Chuck Bennett In The Media

Ken talks with Chuck Bennett — Salem City Councilor for Ward 1 — about the city’s plans for the “State Street Corridor.” KMUZ


Gator’s Radio Experience – Chuck Bennett Interview with Gator and Denise


Letters For Chuck Bennett

I’ve known Chuck Bennett over 20 years and know him to be a thoughtful, intelligent and empathetic person. Observing Chuck over the past three years in his position as a city councilor convinced me that he has all the attributes needed to excel as the next mayor of Salem.
Chuck’s nine years of service on the City Council, plus additional service on city committees and the planning commission, give him a solid background and thorough understanding of the city’s operations and organizational structure.
His proven ability to work with his fellow councilors and constituents ensures that he will be a mayor who is open to, and considers, all opinions and points of view.
I’ve found Chuck to be incisive, decisive and supportive in his approach to working with the current City Council. That will serve him well as he becomes the city’s elected leader.
Chuck Bennett has the experience, knowledge and management skills to excel as Salem’s mayor. I urge you to vote for Chuck — he is clearly the best person for the job.
Steven McCoid

Bennett’s resume makes him most qualified mayoral candidate

I recently attended a meeting of (mostly) retired businessmen where mayoral candidate Chuck Bennett was the featured speaker.

I came away extremely impressed with his presentation on the issues facing the city.

Chuck didn’t have all the answers, but many of his proposals — ranging from promoting economic development to education and training programs to prepare young people for skilled jobs to the need for more downtown housing — appeared sound (in other words, doable).

With Chuck’s long background as an education lobbyist, plus his time on the City Council, I believe his resume makes him the most qualified candidate for mayor. He will make an outstanding leader for our city.

Don Jepsen

Six years ago, Councilor Bennett and I ran for mayor on the serious issues facing Salem. This paper gave us a “Thumbs up” at the end for the way we conducted ourselves.
Councilor Bennett has been my right hand and close colleague from Day 1. He focuses on needs across our community, joining City Council and staff to find solutions.
He works tirelessly to improve economic development, public safety, the library and parks. He believes in a solid, balanced city budget and knows how infrastructures (water, wastewater, streets, bridges, sidewalks and street lights) are funded and why they are vital for a healthy and prosperous life for all residents of Salem.
Chuck is a devoted public servant, always prepared, always willing to take on more issues and is a team player. He is honest, does not play games, builds consensus and is an evenhanded leader. He understands the cultural diversity of our community and respects and encourages all people to participate in city government.
Please support Chuck Bennett. He will make an outstanding mayor.
Anna Peterson, mayor

I’ve known Chuck Bennett for 20-plus years. I have not always agreed with him, but he’s honest and hardworking and cares about Salem and its citizens. I know Chuck really listens and is an advocate of citizen involvement.

I am a Salem citizen volunteer. I was on the first police station location panel. I changed my opinion and voted for a downtown site. On the Blue Ribbon committee, I again had to accept the fact the downtown site was the best location.

I think building a station the cheap way is wrong. Our excellent police force deserves a facility where they can perform their duty to us; a modern police facility lasting Salem 50-plus years. I recommend the city let citizens make the police facility decision in a vote.

Chuck’s opponent told me she does not want a citizen vote on the modern facility, but wants only to vote on a cheap facility. (In other words, not give citizens the right to say yea or nay to the full facility.) I don’t think that is a commitment to citizen involvement.

Vote for Chuck Bennett in the primary. Chuck and the City Council will continue to promote citizen input.

Monty King

I have known Chuck Bennett, both personally and professionally, for over 25 years.

During that time, he has demonstrated his commitment and passion for the people of Salem and his deep understanding of the needs and desires of our community. Simply put, he is the best choice to be our next mayor.

He has been a tireless advocate for our youth and the programs that serve our youth. He has worked collaboratively to find solutions and funding to ensure our city is a robust, safe and vibrant place to live and raise a family.

Chuck worked with the City Council to ensure that the city helped fund and partner with our school district to grow the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) to provide unique and engaging educational opportunities for our high school students to give them lifelong career skills.

Chuck has been a dedicated community volunteer and a problem-solver who puts the needs of the community and our children first. I encourage voters in Salem to elect Chuck Bennett as our next mayor.

Jim Green

I have known Chuck Bennett for over 35 years and have worked with him in the legislative arena on behalf of public education and Oregon’s kids for the past 15 years.

Chuck knows our city, its citizens and its needs. His experience on the City Council and understanding of issues confronting Salem as it prepares for the future make him uniquely qualified to address those needs.

I encourage your support of Chuck as candidate for mayor of Salem.

