|February 15, 2013||Cupid and Goreham voice nonsense, not concerns, on IMAGE proposal||no comments|
|February 04, 2013||Goreham, Lee and Cupid all showing true colors.||no comments|
|May 31, 2012||Citizens were the winner in candidate forum||2 comments|
|November 29, 2011||DiMassimo’s rebuttal letter is fact challenge gibberish.||3 comments|
Goreham, in a previous interview voiced some objections based on hypothetical situations. It was pointed out to her that they are all non-issues, as the situations, should they arise, are already addressed in the proposed ordinance.
Her objection that it would be too costly and time consuming, for the contractors, is also a non-issue, as the cost is negligible and the time to fill out the application averages one and a half hours. It is also a non-issue, since obeying the law has never been optional depending on the cost to do so. I am not sure when, or where, Goreham got the idea that obeying the law is a matter of choice and/or convenience.
Her other objection is not only a non-issue, it is totally ludicrous. The fact that no other county is doing it is totally irrelevant to what we should do. If decisions to act were based on waiting for someone else to do it first, the population of this country would still be in the original 13 colonies.
With no real issues to discuss, Goreham attempted to obfuscate the issue by talking about the “incentive” program she suggested and then about D. A. King, the activist who has promised to work against her re-election. Neither of these issues has anything to do with getting illegals off the taxpayer payroll, which is what this ordinance is designed to do.
I wish I would tell you what Lisa Cupid had to say about the ordinance, but she did not stay on that subject long enough ro determine why she is against it. She addressed the issue of black unemployment, the fact that her parents are immigrants, the fact that she has cousins who cannot come here because of “a complicated immigration process.” Kinda makes you wonder how all those hundreds of thousand of legal immigrants got here, if the system is that complicated, does it not?
She is apparently against the IMAGE ordinance because it does not solve all the immigration problems in the country so her cousins can move here and it does not specifically address the black unemployment problem.
Does she suppose that being unemployed is any harder on a black person than on a white person or a Latino person? I submit that this ordinance is designed to get “illegal workers” off the payroll, and open job opportunities for all workers, regardless of race or color.
The fact that this ordinance addresses that issue and not the total immigration issue, or the issue of black unemployment, is hardly a valid reason to be against it.She says she is looking for something “really compelling” about passing this ordinance. Excuse me, Lisa! How about opening up jobs for the unemployed citizens and legal workers? Is that not a compelling reason? How about making sure that our tax money is spent to better our people and not illegal workers who pay no income taxes and who send obscene amounts of money back to Mexico, while milking our social programs? Are those reasons not compelling enough?
Does she suppose that the 10 or so illegal workers caught working on the county courthouse constitutes all the illegal workers on county projects? If so, she is more than incredibly naïve
If Cupid came into this job with a chip on her shoulder and with the aim of championing black people only, then she should never have been elected. I don’t think that is what her constituency thought they were voting for.
Could it be that Goreham and Cupid do not care about their unemployed constituents enough to buck Chairman Tim Lee and the Chamber of Commerce leadership?
They both need to get their petty biases and irrelevant objections put aside and do what is right for the law abiding, tax paying people of Cobb County.Ladies, in the final analysis, there is really no justification for letting the status quo continue.
For two days in succession, the MDJ carried front page feature stories concerning the refusal of Commissioners Helen Goreham, Lisa Cupid, and Commission Chairman Tim Lee, to support the proposed ordinance requiring contractors, doing business with the county, to be IMAGE certified or to have applied for certification.Basically, the reasoning behind the ordinance is to help assure that Cobb County taxpayer funds are not used to pay illegal immigrant workers, while our own residents go jobless. At the end of December 2012, we had 8.6% of our Cobb County people unemployed, not to mention many who were underemployed, or were forced into working part time jobs.What is the reason an elected official would not be in favor of action to help correct that situation? It seems the only reasons they offered are ludicrous, weak and lame excuses and bear no resemblance to reality. Could it be that the whispered speculation regarding a “pressure and reward system” from the leaders of the Chamber of Commerce has some truth? Certainly the Chamber leadership has done a good job of dancing around their commitment to getting the unemployed people of Cobb County back to work.Goreham feels that insisting on obedience to the law is “punitive”, as she put it. Instead she wants to reward them for being law abiding, with an incentive plan which gives them points for being compliant. Obviously, unless that system assures a compliant contractor of being awarded a job, in preference to a non-compliant contractor, then the incentive is worthless. If, on the other hand, the incentive offers such assurance, it is, in effect, a requirement to do business, which is what this ordinance is about. Goreham and a county official insist that the county has expended 450 hours in trying to get the IMAGE certification. If this is true, it is 300 times the 90 minutes reported to be the average required. Does this mean that we have grossly incompetent people employed in the county? Or does it mean that we wasted a lot of time in the process? Oh, wait! We opted to do an in-house I-9 audit. Note, we were not required to so, as ICE will do one anyway. If the 450 hours were spent trying to get our I-9 files in shape for an ICE audit, then the HR department has been lax in the performance of its duties. We are required, by law, to maintain I-9 forms on all employees. Further, these forms are to be properly completed, by the applicant, and verified by the employer prior to the employment of the applicant. An audit should consist of nothing more than a double check to be sure we have an I-9 on each employee. The fact that we utilized some of the alleged 450 hours to make “corrections” to these forms stinks of sloppy work by county employees. One wonders just what types of “corrections” were made. Additionally, the fact that ICE found improper forms, after we spent 450 hours on them, does not speak well of our efforts.Goreham is concerned that complying with the law is too time consuming and expensive for our contractors. ICE says the average time for completion of the paperwork is one and one half hours. A self-audit of I-9 forms is NOT required. ICE is going to do an audit anyway. I submit it makes no difference if it is costly and time consuming. That is not a consideration in whether the law is to be obeyed or not. Try telling the IRS that filing your tax return is costly and time consuming. Try telling the State of Georgia that collecting and remitting sales tax is too costly and time consuming. Sorry, Helen, but this one is a non sequitur.In fact, none of the reasons offered by Goreham, Lee or Cupid are valid reasons for leaving our people out of work while our tax money goes to pay illegal immigrants who are taking the jobs our people need. The companies that employ them are the ones fighting the adoption of this ordinance and their reason for doing so has nothing to do with anything Lee, Goreham or Cupid have said. Plain and simple, they do not want to obey the law because that would mean not taking advantage of the cheap labor available from the illegal immigrant work pool.They do not care about the law, or our unemployed people. Neither, apparently, does Lee, Goreham or Cupid.
