Local Governance in Washington

Spring 2021
Evening and Weekend
Graduate Only
Class Size: 15
4 Credits per quarter
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Washington State’s local governance system evolved out of a unique set of geographic and political circumstances leading to the creation of a web of over 60 different types of local governing bodies.  This course explores how the state’s system of local governance influences the delivery of public services and explores how investments of public and private capital are determined. We will examine how the existing governance system serves to drive public policy and consider how economic and environmental issues and interests are testing the viability of our current system.  We will use case studies and systems thinking exercises to probe the dynamic relationships between cities, counties and special purpose districts as they struggle to deliver critical programs and services. 


 Learning Objectives:

  • Investigate how Washington State’s local governance system evolved.
  • Consider how the state’s geography influences local governance structure and function. 
  • Examine how the structure of the state’s governance system influences the delivery of services and investment of public and private capital.
  • Investigate how the state’s governance system influences public policy.
  • Consider how viable the state’s current systems of local governance are.
  • Gain practical knowledge about the structure and function of Washington’s county, city and special district governments.


Spring 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

GR (4): 30222

Academic details

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Evening and Weekend
Advertised Schedule

Friday, May 7, 5 pm - 9 pm

Saturday and Sunday, May 8-9, 9 am - 4 pm

Friday, May 21, 5 pm - 9 pm

Saturday and Sunday, May 22-23, 9 am - 4 pm

Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting