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About Our City


Salem is a home rule-class city in Livingston County, Kentucky, in the United States, part of the Paducah micropolitan area.
It the largest city in Livingston County, although the unincorporated community of Ledbetter has more than twice the population of Salem.
The city is believed to have been settled c. 1800 by immigrants from Salem, North Carolina, who named their new community after their former home. It replaced Centerville as Livingston Co.’s seat in 1809, but it was replaced in turn by Smithland in 1842, after the removal of Crittenden County left it more centrally-located.

Salem is home to me as I have lived here most of my life. I remember as a child seeing the town bustling with activity, especially on Saturday when most folks “came to town,” as was custom back in the day. As the economy and life in general has changed so has the activity in our town. We still have several vibrant businesses and since we are home to Livingston Hospital can Healthcare the traffic flow is much steadier throughout the week. Since we are surrounded by farming activity and the local quarry operations there are always folks moving about.
Mayor Gary Damron


“As a City entity we provide all the water and sewage along with street maintenance and improvements. Just recently we embarked on a major upgrade to our main water delivery lines that were installed in the early 1950’s. One of our key objectives is continual improvements to our existing delivery systems. Although, somewhat costly it is crucial that we improve as necessary rather than wait until a crisis event happens. I fully support and expect our future leaders to continue this philosophy as affordability allows.
Much credit to our City’s viability goes to previous Mayors and City Commissioners who have been dedicated to sound and solvent business decisions. I can only pledge this philosophy will continue as long as I am an elected official. Even though some tough decisions have to be made, we must continue to be financially sound in our running of city operations. With our dedicated and loyal employees and Commissioners our future looks bright.
Our community is small in numbers as recent census puts us at just over 700 citizens; but I wouldn’t change a thing. Most folks know one another and we all kind of look out for each other. We still have several churches and organizations that our citizens support regularly, and if there is a fund raising event for someone in need this town always comes through.
We have a beautiful golf course to enjoy and are just a short drive to the rivers and lakes for summertime leisure, just good down home living. I am so glad my grandsons are growing up in such a caring community. Come visit us soon!”

City Mayor


Mayor of Salem

A little background on myself, I was a resident of Salem until 3rd Grade when my parents moved to Crittenden County. After graduating from Crittenden, I moved back to Salem and lived for several years before my career in the food industry took me to many state’s, where I sold products to major supermarket headquarters. I have been blessed to travel to almost all of our states in this great Country and have made many friends throughout my travels. In 2001, I finally had the opportunity to move back home to Salem and have since gained a wonderful son-in-law and 2 perfect grandsons to my tribe. They along with my daughter live in Salem as well. I am honored to serve on the Cumberland River Homes Board of Directors and the board or the Pennyrile Area Development District. I have been on the City of Salem Commission for several years as a Commissioner and recently appointed Mayor, which has truly been an honor and very humbling to be entrusted to this office.



City Commissioner

My name is Janet Hughes. I was raised on a farm just outside of Salem in Crittenden Co. My parents were Rudell and Louise Hearell. I am a 1975 graduate of Crittenden Co and have worked in Salem most of my life. My husband Glenn and I have 3 daughters, 4 grandchildren and we are semi-retired. We both serve our community as I am president of the Salem Garden Club, Inc. and have been a City Commissioner since 2008. He is on the board for the Crittenden Livingston Water District. We also attend Pleasant Grove General Baptist and run our church bus ministry.

I consider Salem the perfect place to retire. We have managed to keep taxes and water/sewer rates down compared to other surrounding cities. We have medical facilities, a hospital, nursing home, pharmacies and even the fun things like a golf course and fishing in area waterways.

As a child I remember you could get anything you needed downtown from women’s clothes to a quick sandwich at Turner’s grocery. As we all know times have changed for all small towns. Many downtowns have vacant storefronts, but I still have hope for those buildings to be maintained and someday have new life for our community. It does take all of us working together to accomplish this.

I love this town and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Hello, my name is Craig Dossett and I am a 1983 graduate of Crittenden County High School. In 1988 I married Amanda Grimes and moved to Salem. Amanda and I have 2 children, Ragen and Ethan as well as 2 grandchildren, Waylon and Jaxson. I have been in the propane gas business for 33 years and have worked in Salem for over 25 years. I hope retirement is not far away.

Our Community has a lot to offer; a great golf course, plenty of great hunting and fishing opportunities, as well as the convenience of the lakes and public recreational areas being close by. Our City Commission is working very hard to keep Salem’s infrastructure strong while keeping taxes and rates affordable. We have a great staff to work with which in turn makes this a great place to live.


City Commissioner


City Commissioner

Hello, my name is Darryl Chittenden and I have been honored to serve on the Salem City Council since August, 2019. I am a lifelong resident of Livingston County, a 1980 graduate of Livingston Central High School, and a resident of Salem since 1990. After retiring from the Livingston County School System in 2015, I have kept busy with part-time work but I have more time to spend with my wife Sheila and family including our two grandsons.

I enjoy living in Salem with its small town, friendly atmosphere. My goal as a member of the City Council is to work to maintain the infrastructure of the city in good operating order and at the same time, balance the needs and concerns of the local taxpayers. We have been very fortunate in Salem to have had dedicated public servants who have built a strong water and sewer system, and we want to do the required preventative maintenance that we can continue to enjoy the same trouble-free use of these utilities as we have in the past.

If you have a need or concern, you are welcome to contact us and attend any of our monthly council meetings.

Hello, my name is Brandon Deboe. I have proudly served on the city council of Salem for 2 terms. It has been my pleasure to listen and act on the concerns and interests of the citizens of Salem during this time. For the last 15 years I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and serving so many families as a funeral director and embalmer at Boyd Funeral Directors. My passion is being there to help and assist families during such a difficult time. My wife and I have lived in Salem since 2017 and is where we chose to start our family in 2019 with a son, Riley. In June we will be adding a baby girl to our crew and we couldn’t think of a better community to raise our children in.


City Commissioner


Image by Eric Rothermel
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