City Government

Olympia City Council


City Departments


Type of 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 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. The City Council also appoints community members to volunteer advisory committees and commissions; and may select and hire a Hearing Examiner and Police Auditor. 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 posted on the City’s website.

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.