Salem operates under the council-manager form of city government. The Mayor and the City Councilors are elected by the citizens and they develop the policies that will direct the operation of the city. The Mayor and Council hire the City Manager to implement their policy direction and actually manage the operations of the city. The City Charter provides the authority under which the City operates and outlines the roles of the Mayor, Council, and City Manager in Chapters I through V. Additional information will be found in the Salem Revised Codes and in the Council Rules.
The Salem City Council consists of the Mayor and eight City Councilors, each representing one of the eight designated Wards of the City. The registered voters in each Ward elected a Councilor, who resides in the Ward, to represent them on the Council. The term of office for each Councilor is four years, with half of the Councilors standing for election evey two years. The Mayor stands for election in all eight wards of the City and serves a two year term. The Wards are as equal in population as possible and may be adjusted every ten years when the census data become available. Each member of Council, including the Mayor, has one vote.
City Council meetings are on the second, and fourth Mondays of each month at 6:30 PM. The meetings are open to the public and are held in the City Council Chambers, Room 240, Vern Miller Civic Center, 555 Liberty St. SE. The annual Council Calendar shows all of the dates reserved for Council, Urban Renewal, and Housing Authority meetings for the current calendar year. The Meetings of Interest Calendar shows the actual time and location of each meeting.
Watch the Council meetings live on CCTV, Channel 21, with replays during the week, or stream the meeting live or in archive form online.
Council Meeting Agendas, Reports, Minutes and Archives
(also for Urban Renewal and Housing Authority, see below)
Opening the current agenda also provides access to the reports on the agenda. Locate the Council item on the agenda and open the report. Archived agendas, reports, and minutes from meetings not online, might be obtained from the City Recorder's Office.
Special Reports and Features
The Significant Approved Projects Status Report provides a summary of prominent issues or projects that have received approval for action from the City Council and/or the Urban Renewal Agency. These projects have received citizen input and are currently in progress.
The Council Goal Report provides a status update on the City Council Goals.
Other Council Boards and Committees
Urban Renewal Agency
In Salem, the Urban Renewal Agency Board is constituted by the Mayor and City Council, with the Mayor acting as Chair. The City Manager serves as the Executive Director of the Urban Renewal Agency. Staff support is provided by the Urban Development Department through an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Salem.
The Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Salem is a separate municipal corporation responsible for governing Salem's urban renewal areas. The meetings are conducted under Agency Rules.
Learn more about Urban Renewal.
Salem Housing Authority Commission
The Commission approves Salem Housing Authority actions related to matters of policy in program operation, housing development, and resident services. In Salem, the Housing Authority Commission is constituted by the Mayor and City Council. The nine-member board includes a Chair and resident representative. The City Manager serves as the Executive Director of the Salem Housing Authority. Staff support is provided by the Salem Housing Authority.
The Salem Housing Authority is a separate municipal corporation responsible for administering housing assistance to low and moderate income households in Salem. The meetings are conducted under SHA’s bylaws.