City of Salem
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News Releases
Capitol Jam Community Music Festival is Coming to Salem - 08/08/22

Salem, Ore. —Capitol Jam Community Music Festival is coming to Salem on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater. 

The free music festival, suitable for all ages, will host local and regional bands. The event celebrates Salem’s passion for the arts and music, bringing joy and inspiration to the community. The one-day music festival starts at 11 a.m. and continues through 10:30 p.m. 

“Our vision is to showcase our new amphitheater and Riverfront Park, as a destination venue for music, fun, and family entertainment,” says Kathleen Swarm, City of Salem’s Amphitheater Manager

Capitol Jam will draw on artists from the Pacific Northwest and feature many local musicians, including performances from the RiverCity Rockstar Academy. A full list of bands and schedules will be announced soon.

Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available for those in the community who wish to support the inaugural community music festival. 

More information about Capitol Jam can be found at See you August 27th, 2022.

UPDATE: Additional Testing Confirms Safety of Effluent Discharge to Willamette River - 08/06/22

UPDATE - City of Salem:  Additional testing at the Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility has confirmed that there are no additional safety concerns in the effluent that is discharged to the Willamette.  Partnering organizations have been notified and all signage along the Willamette River between Spongs Landing Park and Willamette Mission Park will be removed on Saturday, August 6.  



City of Salem Reports High E. Coli Bacteria Test Result in Discharge to Willamette River

During City of Salem’s routine monitoring of treated effluent from the Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility, higher than normal bacteria results were detected in a sample collected at 5:30 a.m. on August 3. The test results for this sample were received on August 4, 2022. 

The City’s Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility is located in Keizer at 5915 Windsor Island Road N.  The City of Salem treats wastewater and discharges treated effluent to the Willamette River at this location.  

Per the City’s effluent discharge permit, additional sampling and testing is being performed to verify the test results.  Additional testing will be completed on August 5, and the test results will be available by August 6, 2022. Signs are being posted in the immediate vicinity along the river.  Until these results have been confirmed people are asked to avoid the Willamette River between Spongs Landing Park, a Marion County Park located in Keizer, and Willamette Mission Park, a State Park also location in north Marion County.

Fun for All Ages: Celebrate Salem Civic Center's 50th Anniversary Aug. 18 - 07/29/22

Salem, Ore. – The City of Salem, in collaboration with community partners, has created a unique afternoon and evening full of fun for all ages in celebration of the Salem Civic Center’s 50th Anniversary. Join the celebration on Thurs., Aug. 18, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Featured activities will include live entertainment, architecture tours, art tours, youth activities, geocaching, art and history exhibits, a resource fair, and more.

Events and activities will be featured throughout the Civic Center campus. Check in at the Peace Plaza (the plaza between the Salem Public Library and the Salem Civic Center) to get a program of scheduled events and a map. 

3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

  • Resource Fair
  • Costume Party
  • Youth Activities
  • Geocaching
  • Art & History Exhibits

Entertainment and Activities (subject to change)

  • 3:00 p.m. Opening Ceremonies featuring Army National Guard Electric Ensemble (Peace Plaza)
  • 3:15 p.m. Art Tour (Library Plaza entrance)
  • 3:30 p.m. Micronesian Islander Stories (Library/Anderson Room)
  • 4:00 p.m. Army Natural Guard Acoustic Band (Atrium stage)
  • 4:15 p.m. Architecture Tour (City Hall west plaza entrance)
  • 4:30 p.m. Casa de la Cultura Tlanese (Library/Anderson Room)
  • 4:45 p.m. Art Tour (Library Plaza entrance)
  • 5:00 p.m. Salem Indigenous Now (Atrium stage)
  • 5:15 p.m. Architecture Tour (City Hall west plaza entrance)
  • 5:30 p.m. Center 50+ Ukulele Band (Library/Anderson Room)
  • 6:00 p.m. Neighborhood Recognition (Atrium stage)
  • 6:30 p.m. Paradise of Samoa (Atrium stage)

The City of Salem’s Civic Center, a unique New Brutalist architectural design, located at 555 Liberty St. SE, was completed in August 1972. 

For additional information regarding the 50th anniversary celebration, email

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Concerns of Emerald Ash Borer Growing in Oregon - 07/28/22

Salem, Ore. —The emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive and invasive insect known for killing ash trees in North America has recently been discovered in western Oregon. 

