Hall named officer for North Carolina League of Municipalities

Published 2:11 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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Fuquay-Varina Commissioner William Harris will lead the North Carolina League of Municipalities as president over the next year.

Harris was chosen by representatives from cities and towns across North Carolina with his selection announced at NCLM’s annual conference, CityVision 2023, in Concord.

Martha Sue Hall

Joining Harris as officers for the organization are Durham Mayor Pro Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton and Albemarle Mayor Pro Tem Martha Sue Hall, first and second vice presidents, respectively, and Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler as immediate past president.

CityVision 2023 included presentations and discussions about community development, infrastructure, municipal law, employee recruitment and retention, civility, leadership and other issues facing municipalities.

Harris’ selection as president follows a long tenure of public service. Harris has served on the Fuquay-Varina Town Board for more than 35 years, including two terms as mayor pro tem. In addition to his elected service, Harris has been an adjunct professor in the business and public administration department at Shaw University and has received numerous awards for his service to the public, most notably, the Outstanding Citizenship Award presented by the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce. Harris previously worked for the Department of Health and Human Services for 30 years in various positions.

In his remarks at CityVision, Harris spoke about his desire to continue to build partnerships and connections across government lines.

“We must avoid the political polarization that can paralyze the other levels of government. And we must maintain the trust that our residents place in us,” he said. “As president of the League for the upcoming year, I’m encouraged to reframe our conversation and create opportunities to build stronger partnerships by promoting linkage among the League affiliates at the local level, and even stronger connections to state and federal government.”

League Executive Director Rose Vaughn Williams said Harris, through his extensive local government experience, will bring strong leadership to the organization.
“For decades, Commissioner Harris has been the vision of selfless public service in North Carolina,” Williams said. “We are so fortunate to have his experience atop the North Carolina League of Municipalities, and I am excited to see how our state’s cities and towns thrive under his leadership.”

In addition to NCLM officers, newly elected members of the Board of Directors, chosen for either a first term or additional second term, are: Jacksonville Council Member Brian H. Jackson, District 2; Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod, District 4; Morrisville Council Member Satish Garimella, District 6; Huntersville Mayor Melinda Bales, District 8; Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers, District 12; Kinston Mayor Dontario Hardy, at-large; Fayetteville Council Member Kathy Jensen, large city seat; Raleigh Council Member Jonathan Melton, large city seat; Winston-Salem Council Member Robert Clark, large city seat; Gastonia Manager Michael Peoples, municipal manager; and Washington Manager Jonathan Russell, municipal manager.