If consolidation talk won't die; Southern residents need Town protection
A push is underway (for the umpteenth time) to 'consolidate' city and county governments. The net effect of 'consolidation' will be to give the City Council and Mayor totalitarian control over suburban residents. The net result will be a massive tax increase on those in the burbs.
Predictably, the Towns have opposed these efforts because they know how bad life would be under the thumb of a new consolidated City Council. Towns were formed, in part, to escape being under Charlotte's thumb. Most suburban areas a few miles from the center city are in towns (Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Pineville and Mint Hill). There is one very large area of suburbia that is not and it deserves to be protected by forming a new town.
The area south of 51 between Matthews and Pineville - a large portion of which is known as Ballantyne, should be given the option to form their own town and self-govern. Because these folks are in the City they pay a large tax burden that Town residents don't pay. Because they are mostly Republican they have zero say in City policy that is dominated by liberal Democrats that view them as merely a deep pocket to pay for their social programs. Worse, time and again, Charlotte's liberals try to come up with new ways to drop low-income housing into Ballantyne something that should be under the control of their own citizens.
The costs of a 'urban municipal society' are paid by these suburban city residents; something not paid by Town residents who have a much lower tax rate. The CMPD is mostly an urban police force with a large inner-city presence. The costs of CMPD are primarily paid for by suburban City residents who see little of their tax dollars returned to them.
Suburban residents (Town or City) receive about $3,500 per child from CMS for public education while inner-city residents receive $12,000 per child. A large amount of the funding difference comes from suburban residents in and around Ballantyne.
So, if consolidation is to be discussed; I say now is the time to 'Let my people go' (to borrow a Biblical phrase).
The NC Legislature should consider authorizing a ballot vote on the formation of a new 'Town of Ballantyne' (with or without the City of Charlotte's approval).
To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson; "Government that is the closest to the people governs best".
Web site: http://billjames.org
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