Williams was a prominent community figure prior to her election. She was president of the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival in 1989, and won strong reviews in the local media for her organizational skills. She was also the cultural organizer in Windsor's bid to host the 1994 Commonwealth Games, the head fundraiser for Team Windsor, and a member of the Riverfront Task Force.
She was elected to the Windsor City Council in the 1991 municipal election, winning the second seat in the city's first ward. She remained active on the waterfront issue, and promoted an aquarium project for the area in 1992. Later in the same year, she was a prominent advocate of a comprehensive $139-million riverfront park strategy. Williams was also an early supporter of private-sector management for the Windsor casino in 1993.
Both Williams and Dwight Duncan, the other Ward One councillor, served on Windsor's Planning Advisory Committee. Williams also chaired the Convention and Visitor's Bureau of Windsor, Essex County and Pelee Island, and oversaw a major advertising campaign of the region in 1993. She reported that the city's group-tour market increased by a factor of 1,000% in 1996, after the casino was opened.
Williams was treated for breast cancer during her first term on council, but did not miss any meetings as a result of the disease. She was re-elected without difficulty in 1994, winning her ward's first seat.
Williams supported a plan for Windsor to adopt provincial workfare policies in 1997, despite the fact that she was not an enthusiastic supporter of the program. She argued that the alternative would be "much worse", and indicated that Windsor's welfare services would be put at risk without an agreement. She later spoke against a plan for a pavilion-style city market in downtown Windsor, after some financial details of the project were kept secret. Williams also sponsored a plan to licence escort services in the city, arguing that it would provide protection to vulnerable individuals.
She was re-elected to a third term in 1997. Williams expressed concern about provincial services that were being downloaded to municipalities, and argued that no candidate could reasonably and truthfully promise a tax freeze for the city. She was one of five councillors who voted against a tax freeze in 1999.
Williams served on the Western Anchor Steering Committee, which reviewed plans for a downtown arena and entertainment complex. In September 1998, she voted in favour of a private-public partnership to build Chrysler Canada Ltd.'s new office tower development on Norwich Block. She criticized the city's tax assessment reform plan in 1999, arguing that it was unfair to businesses that had previously overpaid.
She was defeated in the 2000 election, and later became planning consultant for developer Geranium Homes. Williams ran low-key campaigns in each election that she contested, refusing to create a campaign website or use billboard advertising.
- Al Halberstadt, "The lure of money knows no boundaries", Windsor Star, 17 June 1987, B4; Rob Ferguson, "Shorter fest, river location recommended", Windsor Star, 25 November 1988, A3; Lauren More and Sarah Sacheli, "Shortened festival draws larger crowd", Windsor Star, 5 July 1989, A3.
- Alan Halbertstadt, "'First Lady' steals show at Games' presentation", Windsor Star, 10 November 1987, B1; Chris Vander Doelen and Jim Potter, "Council challengers vie to unseat nine incumbents", Windsor Star, 12 October 1991, A5.
- Scott Burnside, "Only newcomer on council won't just go with the flow", Windsor Star, 13 November 1991, A3. Williams was forty-nine years old at the time.
- Lauren More, "Aquarium a hit in Chattanooga, how about here?", Windsor Star, 7 August 1992, A3.
- Chris Vander Doelen, "Ambitious riverfront plan put to the test", Windsor Star, 23 November 1992, A1.
- Lauren More, "Labor leader cool to private casino", Windsor Star, 28 January 1993, A3.
- "Talking Point: Planning bouquets tossed to members" [editorial], Windsor Star, 2 April 1993, A7.
- Lauren More, "Campaign bets $255,000 to attract visitors", Windsor Star, 23 April 1993, A5.
- Grace Macaluso, "Survival skills", Windsor Star, 22 September 1994, B7.
- "Workfare debate: Onus falls on local shoulders" [editorial], Windsor Star, 23 May 1996, A8; Ellen van Wageningen, "Councillors accept workfare blueprint", Windsor Star, 19 March 1997, A4.
- "City market: Questions without answers", Windsor Star, 18 December 1996, A6.
- Jacqueline Smrke, "Licensed to sell sex", Hamilton Spectator, 23 July 1997, B8.
- Jacqueline Smrke, "Political hopefuls wary of being caught off base", Windsor Star, 30 September 1997, A5.
- "City budget" [editorial], Windsor Star, 17 December 1999, A8.
- Margaret Williams, "Weighing the possibilities" [guest column], Windsor Star', 17 February 1998, A7.
- Roseann Danese, "Full speed ahead: Council gives initial nod to Chrysler HQ", Windsor Star, 17 September 1998, A1.
- Roseann Danase, "Tax relief for some, bad news for others", Windsor Star, 26 January 1999, A3.
- "Tree clearing irks residents", Windsor Star, 3 May 2002, A3.
- Chris Hornsey, "Campaign trail filled with adventure", Windsor Star, 8 November 2000, A12.