Salem’s Strategic Planning Initiative


The City adopted Salem's strategic plan on October 23, 2017. The strategic plan in brief provides a high-level overview of the strategic plan. The City developed the 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. The strategic plan charts a course 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.

With this three to five year framework in place, Council developed its annual policy agenda in a January work session. Based on the policy areas defined in the strategic plan, Council sets specific priorities for action in the coming year, and makes those priorities clear to staff and the community. The policy agenda provides direction during the budget process to align resources with current priorities.

How the plan was developed

​Phase 1:
situation assessment

How is the City government doing?

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

​Phase 2:
strategic plan

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

The strategic plan describes 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:

  • More than 600 people who shared their views in our recent survey on priorities for the City - in person at a September 19th Open House and online. This engagement summary also includes feedback from an early September 2017 City Council Work Session.

  • 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.

  • 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

Thank you for all of your time and input to help make this process a success!

Work groups

Based on input received to-date, outlined in the situation assessment, the City Council identified seven priority topics for Council work groups to discuss with the community. All work groups held public meetings 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. View work group membership, goals, and meeting materials for more information.

Contact us

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