Elected Officials Chronology

Olympia's Leadership

Olympia's elected officialsOlympia was named the capital city of Washington Territory on November 28, 1853. Incorporation as a Town occurred on January 28, 1859 by act of the territorial legislature. In 1882, the Town of Olympia incorporated as the City of Olympia.

Olympia has changed its 'form of government' several times. What began as a Board of Trustees became a single Mayoral election, followed by a three person Commission and finally the Council-Manager system we use today.


Board of Trustees | 1859-1871

Elwood EvansThe Act of Incorporation provided that an election of officers should take place on the first Monday of April each year. Article 8, Section 1, also designated an interim Board of Trustees to serve until the first election.

Members of the interim Board of Trustees for the Town of Olympia appointed by Act of the Territorial Legislature were George A. Barnes, Joseph Cushman, Elwood Evans, T. F. (Thornton Fleming) McElroy, and James Tilton. At the first meeting of the interim Board on February 12, 1859, Cushman was appointed by his fellow trustees to serve as Chairman, and on February 24, 1859, he was elected by his fellow trustees to serve as President of the Board of Trustees until the election in April.

The first election of Town of Olympia Board of Trustees was held April 4, 1859. At the organizational meeting of the first elected Board on April 14, 1859, Elwood Evans was selected by his fellow trustees to serve as Town President for the year. George A. Barnes was selected to serve as Treasurer.


Mayoral | 1872-1924

William Winlock MillerAccording to the City Official Directory for the Year 1904 compiled by then Clerk V. A. Milroy, the Office of Mayor was created November 11, 1873 which replaced the President of the Board position.

However, in official Town Minutes maintained by the City of Olympia Clerk's Office, W. W. (William Winlock) Miller is shown by the Clerk as being elected "in a municipal election" to the position of "Mayor" on April 1, 1872, and again on April 7, 1873. Town Minutes for officer elections prior to 1872 refer to the position as Town Board "President," and the appointment to that position was from within and by the Trustees.

  • William Winlock Miller | 1872-1873
  • Ike C. Ellis | 1874
  • Thornton F. McElroy | 1875
  • J.C. Horr | 1876, 1891
  • J.P. Hudson | 1877
  • E.N. Quinette | 1878-1879
  • George A. Barnes | 1880
  • E.T. Young | 1881
  • Dr. Nathaniel Ostrander | 1882-1883
  • J.S. Dobbins | 1884
  • A.A. Phillips | 1885
  • A.H. Chambers | 1886-1888
  • J.F. Gowey | 1889-1890
  • Gen. R.G. O'Brien | 1892
  • J.W. Robinson | 1893
  • C.B. Mann | 1894-1895
  • Chas H. Ayer | 1896
  • John Byrne | 1897
  • Geo. B. Lane | 1898
  • Caleb Springer (C.S.) Reinhart | 1899-1901
  • Clarence J. Lord | 1902-1903
  • H.G. Richardson | 1904
  • Dr. P.H. Carlyon | 1905-1906
  • Thos. McLarty | 1907
  • W.A. Hagemeyer | 1908
  • Mitchell Harris | 1909-1911
  • Dr. Wayne L. Bridgfors | 1912
  • George A. Mottman | 1913-1916
  • Jesse T. Mills | 1917-1920
  • C.H. Bowen | 1921-1922
  • Geo. W. Draham | 1923-1924


Commissioners | 1925-1982

Neil McKay with RosseliniOn November 16, 1925 the City government was changed to a three-member elected commission composed of the Mayor (Commissioner of Public Safety), Commissioner of Finance, and Commissioner of Public Works.

The Commission originally began serving three 3-year terms. In 1950 their terms were increased to four years.

