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Olympia, Washington

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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Contracts Y
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Lobbying N
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Public Records Y
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Local Taxes N
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Transparency grading process

Olympia is the capital city in the state of Washington. It has a population of 46,780 as of 2012.[1]

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Washington city websites

Last rated March 15, 2012

The good

  • City of Olympia's bids and RFPs are posted.[2]
  • Agendas[3] and minutes[4] are available for City Council Meetings.
  • Building permits[5] and zoning information are available.[6]
  • The budget is posted for fiscal years 2004 to 2012.[7]
  • City of Olympia grants the access of government records to public.[8]
  • The Mayor and city council officials contact information are posted online.[9]
  • Audits are available from 2004 to 2010.[10]

The bad

  • Lobbying information and ethics is not noted
  • There is no checkbook register available
  • There is no information on local taxes

Elected Officials

City Council and Mayor

Olympia's city government operates under a Council-Manager system. The City Council is made up of seven members elected at-large for four year terms. The first position is designated as the Mayor and elected by voters. The Mayor has one vote like the rest of the council. The Mayor Pro Tem is selected by the City Council to take the position of Mayor if necessary. The City Council selects a City Manager to oversee the day to day operation of the city.[11]

First Last Position Term Expiration
Stephen Buxbaum Mayor 2015
Steve Langer Member 2015
Nathaniel Jones Mayor Pro Tem 2015
Karen Rogers Member 2013
Julie Hankins Member 2013
Jeannine Roe Member 2013
Jim Cooper Member 2013

City Manager

The City Manager is Steve Hall and the Assistant City Manager is Jay Burney.[12]

Hall came up with the idea to build a new City Hall building to help centralize government operations that occupied multiple buildings. The projected cost for the building was $35.6 million, but it ended up costing the city $54 million. The new building has garnered mixed reviews from The Olympian. A city ordinance requires that 1% of city construction projects be spent on public art. The projected art budget for the new City Hall building is $265,000, although the first proposal for art work in the building would cost the city $180,000. Hall put a hold on a projected $180,000 art project in City Hall after public criticism of the project. The art featured comic-strip speaking bubbles on bronze sculptures.[13]


According to the salary database at The Olympian, the following are the top ten annual gross pay for 2011.[14]

James Partin Patrol Police Sergeant $99,120 $155,121
Aaron Jelcick Patrol Police Sergeant $97,177 $154,238
Steven Hall Executive City Manager $148,797 $152,126
Steven Nelson Administration Police Commander $136,786 $148,052
Daniel Wojtech Patrol Police Sergeant $96,392 $147,549
Ronnie Roberts Administration Police Chief $145,729 $138,249
Thomas Morrill Legal City Attorney $134,639 $137,228
Paul Johnson Patrol Police Sergeant $99,120 $136,505
Stephen Hurd Patrol Police Officer $81,688 $136,467
Scott Ahlf Court/Probation Services Municipal Court Judge $134,624 $134,624

The City of Olympia website lists salaries for different class specifications here.


The 2012 budget spends $111,670,175.[15]

Expenditure Amount Percent
Public Works $52,181,480 47%
Public Safety $25,890,426 23%
Administration $20,069,049 18%
Debt $8,288,661 7%
Parks $5,240,559 5%
Total $111,670,175 100%


The 2012 budget has $110,993,911 in total revenue.[16]

Revenue Type Amount Percent
Charges $50,155,716 45%
Tax and Licensing $46,069,732 42%
Other $8,375,546 7%
Intergovernmental $5,000,067 5%
Fines and Interest $1,392,850 1%
Total $110,993,911 100%

The tax and licensing revenue is broken down by percentages below.[17]

Tax and Liscensing Percent
Property 28%
Sales 35%
Business 10%
Utility 20%
Other Taxes 1%
Licenses and Permits 6%
Total 100%


There is no information on the city website concerning lobbying and it is not listed on Open Secrets as having paid for lobbying services.

Emergency personnel

The following table outlines top salaries under the "Patrol" department on the salary database run by The Olympian.[18]

James Partin Patrol Police Sergeant $99,120 $155,121
Aaron Jelcick Patrol Police Sergeant $97,177 $154,238
Daniel Wojtech Patrol Police Sergeant $96,392 $147,549
Paul Johnson Patrol Police Sergeant $99,120 $136,505
Stephen Hurd Patrol Police Officer $81,688 $136,467
Jeffrey Jordan Patrol Police Officer $80,086 $133,788
James Costa Patrol Police Lieutenant $117,132 $131,754
Raymond Holmes Patrol Police Lieutenant $116,612 $130,651
James Black Patrol Police Sergeant $94,502 $128,179
Paul Lower Patrol Police Lieutenant $106,358 $127,817

The top positions for public safety are listed below.

Steven Nelson Administration Police Commander $136,786 $148,052
Ronnie Roberts Administration Police Chief $145,729 $138,249
Larry Dibble Administration Fire Chief $134,276 $134,276
William Wilson Administration Police Lieutenant $118,944 $133,096
George Machlan Administration Police Administrative Svs Mgr $106,665 $106,538

The labor agreements with police and fire department employees can be found here.

External links