The most influential business executives of the past 35 years: No. 34 knows a thing or two about economic development



By Steven Goldsmith Managing Editor – Print- Puget Sound Business Journal


This is one in a series where the Puget Sound Business Journal counts down the top 35 most influential business leaders of the last 35. The countdown is part of the PSBJ’s 35th anniversary celebration.

As a leader of one of the nation’s most economically active tribes, Snohomish County’s Tulalips, John McCoy is a national as well as regional business figure.

McCoy, 71, recently retired as general manager of the tribes’ bustling Quil Ceda Village shopping, casino and hotel complex, but still serves in the state Legislature (10 years in the House, two in the Senate).

He was recognized as the Business Journal’s 2005 Executive of the Year for the dynamic business environment he helped foster.

It all started 20 years ago, when McCoy — a no-nonsense negotiator who sports a bolo tie and a crew-cut — returned to his tribe after serving 20 years in the Air Force and several years as a computer technician at Sperry Univac and the White House.

McCoy helped move the reservation from a communications system that he described as “one step above smoke signals” to a state-of-the-art. That program evolved into Tulalip Data Services, which installed networking infrastructure on the reservation and provides technical support to tribal departments.

The shopping complex near Marysville became a triumph of planning, vision and commitment on the part of the Tulalip Tribes — one of many still working to parlay gambling revenue into a more diverse and sustainable prosperity.

In addition to the popular hotel-casino, Quil Ceda includes a business park, the 125-tenant Seattle Premium Outlets, and stores such as Cabela’s and Home Depot.

For the Tulalips, much of this traces to McCoy.

“As you course your way through history, you see common people doing uncommon things,” Bob Drewel, head of the Puget Sound Regional Council and a former Snohomish County Executive, told the PSBJ in 2005. “John believes himself to be a common person, and he does some very uncommon things.”


See Also

An Indian Education for All

By Matt Remle


Matt Remle (blue shirt) with Denny Hurtado and Michael Vendiola from the Office of Native Education providing testimony to the Marysville School Board to adopt the STI curriculum. Photo by: Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil
Matt Remle (blue shirt) with Denny Hurtado and Michael Vendiola from the Office of Native Education providing testimony to the Marysville School Board to adopt the STI curriculum. Photo by: Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil


The Washington State legislature has introduced a bill requiring Northwest tribal history, culture, and government to be taught in the common schools.

Washington SB 5433 is an amendment to the 2005 House Bill 1495.  H.B. 1495 “encouraged” Washington State school districts to teach Northwest tribal history, culture, and government.  The Since Time Immemorial tribalsovereignty curriculum (STI) grew out of H.B. 1495 and was developed in partnership with the 29 tribes in WA State and the State’s Office of Native Education.

Since its passage, only two school districts in the state have adopted STI as core, or mandated, curriculum.  The Marysville school district located just north of Seattle and whose school boundaries include the Tulalip tribes became the most recent to do so.

State law makers are now seeking to have the curriculum required in the State’s schools with the introduction of S.B. 5433.

S.B. 5433 states:

The legislature recognizes the need to reaffirm the state’s commitment to educating the citizens of our state, particularly the youth who are our future leaders, about tribal history, culture, treaty rights, contemporary tribal and state government institutions and relations and the contribution of Indian nations to the state of Washington. The legislature recognizes that this goal has yet to be achieved in most of our state’s schools and districts. As a result, Indian students may not find the school curriculum, especially Washington state history curriculum, relevant to their lives or experiences. In addition, many students may remain uninformed about the experiences, contributions, and perspectives of their tribal neighbors, fellow citizens, and classmates. The legislature finds that more widespread use of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum developed by the office of the superintendent of public instruction and available free of charge to schools would contribute greatly towards helping improve school’s history curriculum and improve the experiences Indian students have in our schools. Accordingly, the legislature finds that merely encouraging education regarding Washington’s tribal history, culture, and government is not sufficient, and hereby declares its intent that such education be mandatory in Washington’s common schools.”

If passed, Washington State would become the second state to mandate the teaching of tribal sovereignty curriculum. Montana is currently the only state to mandate Indian education for all state schools when it passed House Bill 528— the Indian Education for All Act, in 1999.

