Descriptions of Agencies, Elected Offices, and Departments
Area Agency on Aging
The Area Agency on Aging plans, coordinates, develops, funds and advocates services on behalf of the elderly in Thurston, Lewis and Mason counties. Provides case management information and assistance and nurse oversight for elderly and some disabled clients.
The Assessor's Office determines fair market value of all taxable property in Thurston County, calculates levy rates for all taxing districts, and administers exemptions as provided by state law.
The Auditor's Office manages all elections and voter registration, handles motor vehicle licensing, records and maintains deeds, real estate contracts and liens, and issues marriage licenses. This office also examines, processes and reports County financial activity.
Central Services
The Central Services Department provides a range of internal county information services, including personal computer desktop and network services, information technology application and consulting, telephone and voice mail, computer operations, data management, and the technical help desk. The department operates the information desk in the lobby of Building 1, the central mail room, central records center, and the personal property surplus program. The department provides facilities services, including maintenance and operation of county buildings, custodial services, real property management, and management of facility construction projects.
Civil Service Commission
Civil Service Commission establishes and maintains Employment and Promotion Eligibility Lists; maintains the Classification Plan for the Thurston County Sheriff's Office, and investigates and resolves issues relating to Civil Service Rule Compliance.
The Clerk's Office is responsible for administrative and financial functions of Superior Court, maintains all court files, and keeps records of all court proceedings. The purpose of the office of County Clerk is to ensure the separation of powers among the three branches of government by preserving the integrity of the judiciary. By being independent of the judicial branch, the Clerk protects the judiciary from the appearance of impropriety or unfairness in the setting of cases, implementation of orders, or investment of funds.
The three-member Board of Commissioners is the legislative and executive authority of the County. The Board has budget and financial authority over all offices and Departments, adopts laws governing all aspects of the County, and appoints members to advisory boards and commissions.
The Coroner's Office investigates all sudden, violent, suspicious and unusual deaths within the County.
District Court
Thurston County District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction that hears misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases; criminal traffic, traffic and other infractions; civil cases up to a maximum claim of $50,000, small claims cases up to a maximum of $2,500; and various other civil proceedings, such as: name change and anti-harassment petitions.
Emergency Services
Medic One is an emergency care system designed to provide immediate response to all kinds of medical emergencies. All 18 fire Departments located in the County participate in this system, so emergency aid can reach nearly anywhere in the County in an average of five minutes.
Emergency Management
Thurston County Emergency Management maintains and administers the County's comprehensive emergency management plan and program.
The Thurston County Fair, organized by County government in cooperation with a citizen advisory board, is a family-oriented, old fashioned five-day fair that takes place the first weekend in August each year. The fair also provides off-season storage and facility rental opportunities.
Human Resources
Human Resources handles all human resource personnel matters, including benefits administration, recruitment, labor relations, employee training programs and ADA Coordination. It is also responsible for the County risk management program including coordination of the County-wide safety program. The Department supports the Board of Equalization, which hears tax assessment appeals, they also support the LEOFF Disability Board, the Thurston Council on Cultural Diversity and Human Rights, Salary Commission for Elected Officials.
Juvenile Court Probation
Juvenile Court provides legal intervention for youth up to 18 years of age who have been arrested and/or charged with criminal activity. Juvenile court also provides a court and detention center for juveniles.
The Planning Department's mission is to plan for sustainable land use and development within the unincorporated areas of Thurston County so that residential and business communities can thrive within a healthy environment.
Prosecuting Attorney
The Prosecuting Attorney's Office prosecutes criminal cases, provides legal advice to County officials and represents the County in civil cases.
Public Defense
Thurston County Public Defense is responsible for providing defense attorney services for indigent people in Superior, Juvenile and District courts.
Public Health & Social Services
The Public Health & Social Services Department is responsible for promoting and protecting the health of Thurston County citizens. Its three major areas are: Personal Health Services, which provides services to prevent or cure illnesses and chronic diseases; Environmental Health, which monitors and responds to environmental conditions and issues that may impact the public's health; and Social Services, which contracts to provide and coordinate social services in Thurston and Mason counties.
Public Works
The Public Works Department is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and improvement of the more than 1,000 miles of roadways within Thurston County.
Resource Stewardship
Resource Stewardship Department provides plan review, addressing and inspection services for all new construction in the County, contracts with a local fire district to provide fire review and inspection services, and processes land use permits and applications for development projects under adopted regulations and plans. This Department also oversees the Permit Assistance Center, which is the central service center for citizens seeking information, application, or assistance on land use, construction and environmental health related issues.
The Sheriff's Office is responsible for providing police services in the unincorporated areas of Thurston County and for processing orders of the court throughout the County. The Sheriff manages the County jail and all law enforcement activities.
Superior Court
Thurston County Superior Court is the trial court for all felonies and civil cases involving amounts greater than $25,000 dollars. Superior Court also has jurisdiction over divorce and civil domestic violence cases, hears appeals of District Court cases, and hears referred cases wherein the State of Washington is Litigant. Superior court also oversees Juvenile Court.
Pretrial Screening Unit
Thurston County Pretrial Services is a section of the Superior Court which consists of Pretrial Officers who conduct pretrial investigations, supervision of released defendants, make recommendations for pretrial release conditions, and screening for court appointed counsel.
The Treasurer's Office acts as the banking agent for the County, school districts, fire districts and other units of local government, and has responsibility for collecting taxes and receiving, disbursing and investing funds.