Governance System

Governance System

The City of Puyallup operates under the council/manager form of local government. This means that the city council sets policy and hires a city manager to oversee the implementation of the policies which have been set. The city manager is responsible for ensuring that the operations of the city are effective and efficient, and he/she appoints and directs the department directors to accomplish council-directed goals.

Mayor & City Council

The senior member of the council serves as the mayor for a two-year term.
Mayor nominates citizens to city advisory boards and commissions for council approval.

Six council members are elected by district (PDF), and one elected citywide, for four-year terms.

Duties of the City Council:
  • Legislative branch of City government
  • Determines City policy
  • Adopts annual City budget
  • Adopts City laws and amends them as necessary
  • Approves major contracts, purchases and agreements
  • Appoints the City Manager

City Attorney

  • Appointed by city manager to provide legal advice to city council and staff
  • Reviews ordinances, resolutions, contracts and other legal documents
  • Represents the city in legal actions

Human Resources

  • Recruitment and selection of qualified employees
  • Pay and classification
  • Labor/employee relations
  • Employee training
  • Administrative policies and procedures
  • Civil Service
  • Human Resources Page

City Manager

  • Appointed by city council to serve as the chief administrative officer of the city
  • Manages the city's daily business and carries out council policies by directing the work of the city staff
  • Expends funds as authorized by the city council
  • Recommends and informs council on legislative, financial, capital improvement policy, and other matters relating to the city
  • Manages claims, liabilities, and insurance
  • Promotes community awareness and citizen participation in volunteer programs
  • Participates in community-based organizations

City Clerk

  • Appointed by city manager to provide administrative support for city council functions
  • Coordinates and prepares council meeting agendas
  • Manager of official city records
  • Coordinates information services to the public
  • City Clerk Page


  • Provides financial services of accounting, grants administration, accounts payable, payroll, purchasing, banking services and investments
  • Provides utility billing for water, sewer, and storm water services
  • Coordinates preparation of the annual budget and associated financial reports
  • Manages and issues city's long-term debt for continued capital improvements
  • Prepares and maintains financial analysis and systems to ensure the fiscal health of the city
  • Manages employee benefits
  • Issuance and maintenance of business licenses
  • Finance Department Page