Southport’s City Government

Southport is governed by a council-manager form of government as detailed in our city charter and the statutes of the State of North Carolina. The City Manager is the administrative head of the city government who directs and supervises the administration of all departments, offices, and agencies of the city. The Board of Aldermen (6 members) and the Mayor constitute the governing body of the city. The Mayor presides over the Board meetings and functions as Southport’s representative for all ceremonial functions.

Southport
Mayor

Board of
Aldermen

City
Manager

City
Clerk

Admin
Staff

Greetings from Southport! As Mayor of the City of Southport, it is my privilege to welcome you to our City’s website. I hope that you will take an opportunity to explore Southport through these pages, where you will find information about our community and the many services that we provide to visitors, residents, and businesses alike.
Joseph P. Hatem, MD, MPH
Mayor

910-477-2573 (Cell)
Email the Mayor

Term Expiration: 12/2021

A letter from the Mayor

Welcome to Southport

To our Citizens:

Southport is your home for a reason. For most, it was a choice, for others, the gift of a birthright and legacy. Regardless of how we all found our way to Southport and made it our home, it is my privilege and responsibility as Mayor to help ensure along with the Board of Aldermen and City Staff and Employees, that our coastal city, a crown jewel on the banks of the Cape Fear River, retains the beauty, charm, and quaint fishing village like atmosphere, while facing the challenges of and providing the necessary services for the 21st Century.

Growth is our biggest challenge—how do we mitigate the overwhelming growth of Southport and Brunswick County– while promoting our current businesses and measured economic development? The revision of the Unified Development Ordinance, which is being undertaken at the present time, is part of that process.

Providing you with important services which are efficient, innovative, effective, and affordable is an ongoing endeavor and your input is essential in that regard. As a physician, and as a graduate of the University of North Carolina, School of Public Health at Chapel Hill, the health of our citizens and our city is what is most important: “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” Public Health initiatives and leadership principles will help to guide me in serving you as your Mayor. The health of our environment, clean water, clean air, preserving our trees, the majestic live oaks, mitigating threats to our environment and having a strong relationship with governmental environmental agencies. Our city will continue to support J. Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital, now in its 90th year of service. Southport is a member of Smithville Township that owns the hospital and its success is an important aspect of or city. With respect to Emergency Preparedness, we will improve coordination and continued support and strengthening of our Police, and Fire/EMS departments and be prepared for natural and manmade disasters, with hurricane season being one of our biggest threats. Part of the health of our city is preserving Southport’s Historic Heritage, as well as continued improvement of our infrastructure—efficient, affordable, electricity, sewer, and water, burying our power lines and improving the safety of our city with improved sidewalks, roads, and pedestrian access. Pedestrian Economic Areas—PEAs—our major intersections on Howe Street will be evaluated for better access for crosswalks to all businesses and restaurants.

Our waterfront is our greatest asset and along with the Yacht Basin, it is a treasure of beauty, for locals, visitors, and tourists, where memories are made, the salubrious breezes are engulfing, and the food at our waterfront restaurants, a delicious dining experience, as are all our Southport eateries. Safety in the Yacht Basin where sidewalks are extended, parking improved, where all can “make the loop” whether in your car, on your bicycle, or walking in your “Convers Chuck Taylors”, where fragrances of the sea, and fresh seafood dishes, mix with the joy of being under blue skies or a starry night. The river is inviting, and is nature’s display of birds, sea life, as well as sail boats, shrimp boats, container ships, fishing and pleasure boats, and must be protected by our waterfront policy /project of erosion control and stabilization and the repair/revitalization of the Old City Dock.

There are many other issues facing our city, a plan for an entry corridor, short term rentals, and continued improvement of our facilities, parks, and buildings, including Taylor Field. Some things just require a coat of paint. Others, more thoughtful analysis and discussion. We want a tax policy that is adequate and fair as we consider creative taxation with respect to tourism. We also want to continue to work with our many volunteer organizations and nonprofits and have active city committees, Planning Board, Parks and Recreation, Forestry, and Beautification, and have an active Department of Tourism, which supports our greatest industry. Our city government is open and the voice of the people, your voice will always be heard, and there are many ways to do so from public comment at the Board of Aldermen Meeting, email, phone calls, make an appointment, send a letter or drop it off at City Hall, and there is Meet with the Mayor the first Wednesday of the month.

Southport is rapidly changing from the days of Robert Ruark and his great novel, “The Old Man and the Boy” but it does not mean that we cannot bring the Old Man and his fellow hunters, Tom and Pete Hickman, with us, along with the sacred history of Southport, into the third decade of the 21st Century. Enjoy each day in our beloved Southport, where discrimination should not allowed to exist, that our churches are open to all who wish to enter, that our city is full of free speech, where newspapers thrive and books abound in the library, and patriotism as if every day is the Fourth of July and that we in some way enhance the lives of all who reside or enter our great city.

As Mayor, I will embrace the same intellectual endeavor, work ethic, and passion that I have used as a doctor in leading Southport in reaching these goals and other endeavors deemed significant by the public intent of our citizens.

To Our Visitors:

Southport is known for Southern Charm, a fishing village atmosphere, courageous river pilots, a beautiful river waterfront with an amazing view of the mouth of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, Bald Head Island, the Oak Island Lighthouse, all engulfed, as described by the early settlers, by a “salubrious” breeze.

