Salem’s Strategic Planning Initiative

The City is undertaking a strategic plan to articulate the mission, vision, values, and goals for the organization to help the City sustain delivery of core services as the community and the organization grow and change. This work will chart a course, in a transition plan, for the City moving forward based on findings from an assessment of current conditions in our community, impacts of anticipated change in the region, and perspectives of residents, community leaders, and Council.


View an overview of the strategic planning project process for more information.

​Phase 1:
situation assessment

How is the City government doing?

The situation assessment outlines the internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) conditions impacting the provision of services by the City.

​Phase 2:
strategic plan

What are the City’s goals for the next five to seven years?

The strategic plan will describe the mission and values that guide the City, the vision, goals, objectives, and performance measures the City wants to achieve, and the planning and funding it will take to get there.

​Phase 3:
transition plan

What must the City do in the first year to ensure success?

The transition plan will include a policy agenda and work plan, as well as specific and individual departmental work plans designed to carry out Council policy.

Mission, vision, and values

In a work session on March 6, 2017, the Salem City Council reached consensus on mission, vision and values statements for the organization.


A safe and livable capital city with a sustainable economy and environment that is open to all.


The City of Salem provides fiscally sustainable and quality services to enrich the lives of present and future residents, the quality of our environment and neighborhoods, and the vitality of our economy.


Opportunity – Salem is proactive and forward-thinking

Compassion – Salem is fair, equitable, and safe

Responsiveness – Salem is at your service, with capacity and partnerships to prepare for the future

Accessibility – Salem is open and inclusive

Community involvement

The City of Salem is asking big questions as part of a strategic planning process. Community engagement is a critical part of this effort, and we’d like your help. To-date, we have heard from:

  • Thank you Salem! About 300 of you participated in a June 1 Community Open House. We received more than 750 ideas and suggestions for how the City could address these big issues for our community. Over the summer, Council will get to work and review all of the input we have received to-date.
  • January 2017 open house input summary
  • The City Council and Budget Committee
  • 450 residents who participated in a statistically valid satisfaction survey conducted by DHM Research from November 30 through December 4, 2016
  • Stakeholders including potential partners in improving conditions in our community

Based on input received to-date, outlined in the Situation Assessment, the City Council identified six priority topics for Council work groups to discuss with the community. All work groups are meeting in April to define the scope of the issue, desired outcome, and ideas for actions the City may take to address challenges and opportunities facing the City. Meetings will be publicly noticed and comments will be taken.

Work groups

Work groups on the following topics:

Affordable housing, social services, homelessness

Mayor Bennett, Councilors McCoid, Andersen, Cook
Lead staff: Andy Wilch, Housing Administrator


  • Housing security for Salem residents
  • Accessible health and social services for Salem residents
Affordable Housing and Social Services
Affordable Housing and Social Services

​Economic development and downtown

Mayor Bennett and Councilors Nanke, Hoy, Kaser
Lead staff: Kristin Retherford, Urban Development Department Director


  • A greater survival rate for small businesses, growth of existing businesses, and attraction of new businesses
  • A vibrant downtown with low commercial vacancy and quality housing
Economic Development and Downtown
Economic Development and Downtown

​Vision for growth and development

Councilors McCoid, Cook, Lewis, Nanke
Lead staff: Lisa Anderson-Ogilvie, Planning Administrator


  • A comprehensive, long-term vision for growth and development in Salem
Growth and Development
Growth and Development

​Critical infrastructure

Councilors Ausec, Lewis, Nanke, Kaser
Lead staff: Peter Fernandez, Public Works Department Director


  • A robust and maintained infrastructure system
Critical Infrastructure
Critical Infrastructure
Critical Infrastructure
Critical Infrastructure

Sustainable service delivery

Councilors McCoid, Andersen, Ausec, Cook
Lead staff: Kacey Duncan, Deputy City Manager


  • Alignment between city services and available resources
Services Sustainability
Services Sustainability
Services Sustainability

​Public transportation

Mayor Bennett and Councilors Kaser, Lewis, Hoy
Lead staff: Julie Warncke, Senior Transportation Planner


  • A public transportation system that meets community needs
Public Transportation
Public Transportation
Public Transportation

Contact us

Courtney Knox Busch
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301