Ozzie Rose

I have known Chuck Bennett for many years. I have always found him to be honest, hardworking and a person who can be trusted to keep his word.

He has a day job where he works to improve the educational opportunities for our children. After putting in a full day, he finds time to serve our city as a volunteer.

He has served on the Salem budget committee and knows how to deliver high quality services to the public while living within the city’s means.

His service on the Salem Planning Commission provided experience in what it takes to attract jobs while keeping the community a desirable place to live.

His eight years on the City Council representing neighborhoods proves that he is responsive to the needs of people.

In sum, Chuck has the experience to lead our city. Please join me in voting for Chuck Bennett as the next mayor of our fine city.

Don Miner

The best compliments come from your adversaries. In that spirit, I endorse my former adversary, Chuck Bennett, for Salem mayor.
I co-chaired Anna Peterson’s first campaign for mayor against current candidate Chuck Bennett. At the conclusion of that race, the Statesman Journal designated the race the “best campaign” in recent history.
Chuck and Anna campaigned with class and mutual respect. During the campaign, Chuck demonstrated a genuine concern for the views of the citizens, even those with whom he disagreed.
I have been impressed with his continued service to Salem. He tirelessly works to bring disagreeing groups, citizens and city councilors together to move this city forward.
Without reservation, I urge you to join me in voting for Chuck Bennett as Salem’s next mayor.
Ryan W. Collier


Having known Chuck Bennett for many years, I can attest to his deep passion for civic service and his genuine commitment to help Salem grow and prosper.

Our community has a wealth of opportunities on its doorstep to expand, welcome new businesses and continue growing alongside the United States economy. Cities fall short when their leaders lack the skills needed to make investors feel welcome, while also being able to relate to those struggling to get by and hoping for a brighter future.

Chuck has the ability to meet people where they live and show a genuine appreciation for who they are. He knows what it will take to get things done in Salem. Please join me in voting for Chuck Bennett as the next mayor of Salem.

Jason Brandt





Chuck Bennett assumed my City Council seat when I resigned in 2007 due to a family health issue. Chuck made the transition so seamless. My constituents would contact me and tell me how pleased they were to have Chuck as their city councilor.

I could share more superlatives concerning Chuck, but my predecessor, Kasia Quillinan, eloquently stated Chuck’s many attributes in her April 17 letter.

Please support Chuck Bennett for mayor. He is a great situational thinker and, most important, is a consensus builder. His calm manner and experience will serve Salem well.

Frank D. Walker 




I have known and worked with Chuck Bennett for over 10 years, starting with our time together on the Salem Planning Commission where Chuck took on issues that demonstrated his commitment to Salem and our quality of life.





He demonstrated then, as he does now as a member of the Salem City Council, his ability to work well with others, even those who may not agree with him.

Chuck truly cares about the future of Salem, not just for those who are here now, but for our children and grandchildren who will inherit the results of all his hard work.

Chuck maintains a positive attitude, which is one of the reasons he is supported by such a wide variety of our residents. Whether it is West, East, North or South Salem, Chuck’s knowledge about, and his commitment to, Salem is exactly what we need in the office of mayor.

Chuck Bennett is clearly the best for Salem. I encourage you to join me in voting for Chuck Bennett as Salem’s next mayor.


Jim Lewis 





I have spent my 45-year career in public service to the state of Oregon while living in the city of Salem.





I also established my former business, Jackie’s Ribs, here. During those years, I have met many fellow citizen activists who devote their time and energy to improving the lives and economic futures of our fellow citizens.

I want to strongly recommend one of them, Chuck Bennett, to be our next mayor of Salem.

Chuck has been a colleague and friend for many years. I know him to be a tireless advocate for economic growth, neighborhood livability and wise investment of taxpayers’ dollars in needed public services like police, fire, parks and libraries. His experience as a community volunteer makes him uniquely qualified for the job of mayor (a voluntary position).

As one of Salem’s two state senators, I have worked with Chuck over the years on issues affecting both West and East Salem. He knows both sides of the river and the unique challenges each faces.

So, with no reservations, I strongly support Chuck Bennett for mayor of Salem.


Jackie Winters 





As a resident of the Highland Neighborhood in northeast Salem, I’m writing to support Chuck Bennett for mayor.





Chuck has been my city councilor for several years. During that time, he has done great work for the city and my immediate neighborhood. A perfect example was when our neighborhood was affected by a drug house. I called Chuck and, within hours — literally hours — the problem was solved.

We need someone leading this city who knows how to get things done. Chuck does and, even better, he will.

