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Government 101

What is Woodland's form of government?

Woodland has a mayor-council form of government.  The City of Woodland was incorporated on March 26, 1906 and operates under the laws of the State of Washington applicable to optional code cities (Title 35A RCW).   In this form of local government, the mayor has executive power providing the day to day administrative functions, as well as presiding as chair person at city council meetings.  The seven member city council sets policies and implements legislation through regularly scheduled council meetings and by serving on council committees. These policies and legislation, also known as resolutions and ordinances, ensure the city functions efficiently and effectively.

Woodland is also served by several boards and commissions that play an advisory role to the city council.  Local citizens are able to play an active role in their government by serving as a board or commission member.

Citizens can volunteer to serve on Woodland’s boards and commissions by submitting an application to the Clerk-Treasurer’s office when there are vacancies.  Citizens may also run for public office during election years.  The mayor is elected to a four year term while the city council members are elected to staggered four year terms.  Registered voters may cast their vote during election years.

City of Woodland's Boards and Commissions:

Woodland's boards and commissions allow the citizens to participate in city government by: advising the Mayor and City Council, ensuring public input, addressing city needs, serving as a liaison, reviewing projects, and conducting public hearings.

To register to vote:

Who does what?

The Mayor is the executive branch serving as the chief executive and administrative officer of the city who is ultimately in charge of all city departments and employees. The mayor also ensures that applicable ordinances and regulations are enforced and that the law and order are maintained in the city. The mayor presides over all meetings of the city council, reports to the council concerning financial and other needs of the city, and makes recommendations for council consideration and action. The mayor is the official and ceremonial head of the city, coordinating day-to-day activities.

Current Mayor: Will Finn -

The City Administrator is the official hired by the city to assist the mayor in overseeing the day-to-day management of city business under the direction of the Mayor.

Current City Administrator: Peter Boyce -

The City Council is the legislative or policy-making branch and consists of seven members elected at large to staggered four-year terms. The city council has all the powers delegated by the state constitution which are not specifically denied by state law. Woodland operates as a noncharter code city. The primary responsibility of the council is to act as elected representatives of the citizens of the city and to legislate and set policies for the effective functioning of city government. With that in mind, the council's goal is to be open and available to the citizens so that fair and equitable legislation will be adopted and realistic policies approved. Each of the seven council members also serves on council committees providing liaisons to all city departments, boards, and various organizations throughout the city.

Current City Council Members


What is the Purpose of a Council meeting?

Woodland City Council meetings are held in city hall on the 1st and 3rd Monday’s of each month at 7 p.m. Council meetings are the city's business meeting. Special meetings/ workshops are as scheduled, but generally on the 2nd Monday of each month. City council business includes review and approval of contracts, agreements, to present and to pass new policies (ordinances and resolutions), and to hear committee and departmental reports. Other business items may include: approving city real estate transactions, approving fees and charges, and confirming city department heads and volunteer boards and commissions members.

City Departments and Responsibilities:

Clerk-Treasurer: The City Clerk function is combined with the Treasurer. The Clerk's Department is the main information center for city government. In addition to providing information, public records and assistance to the citizens, the department maintains and updates the Woodland Municipal Code, has responsibility for all ordinances, resolutions, proclamations and policies and provides records storage for most city departments. This Department includes Human Resources, which is responsible for employment related services, and Information Systems which manages the city website as well as all city computer and telephone systems. Treasurer: This department is responsible for utility billing, taxes, handling the city budget, and paying invoices. This department also analyzes, records, and communicates the city's economic events.

Municipal Court: The Woodland Municipal Court contracts with Cowlitz County District Court for services. It hears cases involving traffic infractions, city code violations, misdemeanors, and gross misdemeanors. It is the goal of this court to maintain accountability for the actions of individuals and also ensure that the punishment fits the violation.

Public Works: The Public Works Department is responsible for City infrastructure (streets, utilities, etc), related codes and permits, as well as review of project proposals for compliance with City codes and construction regulations and inspection of projects for compliance with approved construction plans and City and State regulations/laws. In addition the Public Works Department with Community Development Planning is responsible for long-range planning and capital project design, management and inspection. Some of the main duties of the Public Works Department are maintaining city streets, utilities, and buildings.

Parks and Recreation: This is also part of the Public Works Department. The main duties of the Parks and Recreation Department are to develop new city parks and to provide recreation programs and services to city residents.

Community Development: The City of Woodland Community Development Department responds to issues regarding land development, population growth, environmental quality, and building construction. A key focus of the department is the maintenance of the city comprehensive plan and implementing regulations in light of changes to state law and local issues.

Police: The Woodland Police Department helps keep our city's streets safe and free from crime. The Police Department provides high quality, professional crime prevention, protection, and law enforcement services to maintain and promote human safety and the security of property for the entire City of Woodland.

Fire: Effective March 1, 2013, the Woodland Fire Department began contracting services with Clark County Fire & Rescue to provide emergency services to the city. The Woodland Fire Station will continue to be located at its current location.

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