Responsibilities of Elected Officials 
President/Vice President

​The President must be at least 35 years of age and born in the U.S.

The chief duty of the President is to execute the laws of the U.S. The President is the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces, has the power to make treaties with foreign governments (with U.S. Senate approval), and has the power to veto (reject) laws passed by Congress.

The Vice President becomes President if the Office of the President becomes vacant. The Vice President also serves as the presiding officer of the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senator

​U.S. Senators must be at least 30 years of age, have U.S. citizenship for at least nine years, and be a registered voter of the state from which they're elected. U.S. Senators serve six-year terms.

The Senate and House have equal responsibility for declaring war, maintaining the armed forces, assessing taxes, borrowing money, minting money, regulating commerce, and making all laws necessary for the operation of government.

U.S. Representative

​U.S. Representatives must be at least 25 years of age, have U.S. citizenship for at least seven years, and be a registered voter of the state from which they're elected. U.S. Representatives serve two-year terms.

The Senate and House have equal responsibility for declaring war, maintaining the armed forces, assessing taxes, borrowing money, minting money, regulating commerce, and making all laws necessary for the operation of government.

Governor
The Governor is the chief executive officer of the state. The Governor makes appointments for hundreds of positions, including directors of state agencies, reports annually to the Legislature on affairs of the state, and may veto (reject) legislation passed by the Legislature.
Lieutenant Governor

​The Lieutenant Governor acts as Governor if the Governor can't perform the official duties of the office and is first in line of succession if the Office of the Governor becomes vacant. The Lieutenant Governor is the presiding officer of the state Senate.

Secretary of State

​The Secretary of State is the state's chief elections officer, chief corporation officer, and oversees the state Archives and Library. The Secretary of State is second in line of succession for the Office of the Governor after the Lieutenant Governor.

Treasurer

​The Treasurer's principal duties include managing and dispersing all funds and accounts, responsibility for all state investments, paying interest and principal on state bonded indebtedness, and maintaining a revenue collection system for deposits into the Treasury.

Auditor

​The State Auditor conducts independent financial, accountability and performance audits of all Washington state governments. The Auditor investigates whistleblower complaints and reports of fraud, waste and abuse received through its citizen hotline.

Attorney General

​The Attorney General serves as legal counsel to the Governor, members of the Legislature, state officials, state agencies, boards and commissions, and colleges and universities.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

​The Superintendent administers public kindergarten through twelfth grade education programs. The Superintendent also certifies teaching personnel, approves accreditation programs and regulates the apportionment of state and local funds.

Commissioner of Public Lands

​The Commissioner of Public Lands leads the Department of Natural Resources, overseeing the management of 5 million acres of state forest, agricultural, range, tidal and shore lands.

Insurance Commissioner

​The Office of the Insurance Commissioner regulates insurance companies doing business in Washington, licenses agents and brokers, reviews policies and rates, examines the operations and finances of insurers, and handles inquiries and complaints from the public.

State Senator

​State Senators serve four-year terms. The State Senate's only exclusive duty is to confirm appointments by the Governor. During legislative sessions, the Legislature enacts or rejects legislation affecting public policy in the state, provide for the levy and collection of taxes and other revenue to support state government and assist local government, and appropriate funds for these purposes.

State Representative

​State Representatives serve two-year terms. During legislative sessions, the Legislature enacts or rejects legislation affecting public policy in the state, provide for the levy and collection of taxes and other revenue to support state government and assist local government, and appropriate funds for these purposes.

Supreme Court Justice

​The Supreme Court hears appeals and decides on cases from the Court of Appeals and other lower courts.

Court of Appeals Judge

​The Court of Appeals hears and decides on most of the appeals that come up from the superior courts.

Assessor

​The Assessor determines the fair market value of all real and personal property in order to calculate property taxes. The Assessor also manages property value exemption and reduction programs.