1925-1928

  • James C. Johnson | Mayor, Public Safety
  • E.N. Steele | Commissioner of Finance
  • Frank H. Phillips | Commissioner of Public Works

1929-1931

  • George N. Mills | Mayor, Public Safety
  • E.N. Steele | Commissioner of Finance
  • C.L. Dufault | Commissioner of Public Works

1932-1934

  • E.N. Steele | Mayor, Public Safety
  • W. Manier | Commissioner of Finance
  • *C.L. Dufault | Commissioner of Public Works
  • Edw. C. Dohm | Commissioner of Public Works

1935-1937

  • Dr. F.B. Longaker | Mayor, Public Safety
  • David Gammell | Commissioner of Finance
  • Edw. C. Dohm | Commissioner of Public Works

1938-1940

  • *Dr. F.B. Longaker | Mayor, Public Safety
  • David Gammell | Commissioner of Finance, Mayor
  • M.Y. Haskett | Commissioner of Finance
  • Edw. C. Dohm | Commissioner of Public Works

1941-1943

  • J.T. Trullinger | Mayor, Public Safety
  • M.Y. Haskett | Commissioner of Finance
  • Otis Gray Murray | Commissioner of Public Works

1944-1946

  • J.T. Trullinger | Mayor, Public Safety
  • M.Y. Haskett | Commissioner of Finance
  • Otis Gray Murray | Commissioner of Public Works

1947-1949

  • Ernest Mallory | Mayor, Public Safety
  • Dan L. McCaughan | Commissioner of Finance
  • W.A. Kellogg | Commissioner of Public Works

1950-1953

  • Ralph A. Swanson | Mayor, Public Safety
  • Dan L. McCaughan | Commissioner of Finance
  • *J. Ross Roberson | Commissioner of Public Works
  • J.F. (Jack) Hamilton | Commissioner of Public Works

1954-1956

  • Amanda Benek Smith | Mayor, Public Safety
  • Claude Yount | Commissioner of Finance
  • J.F. Jack Hamilton (Died 10/13/54) | Commissioner of Public Works
  • Thomas Allen | Commissioner of Public Works

1957-1960

  • Amanda Benek Smith | Mayor, Public Safety
  • *Frank McClanna | Commissioner of Finance
  • Dr. Matthew Kast | Commissioner of Finance
  • *Peter F. Skoog | Commissioner of Public Works
  • *Herbert Legg | Commissioner of Public Works
  • Clarence Shain | Commissioner of Public Works

1961-1964

  • Neil R, McKay | Mayor, Public Safety
  • Thomas Allen | Commissioner of Finance
  • Ed Krenik | Commissioner of Public Works

1965-1969

  • Neil R. McKay | Mayor, Public Safety
  • Thomas Allen | Commissioner of Finance
  • Gil Olson | Commissioner of Public Works

1970-1973

  • Thomas Allen | Mayor, Public Safety
  • George Earsley | Commissioner of Finance
  • *Gil Olson | Commissioner of Public Works
  • Keith Kisor | Commisioner of Public Works

1974-1977

  • Thomas Allen | Mayor, Public Safety
  • George Earsley | Commissioner of Finance
  • Keith Kisor | Commissioner of Public Works

1978-1981

  • Lyle Watson | Mayor, Public Safety
  • Ron Rants | Commissioner of Finance
  • Wm. Jacobs | Commissioner of Public Works

1982

  • Lyle Watson | Mayor, Public Safety
  • David Skramstad | Commissioner of Finance
  • Wm. Daley | Commissioner of Public Works


Council/City Manager | 1982-Present

Olympia's first City Council, 1982On May 18, 1982, the voters of Olympia approved the Council-Manager form of government. A new 7-member City Council was elected on November 2, 1982 and assumed office on November 18, 1982. The first meeting of the newly elected City Council was November 23, 1982. The Mayor was selected by the Councilmembers for a two-year term in January of each even numbered year.

In 1991 the voters approved the selection of the Mayor through election by the citizens, rather than through appointment by the Council. The Mayor is elected to serve a 4-year term.

