The James Family
Bill James, a Republican, is currently serving his seventh two-year term on the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners and has represented District 6 since 1996.
District 6 has approximately 150,000 individuals residing in the independent Towns of Pineville, Matthews, and Mint Hill plus the Arboretum and Ballantyne areas of the City of Charlotte. The area south of highway 51 (in addition to three Towns' residents) is generally considered the starting point for the southern portion of District 6.
District 6 is one of the most populated and highly Republican of Board of County Commissioners districts with more than 100,068 voters of which 47,239 were Republican, 27,099 were Democrats and the remainder Unaffiliated. Approximately 88% of its registered voters are white, 7% black and 5% undesignated or other, as of December 2006.
During James' 10-plus years as a member of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, he has been an active proponent of neighborhood schools, the right of parents to know what their children have been taught, and traditional marriage. He is on record opposing 'same-sex' benefits and has actively worked to stop Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools from busing children based on race. In 2004, he proposed a plan to fix what is wrong with Charlotte's inner-city schools including a proposal to develop a 24/7 reform school.
Currently, James serves on the Board's Community, Health and Safety Committee and authored (and serves on) Mecklenburg County's Audit Review Committee. He also has served as the chair of the Effective and Efficient Government Committee.
James is a Certified Public accountant in the State of Florida but no longer practices. He also holds an inactive license with the State of North Carolina. He earned a MBA in accounting from Nova-Southeastern University (1980), a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University (1978) and an AA in Business from Broward Community College (1976). Prior to entering politics, James worked for Price Waterhouse in its audit and bank regulatory consulting practices in Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC. He got his start in public accounting in the mid-1980s in Dallas, Texas where he met, dated and married his wife, Julie. Bill and Julie moved from Dallas, Texas to Charlotte, NC in 1987 shortly before the birth of their first child.
Prior to his 1996 election to the Board of County Commissioners, he served as the first Chairman of the City of Charlotte's Privatization Advisory Committee (1994 to 1996) and was on the County's Capital Budget Advisory Committee (1995) assessing the needs for new school bonds. In 1996, he was a voting delegate to the Republican National Convention in San Diego, California.
James' family has been Republicans since the mid-19th century, leaving the Whig party because of his family's staunch belief that slavery was wrong. His great-great-great grandfather was the leader of the 14th Kentucky Calvary for the Union and was assassinated by Rebel forces after mustering out and returning to the farm. Other ancestors have served in various elected and appointed capacities including sheriffs, county commissioners, and school board members. His great-grandfather was the chief of staff to the Republican member of Congress from Eastern Kentucky in the 1910s and later became Deputy Insurance Commissioner for the State of Kentucky. This history of family service, concern for the welfare of his children and the public school system, and what Commissioner James saw happening to Charlotte's crime and juvenile delinquency rates were some of the reasons he became involved in politics after spending 20 years in the business sector.
Commissioner James and his wife are members of Calvary Church and have four children; Trey, Blair, Sarah and Becka. One attends the US Naval Academy, two are students at CMS and one child is in a private Christian school.
To learn more, you can visit Bill James' website at http://www.billjames.org.
One of Commissioner James' favorite quotes is from Republican President Teddy Roosevelt:
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
(Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910)