The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Fairmare), is a wood-boring beetle, and possibly the most destructive forest insect in North America. The EAB presents a significant threat to the Willamette Valley where native Oregon ash groves are abundant. Ash trees are found along local streams and rivers and used in urban landscapes across the city. In other parts of the country, EAB has posed a significant threat to ash trees with a mortality rate of 99%, leading to local significant environmental and economic damage. 

City of Salem’s Urban Forester, Milan Davis, has been monitoring the movement of EAB around the country and, in the last few years, has reduced the planting of ash trees along streets and in the City’s parks and stormwater facilities. However, ash trees are abundant across the city, both on public and private property; they are found in yards, parks, green stormwater infrastructure, natural areas, wetlands, and along our rivers, creeks, streams, and other water bodies. 

The City of Salem received direction from the Oregon Department of Forestry to catalog city-owned ash trees and their condition, and potentially remove any city-owned trees that are in poor or declining health, to reduce and delay the impact of the destructive beetle. Of the 32,000 street trees that the Urban Forester has already inventoried, approximately 1,700 are species of ash that are vulnerable to the EAB. The Urban Forester is also working to develop a management plan that includes the use of preventative treatments and standard procedures for tree removal due to emerald ash borer infestation. The quick removal of infected ash trees may be required to slow the spread of the beetle across western Oregon.

If you have questions about potential EAB infestations, maintenance, preventative treatments, or identifying and reporting sightings please contact the Urban Forester. More information on mitigation strategies provided by the state of Oregon can be found at the Oregon Invasive Species Council. Information can be found on the EAB Fact Sheet or reach out to the Oregon Invasive Species Online Hotline.

Keith Stahley Selected as Salem City Manager (Photo) - 07/11/22

Salem, Ore. – After a five-month recruitment, candidate screening and extensive interview process, the Salem City Council has selected Keith Stahley as Salem’s next City Manager.  The Salem City Council expressed appreciation to the community for their input into this process.

“Keith is a solid choice for Salem,” said Mayor Chuck Bennett.  “This community can expect continued excellence in fiscal and policy management from the City with Keith at the helm.  We’ve heard great things from everyone who’s worked with him in Olympia.”

With more than 30 years of local government experience, Keith Stahley most recently served as Assistant City Manager for the City of Olympia, Washington and managed the Office of Community Vitality. In this role for Olympia, Keith led community development, climate, community court, housing and homeless response, and economic development programs. 

“When we spoke with Keith’s co-workers and community partners, they conveyed their deep respect and admiration for him and his work in the community,” said Council President and Mayor Elect Chris Hoy. “We’re looking forward to bringing Keith to Salem and advancing the Council’s work on key priorities of creating more housing options, reducing our impact on climate change, and building a community we can all have pride in for years to come.” 

Mr. Stahley is expected to begin serving as Salem’s City Manager on September 12, 2022.

Keith Stahley has served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Olympia, Washington, since 2019.  Prior to serving as the Assistant City Manager, Keith served as Olympia’s Community Planning and Development Director for 14 years. Keith received his Master of Public Administration degree from Florida Atlantic University, his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Syracuse University, and is an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager (ICMA-CM).

About the Recruitment Process

On February 22, 2022, Salem’s City Council formally launched the City Manager recruitment by approving the recruitment process, candidate profile, and salary range. Raftelis, the executive search firm assisting the City Council with the recruitment, conducted initial screening interviews and extensive background research. 

The process included two City Council interviews; interviews with community members, the City’s leadership team, and labor union representatives; and virtual community forum featuring questions from community members. 

About the Salem City Manager Position

The City Manager is appointed by the City Council and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the City working under the policy direction and goals of the City Council. The City Manager prepares the annual recommended budget for consideration and provides Council with information on future operational needs, policy matters, and regulatory requirements. 

The City Manager directs the day-to-day administration of the City through Department Directors, who manage City government operations based on City Council direction, state and federal law, and City ordinances. The Manager pursues intergovernmental relations and partnerships and promotes and sustains community relationships. Additionally, the City Manager facilitates public outreach and effective communications.

In Salem, the City Manager is the Chief Executive Officer of three separate municipal corporations – the City of Salem, the Salem Urban Renewal Agency, and Salem Housing Authority. The lines of business are as varied as the needs of the community. The members of the City Council serve as the governing bodies for each of these corporations. The City Manager reports to the boards and is their only employee.


Attached Media Files: Keith_Stahley.jpg