Nichoel Holmes 




Several years ago, a newspaper ran an article headlined, “Chuck Bennett: Defender of Ward 1.” Those of us fortunate enough to be represented by Chuck understand the truth of that headline.





I have known Chuck for decades, both personally and through multiple civic roles. My late husband, a civic leader, respected and admired him when Chuck covered local government and Salem City Hall as a young reporter.

A decade ago, I was among many who encouraged Chuck to apply for the vacant Ward 1 City Council seat, to which he was subsequently reelected and has served with rare competence and empathy.

When someone asks Chuck to solve a problem or help navigate civic red tape, he doesn’t ask if they are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, or even if they live in his ward. He questions and he listens. If he doesn’t know the answer, he knows who does and persists until he has answers. He ensures city staff respond to neighbors’ questions and concerns.

Although Ward 1 will be a little sorry to lose Chuck as its city councilor, I, for one, look forward to his role as Mayor Chuck Bennett: Defender of Salem.

Darlene Strozut 



Bennett will work for community members

April 18, 2016

 I am writing in support of Chuck Bennett for mayor of Salem. I have known and worked in education policy with Chuck for many years. I genuinely appreciate his commitment to the children of our city. Chuck has been a leader on the City Council for city investment in the Salem-Keizer School District’s Career and Technical Education Center on Portland Road. This state-of-the-art education facility will train our kids for jobs and careers for years to come. We need leaders like Chuck Bennett in Salem working on issues like homelessness, parks, police and public transportation.

Chuck is not one of those naysayers who does nothing but criticize. He rolls up his sleeves and gets to work solving problems for community members. That’s why he will have my vote for mayor of Salem.

Lori Sattenspiel


Bennett better of two good mayoral candidates





April 17, 2016

We are fortunate to have two good candidates running for mayor in Salem. This makes the choice difficult. One one hand, we have a strong downtown advocate in Carole Smith, who rightly should be credited with beginning its restoration and saving it from dereliction.

On the other hand, we have Chuck Bennett, a long-term city councilor who has shown a collaborative approach to resolving issues.

A mayor needs to rally the troops, bring together disparate views, keep the peace and engage the public (and is the public face of Salem before other governmental entities). Chuck Bennett has years of doing just that, both professionally and as a city councilor for the last nine years. His efforts have shown his commitment to all of Salem, not just his own ward.

Chuck Bennett will continue to work for all of us and deserves your vote for mayor.

Kasia Quillinan



Salem has a diverse population and Chuck Bennett is the best person to represent all of us as mayor.





There are basic items we need to provide a good quality of life for our families: a good job/business, a clean environment, safety, and the ability to move easily around town.

Chuck has worked to remove barriers to employers moving and expanding here in Salem. He has supported our tree ordinance and investments in our storm water system that prevents raw sewage from spilling into the Willamette. He is endorsed by the firefighters and supports building a proper police facility to house the finest cops in the state of Oregon. Finally, he understands that Salem is a growing town and we have to invest in and add to our current infrastructure for the future.

I have a young family and I want my kids to inherit a city that is thriving because we had the right leaders in place. As a city, we are absolutely heading in the right direction and we should be excited about the positive momentum we have. Chuck will keep that momentum going and help us capitalize on new opportunities.

I have worked alongside Chuck for several years. He has earned my trust.

Jose Gonzalez

I am supporting Chuck Bennett for mayor. I have known Chuck for more than 30 years and during that time he has served as a state representative, along with his eight years on the Salem City Council. He has a strong understanding of Salem’s needs all with the advantage of service on the state Legislature.





It is important that our mayor sees the big picture since Salem is the state capital and we have a very high presence of state buildings and workers. Chuck has that background.

Along with being intelligent, Chuck also has a sense of humor, is approachable and has a down-to-earth manner that most politicians don’t possess.

Brian DeLashmutt


Bennett a worthy, effective choice for mayor











April 10, 2016

In our upcoming mayoral election, we have a choice. City Councilor Chuck Bennett has the experience, expertise and the collaborative attitude to keep Salemites engaged, and to move positive things forward.

Carole Smith’s civic attitude has resulted in divisiveness and unproductive conflict. Because of this, she was removed from the downtown advisory board by the City Council.

The choice should be quite easy for us, as the contrast is clear. Chuck Bennett has proved himself respectful, worthy and effective. I served with him on City Council, and even when our views conflicted, he worked to find a solution all parties could live with to get things done.

Brent DeHart



Bennett committed to public service, leadership





April 8, 2016

 I’ve known Chuck Bennett for 40 years and strongly recommend him as Salem’s next mayor.

Chuck has been committed to public service for as long as I’ve known him — not just to service, but to public leadership with the skill to build consensus, whether he’s served on City Council, budget committee, planning commission, library board or Salem Cultural and Tourism Promotion Advisory Board.

