I attended Commissioner Helen Goreham’s Town Hall meeting last week at West Cobb Senior Center. While I am sure most residents came to learn about Georgia’s new car tax law, I found Goreham’s comments on the no-cost federal IMAGE ID-checking program the most interesting.
Goreham says IMAGE will cost the taxpayers more. Because after all, according to her, the county contractor will have to recover their expenses they acquire for being certified.
I found this to be incredible nonsense.
Goreham voted “yes” to have the county itself use the IMAGE system last year. She says the county spent approximately 450 man hours completing the IMAGE certification requirements (verifying and correcting I-9 forms, checking for use of stolen Social Security numbers, etc.).
Goreham also stated we have about 4,100 county employees. So doing the math, it took on average 6.59 minutes per employee to verify that they had not used false identification in completing their hiring application.
There is no “cost” (membership fee, dues, etc.) to become IMAGE certified. The only “cost” to an employer is an “Opportunity Cost” — if I have my employee work on IMAGE Certification, then other work may be delayed.
So the question begs to be asked: If a contractor has limited resources, it leads you to believe they have few employees — let’s say 100. The county is putting an undue burden on that contractor by requiring them to spend 70 minutes to certify that their employees are legal?
I’m sure employers loose more employee productive time to Facebook and iPhones.
Goreham told the audience that she supported IMAGE system to protect jobs, but not the ordinance that would require contractors paid with our tax dollars to use the IMAGE system. The fact that the intent of the ordinance is to certify that businesses hired by Cobb County are in compliance with federal identity, immigration and employment laws seems to have become lost in what is portrayed as an imposition on those businesses.
Goreham made it clear that she will vote against the IMAGE ordinance. But she didn’t convince me that she has a valid reason for that vote beyond pleasing the business community. What about the legal workers who are being cheated out of county-funded jobs?