Deb Hays for Board of Commissioners
I am a public servant, not a politician – and if you lend me your support, I believe we can make a difference for New Hanover County.
My experience with critical issues in our community gives me great insight into serving on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioner. I am passionate about my community, my commitment to its quality of life, and I welcome the opportunity to contribute back, and make what is great even better.
a Public Servant,
Not a Politician.
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I Would Love to Hear From You!
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Ideas & Solutions
I will use my strong public service background to continue to make New Hanover County a place that people and businesses are proud to call home ... a place where our citizens will want to live, work and play!
Education is the core that leads to career jobs and stable economic growth; strong supportive educational development will greatly assist in addressing housing affordability issues. Keeping our youth in school and increasing graduation rates is critical to our success as a community. We have an incredible university and community college as well as our SEA Tech program that offers a variety of career paths, and can provide the workforce needed for all levels of employment.
I have been actively involved in all levels of our public schools as both a parent and a volunteer. Our local university and community college provides us with excellent teachers, but we lose them due to low pay and high housing costs. We need to have our educators excited about teaching and to continue their own education by enhancing teacher pay for advanced degrees and specialization certification. We should insure our educators have the best tools available and a healthy, safe environment in which to teach. All children must be safe and feel safe in our schools.
Please contact me to learn more about my ideas for Education…
Quality of Life
We live in a vibrant area with amenities that continue to attract new residents. We are growing and at a critical point in our vision and plan for the future. Traffic/congestion problems, quality and quantity of jobs, health and safety issues, education challenges, green and blue ways, and housing affordability continue to concern our citizens. All are elements and results of growth with both positive and challenging opportunities. New Hanover County must focus on thriving through wise planning and thoughtful growth. The work is now to enact and implement for the preservation and protection of the charm and essence of our County while moving forward positively for ALL citizens. I am passionate about our community and my commitment to its quality and enjoyment of life.
Thoughts? Contact me and let’s discuss!
Water Quality and Quantity, Congestion, Storm-water, Sewer Capacity, etc…all infrastructure items that affect our everyday lives. Both the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County have recently created new comprehensive plans that are the basis for redesigning our land use plan. Well planned and envisioned growth has benefits such as stable taxation (no tax hikes), stronger housing values, neighborhood stability with consistent home affordability for current and long term citizens that have invested in our County.
Proper planning and strong adherence to correct implementation is the basis for an appropriate growth strategy that is positive for ALL our citizens…both have been a focus for me for the past several years.
Clean water is a basic core value and all resources we have on a local, regional, and state level must be employed to address and insure the quality of our water supply. Ongoing focus and attention, as well as collaboration with experts and research, must consistently be applied so that our drinking water is clean and clear of contaminants.
We need to work collaboratively as a region to understand our current and future needs and put the plan in place NOW…
More thoughts…please contact me to discuss.
Job development starts with welcoming strong mid-sized and incubator companies to our area to grow in our community. We need to be focused on the type of companies and jobs we want, and can attract; that can thrive in our area and spawn tech startups to provide a continual incubator.
A focused approach with a united marketing and economic development effort that would deliver a collaborative and consistent theme about all our area has to offer. This would showcase an impactful reoccurring message for all to use whether it be for recruiting companies, jobs, tourist, students, etc…
Have ideas…please share them with me!
Strong paying jobs with upward career opportunities addresses housing affordability in more ways than any other single solution. A regional approach needs to be employed as New Hanover County has the least amount of undeveloped land, and the strongest infrastructure support systems in our area. Zoning allocation for infill and redevelopment parcels that are specifically targeted towards our work force – putting housing/homes where the jobs are located surrounded by support services. This has the added benefit of reducing traffic congestion and provides a “live, work, play” philosophy through greater neighborhood connectivity. With a stronger tax base, the pay scale for our first responders, teachers, healthcare workers, support staff, etc…will greatly improve.
We must continue to grow our community partnerships and invest in those local services that provide the greatest assistance to our most vulnerable citizens – WARM, Habitat, Housing Authority, Good Shepherd, Elderhaus – just to name a few.
Want to know more? Please contact me…
An Experienced Public Servant for New Hanover County!
Civic Leadership Experience
As a committed civic leader I have most recently served over 8 years as Chair of the City of Wilmington Planning Commission, 3 years on the Steering Committee for the City of Wilmington Comprehensive Plan, current Vice-Chair and past Treasurer for Wilmington Downtown, Inc. Board of Directors, current Board Member of WARM (Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry), current Secretary for Airlie Gardens Foundation Board of Directors, longtime Committee Chair for the North Carolina Azalea Festival, and I have served over 12 years as Chair and Commissioner for the Wilmington Housing Authority and Housing Economic Opportunities. I have also served on the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors and completed their yearlong Leadership Wilmington program in 2010.
Serving Our Community
I have enthusiastically raised money for and participated in many community organizations; built over 20 Habitat Houses; built 10 houses in Guatemala on a mission trip; participated in the rebuild of post-hurricane New Orleans; and served on the Community Leaders Task Force for housing, renovation, and rebuild post-hurricane Florence. My involvement also includes the Carousel Center, Phoenix Ministries, Teacher’s Fund, Back to School for Kids, American Heart Association, YMCA (Volunteer of the Year), YWCA, Cape Fear Community College, and Carolina Canines.
Recognition for Service
For service to our community in Post Hurricane Florence, I received the NC Realtors Champion Award in 2019 and the Regional Service award in 2018.
I was the 2016 Chamber of Commerce Karl Davis Leadership Wilmington Alumni of the Year and received the 2016 City of Wilmington Community Service Award.
In addition, I was the 2011 winner of the NC Association of Realtors® Ben Ball Award…a statewide community service award. This highly coveted award is not presented every year…only when a candidate is deemed deserving. I also received the 2012 Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors® Realtor® of the Year…the highest honor award from the local association.
More About My Life
I graduated with a BA from DePauw University, the IBM Master’s Program, and have experience as a Bank Officer, College Financial Aid Director, and long-time corporate employee of IBM. I am a professional member of the real estate community, serving the region in many capacities: Regional Vice President for the NC Realtors, President of the Cape Fear Realtors Association, North Carolina Realtors Board of Directors.
I have one daughter, Morgan, an Honors Graduate of North Carolina State University, both undergrad and graduate school with an MBA. Morgan is married to Andrew and they have a two-year old daughter, Colette. Andrew also graduated from North Carolina State University, and Campbell Law School.
I Want to Hear from You!
I believe in LISTENING and COMMUNICATING. Please do not hesitate to call, email, message or text me directly with your thoughts and questions.