Understanding Local Needs
Delivering Local Solutions

Company Info

Founded in 1985, SCI Consulting Group assists public agencies throughout California with establishment and administration of taxes, assessments, fees, and other special levies. We have established over 100 community-wide funding mechanisms, and currently administer over 600 assessment districts and special tax districts, comprising of over ten million parcels throughout the state. In addition, we have a state-of-the-art service center with expertise in data and document processing and customer care, including inbound and outbound phone calls.

SCI Offices

Corporate Responsibility

At SCI Consulting Group, we are proud to actively participate in our community. We show our corporate responsibility in various ways, including the following:

  • Annual monetary donations to over two dozen charities
  • Employee volunteer days during which we participate in projects for Habitat for Humanity, the local food bank, and other charitable organizations
  • Energy Star recipient for an energy efficient office
  • Joseph Shilts Memorial Scholarships awarded annually to graduating high school students who will be studying engineering in college
  • Membership in the local Chamber of Commerce

Mission and Values

Our goal at SCI Consulting Group is to help California public agencies improve their ability to provide local services to their communities. We achieve this by providing outstanding public opinion surveys, ballot measures, customer service, and annual administration services to our public agency clients and their constituents.

At the same time, we support our local community, and others throughout the state and around the world, through donations, employee volunteer days, scholarships, and other actions (see Corporate Responsibility for more information).

Our Clients

Our clients are the best at providing many of the services that form the backbone and structure that makes California a great place to live and work. We are proud to have experience working with a full spectrum of agencies and service providers around the state. In 2013, we administered levies in nearly every county in the state from Alameda to Yuba. The projects we work on range in size from five to five million parcels. Recently, SCI has consulted for the following:

  • Special Districts
    • Cemetery
    • Fire
    • Landscaping and Lighting
    • Mosquito Control
    • Parks and Recreation
    • Reclamation
    • Sewer
    • Vector Control
  • Cannabis Management Services
  • Cities
  • Community Colleges
  • Counties
  • Flood Control
  • Roads and Infrastructure
  • School Districts
  • State Agencies
  • Stormwater Management

Staff Bios


Gerard van Steyn is the CEO of SCI Consulting Group where he has collaborated with SCI’s consultants and engineers for more than two decades, embarking on new projects and maintaining the highest quality of work performed at SCI. Gerard specializes in the feasibility analysis, planning, and management of assessment ballot proceedings. To date, he has a 100% success record with the creation of new revenue measures using the Proposition 218 mailed ballot proceedings. Since 1996, he has successfully formed over 20 such measures, including several that were successful after previous special tax or assessment measures had failed. These measures are currently generating over $250 million per year for a wide variety of improvements and services, including parks and recreation, and landscaping. Gerard attended UC Davis, where he graduated magna cum laude in Managerial Economics and received a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Real Estate from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. Prior to joining SCI he worked as a financial consultant to large corporations.


John Bliss, President, continues to lead SCI Consulting Group as California’s premier firm for public agency revenue mechanism implementation and administration. John has led the development and implementation of over 300 post-Proposition 218 assessments – more than all other assessment engineers in California, combined. John has a passion for quality public institutions that motivates his work at SCI and is demonstrated by his service on a variety of volunteer organizations in Oakland. John graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, and holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Regent's Scholar. He is a licensed professional Civil Engineer in the State of California.


Blair Aas specializes in the areas of developer mitigation, Mello-Roos formations, development impact fees and other new revenue mechanisms to offset the need for new or increased services and public facilities to serve new development. Blair possesses over 12 years of experience in public finance and developer mitigation, and he has developed extensive expertise in assisting public agencies in addressing all of the financial impact of new development. He has prepared over 75 development impact/CFD nexus studies and public facility financing plans. In this capacity, Blair has strong analytical experience for the inception of solid public facility planning and financial analysis as well as the legal parameters involved therein. He graduated from Boise State University with a B.A. in Economics with an emphasis in public finance. He is a frequent presenter on impact fee programs at annual conferences and area workshops held by the California Park & Recreation Society, the California Association of Recreation & Park Districts and the Fire Districts Association of California. He is also a commercial associate member of the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers and a Community Resources Commissioner for the City of Fairfield.


Susan Barnes specializes in and leads opinion research and new local revenue measure balloting projects, including both benefit assessments and special taxes. She uses her excellent facilitation and public speaking experience when working with staff and board members, as well as with constituent groups. Susan’s diligent work enables agencies to raise the funds needed in order to obtain and maintain the facilities and services their communities desire. She also utilizes her broad project management experience to deliver her projects on time and on budget. Susan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from UC Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from Sonoma State University.


Jerry Bradshaw is a licensed Civil Engineer who brings over 25 years of engineering experience to the SCI team. Having worked in the public sector as a City Engineer and Public Works Director for much of that time, Mr. Bradshaw has experience with funding measure feasibility and financial analysis services for programs of various types. Mr. Bradshaw specializes in assessment formations including rate study analysis and Proposition 218 compliance for benefit assessment districts, community facility districts and fee rate structures. In addition, Mr. Bradshaw is experienced in opinion research, public outreach, demographic studies and ballot measure development.

