David McMurchie of McMurchie Law received the distinctive 2019 CSDA William Hollingsworth Award of Excellence during CSDA’s 50th anniversary celebration at the Annual Conference and Exhibitor Showcase in Anaheim in September.
Since 1978, Mr. McMurchie has represented many types of special districts including community services, water, sanitation, fire protection, recreation and park, cemetery, mosquito abatement, and harbor and port districts. He has regularly provided training on legal developments and strategies through CSDA, as well as the Fire Districts Association of California, the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts, the California Association of Public Cemeteries, and other local government associations.
Mr. McMurchie has served as general counsel for CSDA since 1985 and has provided guidance to both the association and to members through the association’s legal assistance program. Additionally, he has been involved in major statewide ballot initiatives affecting and benefiting CSDA members as well as providing critical guidance related to the use of public funds in these efforts.
Mr. McMurchie has also worked with the Special District Risk Management Authority (SDRMA) providing counsel on workers’ compensation matters and analysis of legislation that could impact special districts. He has served as counsel to the CSDA Finance Corporation since its inception in 1988 and regularly reviews transaction documents for special district financings.
Mr. McMurchie has always been willing to support and assist CSDA and its members, providing critical legal guidance on key issues. His practice emphasizes employment, contracting, and financing issues encountered by special districts and other local agencies. Mr. McMurchie is a member in good standing of the California State Bar and the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California.
Mr. McMurchie accepted the William Hollingsworth Award of Excellence with great honor and gratitude. His moving acceptance speech included the following excerpts.
“I had the pleasure of working with Bill Hollingsworth when I first began working with CSDA in 1985. I got a chance to work with him closely when I was the general counsel and administrator for the Special District Workers Compensation Authority from 1991 to 2001 before it merged into SDMRA. He was a man of great principle, great commitment, great passion, great persistence, great humility and a wit that was very contagious. All of those things made him a very effective leader and effective consensus-builder."
Mr. McMurchie stated, “In my 42-year legal career, I have represented many non-profit corporations, non-profit associations of local government agencies, and many independent districts; but I have never witnessed the type of growth and sophistication that I have seen in the development of CSDA. In 1985, CSDA’s staff consisted of one part-time executive director whose full-time job was working as a lobbyist with the Nossaman law firm, one part-time contract lobbyist, Ralph Heim, myself, and the board of directors. Now, CSDA has 26 staff. They have four people in administration, three people in professional development, six people in advocacy and public affairs, six field coordinators, four members services staff, and three publications staff."
David McMurchie’s father, Don McMurchie, also received the William Hollingsworth Award of Excellence from CSDA in 2009.
“In the early days, the only education program we had were at the annual conference. The first conference I attended in 1986 had less than 100 people. We have 850 people at this conference. In 1985, CSDA had less than 100 members; we now have 1,200 members. Last year, we had seven different conferences in which 1,838 people participated. That is called outreach, that is called effective outreach, and that is called effective training.”