Rappahannock County has the traditional County Board of Supervisors form of government. The County has five voting districts that are decennially revised based upon population: Hampton, Jackson, Piedmont, Stonewall-Hawthorne, and Wakefield. One supervisor is elected from each district. The Board of Supervisors is elected to serve four-year terms and is basically responsible for the legislative, administrative, and financial aspects of County government. The Board holds regular meetings at 2:00 PM for General Business and 7:00 PM for Public Hearings once a month at the County Courthouse located in the Town of Washington, and such other meetings as the pace of business may dictate.
Rappahannock County has a County Administrator, Garrey W. Curry, Jr. The Rappahannock County Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals are administrative agents for the County and the Circuit Court, respectively. They direct the administration of the Zoning, Subdivision and Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinances. The County Planning Commission consists of seven members, one of whom is a member of the Board of Supervisors, another of whom is a representative of the Board of Zoning Appeals and the remaining five who are appointed to four-year terms of office by the Board of Supervisors by voting district. The Board of Zoning Appeals consists of five members all appointed at large by the Circuit Court for five-year terms of office.
Some of the local government organizations involved in local planning efforts include the Rappahannock County School Board, the Rappahannock County Water and Sewer Authority (RCWSA), and the Rappahannock County Recreational Facilities Authority (RCRFA). The Rappahannock County School Board, composed of five elected members representing the five magisterial districts of the County, are the stewards of the County's public educational facilities. As such, they administer programs that consume the majority of public spending in the County in their mission to provide the highest quality education available. The RCWSA was established in April 1968 pursuant to the Code of Virginia with the primary purpose of furnishing water and sewer facilities or both to residents and businesses in certain areas in Rappahannock County. It currently manages facilities providing sewer service to the village of Sperryville and to the County’s two public schools, as well as water facilities in the Town of Washington. On November 2, 1978, the RCRFA was created. The establishment of this Authority enables the County to raise and solicit funds from various local, state, and federal agencies and to provide increased recreational opportunities for the residents of Rappahannock County. The RCRFA currently owns and operates the Rappahannock County Park located near the Town of Washington on U.S. Rt. 211, and sponsors the annual Fodderstack 10-K Race.
Several agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia provide services through local field offices, whose funding is provided, in part, by direct local appropriation. The relationship between these agencies, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services, the Sheriff's Office, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI&SU) Extension Office, and the local government is one of partnership with the Board of Supervisors and County staff providing funding and support, respectively.