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
Jul. 23
Salem Housing Advisory Committee12:00 p.m.1:00 p.m.Robert Lindsey Tower Community Room
Salem Housing Authority
370 Church St SE
Salem OR 97301
Executive Session5:30 p.m.6:00 p.m.City Manager’s Conference Room
Civic Center 555 Liberty ST SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301
Salem Housing Authority Commission6:00 p.m.7:00 p.m.Council Chambers
555 Liberty ST SE RM 240
Salem OR 97301
Urban Renewal Agency Meeting6:00 p.m.10:00 p.m.Council Chambers
555 Liberty ST SE RM 240
Salem OR 97301
City Council Meeting6:00 p.m.10:00 p.m.Council Chambers
555 Liberty ST SE RM 240
Salem OR 97301

Contact us

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