Council Vacancy

Application Deadline

Signed applications and required documents must be received at Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Avenue East, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14, 2015.

Olympia City Council Position #4

The Olympia City Council is accepting applications for Councilmember Position #4, which will be vacant January 1 due to the election of Cheryl Selby as Mayor. The person who is appointed will serve for approximately 23 months, until the November 2017 General Election results are certified.

The annual stipend for this position is $16,640 paid semi-monthly on the 5th and 20th.

Application Forms and Process

Signed applications and required documents must be received by the City Council’s Assistant at Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Avenue East, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14, 2015.

Note: Once an application is filed with the City, it is a public record. The application form, resumé and answers to supplemental questions received from candidates who meet the minimum requirements will be posted on the City of Olympia website for public viewing.

Interviews will be held at 5:30 p.m. on January 4, 2016, (and January 6, 2016, if needed) in the Olympia City Council Chambers, 601 4th Avenue East. The sessions will be open for public viewing and taped for replay on TCTV.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015
    Recruitment information posted on City of Olympia website.
  • Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, 5:00 p.m.
    Application deadline (must be received, not postmarked)
  • Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 (and Jan. 6 if needed)
    Applicant interviews (televised on TCTV)
  • Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 (Jan. 6, if needed)
    Target date for appointment action. Allows for the new Councilmember to be selected in time to participate in the City Council’s annual goal-setting retreat on January 8-9, 2016.

Interviews and Council deliberations about the appointment must be held in a meeting open for public attendance. The City Council may convene into closed session only to discuss candidate qualifications.

To be considered

An applicant must:

  • Meet minimum qualifications set by state law  (see below)
  • File a completed and signed application and all requested attachments by the deadline.

After completing the initial interviews, Council will decide the next steps in the process, such as whether to:

  • Select an individual that evening
  • Develop a short list of applicants for a second round of interviews
  • Solicit additional applicants.

The City Council has up to 90 days to make a selection. If a selection is not made within 90 days, the decision rests with the County Board of Commissioners (per RCW 42.12.070).

The Council intends, however, to appoint someone in time to participate as a member at the Council’s annual goal setting retreat on January 8-9, 2016.

Minimum Requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum requirements in state law for Councilmembers, RCW 35A.12.030:

  • Residence within the Olympia city (corporate) limits for a minimum of one year at the time of appointment;
  • Valid Washington State voter registration at the time of application;
  • 18 years of age or over;
  • Not an employee of the City of Olympia at the time of appointment.

Desired Experience and Qualifications

  • A demonstrated interest and involvement in the Olympia community.
  • The ability to work effectively with others, reach consensus, and build trust and interpersonal contacts on behalf of the City.
  • The ability to evaluate and work toward resolution of complex legislative or regional issues involving special interest groups.
  • The ability to effectively represent the Council’s and community’s interests on controversial policy issues in spite of differing personal interests.
  • The ability to portray an image of fairness, caring, professionalism, and service on behalf of the City.
  • High personal standards with a demonstrated history of actions consistent with local, state, and federal laws regarding personal and business activities.
  • The time and interest to devote a minimum of 15-20 hours weekly to Council business; and the willingness and ability to attend scheduled early morning, lunch, and evening meetings and community events on behalf of the City.


  • The Olympia City Council serves as the community’s legislative body which is responsible for approving ordinances and establishing City policy.
  • Olympia City Councilmembers represent the community at-large, not designated districts. The City Council hires the City Manager. The Council also appoints members to various advisory committees and commissions, and selects the City’s Hearings Examiner.
  • The City Council’s regular meetings are usually on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 601 4th Avenue East. Some weeks there are also study sessions and Council committee meetings starting at 5:00 p.m. The Olympia City Council generally does not meet when there is a 5th Tuesday in the month or during vacation weeks identified by Council at its annual retreat.
  • Councilmembers serve on one or two Council committees and as liaisons of the Council on numerous interjurisdictional boards. Councilmembers also represent the City at various community functions.
  • Anyone interested in this appointment must be willing to devote a considerable amount of personal time during the work week, evenings, and weekends to fulfill these responsibilities.

Olympia City Government

Olympia is a non-Charter Code City that has operated under a Council-Manager form of government since 1982.

Council-Manager government is similar to a corporate structure with an elected Council serving as the Board of Directors. The Mayor is the Chairman of the Board, and the City Manager - who is hired by the City Council - is the Chief Executive Officer.

Olympia's seven-member City Council sets policy, often by adopting codes (laws), plans, resolutions, and standards. The City Council, in turn, hires the City Manager to administer the City's day-to-day business and provide policy advice to the Council. Except for the independently elected Municipal Court Judge who is accountable to the voters, City employees are hired by and report to the City Manager, not the Council.

The Olympia City Council has approved a set of Guidelines for how they fulfill their responsibilities and conduct their business. The Guidelines are reviewed annually by the City Council and posted on the City’s website for public access.

The City of Olympia provides a full range of municipal services including four utilities, a municipal court and day reporting center, fire, police, parks and recreation, community development and planning, and public works.

Many City documents, including the operating and capital budgets, Municipal Code, Comprehensive Plan, and weekly Council agenda packets are posted on the City’s website,

More Information

For information about City policies, programs, budget and operational activities, please contact Olympia City Manager Steve Hall or leave a message with Susan Grisham, Executive Assistant to the City Council and the City Manager. The phone number to reach both individuals is 360.753.8447. An e-mail request for information may be sent to Susan Grisham at