The Town Council (formerly known as Founder's Council) was a body of high-ranking civil servants in Mystic Falls who, officially, were in charge of commemorating the foundation of the town.
Unofficially, their true goal was to protect the town from the threat of vampires. However, Carol Lockwood and Elizabeth Forbes were the only members who knew of the existence of werewolves and other supernatural threats to the town until 2010, when Alaric Saltzman, controlled by his dark alter-ego, exposed their existence to the rest of the Council. The Founder's Council served as the de facto main antagonist in Season One, while what became known as the Town Council became a minor antagonist at the beginning of Season Four.
The Council was created by the Founding Families a short time after the Mystic Falls vampire round-up in 1864, which was covered up as being civilian casualties of the Battle of Willow Creek. The Council's purpose was to protect the town against any vampires who returned to the town after their preemptive strike against their previous vampire community. While the group seemed to be aware of the existence of witches (as Emily Bennett was killed after being exposed as a witch following the round-up), they were unaware of other supernatural beings such as werewolves, and since vampires were their most pressing concern, their species was made the focus of the Founder's Council's efforts.
The "founding fathers" of the organization, such as Giuseppe Salvatore, Johnathan Gilbert, and several others, left their descendants journals containing information on how to fight vampires, such as the legend of a dagger that could neutralize an Original vampire and the little-known fact that vervain could weaken them. Johnathan Gilbert also left his compass, which, unbeknownst to him, had been enchanted by Emily Bennett to detect vampires; however, it was separated into two parts: one held by the Gilberts and one by the Lockwoods. The leader of the Council in the early 21st century was Mayor Richard Lockwood until his death in 2010. Afterward, Damon Salvatore was appointed as a replacement by the late mayor's wife, Carol Lockwood, who had no idea that he was secretly a vampire. The main armed forces of the Council were provided by Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes and her trustworthy deputies. Other well-known members of the Council were Grayson and Miranda Gilbert, John Gilbert, Zach Salvatore, and Logan Fell.
Upon discovering that Damon, Stefan and Caroline are all vampires and that Tyler was a hybrid, Carol and Sheriff Forbes agreed to keep their identities a secret as long as they didn't hurt anyone and helped defend the town against supernatural threats. This agreement between the two heads of the Council and the Mystic Falls Gang held until late 2010, when the newly-turned Enhanced Original Vampire and Council member Alaric Saltzman, who had been possessed by his dark alter-ego, exposed the fact that Carol and Elizabeth's children were a hybrid and a vampire, convincing the Council that they were too corrupt to lead any longer. Even after Alaric's death, the citizens who knew about vampires took control of the Council from the remaining Founding Families and rechristened the group the Town Council. Pastor Young then took leadership of the group and created a militia of armed volunteers who rounded up all of the known vampires they could find (including Rebekah Mikaelson, an Original Vampire, Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert, who had not yet even finished her transition by drinking human blood) and locked them up at the Pastor's Ranch. They also went to the hospital to lock up the blood supply to prevent any stray vampires from stealing it. However, Pastor Young had unknowingly been manipulated by Atticus Shane and eventually killed himself and the entirety of the Town Council in a gas explosion, believing that by doing so, he would be making the world a better place. After this tragic massacre, the Founder's Council and Town Council both became defunct organizations.
- Main article: Founding Families
- Damon Salvatore: He was one of the members of the 21st century iteration, and later became the head of the Council. After Alaric outed all of the vampires to the Council, it is assumed that he was relieved of his position as leader.
- Meredith Fell: She was one of the founding members in the 21st century iteration, and was a doctor at Mystic Falls Hospital. After Alaric outed her practice of using vampire blood to heal mortally wounded and ill patients, she was relieved of her position as both a Council member and a doctor at the Hospital. The Council's population has decreased because of Alaric's death and Pastor Young killing himself and the rest of the Council, except for Damon, Carol Lockwood, Elizabeth Forbes, and Meredith. Meredith retains her position on the Council and as a doctor after the explosion, but later moved to Alaska and got married.
- Alaric Saltzman: He joined the Council in 2010 after becoming the guardian of Founding Family members Elena and Jeremy Gilbert, and had been a vampire hunter for years while also working as a high school history teacher during the day. Though he died in the same year just days after becoming an Enhanced Original, he was eventually resurrected in 2012 and became human again in 2013.
- Elizabeth Forbes: She was one of the founding members in the 21st century iteration, and was the sheriff of Mystic Falls until her death in 2013. After Alaric outed her as the mother of a vampire, she was temporarily relieved of her position as sheriff and Council member until the gas explosion killed the Town Council. She died of Stage 4 brain cancer in 2013.
