BOC will sign immigration deal
by Geoff Folsom
gfolsom@mdjonline.com
May 21, 2012 12:42 AM | 3414 views | 6 6 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Cobb Board of Commissioners will make an agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official at their Tuesday meeting.

The meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the commissioners second floor meeting room at 100 Cherokee St., will start with a vote and then a signing ceremony with ICE officials, said southeast Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott, who pushed for the county to join the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers program. The voluntary program seeks to ensure all county employees are in the country legally and are eligible to work.

ICE will be represented by Brock Nicholson, special agent in charge for the Atlanta field office, county spokesman Robert Quigley said.

Chairman Tim Lee will sign the agreement after the board votes to approve it, Ott said.

“We have to basically give the chairman permission to sign the documents,” he said.

Cobb is the first government in the state to use the IMAGE program. Ott hopes the county can be a leader for others.

While the county has used the federal E-Verify program to check on worker status since 2006, Ott said the IMAGE program will go further. Though it will initially only be used with county employees, Ott hopes that in the future it will be used to prevent situations like the one that occurred during construction of the new $63 million courthouse, where one sub-contractor, Zebra Construction of Suwanee, was found to be hiring illegal immigrants.

The county will also vote on putting $30,000 in contingency money from the general fund into the budget for the Board of Equalization because of an increased number of appeals the board must deal with.

The extra contingency money is needed because of an increased number of residents who appealed the values of their homes due to a 2010 state law, which went into effect last year, which mandates that every county send every property owner a tax assessment notice each year. Elva Dornbush, chief deputy clerk, said this means more people are aware of their property values, which means more have appealed.

That has meant a heavier workload for the Board of Equalization members, which, at $25 per hour for a hearing officer, has caused a budget shortfall.

“The Board of Equalization has to work longer hours and more days,” Dornbush said. “Not enough money was put in the budget.”

The Board of Commissioners will also vote on awarding $25,000 from the Mableton Grant Fund to the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority for ongoing operating expenses. The authority, which has a seven-member board of directors that has been meeting since October, is seeking to put the South Cobb Implementation Strategy in place. The strategy is intended to combine three plans for the future of south Cobb — one for Mableton, one for improving the dilapidated area along Six Flags Drive and the other for Riverview Road, which Commissioner Woody Thompson hopes to see include restaurants, retail and recreation along the Chattahoochee.

“It’s going to take about seven years to develop it out,” he said. “It’s going to be a real exciting program.”
Comments
(6)
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Don H.
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May 22, 2012
Greater clarity on the enforcement of our laws will benefit everyone -- citizens, legal immigrants and illegals alike.
truth hurts
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May 21, 2012
Assign an ICE agent at the welfare office on fairground and the health department on county services! Better have several buses on standby thouth.
okpeople
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May 21, 2012
Now if we can only do E-Verify at the WIC offices.
anonymous
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May 21, 2012
It would only encourage identity theft. People who break the law to come here won't think twice about stealing people's identities to keep the gravy train flowing.
mk - candy store
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May 21, 2012
Who's auditing contractors that have signed a promise to use E-Verify?

Answer- NOONE!

Come see for yorselves. The multi-million dollar sidewalk & median projects in Smyrna on Atlanta Road using SPLOST and federal tax dollars seem to be using illegals. Why wouldn't they?

Bottom line,.. it's all about the greed!

Signing agreements doesn't accomplish any real results unless on site audits are perfomed. This will never happen, because it's not really intended for that purpose,.. only to make people THINK the cities and counties are doing the right thing!

They are looking the other way!
Aunt Gawdy
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May 21, 2012
THANK YOU D.A. King!
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