Mr. Bradshaw’s extensive background working for local government provides him a keen insight to the challenges and opportunities that abound for public clients. He has successfully developed, launched and administered voter approved measures including assessment fees and sales and utility taxes. With a dedication to client satisfaction Mr. Bradshaw successfully works to produce accurate and timely products with the added value of his public sector experience. Mr. Bradshaw is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Denver.


Chris Coulter contributes experience in funding measure feasibility, data analysis, and financial analysis services for public, private and non-profit sector organizations to the SCI team. Mr. Coulter specializes in rate study analysis and Proposition 218 formation of benefit assessment districts, community facility districts and fee rate structures. In addition, Mr. Coulter is experienced in spatial and regional analysis, opinion research, public outreach, demographic studies and ballot measure development. Mr. Coulter is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Art in English Literature.


Maria Garcia-Adarve specializes in and leads new local revenue measure balloting projects and opinion research for SCI. Since 2000, she has been partnering with her clients through all the phases of new revenue projects and works hard to enable them to expand their services. Whether they need a new public facility or secured jobs for vital public service providers, she is committed to helping people and communities. Maria often takes on challenging projects where she often develops good friendships with her clients. Her past experiences, in human resources and in the banking industry, enhance her ability to lead some of the largest projects for SCI. Maria graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Information Systems.


Melanie Guillory-Lee contributes over 8 years of analyzing complex data to produce accurate records in the projects she works on. She is a strong project manager, and consistently ensures that her clients’ needs are met in a timely manner throughout the duration of each project. Before coming to SCI, Melanie worked as a sales analyst in the wine industry, developing her strong people skills which are a valued asset at SCI. Melanie earned her B.A. in Business Administration from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA.


Neil Hall brings over 40 years of intensive interaction with public agencies and communities throughout California. As Owner and President of the Fairfield Research Group from 1995 to 2014, Mr. Hall conducted over 150 focus groups, and attitude and satisfaction surveys for various communities, political candidates, and public entities in Solano County. Mr. Hall earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and M.B.A. from St. Mary’s College.


Arcelia Herrera contributes over ten years of experience in finance, administration, and consulting services to the SCI team. She has extensive expertise with the creation and administration of benefit assessments, special taxes, and other property related fees. She currently administers multiple landscaping and lighting assessments as well as vector, fire, and school assessments for districts around the State of California. Arcelia expertly balances a variety of interesting projects working with clients and members of the public from every region of California. She utilizes her skills as a computer, database, and GIS expert to provide tech support for the office. Arcelia graduated from California State University, Monterey with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Computing.


Jeanette Hynson contributes over 13 years of experience in levy administration, Proposition 218 Assessment District formation and consulting services to the SCI team. She has a wealth of knowledge with impact fee justification studies, the creation and administration of benefit assessments and fees, public opinion research projects, meeting facilitation, media and educational outreach experience, and other consulting services. Additionally, she makes a significant contribution to SCI’s work with her expertise and extensive experience in relational database management system maintenance and design. She has also developed a ballot tabulation software application that has proven to provide an accurate and efficient approach for ballot tabulation verification.


Sonia Ortega Sonia Ortega brings 10 years of project management experience to SCI, working with both large and small businesses. She currently focuses on assisting cities and Special Districts with public opinion research, fees, taxes and assessments, and community outreach. Ms. Ortega has a A.A. in Business Administration.


Angela Pagtalonia contributes 30 years of experience in database maintenance, analytical support, and management to the SCI team. Angela has extensive assessment and special tax administration expertise and currently manages over $39 million per year in assessment and tax levies. In addition, her scope of work has included completion of numerous Needs Analysis projects, Fee Justification Studies, and Attendance Boundary Studies. This experience, coupled with her background in accounting, human resources and property management, and enhanced by her organizational ability, provide an efficient and accurate approach to the firm's projects and database control for the firm's clients. Ms. Pagtalonia graduated from the Excelsior College with a degree in Liberal Arts.


Kyle Tankard contributes experience leading and assisting in the formation of local revenue ballot measures and their annual administration, for both benefit assessments and special taxes. He currently administers a variety of assessments and taxes for vector, landscaping and lighting, levee and flood control and other special districts throughout California. His scope of work extends to include public opinion research, public outreach, data analysis and GIS mapping and database management. Kyle graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with GIS emphasis.


Valerie Flores has over 25 years of experience working in the legal sector, for non-profit agencies and for school districts prior to coming to SCI. She currently manages levy administration projects primarily for fire districts and school districts. She also contributes in assisting in the formation of local revenue ballot measures for both benefit assessments and special taxes. Valerie brings a broad range of skills and talents to the SCI team. She graduated from the University of Phoenix, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Finance.