- Richard Lockwood: One of the founding members in the 21st century iteration and was the head of the Council in until his death during the vampire-round up in 2009, after he had been mistakenly identified as a vampire.
- Carol Lockwood: She was one of the founding members in the 21st century iteration, and succeeded her husband as the mayor of Mystic Falls after his death. After Alaric outed her as the mother of a hybrid, she was the revelation of Alaric, she was temporarily relieved of her position as mayor and as a Council member until after the gas explosion killed the Town Council. She was killed by Niklaus Mikaelson in December 2011.
- Grayson Gilbert: One of the founding members in the 21st century, died in car accident.
- Miranda Sommers-Gilbert: One of the founding members in the 21st century, died in car accident.
- John Gilbert: Researcher in the 21st century, sacrificed himself to save his daughter with magic.
- Zach Salvatore: Supplier of vervain in the 21st century, killed by Damon Salvatore.
- Bill Forbes: One of the founding members in the 21st century, killed by Alaric Saltzman.
- Logan Fell: Reporter in the 21st century, killed by Alaric Saltzman.
- Brian Walters: Medical examiner in the 21st century, killed by Alaric Saltzman.
- Rudy Hopkins: Interim mayor and Bonnie's father. He was not from a founding family and only joined after he was elected mayor. One of his first acts was putting vervain in the town water supply, though this was only a temporary action. He was eventually killed by Silas in 2011.
- Pastor Young: He was one of the members in the 21st century, and one of the hunters of Mystic Falls. He killed himself along with the rest of the new Town Council in 2010.
- Daniel Jones
- James Michael Harris
- Nancy Webber 
- Linda Jones 
- Stanford Springfield 
- Barbara Johnson 
- James Joseph Johnson (ESQ) 
- Linda Anderson 
- Thomas Michael Skinner 
- Donna Skinner 
- Patricia Harris 
- Sr. Peter Moutin 
- Lucille Ann Martin 
- John Paul Jones 
- Micheal Robert White 
- Carol Robinson 
- Philip Robinson Esq 
- Richard Robinson 
- Alexander Thomas 
- Jacob Lockwood: One of the first founding members and head of the council in 1864, died of natural causes.
- George Lockwood:One of the founding members in 1864, died of natural causes.
- Barnette Lockwood: One of the founding members in 1864, dies of natural causes.
- Johnathan Gilbert: One of the first founding members and an inventor in 1864, died of natural causes.
- William Forbes: One of the first founding members and the town's sheriff in 1864, died of natural causes.
- Nancy-Marie Lockwood: One of the founding members in 1864, died of natural causes.
- Thomas Fell: One of the first founding members in 1864, killed by Stefan Salvatore).
- Honoria Fell: One of the first founding members in 1864, killed by Stefan Salvatore).
- Giuseppe Salvatore: One of the first founding members in 1864, killed by Stefan Salvatore.
- Marianna Lockwood: One of the founding members in 1912, killed by Stefan Salvatore.
- Zachariah Salvatore: One of the founding members in 1912, killed by Samantha Gilbert).
- Gerald Forbes: Sheriff in 1922, died of natural causes.
- Unnamed members: Founding members in 1912, killed by Samantha Gilbert.
In 1864, the citizens of Mystic Falls became aware of the ever-growing vampire population in their town some time after the arrival of the old and powerful Katherine Pierce, Pearl, and Annabelle. Once it became clear they had an epidemic, Giuseppe Salvatore came up with a plan to round up all of the vampires in town, lock them in the cellar of the old Fell's Church, and burn them all to death. Katherine was one of the first vampires to be captured, after she had fed on the blood of Giuseppe's son, Stefan, who was also one of her lovers and whose drink had been spiked with vervain by his father earlier in the day. Once she was knocked unconscious by the vervain and revealed to Giuseppe as a vampire, a Vampire Muzzle was placed over her face as she was taken to a carriage in order to be burned at the church with the others. This set off a chain of captures by members of the Council, who were armed with Johnathan Gilbert's magical compass that pointed toward any vampires in the area, which led to a total of 27 vampires being captured and brought to the cellar. However, many secret plans were going on behind the scenes to which the majority of the Founding Families were unaware. The first was that the round-up had been spearheaded by George Lockwood, who was secretly a triggered werewolf and who used the vampires as a scapegoat to cover up his own accidental killings during the full moon. The second was that Katherine had quietly made a deal with George prior to the round-up, where she promised to give him the moonstone in exchange for him freeing her from the church cellar and faking her death.
