The City of Yelm is an elected Mayor-Council form of government, and a non-charter code city. As described in the Yelm Municipal Code and Revised Code of Washington, certain responsibilities are vested in the City Council and the Mayor. Basically, this form of government prescribes that a City Councilís role is that of a legislative policy-making body that determines not only the local laws that regulate community life, but also determines what public policy is and gives direction to the Mayor to administer the affairs of the City government in a businesslike and prudent manner.
Fundamentally, the powers of the City Council are to be utilized for the good of the community and its residents; to provide for the health, safety and general welfare of the citizenry. The City Council is the policy making and law making body of the City. State law and local ordinances grant the powers and responsibilities of the Council. The City Council is empowered to create all advisory boards and commissions, as it deems necessary or advisable.
The Council acts as a body. No member has any extraordinary powers beyond those of other members. When it comes to establishing policies, voting, and in other significant areas, all members are equal. Members of the city Council are collectively responsible for establishing policy, adopting an annual budget, and providing vision and goals to the Mayor and Departments. Policy is established by at least a majority vote of the Council.
The City Councilís collective policy and law-making powers are put into action at the Council meetings, with the opportunity provided for citizens to be heard. Meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, at 6:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Building. The Council holds a study session on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Building.