He led the fight for our tree ordinance and advocated to propose a police facility in North Salem. He also led the dream to build analternative bridge on the Willamette, the Minto Island Park completion and the Union Street and Minto Island bridges. He fought to keep the library open on Sundays and to invest in our career and technical education center on Portland Road, not to mention the State Street corridor renewal.

Frankly, the list goes on.

He works hard to get public input on council actions, attending his five neighborhood group meetings monthly.

Chuck is the most-prepared candidate I’ve ever seen. I serve on a neighborhood association board; I love my hometown and want it to thrive. For that reason alone I urge you to vote for Chuck Bennett for mayor.  

Shannon G. Priem


Comment: Dorian Atkins

Now this is a man I can vote for, who’s thoroughly grounded in reality and understands what it takes to get things done. He’s got my vote! Apr 8, 2016



Bednarz wants to make Salem a better place











April 8, 2016

The future is bright for Salem when city councilors work cooperatively with citizens, work together with for-profit and not-for-profit leaders and listen to the needs of the business community that offers and creates jobs for Salem citizens.

City Councilor Warren Bednarz takes the time to learn about the issues presented, listens to the opinions of citizens and analyzes the implications of the choices to be made. Salem needs more of this. We need council members like Warren who are not swayed by causes or by groups like the “Chamber,” “Salem Community Vision” or “Progressive Salem.” We need engaged public servants like Warren Bednarz. Warren is thoughtful, interested and cares about making Salem a better place for you and I to live, work and enjoy.

Please join me in voting for Warren Bednarz for Salem City Council Ward 7.

Oh, and by the way, I also support Chuck Bennett for mayor and hope you will too. Chuck and Warren don’t always agree, but they do work together.


Lonna Bauer



Support Bennett to continue improving Salem











April 6, 2016

I have worked with both Carole Smith and Chuck Bennett and had the opportunity to watch them engage with citizens in Salem.

Chuck Bennett knows how to build bridges and reach compromise. He is the kind of leader that other leaders turn to for advice and counsel. His length of time serving the public, coupled with how highly he is regarded by people of all political persuasions, makes him the clear choice for most any position he would seek.

In this election, we are lucky to have him as a candidate for mayor and I wholeheartedly encourage you to vote for Chuck Bennett for mayor of Salem.

On the other hand, there aren’t many worse choices for mayor than Carole Smith. If she were elected mayor, and people like her elected to the City Council, they would set our city back years with their inability to make decisions that are in the best interest of Salem.

Recent polling for the new police facility shows that 82 percent of respondents say they are satisfied with the direction that Salem is headed. Chuck has had a lot to do with that and he will continue to improve Salem as our mayor.

T.J. Sullivan 



Positive momentum with Bennett, Bednarz











April 3, 2016

I’ve been in business in Salem for decades and I’ve seen many highs and some lows. At no other time have I been more positive about our future as a community than right now. People are moving here at a fast pace and our economy is growing in a way that is ready for these new Salemites. It is a privilege to see it firsthand. I can’t ignore that the past handful of years has seen the momentum that I’m most proud of, and I’m choosing to continue that momentum by supporting Chuck Bennett for mayor and Warren Bednarz for City Council. Let’s keep that positive momentum flowing!

Shawn Abbey


Bennett listens respectfully before making decisions





April 3, 2016

I want to tell you why I think Chuck Bennett will make a fine mayor of our great city of Salem.

I could list things like supporting the carousel’s expansion, advocating for our downtown and being a strong, involved supporter of our neighborhoods as well as a respected member of the City Council.

But I believe his greatest asset is that he listens and respects the opinions of all people before he makes a decision. This is the kind of leader I want for the city I dearly love. I hope you agree.

Hazel Patton


Comment: Larry George

Hazel, I agree with you. When I have written to the City Council with a concern, most of the time the only one who responded was Chuck Bennett. Many times it was with a personal phone call. I support Chuck Bennett for Mayor. Apr 4, 2016


Vote for Bennett to get things done in Salem











April 3, 2016

A group of residents in downtown Salem have been working for about two years to establish a railroad “quiet zone” at several railroad-grade crossings in the Riverfront Park area. The process has been very frustrating — as are many interactions we citizens have these days with our government.

Finally we contacted our city councilman, Chuck Bennett, and he stepped up to the plate and voila: progress! With Chuck’s leadership, the Salem City Council passed a unanimous decision to direct the Salem city staff to implement the railroad quiet zone. The citizens of downtown Salem can now look forward to soon enjoying a decent night’s sleep — not awakened at 0246 hours by the melodious 114-decibel tune emitted by engine 3465. Thank you, Councilman Bennett (soon to be Mr. Mayor Chuck Bennett).