Matt Remle (Lakota) works for the Office of Indian Education in the Marysville/Tulalip school district and was on the curriculum committee that helped pass the districts requirement to teach the Since Time Immemorial tribal sovereignty curriculum in the Marysville schools.

Washington Legislature Adjourns With No Action On Medical Marijuana, Gas Tax

The floor of the Washington Senate on the last night of the 60-day sessionCredit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The floor of the Washington Senate on the last night of the 60-day session
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network


By Austin Jenkins, NW News Network

The Washington legislature adjourned its 60-day session just before midnight Thursday night.

In the final hours, lawmakers passed a bipartisan update to the state’s two-year budget. They also sent the governor a bill to give military veterans in-state tuition to attend college. And reauthorized a fee that pays for homeless housing.

But it’s what lawmakers did not do this legislative session that may stand out most for voters.

No gas tax increase

One major item lawmakers could not agree on — a gas tax increase to fund road projects and transit. It’s something Governor Jay Inslee has pushed for since taking office.

As the legislative session wound down, the blame game was just winding up.

“It’s obvious to me that over the last month the leadership in the House and the leadership in the Democratic side of the Senate were not interested in getting a revenue package out of the session,” said Republican Curtis King, co-chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Not so, responded Democrat Judy Clibborn, chairs of the House Transportation Committee. She blamed the Senate majority for not producing a gas tax package that could pass out of its own chamber.

“I am frustrated as anybody,” said Clibborn. “We worked very hard to get this done. It’s been a year-and-a-half to two years for me.”

A $40 million penalty?

Item number two on the did-not-pass list: a requirement that school districts use a federally-approved student test for any teacher evaluation. Why does this matter? U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has told Governor Inslee without this requirement Washington could lose its federal No Child Left Behind waiver. And with it control of $40 million in federal funds to help struggling students.

House Democratic Leader Pat Sullivan called the testing mandate flawed and said he’s prepared to pay the penalty.

“So be it,” he said. “If Arne Duncan wants to withhold 20 percent of funds from our poorest schools then I guess that’s his prerogative.”

Out in the Capitol Rotunda, State Schools Superintendent Randy Dorn was incensed at the bill’s demise.

“Adults not doing what’s right for kids,” he said.

Dorn blames the state’s teachers union for killing the bill.

Separate pot markets

Item number three on the did-not-pass list: a plan to roll Washington’s medical marijuana market into the state’s new, recreational pot marketplace. Republican State Senator Ann Rivers, one of the lead proponents of this merger, says Washington’s current unregulated medical marijuana industry is an invitation for federal intervention.

“We’re not showing a good faith effort to get it under control so the feds have nothing to judge us by.”

But Democrat Roger Goodman in the Washington House believes it was premature to change the medical marijuana system and it would have hurt patients. He wants to wait a year and isn’t worried about the feds sweeping in.

“They’re watching closely, we’re listening carefully,” says Goodman. “I think the chances of federal intervention are limited particularly as we show to them and continue to communicate with them that we’re working on it in advance of the next legislative session.”

So what else died in the Washington legislature this year? Dueling proposals on the minimum wage. A tax on e-cigarettes. And a ban on gay conversion therapy.

But the past 60-days in Olympia also featured some surprising bipartisan breakthroughs. A big one: undocumented students won access to state financial aid to attend college. But there’s no guarantee they’ll get that money because the program is already underfunded.

Much of this session was about the fall elections ahead. Control of the Washington Senate looks like it’s up for grabs for the first time in a decade.

Lawmakers hope to dissect a teacher’s day


By Jerry Cornfield, The Herald

OLYMPIA – What goes on each day inside thousands of public schools is a vexing question Washington lawmakers want to answer.

For the second year in a row, there’s an effort to find out how teachers, administrators and staff spend their time and use what is learned to guide future decisions by the Legislature.

The Senate education committee held a hearing Wednesday on Senate Bill 6064 to compile data on how each of the state’s 295 districts defines and uses school time.

“Are (schools) being productive? What’s actually going on, nobody knows,” Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, the bill’s author and chairman of the committee said before the hearing. “The more information we have, the better understanding we’ll gain of what’s going on.”

He deflected concerns that lawmakers might use the information to impose new mandates on public schools.

“At the end of the day, if you’re a high-performing school, you’ll keep on doing what you’re doing,” he said.

