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Sunday, July 24, 2016
City Manager's Office
102 N. Third Street
Wilmington, NC 28402

Wilmington City Manager Sterling B. Cheatham

City Manager Sterling B. CheathamSterling Cheatham has served as the City Manager for the City of Wilmington, North Carolina since 2003. He is responsible to the City Council for the day-to-day administration of all city departments, including preparing and administering annual city budgets. He is also responsible for proposing policies for consideration of the City Council and overseeing the administration and implementation of those policies and ordinances.

Prior to working for the City of Wilmington, Cheatham served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Norfolk, Virginia where he was responsible for policy development in areas of finance, infrastructure, economic development, environmental management, legislative and strategic planning and oversaw daily operations for clusters of departments, including public safety and administrative support departments. Previous to this position, he was the Director of Finance in the City of Norfolk where he managed the financial affairs of the city, including the operating and capital budgets, debt and investment administration, procurement, financial analysis and reporting and risk management.

Cheatham has also worked as the Director of Management and Finance in Aiken County, South Carolina; the Director of Administration and Finance in College Park, Maryland; and the Assistant to City Manager and Budget Officer for the City of Greenville, South Carolina.

Cheatham is a member of the International City Management Association, the North Carolina City/County Managers Association, Public Technology Incorporated, American Society for Public Administration and the Conference of Minority Public Administrators.

Cheatham holds a Masters of Public Administration from The American University in Washington, DC with an emphasis in Intergovernmental Financing. He also graduated Magna Cum Laude from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration.

Wilmington's History
Wilmington was named in honor of Spencer Compton, the Earl of Wilmington, who was Prime Minister under George II. Incorporated in 1739, Wilmington became a city in 1866. In 1840 it was the largest town in the state and remained so through the early 1900s, thanks to the thriving ports along the Cape Fear River and the arrival of the Wilmington & Raleigh Railroad (renamed the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad in 1854). When the railroad was completed in 1840, it was the largest continuous railroad track in the world.
The Port City is the childhood home of basketball great Michael Jordan and journalist David Brinkley. Other famous Wilmington natives include Althea Gibson, Minnie Evans, Kevin Beasley, Sonny Jurgenson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Charles Kuralt, Charlie Daniels, Roman Gabriel, Meadowlark Lemon and Alge Crumpler. It is also home to the WWII Battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) and was the site of the commissioning of the Virginia Class USS North Carolina (777) submarine in May 2008 and the missile-guided destroyer USS Gravely in November 2010.
About Wilmington

Wilmington, located in New Hanover County, is a coastal town situated in southeastern North Carolina. The city is bordered by the Cape Fear River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Following is some general information about our city.

 View a profile on Wilmington.

 View a guide to Wilmington's African-American heritage: places of interest.


  • Wilmington is governed by a non-partisan City Council consisting of a Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem and five Councilmembers.
  • Elections are held every two years.
  • The Mayor serves a two-year term and Councilmembers serve staggered four-year terms.
  • Wilmington is governed by a Council-Manager form of government - City Council sets the policy and direction; the City Manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization.

City organization

  • 11 departments
  • Approximately 1,000 employees
  • Public safety accounts for almost half of all city staff and 45% of the General Fund
  • City maintains
    • 400 miles of roads
    • 400 miles of sidewalks
    • 715 acres of parks & athletic facilities
    • 197 acres of landscape/greenways

Wilmington's tax rate is .485 per $100 of property valuation.


Check out parking rates and see where to park downtown


Learn about the city budget


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102 North Third Street - Post Office Box 1810
Wilmington, North Carolina 28402-1810
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