Finally, the last secret was that the witch Emily Bennett had made a deal with Katherine's other lover, Damon Salvatore, to save the lives of Katherine and the other vampires. To do this, Emily used the comet passing overhead and her magical talisman to cast a spell that would seal the vampires into the tomb and protect them from the flames. Unfortunately, the comet and the talisman were also needed to reopen the tomb, forcing Damon to have to wait almost 150 years for the next comet to free the woman he loved (who, unbeknownst to him, had been freed from the cellar prior to Emily sealing it and who fled from Mystic Falls to start a new life).
After the round-up, each of the founding family members kept handwritten journals that detailed the events of their hunt, which were then passed it down to their descendants over the generations, culminating in the 21st century members of the Founders' Council.
During a party at the Salvatore Boarding House that was thrown by Zach Salvatore to celebrate the solar eclipse on May 9, 1994, Damon, after having an intense fight with his brother Stefan, lashed out at him by killing many of the party-goers. This vicious attack, after decades of little-to-no vampire activity in Mystic Falls, caused the Founder's Council to be started up again after an extended hiatus. However, since Damon had previous compelled Elizabeth Forbes, who had left the party prior to the massacre, to forget that she ever met him and his brother, the Founders had no idea that it had been a Salvatore who had caused the deaths.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
A New Vampire Threat
In 2009, Damon Salvatore returned to Mystic Falls with a mysterious goal. During the Founders' party, the Council held its first vampire related meeting in several years. Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes told the Mayor, his wife and Logan Fell of the five vampire style killings in Mystic Falls. Using his relationship with Jenna Sommers, Logan got his hands on the half of the vampire compass held by the Gilberts. Richard Lockwood united the two parts and ordered Sheriff Forbes and Logan Fell to track down the vampires. Fell, armed with a gun loaded with wooden bullets, shot Stefan Salvatore near the old Fell's Church where he was trying to help a transitioning Vicki Donovan. Logan tried to stake Stefan, but was killed by Damon before he could. Sheriff Forbes and her deputies arrived too late to save him or find the Salvatore brothers.
Infiltrating the Council
Damon Salvatore approached the Council shortly after with a stash of vervain to gain their trust, claiming that the now dead Zach Salvatore had left town and had given him his place on the Council. Sometime later, Damon framed Lexi as the attacking vampire, and staked her after she tried to kill Sheriff Forbes and two of her deputies. She accepted to keep Damon on the Council, and kept him informed about their activities.
Logan Fell's Reign of Terror
Logan Fell returned shortly after as a vampire. He had been killing off humans and hiding their bodies in an old warehouse. However, he left one in sight as he had enough of staying in the shadows. He ambushed and tortured Damon to know how he could walk in the daylight. However, he had other plans. Believing that Sheriff had betrayed him by covering up his death, he told her that he was going to have revenge by turning her daughter, Caroline Forbes, into a vampire. However, she was saved by Damon and Stefan, and while Stefan brought her back to safety, Damon threatened Logan. Logan told him that he could help in his final goal, so Damon feigned not being strong enough to stop him. Logan was later killed by Alaric Saltzman, the mysterious new history teacher, who is revealed to be a Vampire Hunter.
John Gilbert's Return and Plotting
John Gilbert returned to Mystic Falls for Founders' Day with startling news: local blood banks had been robbed suggesting that other vampires were still in town. He later reveals to Damon and Alaric Saltzman that he knew more than the Council: he knew about the tomb of vampires under Fell's Church and that Stefan and Damon were vampires. Damon attempted to kill John, but he had a Gilbert Ring, which keeps people from dying supernatural deaths. He later tried to blackmail Damon into helping him find a mysterious invention created by Johnathan Gilbert. However, Damon threatened to kill John and everyone else on the Council.
Strike Against the Vampires
In the season finale, during Founder's Day, John convinced Richard Lockwood to use Johnathan Gilbert's invention against the tomb vampires who were planning to attack the Founding Families to have their revenge. Richard agreed but they knew that Sheriff Forbes would never agree to use the town as bait. To get her on their side, they staged a coup against her by going behind her and gaining her deputies' support. She was furious but still refused to help them.John knocked her out and cuffed her to a table in her office. As the fireworks started, John activated the invention, paralyzing every vampire in town and, mysteriously, Richard and his son Tyler Lockwood. Forbes's deputies neutralized the vampires with vervain and locked them up in the basement of Grayson Gilbert's old cabinet. John set fire to it, killing all except Damon, who was saved by Stefan and Bonnie Bennett. Mayor Lockwood, who had been locked in the basement, was killed when a vampire snapped his neck. Later, John was stabbed by Katherine Pierce, the vampire he had been working for. She had removed his ring but he survived the attack and later left town, threatened by Stefan.
