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 921,130 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.
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.
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.