provided by the Department of General Administration (GA) and the Office of Financial Management; research into industry standards and smart practices in public and private sectors; and development of recommendations to simplify and streamline lease management practices, reduce costs, and improve service delivery.

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

Agency Improvement Plan: Enhancing the Capital Process

BERK assisted State Parks in the development of an Agency Improvement Plan establishing a detailed work plan to improve the agency’s capital strategy, systems, processes, and performance.

Development of this Plan and related performance tracking systems were mandated by the Legislature in response to our evaluative study of the agency’s capital program for the Office of Financial Management: Study of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s Capital Budget Development, Execution, and Monitoring Process.

Washington State Ferries

Turning the Tide: Transforming the Brand & Rebuilding Ridership

BERK developed a strategic plan to help WSF make decisions about engaging a set of enhanced marketing and communications tools. The plan assessed which of the web-based marketing communications tools will most effectively support WSF marketing and customer services goals and how to most efficiently deploy those tools.

BERK organized and facilitated meetings with the WSF Public Relations and Marketing Team to ensure that the complex set of interrelated communication questions, including risks, priorities, and resources, are considered in the development of the strategy. The Plan included both a social media strategy specific for WSF and work plan laying out steps for implementation.

University of Washington Information School

Strategic Planning Project: Vision in Action

BERK assisted the UW’s Information School in designing and managing the School’s year-long, comprehensive and inclusive strategic planning process. We prepared agendas and materials for a faculty-staff strategic planning team, designed and facilitated an all-school retreat, conducted key stakeholder interviews, and prepared a draft SWOT assessment.

We also completed layout and graphic design of the final strategic planning documents.

Washington State Legislature Joint Transportation Committee

Implementing Alternative Transportation Funding Methods

Commissioned by the Legislature, this study analyzed the feasibility and practicality of implementing funding methods.

BERK’s role in this effort included quantifying the revenue impacts to the state, the cost impacts to different profiles of tax payers, and the revenue distribution impacts and spending restrictions of potential alternative funding sources. In addition, BERK conducted a risk assessment that considered the potential impact of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency standards, changing fuel consumption patterns, and increasing market penetration of hybrid and electric vehicles.

City of Seattle Human Services Department

Early Learning Financial Analysis and Modeling Project

BERK developed a comprehensive preschool financial model outlining a two-year funding plan that would result in school readiness for the greatest possible number of children, with a focus on low-income children.

Our financial model blends multiple fund sources and has the capability of displaying data by sources and uses, fiscal year, program, function, and range of scenarios, while at the same time, is a user-friendly and adaptable tool—a “living model” that can be modified over time.

Cities of Renton, Lacey, Puyallup

Local Revitalization Financing (LRF) and Local Infrastructure Funding Tool (LIFT)

BERK assisted three cities submit LRF and LIFT applications for state infrastructure funding.

BERK supported these efforts with economic impacts, fiscal analysis, and application preparation in support of each city’s efforts to revitalize areas of their downtown. Collectively, these awards will provide for nearly $100 million in infrastructure funding for a range of transportation, utility, and park improvement projects.