Council-Manager Form of Government

The City of Spokane Valley is a non-charter code city and operates under a Council-Manager plan of government. Under this form of government, legislative (or law-making) authority is concentrated in the elected City Council, which hires the City Manager, a professional administrator who implements the Council's policies and plans.

For more information, see RCW Chapter 35A.

Information on how the City Council carries out its legislative responsibilities is contained in the Governance Manual (PDF).

Our Values

  • Community identity and pride
  • Focus on the future
  • Open, collaborative government

Core Beliefs

  • We believe that Spokane Valley should be a visionary city encouraging its citizens and their government to look to the future beyond the present generation and to bring such ideas to public discussion and to enhance a sense of community identity.
  • We believe that elected body decision-making is the only lawful and effective way to conduct the public's legislative business and that careful observance of a clear set of Governance Coordination rules of procedure can best enhance public participation and decision making.
  • We believe in the City Council as policy leaders of the City. One or more City Council members are encouraged to take the lead, where practical, in sponsoring Ordinances or Resolutions excepting quasi-judicial or other public hearings and the statutory duties of the City Manager as set forth in RCW 35A.13.020.
  • We believe in hearing the public view. We affirm that members of the public should be encouraged to speak and be heard through reasonable rules of procedure when the public business is being considered, thus giving elected officials the broadest perspectives from which to make decisions.
  • We believe that the City of Spokane Valley's governance should be known as "user friendly," and that governance practices and general operations should consider how citizens will be served in the most responsive, effective and courteous manner.
  • We believe that the economic and commercial job base of the community should be preserved and encouraged to grow as an alternative to increasing property taxes. We believe it imperative to have an expanded and diverse economic base.
  • We believe that Councilmembers set the tone for civic discussion and should set an example by:
    • Setting high standards of decorum and civility.
    • Encouraging open and productive conversation among themselves and with the community about legislative matters.
    • Demonstrating respect for divergent points of view expressed by citizens, fellow Councilmembers and the staff.
    • Honoring each other and the public by debating issues within City Hall and the Community without casting aspersions on members of Council, the staff, or the public.
    • Accepting the principle of majority rule and working to advance the success of corporate decisions.
  • We solicit the City Manager's support in conducting the affairs of the city with due regard for:
    • Promoting mutual respect between the Citizens, City staff and the City Council by creating the organization teamwork necessary for effective, responsive and open government.
    • Providing the City Council and public reasonable advance notice when issues are to be brought forward for discussion.
    • Establishing and maintaining a formal city-wide customer service program with emphasis on timeline response, a user-friendly atmosphere, and an attitude of facilitation and accommodation within the bounds of responsibility, integrity, and financial capability of the city, including organizational and job description documents while pursuing "best practices" in customer service.
    • Seeking creative ways to contain or impede the rising cost of governmental services, including examination of private sector alternatives in lieu of governmentally provided services.
    • Providing a database of future projects and dreams for the new City of Spokane Valley so that good ideas from its citizens and leaders are not lost and the status of projects can be readily determined.

Read more about the City Council and the City Manager.