If you want things done in our local government, I suggest you cast your vote for Chuck.

Richard N. Hatch




April 2, 2016
Keep Salem’s downtown strong with Bennett, Kailuweit

Salem did it. Salem attracted me — a longtime resident of Keizer — to live downtown. The heartbeat of Salem is strong, and I know that much of this pulse comes from the leadership and direction of the Salem City Council.

For the first time, I’ll be casting my ballot for mayor and a city councilor of Salem. I can’t ignore that much of the good that’s happened in Salem has happened while Chuck Bennett has been representing the downtown area. I’m proud to cast my vote for Chuck, and his willing replacement, Jan Kailuweit.
Salem has built the launch pad. Now let’s build the rocket. Chuck and Jan are the right architects for such work.

Amy McLeod

April 2, 2016
Bennett, Kailuweit, Bednarz deserve local support

As CEO of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, I strongly urge you to vote for leaders who are moving Salem forward: Chuck Bennett for mayor, Jan Kailuweit for councilor from Ward 1 (parts of West Salem and downtown) and Warren Bednarz from Ward 7 (South Salem).
These servant-leaders are visionary and they get things done. The increases in downtown housing, the bridge to Minto Island connecting three parks together, fighting homelessness, supporting job-creating projects and adding more library hours are just some examples of the many, many things that are happening, keeping Salem moving in the right direction.
Please vote for these proven leaders who well represent their neighborhoods and the entire city. These are solid citizens who are making Salem happen, not just talking about it.

Dan Clem


April 2, 2016
Vote for common sense leaders Bennett, Kailuweit

I could live anywhere, but I choose to call Salem my home.
Living here for the past decade, I’ve seen blighted property become vibrant living space on the former Boise Cascade site, property developed in a beautiful way along the Salem Parkway, a large number of jobs come to town with NORPAC and Henningsen Cold Storage and a footbridge connecting our parks.
Our livability and economic vitality are strengthening every day, and we need to continue that course.
I’m excited to vote for Chuck Bennett as mayor and Jan Kailuweit as his replacement on Salem’s City Council. Common sense leaders for an emerging Salem.

Nathan Mikhlin


April 2, 2016
Bennett for mayor is positive change for Salem

Chuck Bennett is the best candidate for mayor.
Chuck has a record of listening and taking action. He seeks middle ground where all parties are respected, and this attribute differentiates him from the glaring, harsh, divisive style often used by his opponent.
Vote for Chuck because he seeks simple and practical solutions to the problems that people bring before city government.
Vote for Chuck because working together is the best path for improving Salem.
Chuck is an independent thinker whose record of service substantiates his efforts to improve Salem. His actions speak louder than the campaign drivel and unrealistic rhetoric trumpeted by those who oppose him. Seek positive change with a vote for Chuck Bennett for mayor.

Jim Bauer


Bennett’s helpfulness garners wholehearted support











March 28, 2016

I am writing to give my wholehearted support of city Councilor Chuck Bennett for Salem mayor. I first met Chuck when I was chair of the Northeast Neighborhood Association about 2005. One of NEN’s major issues was train horns blaring through our neighborhood at all hours of the day and night. Chuck was persistent and patient while he worked with us and the city to create a safety and quiet zone that is now benefiting hundreds of our neighbors.

He’s worked hard as a problem-solver on many other issues for NEN as well as other neighborhood associations and has been open to our ideas. In the 16 years I have pushed for the quiet zone, there has been no one more supportive or helpful than Chuck Bennett. He deserves our support for mayor.

Alan Scott 


March 22, 2016
West Salem Neighborhood Association

For nearly 20 years,working with the West Salem Neighborhood Association, I had the pleasure of interacting with three mayors and a dozen city council members on various issues. Chuck Bennett always stood out as one of the best and most effective council members. Chuck would be a truly excellent mayor for Salem, and I am delighted to endorse him and to urge others to vote for him.

Don Homuth


March 21, 2016
Vote for Chuck Bennett for mayor.

Chuck has exhibited his desire to see Salem grow and progress in the future. He has been a dedicated city councilor and has Salem’s best interests at heart. Chuck will make a great mayor, which is just what Salem needs.
I also support Warren Bednarz for City Council, Ward 7. I have watched Warren embrace his role as a city councilor over the last few years. He invests his time, making sure he has studied the agenda, is aware of the pros and cons of an issue and votes to continue to move Salem forward and grow our vibrant community.

Barbara Hacke Resch