About the Olympia City Council
Olympia's City Councilmembers are part-time City employees. They devote, on average, 15-25 hours per week to Council business. Some Councilmembers have full time business and employment careers in addition to their duties on the City Council.
The seven members on Olympia's City Council are elected to four year terms from the community as-a-whole, not from districts or wards. The positions are non-partisan. The terms are staggered, with positions ending for three members at one time and four members the next. Olympia City Council elections are part of the Thurston County general election held in odd-numbered years.
Position 1 is designated as the Mayor's position. The Mayor is elected by the citizens to that position. In Olympia, the Mayor and Councilmembers have equal voting authority, with the Mayor voting on all issues as one of seven Councilmembers.
Annually, the City Council selects one of its members to be Mayor Pro Tem so that there is a previously designated Councilmember to assume the Mayor's duties if needed.
In 1982, the citizens of Olympia voted to change the city's form of government from a three-member Commission to the Council-Manager model. The Council-Manager form of government is similar to a business corporate model, with the Council serving as the Board of Directors who sets executive policy. The Mayor is the Chairman of the Board, and the City Manager is hired by the City Council as the Chief Executive Officer. By state law, the Mayor and Councilmembers may not hire, discharge, or direct any administrative staff other than the City Manager.
In addition to the City Manager, the Olympia City Council also hires the Hearing Examiner.
Current Olympia City Councilmembers
How to Contact the City Council
Olympia City Council
PO Box 1967
Olympia, WA 98507-1967
Option #1. Send individual emails to Councilmembers. Councilmembers have individual email addresses. You will find the email address on each Councilmember's web page.
Option #2. Send a single email to the Council's central email box: email@example.com. Your email sent to this address will be forwarded to all City Councilmembers by the Council's secretary during normal working hours.
All written correspondence to the Olympia City Council, including email, is a public record, potentially eligible for release upon request.
At a City Council Meeting
See "How to Provide Public Testimony" in the following section.
City Council meetings
Olympia City Council meetings are usually held on Tuesday evenings at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Avenue E, unless otherwise noticed.
During the coronavirus emergency, the Council Chamber will be closed to the public. You can register to attend the meetings live via Zoom (links below).
How to comment
Live public comments (via Zoom) will be taken during the meeting at the indicated portion of the agenda, but advance signup is required.
Links to Council and Council committee meeting packets with Zoom registration will be posted below when available (typically 5 days prior to meeting). When you register to view the meeting, you will be asked if you want to participate in public comment. After you complete the signup form, you will receive a link by email to log onto Zoom on the day and time of the meeting.
Once connected to the meeting you will be auto-muted. You will however be able to view and hear the meeting. At the start of the public comment period, the Mayor will call participants by name in the order they signed up to speak and you will then be unmuted when it is your turn. You will have three minutes to speak. Note that you do not have to use video, you may comment by audio only.
Please sign up by 4 p.m. in order to give staff time to ensure folks who sign up to speak are registered properly for the meeting and to get the list of speakers to the Mayor before the meeting begins. If you sign up after 4 p.m. you may not be called upon.
If you would like to submit written comments, they can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to watch
- On television live – Thurston County Media Channel 3
- Streamed online live on Thurston County Media’s website: tcmedia.org
- Via Zoom – links for meeting registration can be found below or at olympia.legistar.com
- Meeting registration via Zoom provides a number to access the meeting via telephone
- The day after the meeting videos are posted at olympia.legistar.com
Agendas and Minutes
Council (and Advisory Committee) meeting agendas are posted on the City's Legislative Management System by 3 p.m. the Thursday before the meeting. Meeting minutes are posted following Council review and approval.