After Richard Lockwood's death and John Gilbert's departure from Mystic Falls, Carol Lockwood, as the acting Mayor, asked Damon to spearhead the Council and lead the investigation into who had attacked John Gilbert. Confusion was on the council on why Richard was affected by the device when he was not a vampire, but unknown to them he was a werewolf. However, they learned more about the supernatural when Damon told them that John's ring will bring him back to life.
Arrival of Katherine Pierce and Niklaus MikaelsonAfter the arrival of Mason Lockwood and Katherine Pierce to Mystic Falls, The council members begin to suspect on Gilbert Family and Salvatore Family. The Forbes family were the most affected by the arrival of Mason and Katherine: Caroline is converted into a vampire and Elizabeth learns the truth about Damon and Stefan. Eventually, Elizabeth agrees to keep the secret and protect her daughter but Caroline clears Liz's memory and Mason is killed by Damon. After knowing the fate of Mason, Katherine plans to pursue another werewolf and punish at the same time Elena, Stefan, and Damon. During this time, the council remains inactive, because Elena, Stefan, Damon, Bonnie, Jeremy and Alaric didn't want them to know about Tyler and Caroline. Unfortunately, Klaus comes to town and the council is put on alert. Elizabeth learns by Matt about Caroline, Tyler, Gilbert's and Salvatore's. Unfortunately, Elizabeth accidentally kills Jeremy Gilbert but is revived by Bonnie Bennett. Caroline tells her mother about what she did to protect her and Matt.
A Month and half after the retreat of Klaus and Stefan, Carol Lockwood suspicious of Caroline and Elizabeth Forbes. Worried about her son Tyler, Carol imprisons Caroline and she calls Bill Forbes to take care of her. Tyler discovers that her mother has Caroline and he shows that vampires are not the only supernatural beings that inhabit Mystic Falls. Carol accepts the truth and helps keep their secret. Alaric Saltzman joins the council as a representative of the Gilbert Family and humans. Being clear that Stefan, Damon and Caroline are vampires, Tyler is a werewolf and Bonnie is a witch, Carol and Elizabeth keep the secret to protect the townspeople and their families. They also learn that Elena, Stefan, Damon, Bonnie, Caroline, Tyler, Matt, Alaric and Jeremy have protected the townspeople and their families from the supernatural menace.
Original Vampires/Original Hybrid Threat
Niklaus returns to town with Stefan and Rebekah, to find ways to make more hybrids. Niklaus discovers that Elena's blood is the solution, but Damon and Katherine discover that there is a being who can be the key to destroy Niklaus. Fearing the truth, Niklaus leaves town, his sister, and Stefan to find more werewolves to turn into hybrids. During this time, the council continues its normal activities to the population, however, a member of the Original Family wreaks havoc between the world of the living and the dead, causing the dead to return as ghosts and cause damage throughout town. Tobias Fell is murdered and Carol is injured by ghosts.
Klaus later returns with several hybrids into town among them Mindy, Tony and Daniel. After he releases Stefan from his compulsion, Stefan plans on having his revenge for Klaus's action and steals the coffins of his family members. Klaus, desperate to have his family back, uses his hybrids to look for them and to threaten those Stefan once cared about. However, when a hybrid is found at the witch house where Stefan is keeping the coffins, Stefan uses Klaus's love for his family for blackmailing him into removing the hybrids from Mystic Falls. Jeremy is compelled to put himself in mortal peril and thus Elena is emotionally blackmailed by Klaus, to find Stefan and Originals. Alaric is badly wounded, as he saves Jeremy from certain death. Alaric is admitted to the hospital and there he meets Meredith Fell. Meanwhile, Stefan and Damon work together to prevent Klaus from finding the location of The Originals. When Stefan tells Klaus, if the hybrids do not leave the town, he will be forced to kill them; Stefan then kills Mindy, to show how serious he is in his threat. Klaus approaches Carol Lockwood and tells her who he is and what he did to Tyler. He makes a deal with her: to use his hybrids to protect Mystic Falls from the supernatural if the Council would help him in stopping Stefan. However, both Sheriff Forbes and Damon are unwilling to allow Klaus to keep the town hostage.
