Bill James questionnaire for District 6

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - WBTV's Sharon Smith sent a questionnaire to both Republican candidates for District 6.

Commissioner Bill James' answers are below:

Where do you stand on consolidation with city/county government?

Strongly OPPOSED. Consolidation of City/County government would force Town residents to pay significantly more in taxes as the City will expand its base to cover town residents. The City's Democrats like it because they get to tax suburbanites more.

Do you think the Ballantyne area should become its own municipality? Why or why not?

Yes. Most of the geography outside of 51 is one of the Southern Towns (Pineville, Matthews and Mint Hill). Forming a new 'Town of Ballantyne' (or whatever name is used) will lower taxes on those living in that area that now pay for expensive city services they never use.

CMS plans to ask the county for $27-million in additional funding compared to last year. Would you support their request?

No. CMS lied to the public and to the Commission last year and hid an extra $30 million in State dollars. The delayed disclosure of this until after the County had voted to give CMS last year's allocation increase. CMS prioritized funding last year and determined that Bright Beginnings (a pre-k) program was the least important. Teachers deserve raises but CMS should pay for those raises by eliminating Bright Beginnings as they promised they would do last year.

Why should voters support you instead of your opponent?

Because I am the only conservative and the only Republican on the ballot AND because I have been there for the citizens of District 6 – protecting them from uptown big spending projects, stopping a recent landfill in Ballantyne and pushing for and getting neighborhood schools. My opponent however hasn't voted in a GOP primary for 10 years, evidence that he isn't really Republican. My opponent also is a proponent of County funding for PBS (WTVI) – he served as the Chair of that organization. A conservative doesn't support County tax dollars going to PBS. A real Republican VOTES. A real Conservative, doesn't expect County taxpayers to fund PBS.

Name two issues you see as the biggest priorities in Mecklenburg county and explain how your representation on those issues would lead to improvement.

Fixing revaluation (it is on the agenda again for May 1st) – I am cosponsoring the item.
Forming a 'Town of Ballantyne' and looking at splitting up CMS into three separate school districts (Southern, Northern and Center City). Regarding the split of CMS, District 6 students get 75% of the money per pupil that the inner-city receives.  We don't get our fair share.

What is your opinion on how the County handled the property revaluation process? What would you change or recommend, if anything?

Poor, because the county is not using 'fair market value' that virtually every resident expects. Instead, the county is valuing property excluding foreclosures and bank-owned sales. The effect is to inflate and overstate the value of residences and businesses.