Thurston County Elected Offices and Departments
Descriptions
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​Elected Offices
 

​The Assessor's Office determines fair market value of all taxable property in Thurston County, calculates levy rates for all taxing districts, and administers exemptions as provided by state law.

​The Auditor's Office manages all elections and voter registration, handles motor vehicle licensing, records and maintains deeds, real estate contracts and liens, and issues marriage licenses. This office also examines, processes and reports County financial activity.

​The three-member Board of Commissioners is the legislative and executive authority of the County. The Board has budget and financial authority over all offices and Departments, adopts laws governing all aspects of the County, and appoints members to advisory boards and commissions.

​The Thurston County Board of Health is comprised of the three currently elected Thurston County Commissioners. The Board of Health oversees efforts to improve the public's health by providing leadership that shapes the Public Health & Social Services department's approach to public health policies and programs.

​The Coroner's Office investigates all sudden, violent, suspicious and unusual deaths within the County.

​The Clerk's Office is responsible for administrative and financial functions of Superior Court, maintains all court files, and keeps records of all court proceedings. The purpose of the office of County Clerk is to ensure the separation of powers among the three branches of government by preserving the integrity of the judiciary. By being independent of the judicial branch, the Clerk protects the judiciary from the appearance of impropriety or unfairness in the setting of cases, implementation of orders, or investment of funds.​

​​Thurston County District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction that hears misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases; criminal traffic, traffic and other infractions; civil cases up to a maximum claim of $50,000, small claims cases up to a maximum of $2,500; and various other civil proceedings, such as: name change and anti-harassment petitions.

​The Prosecuting Attorney's Office prosecutes criminal cases, provides legal advice to County officials and represents the County in civil cases.

​The Sheriff's Office is responsible for providing police services in the unincorporated areas of Thurston County and for processing orders of the court throughout the County. The Sheriff manages the County jail and all law enforcement activities.

​​Thurston County Superior Court is the trial court for all felonies and civil cases involving amounts greater than $25,000 dollars. Superior Court also has jurisdiction over divorce and civil domestic violence cases, hears appeals of District Court cases, and hears referred cases wherein the State of Washington is Litigant. Superior court also oversees Juvenile Court.

​The Treasurer's Office acts as the banking agent for the County, school districts, fire districts and other units of local government, and has responsibility for collecting taxes and receiving, disbursing and investing funds.

​Departments
 

​The Central Services Department provides a mix of internal county services:

  • The Facilities Division maintains more than 650,000 square feet of county owned buildings, oversees contracted facilities services, and administers utilities payments.
     
  • The Information Technology Division provides desktop, business application, network, IT security, IT project management, telecommunication, and geographical information system services.
     
  • The Fleet Services Division purchases and maintains County owned vehicles and heavy equipment and provides fuel, central stores, and radio services.
     
  • The Administrative Services Division provides county-wide mail services, records management, and surplus program administration as well internal contracts and purchasing coordination.
     
  • The Budget and Accounting team manages internal budgetary and accounting services.
     
  • The Capital Projects team administers major construction projects and leases.

​The purpose of the Thurston GeoData Center is to provide County staff with accurate spatial geographic information and provide access and support in utilizing this information in their daily operations. Secondarily, TGC provides support and services to Federal, State, and local agencies, private business and the general public.

​The Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department provides plan review, addressing and inspection services for all new construction in the County, contracts with a local fire district to provide fire review and inspection services, and processes land use permits and applications for development projects under adopted regulations and plans. CPED also oversees the Permit Assistance Center, which is the central service center for citizens seeking information, application, or assistance on land use, construction and environmental health related issues.

​​The Thurston County Fair, organized by County government in cooperation with a citizen advisory board, is a family-oriented, old fashioned five-day fair that takes place the first weekend in August each year. The fair also provides off-season storage and facility rental opportunities.

​Thurston County's Land Use and Environmental Review division proposes and implements land-use regulations, which are intended to promote sound, coordinated development and the most appropriate use of land, and to conserve and restore natural resources that make Thurston County such a special place to live.

​The mission of Community Planning is to plan for sustainable land use and development within the unincorporated areas of the county so communities can thrive in a healthy environment.

​The Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) is a six-year plan of capital projects with estimated dates and costs, and proposed methods of financing. The Plan is reviewed and updated annually.

