Margaret Haynes

Title: Mayor Pro Tem

Municipality: City of Wilmington

Position Interested In: Second Vice President; At Large - Elected Officials;
District Representative (District 3)

Tell us why you would like to serve in a leadership position at the League. In particular, specify goals you would like to accomplish as an officer or board member and indicate how, if attained, they will help to achieve Vision 2030 – the League’s future vision of how cities and towns will operate in 2030.

Municipal government is the government closest to the people; and as such, we need to strengthen our ability to control our own destiny, both financially and operationally. Working with the League provides an opportunity to help develop strategies to achieve that goal. Developing personal relationships with leaders from across the state is also beneficial. It is vital on the local level to engage and create strong, positive relationships across political lines to move our communities forward in a cooperative and progressive fashion. Locally, we must focus on continuing to improve working relationships with our New Hanover County Commissioners as well as our NC state representatives.

I believe it is important to recruit women and minorities to serve on committees and commission so that all citizens are fairly represented. That is often easier said than done, but still worth trying.

I am interested in healthy economic development, especially in promoting the arts, technology and supporting so-called clean industries. The need for blue-collar jobs must not be forgotten as well as affordable housing opportunities.


Tell us about your experience as a municipal official. You may want to include information on your service on the municipal governing body, other related boards and special areas of interest.

I am serving my third, two-year term as Mayor Pro-tem, elected by my council colleagues. I chair the city committees of Governance, Appointments to Board and Commissions, Land Development Code Re-write, and I also serve on Evaluations, Naming and Wilmington Downtown, Inc. Additionally I serve on the board of the Downtown Business Alliance (DBA) and was recently appointed by Governor Cooper to the NC State Arts Council.

A focus area for me is healthy economic development, promoting the arts, including film, and clean industry such as technology. We enjoy many attributes as a progressive, yet historic city, and we want to continue to move into a prosperous future while protecting our vital environmental resources.

Tell us about your educational background, professional experience, and/or community or civic activities. 

I have a Master's of Public Administration as well as an undergraduate degree from James Madison University.

I served on the executive management team of Congressman Jim Olin, of the Sixth District of Virginia for a decade. I managed four field offices, with employees, interns and volunteers. We focused on constituent services and intergovernmental affairs. During that time I supervised a number of MPA students and taught classes on lobbying and governmental relations. I briefly taught political science at JMU as a graduate student and an adjunct professor.

After retiring back to my home state of North Carolina, I was appointed chair of the New Hanover County Board of Elections and served in that capacity for five years, at which time I resigned to accept appointment to the Wilmington City Council in 2009.

In the 1980's I started a real estate and property management firm with properties currently in three states. I continue to serve as the managing partner.

Have You Participated in Any NCLM Events or Committees? 

  • CityVision Annual Conference

  • Town & State Dinner or Town Hall Days

  • Regional Meetings

  • Legislative Lobby Days

  • Affiliate Organizations: Women in Municipal Government, Board Member (state and national)

  • NCLM Board Member - Presidential Appointment

Please provide any other information you would like the Nominations Committee to consider.

While Wilmington is a city of less than 200,000 citizens, it is the largest municipality East of Interstate 95 and the regional hub for over 500,000+ residents. We are a unique and beautiful community with a tourist economy, a large historic district, a regional medical center, an international airport, and a university. In addition to tourism, our economic viability also rests with a vibrant pharmaceutical industry as well as the rebounding film industry.

While many of my contemporaries have run for higher office, my true interest is in municipal government. I believe the strength of local government is in service to the people. My background provides a strong foundation for constituent service focusing on local government problem solving and building and maintaining positive intergovermental relationships.

I have enjoyed serving for the past year on the NCLM Board and would like to continue my involvement.

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