City and Government

City of Washington Municipal Government

Washington was laid out in 1775 on the northern bank of the Pamlico/Tar River by Colonel James Bonner and named in honor of General George Washington, his commander-in-chief. The City was incorporated by an act of the North Carolina General Assembly in 1782 and recognized as a port in 1784. It became the county seat of Beaufort County in 1785. More History

The City of Washington has operated under the Council/Manager form of government since May 7, 1952. The Council/Manager form of government is authorized by the North Carolina General Statutes (Chapter 160A, Article 7). The City Council is comprised of five council members. Municipal elections are held in November on odd-numbered years. Council members are elected at-large for two-year terms. The Mayor is also elected at-large for a two-year term. The Mayor has no voting powers.

Council members hold policy making and legislative authority. They are responsible for passing ordinances , adopting the budget , appointing Board and Commission members , and appointing the City Manager , City Clerk , City Attorney and Tax Collector. The City Manager is the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for implementing and enforcing policies and ordinances of the City Council, developing the City, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the government, and hiring department heads.

Headquarters for the City of Washington municipal government is the Municipal Building, which is often referred to as the old post office since the building originally housed the post office and federal government offices.

City of Washington Organizational Chart

City of Washington Budget


Street address: Municipal Building, 102 E. Second Street
Mail address: P.O. Box 1988, Washington, NC 27889
Telephone: (252) 975-9300
Fax: (252) 946-1965

City Departments

General Administration

City Council , Mayor , City Manager , Human Resources , Finance, Purchasing, Information Services, Revenue Collections

Planning & Development

Planning/Zoning, Community Development /Building Inspections, Code Enforcement , Historic Preservation

Public Safety

Police , Fire-Rescue/Emergency Medical Services

Public Works

Equipment Services , General Maintenance & Welding , Street Maintenance , Drainage , Sanitation , Cemeteries , Water Resources , Water & Sewer

Parks & Recreation

Parks & Grounds , Recreation Centers , Athletics & Programs , Senior Programs , Aquatic & Fitness Center


Civic Center

George H. & Laura E. Brown Library

Tourism Development

Washington Utilities

Utilities , Electric , Water, Sewer , Stormwater

News & Information

City News



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