Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett

The Mayor's background 

Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett took office January 4, 2017. Serving his third term as Mayor, his record of nine years on City Council and dedicated service to Salem resulted in street improvements, the sidewalk replacement program, increased funding for public safety, and other livability initiatives. 

Mayor Bennett is a former member of the Oregon House of Representatives, and in 2018, retired as Director of Government Relations for the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators. He began his career as a newspaper reporter and editor at the Salem Capital Journal and at newspapers in Stayton and Woodburn.

A passionate community volunteer, Mayor Bennett has served on numerous committees for the past 25 years. He was president of the City Council and chaired several City Council committees, including the Salem Public Library Board, Cultural and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board, Budget Committee, and Planning Commission. He currently serves on the advisory board for the Career and Technical Education Center for the Salem-Keizer School District, and is a former board member of the Pentacle Theatre and the Oregon Council for the Humanities.

Mayor Bennett is a graduate of Willamette University, and has lived in Salem for 53 years. He resides in northeast Salem with his wife, Cherie. He has one daughter and two granddaughters, and is a frequent traveler to the United Kingdom.

The current priorities of the Mayor are to:

  • Promote jobs and economic development
  • Reduce homelessness
  • Improve streets, sidewalks, and parks
  • Increase affordable transportation options
  • Support strong neighborhoods
Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett

Mayor roles and responsibilities

The Mayor is a representative for everyone who lives in Salem and helps build partnerships throughout the community. The Mayor is a voting member of the city council and leads council meetings. At these meetings, the Mayor:

  • Presides over deliberations
  • Preserves order
  • Enforces council rules
  • Determines the order of business of the meeting

The Mayor also appoints members of council committees as well as volunteer members of boards and commissions.


The mayor serves on the following  committees:

  • Board & Commission Appointments
  • Capitol Planning Commission
  • Council of Governments Board
  • Council Rules
  • Hospital Facility Authority Board
  • Legislative (Chair)
  • Climate Action Plan (CAP), Chair
  • Infrastructure Bond Engagement Steering Committee, Chair
  • Public Works Operations Building Council Oversight Committee, Chair

​2022 State of the City Address

Read the 2022 transcript.

​Links to previous State of the City videos












Contact us

Mayor Chuck Bennett
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301