What Does the City Council Do?

​The City Council is made up of the Mayor and eight City Councilors that are elected by residents to develop and decide on policies that affect the City government and the city. All Council members are unpaid volunteers who give their time to serve their community.​​

City Council meetings

Detailed information about City Council meeting times, dates, and locations is shown in the calendar. You can access meeting agendas online and learn more about how you can participate in a Council meeting. Watch the Council meetings live on CCTV, channel 21, with replays during the week, or stream the meeting live on Facebook or YouTube, or in archive form online.

City Councilors

Each City Councilor is elected to represent a ward, a designated district of the City. The term of office for each Councilor is four years, with half the Councilors standing for election every two years. You can view contact information for and pictures of the current Councilors online.

Council goals for our community

The City Council adopted a strategic plan to chart the City's course for the next three to five years. City Council provides its priorities for our community in the form of an annual work plan called the City Council policy agenda. A progress update is planned for the fall and will report on actions taken towards achieving Council goals and the outcomes of the strategic plan. Learn more about the strategic planning process.

Other roles of Council

The Council serves as the governing body for the City of Salem’s Urban Renewal Agency and Housing Authority (except the Mayor who does not sit on the Housing Authority Commission). The City Manager serves as the Executive Director for both agencies. The Urban Renewal Agency is a separate municipal corporation responsible for governing Salem’s seven urban renewal areas. With assistance from three advisory boards, the Urban Renewal Agency Board provides direction and approval for projects and programs to invest in and improve specific geographic areas of the City. The Housing Authority is also a separate municipal corporation from the City, and provides safe and affordable rental housing assistance and services to residents. The Housing Authority Commission approves matters of policy for program operation, housing development, and resident services.

Joined by nine residents, the Council also serves as members of the Budget Committee to recommend a budget for the City on an annual basis. The group begins its work each April, looking carefully at the City’s estimates for revenue, and costs for services and capital projects to develop a recommendation to Council on the half billion dollar fiscal budget, effective from July 1 through June 30 of the next year. Learn more about how you can get involved in the budget process.

Upcoming meetings
Aug. 19
City Council Work Session6:00 p.m.8:00 p.m.Anderson Rooms A&B
Salem Public Library
585 Liberty ST SE
Salem OR 97301

Our Salem Update - Joint City Council Work Session with Salem Planning Commission

Agenda:

August 19, 2019 City Council Work Session Agenda

Meeting Minutes:

August 19, 2019 City Council Work Session Minutes

Phone: 503-588-6097

This is an open, public meeting or public hearing at an accessible location. Special accommodations are available, upon request, for persons with disabilities. Services may be requested for sign language interpretation or languages other than English. To request accommodations or services, please call 503-588-6097 at least two business days prior to the meeting.

Aug. 21
Boards and Commission Appointments Committee meeting10:00 a.m.11:00 a.m.City Manager’s Conference Room
Civic Center 555 Liberty ST SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301

Meeting of the Joint Urban Renewal Agency, Salem Housing Authority and City Council Boards and Commission Appointments Committee Meeting

Agenda:

​Board and Commission Appointments Committee meeting agenda for August 21, 2019

Phone: 503-588-6178

This is an open, public meeting or public hearing at an accessible location. Special accommodations are available, upon request, for persons with disabilities. Services may be requested for sign language interpretation or languages other than English. To request accommodations or services, please call 503-588-6178 at least two business days prior to the meeting.

Aug. 22
Downtown Advisory Board12:00 p.m.1:30 p.m.Urban Development Department
350 Commercial ST NE
Salem OR 97301

Regular Meeting of the Downtown Advisory Board

Agenda:

​Downtown Advisory Board Agenda for August 22, 2019

Phone: 503-588-6178

Learn more

This is an open, public meeting or public hearing at an accessible location. Special accommodations are available, upon request, for persons with disabilities. Services may be requested for sign language interpretation or languages other than English. To request accommodations or services, please call 503-588-6178 at least two business days prior to the meeting.

Aug. 26
Executive Session of the City Council5:30 p.m.6:00 p.m.City Manager’s Conference Room
Civic Center 555 Liberty ST SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301

Executive Session - ORS 192.660(2)(h) Current or Pending Litigation.

Agenda: An agenda for this meeting is not yet available.

Phone: 503-588-6097

This is an open, public meeting or public hearing at an accessible location. Special accommodations are available, upon request, for persons with disabilities. Services may be requested for sign language interpretation or languages other than English. To request accommodations or services, please call 503-588-6097 at least two business days prior to the meeting.

Salem Housing Authority Commission Meeting6:00 p.m.6:00 p.m.Council Chambers
555 Liberty ST SE RM 240
Salem OR 97301

Regular meeting of the Salem Housing Authority Commission.

Agenda:

Agenda August 26, 2019 Salem Housing Authority Commission

Meeting Minutes:

Minutes August 26, 2019. Salem Housing Authority Commission

Phone: 503-9303574

This is an open, public meeting or public hearing at an accessible location. Special accommodations are available, upon request, for persons with disabilities. Services may be requested for sign language interpretation or languages other than English. To request accommodations or services, please call 503-9303574 at least two business days prior to the meeting.

Contact us

City Council
555 Liberty St SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301
Phone: