The city is under a State of Emergency. City of Wilmington and New Hanover County leaders have also announced a curfew for Wilmington and unincorporated areas of the county, which shall apply to the hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. from 6/2 until further notice. View the city's proclamation here. View the county's proclamation here.

View Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Coronavirus and Recent Protests/Curfew

View the New Hanover County Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website

View City-Related Information and Closures Regarding COVID-19

Sterling 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.

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.


  • 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.

Special projects


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