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Citizen Participation Guide > Clark County Government

Clark County Government

So you want to get involved in an issue or project. The first step is knowing which county department or outside agency is responsible for the project or area of concern. Having a basic understanding of who provides specific services can help. Sometimes you have to do a little homework to determine where to start.

If you live in a city or town, a good place to start is with a call to your individual city hall. City governments generally provide urban services such as water and sewer, road repair, and neighborhood parks within individual city limits.

Within the boundaries of Clark County, you’ll find not only cities, but numerous special service districts, including fire, school, and cemetery districts, all of which provide particular services. Each has its own board and authority.

The Clark County connection
To begin with, Clark County government is the only local jurisdiction that deals with the entire geographic area of the county. Its structure is complex, with 24 elected officials, 13 regional councils and districts, and numerous appointive boards. Elected officials comprise the Assessor, Auditor, Treasurer, Clerk, Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff, and District and Superior Court judges as well as the Board of Clark County Commissioners.

The county provides a range of regional services countywide spanning more than 600 programs. Many of these programs provide services to all residents, whether they live within a city’s boundaries or in an unincorporated area. Included in these are services mandated by the state, such as courts, adult and juvenile jails, and land-use planning.

The three-member Board of Clark County Commissioners has overall responsibility for all departments not managed by other elected officials. The Commissioners Office administers departments such as Public Works, Community Development, and Community Services. A county administrator appointed by the commissioners has direct day-to-day management responsibilities for these departments. The commissioners are also responsible for adoption of the biennial county budget and all county ordinances.

Like the federal and state governments, the county and cities within it have different responsibilities. But they also work in partnership to make the best use of public resources. For example, the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, which provides 9-1-1 emergency dispatch countywide as well as other emergency programs, is made possible through a series of interlocal agreements including the county, cities, local law enforcement, fire districts, and related agencies.

To find out more about the specific types of services county departments provide, please look at the Clark County organization chart. The chart lists all county departments, elected officials, and telephone numbers. It’s a good place to refer to when determining whom to call and how to get involved.

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Public Information and Outreach
Director: Mary Keltz

Street address: 1300 Franklin Street, Floor 6, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing address: P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Main phone: (360) 397-6012 | FAX: (360) 397-6015
Responsible elected official: Board of Clark County Commissioners

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