Tonight, I attended a Candidate Forum at the East Cobb Library, sponsored by the East Cobb Civic Association. Participating were the four candidates for Chairman of the Cobb County Commission, incumbent Tim Lee, former chairman Bill Byrne, former candidate Larry Savage and newcomer Mike Boyce. Also participating was Bob Ott, County Commissioner for District 2, who is running, unopposed, for re-election to that position.
Included in the SRO audience was a large contingent of candidates running for various offices in the upcoming election.
Each candidate was given three minutes in which to tell the audience why he was the best qualified for the position of Chairman. As might be expected, the speeches were mostly self serving bios extolling their various life experiences which they could bring to play in the execution of the job, if elected.
Questions, in writing, were solicited from the audience and fed through a 2 person team, tasked with the job of assembling similar questions and consolidating them into a single question, as well as weeding out objectionable, personal and irrelevant questions.
The questions were then read by a mediator, who addressed the questions to a single candidate, with each candidate getting a turn at being first addressed. The person addressed initially had two minutes to respond and the other 3 had one minute each to respond to the same question.
Most of the questions dealt with SPLOST and TSPLOST, with the budget getting its fair share of the spotlight. Basically, three of the candidates, Byrne, Savage and Boyce oppose the TSPLOST, as having no benefit for Cobb County, and all other SPLOSTs on the basis that they do not fit the description of what the SPLOST was intended to be. Chairman Lee attempted to make the case for the TSPLOST, but I don’t think he accomplished that, at least, not to this audience.
Perhaps the most interesting and surprising question was “As Chairman, what steps would you take to protect Cobb County from acts of terrorism?” The question left all four candidates with the proverbial “deer in the headlights” look. Lee, to whom the question was initially directed answered that the county had a responsibility to protect all its citizens, not just those who engage in controversial activities, which could cause them to be the subjects of attacks. Savage and Byrne pretty much echoed Lee, while trying to make it sound otherwise. Boyce gave the only original answer and that was basically that people had better know that Cobb County is a law-abiding county and to those who choose to transgress the law, he said “We will hunt you down and bring you trial and you will be convicted and you will go to jail and we hope you enjoy your stay.” That was as close as any candidate came to getting an ovation.
Much of the night was spent with three of the candidates explaining why Lee and his policies are wrong for Cobb County and Lee defending his two year record.
Probably, the single most novel idea came from former Chairman Bill Byrne. He restated what he has said in numerous ads. He would move to privatize some of the county functions, thereby creating private sector jobs and reducing government spending. Whether this is feasible, and whether it would effect a savings over the long haul are both question, the answers to which would require some detailed analysis. However, it is an idea which appears worthy of consideration.
In evaluating what I heard, I would sum it up this way. As voters, we have one of two choices. we can choose to continue the policies of the last two years, or we can choose to move in a different direction. If we choose the latter, then we have to decide who better to lead us down the new road, Byrne, Savage or Boyce.
Who won? I really don’t think there was, or that there really has to be, a winner. In reality, we are all winners when we can come together and discuss our ideas openly in a civilized and respectful manner.
I was really shocked to find that nobody who lives in Cobb and works in Atlanta rides in a carpool. I was equally shocked to discover that the HOV lanes, on the downtown connector, do not have one single vehicle travelling in them during rush hour traffic.
At least that it what I gather from the nebulous “past studies of operating transit systems” which Faye DiMassimo quoted in her amusing and fact challenged rebuttal to Larry Savage’s letter regarding the regional Transportation Investment Act. (MDJ – 11-27-11) Such would have to be case if her statement that 200 riders on mass transit would remove 200 vehicles from the road, is accurate. I presume Ms. DiMassimo is prepared to quote the credible source for the quoted “studies.” No? I thought not.
Do these people really think that the folks in Cobb County are dense enough to swallow that kind of malarkey?
As for the Alternative Analysis study, most of us recognize it for nothing more than a massive tax eating exercise, designed to convolute the facts. Indeed, the results of the study were predetermined. The panel’s job is to twist the data to support the predetermined conclusion.
For all their efforts to obfuscate their actions, this whole group is so transparent that a blind man could see through them with his cane. Did everyone note that one of the SPLOST projects schedule to start in 2015 is a park and ride at Cumberland Blvd. and Cobb Parkway? How very conveniently located that is in relation to the Cobb County start/terminus of the proposed light rail from Cumberland to Midtown. Gee! What a coincidence!
There is also the question of the three different surveys, allegedly encompassing the opinions of 16,000 Cobb County residents. I challenge her to produce documentation, including dates of the surveys, questions asked and the qualifications of the group(s) conducting the surveys to gather, analyze and report on the data. While I am holding my breath, waiting for this information, I would like to hear from any readers who participated in one of those surveys or know of someone who did.
Pending receipt of credible documentation, I will file Ms. DiMassimo’s letter under “Incredible Science Fiction.”