​​The Natural Resources Program creates plans and policies to address key issues such as preserving water resources, protecting salmon, and managing the application of chemicals by Thurston County government operations and in sensitive aquifer recharge areas.

​The Building Development Center is the central service center for citizens seeking information, application, or assistance on land use, construction and environmental health related issues.

​Frequently Asked Questions about the Permit Assistance Center and various permitting processes.

​Climate change has become a household phrase as the world struggles with the threat of a warming planet. Washington State is particularly vulnerable to climate change, because our economy depends largely on natural resources.

​The Stormwater Utility Program performs a wide array of activities to protect the health of streams, lakes and Puget Sound.

​For over 100 years, Washington State University has been connecting with you, your neighbors, and your community through our Extension programs. Every day, Thurston County Extension works to extend the university’s knowledge—addressing real-world issues to help find new opportunities for our farmers, natural resource managers, families, young people, and business leaders to become successful and thrive.

Emergency Services

​​Thurston County Emergency Management maintains and administers the County's comprehensive emergency management plan and program.

​​Medic One is an emergency care system designed to provide immediate response to all kinds of medical emergencies. All 13 fire Departments located in the County participate in this system, so emergency aid can reach nearly anywhere in the County in an average of five minutes.

​Human Resources handles all human resource personnel matters, including benefits administration, recruitment, labor relations, employee training programs and ADA Coordination. It is also responsible for the County risk management program including coordination of the County-wide safety program. The Department supports the Board of Equalization, which hears tax assessment appeals, they also support the LEOFF Disability Board, the Thurston Council on Cultural Diversity and Human Rights, and the Salary Commission for Elected Officials.

​The Thurston County Board of Equalization is a quasi-judicial board comprised of three citizen members who are appointed for three-year terms by the Thurston County Commissioners. Three alternate members are also appointed by the County Commissioners to serve when regular Board members are absent. The Board is established by the laws of Washington State and governed by the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR), pursuant to RCW 84.08.020 and 84.08.060.

The Board is separate from and operates independently of the Thurston County Assessor. It adjudicates appeals of assessed property valuations and other determinations of the Assessor, with a goal of providing an impartial and economical forum to hear and decide appeals brought by taxpayers. The Board is also responsible for equalizing the assessed values so that all real and personal properties in Thurston County are assessed equitably at 100 percent of their true and fair value, with comparable properties assessed at comparable values.

​Civil Service is charged with the recruitment, testing, hiring, and promotion of all Sheriff's Office employees under Chapter 41.14 RCW.

The Board of County Commissioners appoints citizens of the county to serve on the Civil Service Commission. Each commissioner serves a six year term without compensation and cannot hold any salaried public office or engage in county employment, other than the commission duties, during their term. The terms of the commissioners do not run consecutively. Only two commissioners can be of the same political party.

​Thurston County Pretrial Services consists of Pretrial Officers who conduct pretrial investigations, supervision of released defendants, and make recommendations for pretrial release conditions.

​Thurston County Public Defense is responsible for providing defense attorney services for indigent people in Superior, Juvenile and District courts.

​The mission of the Public Health & Social Services Department is to promote healthful social, economic and environmental conditions for all residents. The Department is governed by the Board of Health and Board of County Commissioners.

​The Public Works Department is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and improvement of the more than 1,000 miles of roadways within Thurston County.

​The Noxious Weeds division's mission is to protect the citizens, the natural resources, and the agricultural resources of the County from the degrading impact of invasive, noxious weeds.

​​The Parks & Recreation division's mission is to be the regional steward of parks, open space, and natural resource lands and waterways dedicated to public use for recreation and leisure enjoyment.

The Solid Waste Division provides resources and information to properly dispose of waste in a safe, convenient, and cost-effective manner while fostering responsible resource use. To accomplish this, the Solid Waste Division manages three disposal facilities in Thurston County, Washington: the Waste and Recovery Center in Hawks Prairie, and the Rainier and Rochester Drop Box facilities. The Division also provides outreach in our community to youth, residents, and businesses on the topics of reducing, reusing, and recycling waste and proper waste disposal.

​The Board of County Commissioners adopted an ordinance on Dec. 30, 2014 that created the Thurston County Transportation Benefit District—or “TC-TBD”—that covers the unincorporated areas of the county.

Many cities and counties in Washington are funding important road maintenance projects, new transportation infrastructure, and public transit systems that are aging, deteriorating, and not keeping up with inflation or population growth by creating transportation benefit districts.