Shortly after the incident of Caroline with Tyler, and Elena with Stefan, strange attacks and murders have occurred to the members of the Council since the arrival of Meredith Fell to Mystic Falls. The first occurred one day after Caroline's birthday, Brian Walters was staked like a vampire in the woods. Previously, Brian was conversing with Meredith when Alaric appears. Brian tells Alaric to be careful, because Meredith is a psychopath. A day after Brian's death, Bill Forbes is hospitalized for being attacked by a werewolf. Bill was cured with vampire blood, which Meredith injected him. However, the morning after the attack, Sheriff Forbes visits the Gilbert House, where she says to Elena and Alaric, the stake into the body of Brian has the fingerprints of Elena. Caroline and Elena go to the hospital to see Bill, but he is brutally attacked in the hospital. He dies but comes back to life in transition. Bill does not accept becoming a vampire and dies. On the same day, at night, Alaric was home alone. He was attacked just like Bill and Brian were, but Elena and Matt find him barely alive. Elena stabs him, so that he can return to life with the help of his ring. However, when Sheriff Forbes follows up on their suspicions concerning Meredith, it turns out that she has a rock-solid alibi: an operating room full of witnesses in which she had been for six hours, making her unable to have attacked Alaric. Meredith discovers what is happening and stop Alaric to prevent more deaths. The magic of resurrection in the ring causes people to become insane and murderers. She and Elena try to find a medical explanation but can not find any abnormality. However, one night in the house Gilbert, Alaric attacks Meredith without using the ring and he is stopped by Stefan and Elena. Bonnie used herbs to stop the black magic.
New CouncilA few days later, Alaric called a meeting. He told other members that the sheriff's daughter is a vampire and the mayor's son is a hybrid. Elizabeth told that that was enough and was about to leave, but Alaric stopped her saying that they were just getting started. The Council decided to side with Alaric in his quest to destroy the Originals. Elizabeth and Carol were relieved of their duties and Meredith was going to have her license suspended for using vampire blood. Alaric then used them to find Klaus's body. Without members of the founding families, the council was rebuilt and renamed. This occurred a few hours after the death of Elena, because Alaric was very intelligent and was able to give control to members more intelligent and competent, causing Pastor Young took command of security
Ambush and Defeat
In Growing Pains, Pastor Young takes control of the deputies and hunters under the authorization of the Council after the failures of the mayor and the sheriff in their duties to destroy the vampires. Pastor did an excellent job of removing the vampire blood in the hospital, to capture one of the Originals, as well as two vampires, and one in transition. During the transfer of the vampires to the Young Farm, Tyler/Klaus involved in the process freeing Caroline. After a long day, Pastor and his staff manage to wound the last vampire in Mystic Falls, but hunters are murdered by him, and when he is for killing his bait, a new vampire appears to stop it. After all vampires escaped, Pastor kills all the town council in his house explosion, except for Carol Lockwood, Elizabeth Forbes, and Meredith Fell.
In Memorial, there was a funeral of the members' deaths. The family members shared their memories of the council members who died. Eventually, Connor, a new vampire hunter finds the Pastor Young's letter, where it is mentioned of a greater evil and a war.In O Come, All Ye Faithful, one of the last members, Carol Lockwood, was killed by Niklaus Mikaelson.
- Currently the only expelled members are: Elizabeth Forbes and Carol Lockwood. The case of Meredith Fell is uncertain, because her license is in process of being revoked, but does not mention her expulsion. Damon Salvatore's status in the council is unknown, but it can be assumed that he was expelled after it is revealed that he is a vampire.
- In Growing Pains, the Founders' Council is now called the Town Council. At the end of the episode, a large number of members (if not all) were killed in an explosion caused by Pastor Young.
- The council was formed to protect Mystic Falls from vampires and other supernatural beings. Members felt that the greatest threat to them were vampires, but in the end, one of the members ends up killing most of them.
- Every remaining member of the council, Elizabeth Forbes, Carol Lockwood, Damon Salvatore and Meredith Fell has something to do with supernatural. For Liz and Carol, this being the reason why they've been expelled. Liz's daughter (Caroline) is a vampire, Damon is a vampire himself, Carol's son (Tyler) is a hybrid (formerly werewolf), and Meredith used vampire blood to heal her patients. Rudy Hopkins' daughter Bonnie was a witch and now ghost.
- It's revealed in Black Hole Sun that prior to May 10, 1994 the Founders' Council had been inactive. The council was restarted as the result of the deaths at the Salvatore Boarding House caused by Damon as there was no way to hide so many deaths.
- Seen on the list