Mecklenburg Commissioner Bill James' recent suggestion that Ballantyne residents should split from Charlotte won some consideration from fellow Republican N.C. Sen. Bob Rucho.

Rucho told News 14 Carolina that if residents in the southern suburb approached him to pursue the idea of creating their own town, I would do what I could to assist them in that matter.

But first, he said, the area would have to de-annex from Charlotte, since it is currently within city limits. James represents District 6, which covers areas south of N.C. 51.

That includes the towns of Pineville, Matthews, and Mint Hill and the Arboretum, Ballantyne and Steele Creek areas of Charlotte.

He floated the idea of a new 'Town of Ballantyne' in an email last week. It was a response to a renewed push to consider consolidating Charlotte and Mecklenburg county governments.

James opposes the idea.

The net effect of 'consolidation' will be to give the City Council and Mayor totalitarian control over suburban residents, James wrote.

Creating a new town would insulate Ballantyne from paying Charlotte city taxes, James said.

The N.C. 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), he wrote.

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