Encyclopedia > Washington City Government

  Article Content

Washington City Government

The State of Washington has 280 cities. State law describes the various powers municipalities have.

City Classes Legally, a city in Washington can be described primarily by its class. There are five classes of cities in Washington:

  • First class cities,
  • Second class cities,
  • Towns,
  • Unclassified cities, and
  • Code cities.

First class cities are cities with a population over 10,000 at the time of reorganization and operating under a home rule charter. They are permitted to perform any function specifically granted them by Title 35 RCW (Revised Code of Washington).

Second class cities are cities with a population over 1,500 at the time of reorganization and operating without a home rule charter. Like first class cities, they are permitted to perform any function specifically granted them by Title 35 RCW.

Towns are municipalities with a population of under 1,500 at the time of reorgaization. Towns are not authorized to operate under a charter. Like the previously listed cities, they are permitted to perform any function specifically granted them by Title 35 RCW.

Unclassified cities are cities which are not operating under any other class. Only one city, the City of Waitsburg, Washington, is unclassified. It operates under the territorial charter under which it was originally organized before the State of Wsahington was created.

Code Cities were created by the Washington State legislature in order to grant the greatest degree of local control to municipalities possible under the State constitution and general law. This classification has been adopted by most jurisdictions in the State.

Code cities (which is shorthand for optional municipal code cities, as encoded by Title 35A RCW) are authorized to perform any function not specifically denied them in the State constitution or state law. They may perform any function granted to any other city classification under Title 35 RCW.

Governmental Forms

A city in the State of Washington can be described secondarily by its form of government. Cities (including towns) are authorized four forms of government:

  • Commission,
  • Mayor-Council,
  • Council-Manager, and
  • Charter.

Commission

The city of Shelton, Washington, is the only city still using the commission form of government.

Mayor-Council

Council-Manager

Charter

External Links



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
François Truffaut

... Hitchcock, he even published a book simply named Hitchcock recording interviews and conversations with Hitchcock. His last film "Vivement Dimanche", a comedy thriller in ...