Auditor

​The Auditor conducts federal, state, and local elections; processes licenses and titles; records and preserves all real estate documents for the county; and provides internal county financial services and guidance, including accounting, financial reporting, accounts payable and payroll.

Clerk

​The Clerk preserves free access to a fair, accurate and independently-established record of the opinions, decisions and judgments of the court.

Coroner

​The Coroner investigates all sudden, violent, suspicious and unusual deaths occurring in the county. The Coroner also certifies death certificates, notifies next of kin, and inventories/releases personal property.

County Commissioner

​County commissioners serve as the local government and legislative authority outside city limits. The commission oversees county policies, approves the county budget, and manages other duties as directed by the State Legislature.

Prosecuting Attorney

​The Prosecuting Attorney prosecutes criminal actions in Superior, District and Juvenile Court. The Prosecuting Attorney also provides legal advice and represents county officials in civil actions, handles paternity and child support collection cases, and assists victims and survivors throughout the criminal prosecution of their offenders.

Sheriff

​The Sheriff is responsible for law enforcement, jail facilities management, civil and legal processing, and emergency operations.

Treasurer

​The Treasurer provides banking, investment, debt and cash management services and collects property taxes for the county and all local governments within the county, except cities.

Superior Court Judge

​Superior Court Judges hear felony criminal cases, civil cases involving real property, domestic relations matters, juvenile matters, appeals from lower courts, and appeals from state administrative agencies.

District Court Judge

​Thurston County District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction which hears civil, small claims, criminal cases, and traffic citations and cases.  The court conducts all court proceedings for the City of Lacey and hears jury trials for other municipal courts within Thurston County.

Types of City Government

​Two forms of city government exist in Thurston County: mayor-council and council-manager. Under both forms of government the council conducts the city's legislative and policy making. All council members are elected.

Council-Manager (Lacey and Olympia)

Council-Manager (Lacey): The City Council appoints a city manager to oversee day-to-day affairs and selects one member to act as chairperson, with the title of mayor, presiding over council meetings and serving as ceremonial head of the city.

Council-Manager (Olympia): The City Council appoints a city manager to oversee day-to-day affairs. The Mayor is elected, presides over council meetings and serves as ceremonial head of the city.

Mayor-Council (Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino, Tumwater and Yelm)

​The Mayor and Council Members are elected. The Mayor administers day-to-day city affairs, presides over council meetings and has a veto power.

Municipal Court Judge

​The judge presides over traffic and non-traffic infractions; criminal and gross misdemeanors; and order for protection for survivors of domestic violence.

Precinct Committee Officer

​A Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) is an elected official in either the Thurston County Democratic or Republican Party. The office establishes a direct link between the party and the voters in the local precinct.

Cemetery Districts

​Commissioners acquire, improve and operate cemeteries. They also set a budget and establish fees and rules for cemetery use.

Fire Protection Districts & Regional Fire Authorities

​Commissioners oversee districts that provide fire prevention services, fire suppression, emergency medical services and the protection of life and property in the county. With voter approval, they may issue bonds and make excess levies.

Parks and Recreation Districts

​Parks district commissioners may acquire properties, make contracts, establish fees, make rules governing park properties, and manage and operate facilities. They may also impose property taxes, establish local improvement districts and issue revenue bonds.

Port of Olympia

​Port districts levy taxes, promote economic development, create incidental park and recreation facilities, and adopt and enforce regulations for moorage and toll facilities. The commissioners set objectives, policies and overall port direction through comprehensive plans.

Public Utility District

The Thurston PUD was formed in 1938 by a vote of the people. Three Commissioners are elected to six-year terms, first from their District and then Countywide. Thurston PUD provides water utility services throughout the County. PUDs are also authorized to provide wholesale telecommunications services, and with a vote of the people electricity and sewer utility services. The PUD also has tax levy authority. 

School Districts

​The Board of School District Directors oversees budget, policy development, curriculum approval, planning and communications for the school district. School Board Directors delegate authority for day-to-day functions to administrative staff at each of the schools within the district.