Within thirty days after the effective date of the ordinance creating the municipal court, the mayor of each city or town shall appoint a municipal judge or judges of the municipal court for a term of four years. The terms of judges serving on July 1, 1984, and municipal judges who are appointed to terms commencing before January 1, 1986, shall expire January 1, 1986. The terms of their successors shall commence on January 1, 1986, and on January 1 of each fourth year thereafter, pursuant to appointment or election as provided in this chapter. Appointments shall be made on or before December 1 of the year next preceding the year in which the terms commence.
The legislative authority of a city or town that has the general power of confirmation over mayoral appointments shall have the power to confirm the appointment of a municipal judge.
A person appointed as a full-time or part-time municipal judge shall be a citizen of the United States of America and of the state of Washington; and an attorney admitted to practice law before the courts of record of the state of Washington: PROVIDED, That in a municipality having a population less than five thousand persons, a person who has taken and passed by January 1, 2003, the qualifying examination for a lay candidate for judicial officer as provided by rule of the supreme court may be the judge. Any city or town shall have authority to appoint a district judge as its municipal judge when the municipal judge is not required to serve full time. In the event of the appointment of a district judge, the city or town shall pay a pro rata share of the salary.