Goreham, Lee and Cupid all showing true colors.
by Pete_Borden
 Cobb County Government
February 04, 2013 05:02 PM | 792 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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.
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