1982-1985

  • David Skramstad | Mayor
  • Pete Knittle | Mayor Pro Tem
  • Mary Lux
  • Gilbert Carbone
  • William Daley
  • Holly Gadbaw
  • Joan Kelly

1986-1987

  • William Daley | Mayor
  • Gilbert Carbone | Mayor Pro Tem
  • Pete Knittle
  • Mary Lux
  • Holly Gadbaw
  • Joan Kelly
  • Rex Derr

1988-1989

  • Holly Gadbaw | Mayor
  • Rex Derr | Mayor Pro Tem
  • Gilbert Carbone
  • Pete Knittle
  • Mary Lux
  • William Daley
  • Cora Pinson

1990-1991

  • Rex Derr | Mayor
  • Mary Lux | Mayor Pro tem
  • Gilbert Carbone
  • Holly Gadbaw
  • Sandra Romero
  • Nina Carter
  • Cora Pinson

1992-1993

  • David Skramstad | Mayor (Resigned 3/2/93)
  • Bob Jacobs | Mayor (Appointed to replace Romero, Selected to become Mayor post resignation)
  • Mary Lux | Mayor Pro Tem
  • Rex Derr
  • Holly Gadbaw
  • Nina Carter
  • Mark Foutch
  • *Sandra Romero (Resigned 1/5/93)
  • Margaret McPhee (Appointed to replace Skramstad)

1994-1995

  • Bob Jacobs | Mayor
  • Mark Foutch | Mayor Pro tem
  • Pat Cole
  • Mary Lux
  • Holly Gadbaw
  • Margaret McPhee
  • Jeanette Hawkins

1996-1997

  • Bob Jacobs | Mayor
  • Mark Foutch | Mayor Pro Tem
  • Pat Cole
  • Laura Ware
  • Holly Gadbaw
  • Margaret McPhee
  • Jeanette Hawkins

1998-1999

  • Bob Jacobs | Mayor
  • Mark Foutch | Mayor Pro tem
  • Stan Biles
  • Laura Ware
  • Holly Gadbaw
  • Margaret McPhee
  • Jeanette Hawkins

2000-2001

  • Stan Biles |Mayor
  • Mark Foutch | Mayor Pro tem
  • Laura Ware
  • Curt Pavola
  • Holly Gadbaw
  • Margaret McPhee
  • TJ Johnson (Appointed 8/15/00 to replace McPhee)
  • Jeanette Hawkins

2002-2003

  • Stan Biles | Mayor
  • Mark Foutch | Mayor Pro Tem
  • Laura Ware
  • Curt Pavola
  • Matthew Green
  • Doug Mah
  • Jeanette Hawkins

2004-2005

  • Mark Foutch | Mayor
  • Laura Ware | Mayor Pro Tem
  • Matthew Green
  • Jeanette Hawkins
  • Joe Hyer
  • TJ Johnson
  • Doug Mah
  • Curt Pavola

2006-2007

  • Mark Foutch | Mayor
  • Laura Ware | Mayor Pro tem
  • Joe Hyer
  • TJ Johnson
  • Jeff Kingsbury
  • Doug Mah
  • Karen Messmer

2008-2009

  • Doug Mah | Mayor
  • Joe Hyer
  • Jeff Kingsbury
  • Joan Machlis (Appointed 1/7/08 to open position when Mah became Mayor)
  • Karen Messmer
  • Craig Ottavelli
  • Jeannine Roe (Elected to open position 11/24/09, replaced Machlis)
  • Rhenda Strub

2010-2011

  • Doug Mah | Mayor
  • Craig Ottavelli
  • Rhenda Strub
  • Karen Rogers
  • Stephen H. Buxbaum
  • Jeannine Roe
  • Joe Hyer (Resigned 4/10/10)
  • Steve Langer (Appointed 5/25/10 to replace Hyer)
  • Jim Cooper (Elected November 2011 to complete term)

2012-2013

  • Stephen Buxbaum | Mayor
  • Jim Cooper
  • Julie Hankins
  • Nathaniel Jones | Mayor Pro Tem
  • Steve Langer
  • Jeannine Roe
  • Karen Rogers

2014-2015

  • Stephen Buxbaum | Mayor
  • Jim Cooper
  • Julie Hankins
  • Nathaniel Jones | Mayor Pro Tem
  • Steve Langer
  • Jeannine Roe
  • Cheryl Selby