Most speakers at the hearing welcomed such an analysis because they are convinced it will illuminate the dedication of school employees.

“Bring it on. Find out what’s really going on in our schools,” said Jim Kowalkowski, superintendent of the Davenport School District, near Spokane.

A year ago, lawmakers passed and Gov. Jay Inslee signed a nearly identical bill. It requested the Joint Legislative Audit Review Committee carry out the work but it couldn’t. This time, they are asking the Washington Institute of Public Policy to undertake the task.

The bill seeks information on how districts determine classroom and non-classroom time as well as instructional and non-instructional time. They want researchers to see if the use of time is spelled out in collective bargaining agreements. The report would be due Dec. 1, 2015, and cost an estimated $137,000.

Meanwhile, lawmakers did include $25,000 in the budget for Central Washington University to begin gathering data on what a typical work day looks like for a public school teacher.

Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, then a representative, argued for the money.

At the time he said he had tired of the back-and-forth between reformers convinced teachers spend too little time teaching and the teachers contending they can’t spend as much time as they want because of a growing number of non-teaching responsibilities.

He said he thought teachers are weighted down by state-imposed chores and wanted to find out if it’s true.

The Center for Teaching and Learning is trying to get an answer. In September, its researchers began collecting information from 5,000 elementary and secondary school teachers from 159 school districts.

Teachers, who hail from small, medium and large schools, are completing online surveys. Some also are logging in their hour-by-hour teaching and non-teaching related duties one week each month.

In the survey, teachers are answering questions about the amount of each day which is devoted to classroom planning or assessment, interaction with students and parents, preparation for standardized state exams, professional development and duties assigned by the school or district.

The final report is due to lawmakers June 30. The university received $25,000 in the state budget to cover the study.

Layoffs, closed parks, no lottery without a budget deal

If the Legislature can’t reach a deal by Sunday, state parks would close, state workers would be laid off and the lottery would halt

Jerry Cornfield, The Herald

OLYMPIA — As legislative leaders insisted Thursday that they are nearing agreement on a new state budget, the governor’s office offered a preview of what might occur if they fail and a partial government shutdown ensues.

State parks will close, the lottery will halt, and most convicted criminals will be monitored less closely outside prison walls if Washington is forced to cease many of its operations July 1.

Those are among the hundreds of programs and services which would be halted or scaled back, according to an analysis released by the Office of Financial Management.

In all, 34 state agencies would be completely shut down and 24 others would incur a partial cessation, said Mary Alice Heuschel, chief of staff for Gov. Jay Inslee. Twenty-five agencies would continue operating because they are funded wholly or in large part from sources other than the state’s general fund.

Meanwhile, the leader of the state Senate predicted the Legislature can be done Sunday, one day before layoff notices are sent to thousands of state workers.

“We are going to finish on Sunday and there will be absolutely no shutdown of state government,” said Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, who is a member of the Majority Coalition Caucus ruling the Senate.

Senate and House budget negotiators said Thursday they are making steady progress but are at least a day away from achieving an agreement in principle that can be written up and voted on. House Speaker Frank Chopp declined to say if he thought a budget could be passed by Sunday.

Planning for the shutdown won’t stop until the Legislature acts on a spending plan for the biennium that runs from July 1 though June 30, 2015.

Among those agencies that can expect to be shuttered include the Lottery Commission, Public Disclosure Commission and Liquor Control Board.

Washington’s largest agencies, such as the Department of Social and Health Services and Department of Corrections would curtail some activities while community colleges, universities and the court system will stay open.

Also, the Washington State Patrol and Washington State Ferries will operate because those are funded through the state transportation budget, which has been signed in law.

Only once before has the Legislature come this close to forcing a government shutdown. That occurred in 1991 when the House and Senate approved a budget early June 30 and Gov. Booth Gardner signed it shortly before midnight.

Here is a sample of what might happen:

•Most community supervision of ex-convicts would be halted;

Prisons would not accept new inmates;

Offenders in local or tribal jails for violating probation as of June 30 would be released;

Licensing and regulation of real estate brokers, home inspectors, barbers, cosmetologists and many other professions would be suspended;

The State Patrol would halt involvement in Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force;

No lottery tickets would be sold or drawings conducted;

Horse racing at Emerald Downs would be halted;

State parks would be closed and camping reservations for early July canceled.