Stephen H. Buxbaum, Mayor
Term of Office
Mayor: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2015
Four year term, Position #1
Councilmember: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2011, Position #5
also served as Mayor Pro Tem, 2010-11
How to Contact
Mail: Olympia City Council
PO Box 1967
Olympia, WA 98507-1967
Phone: 360.753.8447 (City Council office)
Correspondence to a City Councilmember, including email,
is a public record potentially eligible for release.
Stephen was first elected to the City Council in November 2009 and was selected by his fellow Councilmembers to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in April 2010. In November 2011, he was elected by the voters to a four year term as Mayor. He brings more than thirty years of public and non-profit management experience, focused on community and economic development. While prioritizing City Council service, Stephen operates a consulting business and teaches part time in the Evergreen State College Masters of Public Administration program.
As an executive manager for the state of Washington, Stephen worked with local communities to plan and finance hundreds of housing and public works projects. He helped develop the state’s Homeless Housing Assistance Act, a national model that created a permanent funding source to support the needs of homeless individuals and families. In recognition for his accomplishments related to affordable housing, Stephen received a 2005 fellowship to attend Harvard University’s Kennedy School program for senior executives in state and local government. In 2006, Governor Gregoire appointed Stephen to chair her Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Stephen’s local contributions include volunteer work with Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB), which provides jobs and education to Thurston County teens and fresh food for low-income families. He volunteers with the Dispute Resolution Center, where he recently completed a term on the board. In the 1980’s, Stephen served on the Pacific Mountain Private Industry Council, which focuses on creating local jobs. He was also a member of the Thurston County Agriculture Committee, advising county commissioners on agricultural policy. He organized one of the nation’s first organic produce marketing cooperatives, supporting the start-up of many local family-owned farms. He helped raise funds and secure a downtown location for the Olympia Farmer’s Market.
Stephen moved to his chosen hometown of Olympia in 1977. He lives in the South Capitol neighborhood with his wife, Joyce Kilmer, who manages the state’s prekindergarten program for low-income children. He has two grown daughters, one teaching at South Puget Sound Community College and one in Seattle completing her BA and working in an after-school enrichment program. His interests include urban agriculture; he grows fruit and vegetables and gives gardening workshops for his city neighbors.
In 2012, Mayor Buxbaum was awarded the Certificate of Municipal Leadership by the Association of Washington Cities for successful completion of AWC's Municipal Leadership Training Program. The CML program provides an opportunity for mayors and councilmembers in Washington State to enhance their knowledge of municipal laws and services and their leadership skills in the areas of council, staff, and community relations. Buxbaum is only the second Olympia Mayor or Councilmember to have achieved the Municipal Leadership certification.
Priorities as Mayor
- Increase commerce in downtown Olympia and throughout the city.
- Support the character, quality and security of our neighborhoods – with special attention this year on the update of our Comprehensive Plan and developing best practices for code enforcement.
- Work with our partner local governments within Thurston County on regional issues such as homelessness, transportation planning and the environment.
2012 Council/Intergovernmental Assignments
- Chair, Finance Committee
- Capitol Lake Adaptive Management Committee
- LEOFF Disability Board
- Regional Mayor's Forum
- Regional Transportation Policy Board
- Sustainable Thurston Task Force
- Thurston County HOME Consortium