City News

Chris Hoy appointed mayor as Bennett steps down

Chris Hoy is officially Salem’s mayor following a special city council meeting Wednesday night.

Councilors unanimously appointed Hoy to step into the job two months before his term was scheduled to begin. He’s stepping in after former Mayor Chuck Bennett resigned early.

“It’s my great honor to be serving as mayor of this great city and I’m really looking forward to working with all of you in this new capacity and I will do my best as the mayor of Salem. Thank you so much,” Hoy said following the vote.

Bennett announced in October that he would resign effective Nov. 2 because he and his wife were moving to Ohio to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren.

City council rules say if a seat becomes vacant when only one candidate has been nominated in a primary election, the council will appoint that person to serve the remainder of the term. 

Hoy won the nonpartisan mayoral primary in May against Chane Griggs and is the only candidate appearing on the November ballot for the position. He would have started serving as mayor at the first city council meeting in January.

The council on Wednesday also unanimously appointed Julie Hoy to fill Chris Hoy’s former seat as the city councilor for ward 6, east Salem. The two Hoys are not related.

Julie Hoy was the councilor-elect for the seat, winning the May primary against Stacey Vieyra-Braendle. She would have taken office in January. She owns Geppetto’s, an Italian restaurant in northeast Salem.

“As the daughter of a small business owner, I’m thrilled to see that we have a small business owner joining our ranks. You represent an important group of folks who are an economic engine in our city,” Councilor Vanessa Nordyke said ahead of the vote to appoint Julie Hoy.

Councilors also unanimously elected Councilor Virginia Stapleton to serve as council president, the role Chris Hoy held prior to his appointment as mayor. The council president runs meetings in the mayor’s absence.

Stapleton represents ward 1, north central Salem and began her term in January 2021.

Correction: This article originally misattributed Councilor Vanessa Nordyke’s quote to Councilor Vanessa Stapleton. Salem Reporter apologizes for the error.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.