Clallam County Spotlight
Located in the northwest corner of the state, Clallam County, established in 1854, is home to one of Washington State’s most beautiful features—the Olympic National Park. Rich in natural resources, including timber, hydroelectric power, and fish, Clallam County has enjoyed a stable economy and continues to grow, as the service industry and aerospace and maritime related manufacturing flourish. As a result of stricter logging restrictions implemented in 1980s, the prominence of the logging industry has declined within Clallam County, though it remains a fixture in the county economy.
Clallam County’s tourism industry has also enjoyed an incline, stemming from the draw of the Olympic National Park, as well as the town of Forks, made famous by its prominence in the Twilight series. Due to a steadily growing population, Clallam County’s service sector has surpassed natural resource related industries as the largest employer within the county.
In 1975, Clallam County voters approved a proposition that designated a board of 15 Freeholders to identify changes that could be made to the current government structure. The board then proposed a “Home Rule” Charter to the county, which the voters approved in 1976. While the charter kept the standard three-commissioner structure, it designated a space for an elected Administrative Coordinator to assist with administrative issues as well as delegated referendum and initiative measures to the residents of the county. The purpose of the charter, as stated in its preface, is to give greater control of county affairs to the residents of the county, rather than the state capital.