The town, founded in 1792 was built around the majestic Fort Johnston, which the Garrison House is the last remnant, and is now the Visitors Center which is where you can begin your tour of our city. There are brochures, exhibits—from the history of our town to the film industry– which has been an important part of the story of Southport.

The website has information for you to view before, during, and after you visit Southport, as well as will inform you of yearly events including the Southport Wooden Boat Show, the July Fourth Festival, the Christmas Historic Home tour and Flotilla, and will help guide you to our N.C. Maritime Museum, our business district, with unique shops, restaurants, all within one block of the Southport Waterfront.

Southport is a city of the arts, and a visit to Franklin Square Gallery, which was once the old high school, is a display of the talent of our artist community and will delight and inspire you, as it has our citizens for many years. It is located in the back of Franklin Square Park—a grove of live oaks, azaleas, and camellias, where the Southport Summer Market is held and also the location for the crafts show for the Fourth of July Celebration.

We are a pedestrian friendly town and want you to stroll the streets and explore the one of a kind businesses that help to create the village atmosphere. Walk or drive to the waterfront, which is on Bay Street, and enjoy the many restaurants on the water that on a summer day or evening, will make an unforgettable memory with your family and friends that you will savor for years to follow and that will make you to want to return to our wonderful city.

The City of Southport’s Governing Board

Board of Aldermen

Mission statement for the City of Southport

“To strive for excellence in our government, project a positive attitude, involve our community and protect our citizens by ensuring a safe, secure and tranquil quality of life with controlled and orderly growth.”

Mayor / Aldermen printable list

Alderman Ward 1

Thomas Lombardi

(910) 640-8017 (cell)

Email Thomas

Term expires 12/2023

Karen Mosteller

(910) 833-2633 (cell)

Email Karen 

Term expires 12/2021

Marc Spencer

(910) 363-6147  (cell)

Email Marc

Term expires 12/2021

Alderman Ward 2

Lora Sharkey

(703) 946-5333  (cell)

Email Lora

Term expires 12/2021

John Allen

(910) 685-0495 (cell)

Email John

Term expires 12/2023

Lowe Davis

(910) 408-7051 (cell)

Email Lowe

Term expires 12/2023 

Board of Aldermen Meetings, Documents, Minutes

Regular Board of Alderman meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 6:00 PM in the Southport Community Building, located at 223 East Bay Street, Southport. If a meeting date falls on a holiday, the meeting will be rescheduled, and advertised in the State Port Pilot.

An agenda packet is available for public viewing on the Monday before the Board of Aldermen meeting.  The packets are located at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall and at the Harper Library.  The agenda can also be viewed on the City Calendar.

Board of Aldermen minutes archive please click here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Minutes must be approved at the next regular monthly meeting before they can be posted, so they are available about 1 month + 1 week after the meeting date.

Board of Aldermen Committees

The following committees provide the Board of Aldermen with important and valuable information for making decisions for our city. It is also a place where citizens may have direct input into the decision-making process of the Board. Click on the committee to see member list.

Southport Board of Aldermen Committees

The Chief Administrative Officer for Southport’s Government

Interim City Manager

Mr. Chris May
Interim City Manager

1029 N Howe St.
Southport, NC 28461
Tel: 910-457-7988
Fax: 910-457-7948
Email:cmay@southportnc.org

The People Who Serve the Citizens of Southport

Administrative Staff

Keeping the City of Southport running smoothly requires a team of people working together for the common good. If you are looking for a particular Administrative Staff department, please click on the button below for a full list of staff. If you have further questions or can’t find what you are looking for, please contact us using the forms on this site.

Southport City Hall
1029 N. Howe St. Suite 100
Southport, NC 28461

The Keeper of Southport’s Records

City Clerk

The City Clerk’s office maintains and preserves the official records of the City of Southport Board of Aldermen, serves as public records coordinator and corporate secretary of the City. This department is responsible for coordinating meetings of the Board along with the City Manager, preparation of the agenda and agenda packets, codification and distribution of the City Code and ensuring City compliance with state laws related to local government meetings, and to assist Board appointed committees as requested including public notifications and accessibility, keep a list of all Board and Committee appointments i.e. terms of office, expiration dates, etc. at the end of each FY provide an appointment report to the NC Secretary of State on board appointments in accordance with NCGS 143-157.1

Mission

The mission of the Southport City Clerk’s office is to provide professional, courteous and efficient service and support to the public, Mayor, Aldermen, City Manager and department heads in all areas that have been designated by the North Carolina General Statutes or assigned and directed by the Board of Aldermen and City Manager.

Goals

  1. Provide the public with requested information in a timely manner.
  2. Take and transcribe fact-based meeting minutes accurately in order to establish the historical records and actions of the Board.
  3. Identify and develop processes that will increase citizen satisfaction, develop ways to expedite more efficiently requested information and data by incorporating updated technology in the Clerk’s office.
  4. Maintain effective working relationship with Board of Aldermen, staff, city boards/committees and other agencies.
  5. Safeguard all official permanent records of the Board and provide leadership and advice to all City Departments in terms of the legal requirements for retention and availability of public records.
  6. Pursue technology (such as a laser fiche system) to digitize all records i.e. minutes, deeds, contracts, etc.

For more information about our city government and the roles of the City Manager, Board of Aldermen and the Mayor, contact us.

The City of Southport does not discriminate on the basis of disability. If you need an auxiliary aid, services or other accommodations in order to attend or fully participate in these meetings, please contact the City Clerk’s office as far in advance of the meeting as possible.