Office of the Council
The Legislative Branch of County Government
As your Pierce County Council, we oversee the second most populous county in Washington with a population of 872,000 and one of the fastest growth rates in the state.
The Pierce County Council sets policy and approves the biennial budget. Washington’s counties derive powers from the state constitution, which establishes the legal framework for county government and lists the duties and powers of governing bodies. Pierce County is organized under Home-Rule Charter form, approved by the voters in November 1980. As the legislative branch of county government, the Council sets policies, enacts laws, and adopts budgets that guide an array of services, including:
- The criminal justice system of prosecutors and public defenders, District and Superior courts, juvenile detention, and adult jails;
- The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, which serves unincorporated areas and provides police protection under contract to area cities;
- Public health and human services;
- Ferries, airports, and county roads;
- Wastewater treatment and solid waste management;
- Regional parks, open space, and trails; and
- Elections, records, and licensing.
Members and District Information
The seven members of the Pierce County Council represent approximately one-seventh of the county’s population with districts of about 125,000 residents (as of the 2010 Census). Councilmembers are elected on a partisan basis and are limited to two consecutive four-year terms.
Contact Councilmembers and Council Staff
The County Council is supported by a chief of staff, chief legal counsel, communications manager, senior budget analyst, legal and research analysts, clerks and council assistants that are assigned to each member.
The terms of the first Councilmembers serving under the Home-Rule Charter commenced May 1, 1981. County Commissioners in office at the time (Jake Bujacich, District 7; Joe Stortini, District 4; and Joe A. Vraves, District 2) became Councilmembers. The first four elected members were: Phyllis K. Erickson, District 1; A.L. 'Slim' Rasmussen, District 5; R. 'Clint' Richardson, District 3; and Shirley Winsley, District 6.
COVID-19 Stay Home-Stay Safe Operational Changes
Due to Governor Inslee’s Emergency Proclamations 20-25 and 20-28, which were issued as a result of person-to-person spread of Covid-19, our office is currently closed to the public, including in-person public records requests or inspection. If you wish to make a public records request, you may still do so online or by contacting the Public Records Officer at: COUpublicrecords@piercecountywa.gov. Please be aware that response times may be longer than normal due to staffing levels and emergency response plans.
Chapter 42.56 RCW, the Public Records Act, requires each agency to make available for inspection and copying nonexempt ’public records’ in accordance with published rules. Pierce County adopted Chapter 2.04 PCC, Public Records Inspection and Copying Procedures, for implementing the public records act.