City Administration

The elected City Council sets policies for City government, enacts ordinances and hires, directs and evaluates the City Manager. The City Manager is the City’s chief executive officer, responsible for overall management and administration of all City government activities, including the implementation of ordinances, resolutions, policies, rules and regulations adopted by the City Council. The City operates its own police department, municipal court, water, wastewater, storm, street operations, planning, finance parks and the municipal swimming pool. This department includes the City Manager, City Attorney and City Recorder.


Chad Olsen
City Manager  |  503.852.7575
Chad was hired as City Manager for Carlton in February 2012. He holds an undergraduate degree and a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Chad came to the City of Carlton with extensive local government experience, including previous assignments as the City Administrator for the cities of Rainier and St. Helens. Chad is responsible for the overall management and administration of all City day-to-day activities, including working with the City Council on community goals, priorities, performance management, and the capital construction program.


Walter R. Gowell
City Attorney
Contact City Hall | 503.852.7575
Walter’s areas of practice include Municipal Law, Real Estate Law, Business Law, Land Use, Partitions, Subdivisions & Lot Line Adjustments, Water Law, Cooperatives, Water Districts, Agriculture Law, and Winery and Vineyard Transactions. Walter and his law firm serve as City Attorney for several Yamhill County municipalities and participate in numerous public works projects.    Walter is a partner in the law firm of Haugeberg, Rueter, Gowell, Fredricks & Higgins, P.C. located in McMinnville.  Walter has been the primary lawyer acting as City Attorney for Carlton since 1981.  The law firm has provided legal services to the City since at least 1933.


 Jennifer Nelson
City Recorder | 503.852.7575
Jennifer joined the City of Carlton in 2014 with over ten years of administrative experience, primarily in city government, and as a Certified Municipal Clerk by the Northwest Clerks Institute.  As City Recorder, she assists the City Manager to facilitate relations between the general public, elected and appointed officials, other agencies, and the City.  Jennifer serves as the Clerk of the City Council, Elections Officer, custodian and manager of all city records, and as the City's public information officer.